I'm Siegfried. A developer. Yep.

FirefoxOS with jskanji

Why FirefoxOS ?

FirefoxOS screenshot

(image from here)

I think this video sums the “why ?” perfectly:

The phone

Le Peak

(image from Wikipedia)

The Geeksphone Peak was released in April, 2013 as a Developer Preview phone… And I have one ^^.

Easy way

Geeksphone has all the drivers and updates you need.

You may also need some tricks from here.

For example, Linux users will need this in /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules.:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="05c6", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"


chmod a+r /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules
sudo service udev restart

Then, skip to the flashing part of this article.

Not-so-easy way

Actually, it was quite easy, but you will need one quality: patience !

Everything is very well detailled in the following links:

So… Why this article if it’s so easy ?

Japanese keyboard

Yep… The big regret I had using Geekphone’s versions was the lack of Japanese keyboard.

でも… There is one ! Why so absent ?

Because it is heavy. As in really heavy. The dictionary file is something like 22mb.

With some help from this bug, I now have a japanese keyboard on FirefoxOS.

Building and installing

Here are some steps to enable this thing (everything can be found in the previous build & installing links).


Let’s enable i386 architecture (because we are all on 64 bits systems, right ?)

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update

Then, let’s install some dependencies and compilers

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends autoconf2.13 bison bzip2 ccache curl flex gawk gcc g++ g++-multilib gcc-4.6 g++-4.6 g++-4.6-multilib git lib32ncurses5-dev lib32z1-dev zlib1g:amd64 zlib1g-dev:amd64 zlib1g:i386 zlib1g-dev:i386 libgl1-mesa-dev libx11-dev make zip libxml2-utils

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.6 1
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.8 2
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-4.6 1
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-4.8 2
sudo update-alternatives --set gcc "/usr/bin/gcc-4.6"
sudo update-alternatives --set g++ "/usr/bin/g++-4.6"

You will also need some android tools

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot

Tons of files !

You’ll need 20go of space, and some time. Everything is automated, but you have to look at what happens in your terminal, because you may encounter THE MATRIX. Oh yeah.

git clone git://github.com/mozilla-b2g/B2G.git
cd B2G
./config.sh peak

Extra configuration

Now is the time to configure your japanese keyboard.

Let’s go here: https://github.com/mozilla-b2g/gaia/tree/master/apps/keyboard/js/imes/jskanji

We will need an ipadic release from here, and do what’s said in the README file

This will generate the dictionary file used by the keyboard. The keyboard is not enabled yet. I went to the next part without enabling at first… Baaaad idea !

This page explains how to enable the multilocale stuff.

I choose the lazy way by editing <B2G folder>/gaia/Makefile, changing the GAIA_KEYBOARD_LAYOUTS line:


That’s it !


The phone should be connected to the computer, and:



Flash! Aaah aaaaaah, saviour of the universe!

(image from Wikipedia)

On the Geeksphone Peak, the bootloader was locked.

So… Remember the android tools we installed earlier ? adb and fastboot ? Let’s play with them:

adb reboot bootloader
sudo fastboot oem unlock

You’ll see chinese written stuff. Press volume up key to change the selected checkbox, then the power key to submit the change (thank you).

Back to flashing !


More info on flashing only some part here.

And ?

That’s all !

What does the fox say ?

(image from here)

Well. Not so fast. We built and flashed the master branch, which may not be the most stable one. Please go here to learn how to build a specific branch.

You should definitely give FirefoxOS a try if you can. It’s powered by the web, and everybody who can do some web can create an app. Ain’t that amazing ?

You can also play with the simulator, which is a Firefox add-on.

Also, you can find tons of good stuff on the Mozilla Developer Network.