- Why the Samsung Galaxy S5?
- It comes down to a combination of factors including the
impressive screen, replaceable battery, good support from free
operating systems like LineageOS, and having had a huge number of
them manufactured and sold for ready availability on the
- This would be so much cooler with a Raspberry Pi!
- In theory, sure. Using a device built from the ground up for the
DIY community would be great. But you would have to sacrifice an
awful lot. The Pi 3 has a considerably slower CPU, half the ram,
and much poorer screens available for it. But the most problematic is
that it draws 1500 milliamps, draining a battery dry in half an
hour which can last the S5 half a day. The first prototypes for
the Deck were based on the Pi, but realistically there was no way
to get an acceptable battery life from it.
- Sure, but ... Android? Really?
- I've got a poor opinion of Android overall. It's clunky, makes
things difficult that are trivial on a normal Linux system, and in
most cases flagrantly disrespects user freedom. But the balance
shifts when you add LineageOS,
and Termux into the mix.
- What are those?
- LineageOS is a project that takes the open-source core of
Android and builds a fully free OS distribution around
it. Normally Android devices don't get security updates beyond a
year or two at best, but LineageOS allows new versions of Android
to run on old devices. It works great without any proprietary
Google code, though you can add that in if you really feel like
you need it. F-Droid is an app repository which ships free/open-source
software only, keeping out ad-ware and get-rich-quick sludge which
clogs up the Google Play Store. Termux provides a very polished
terminal emulator along with a Linux subsystem which lets you
use apt-get to install all the command-line programs
you're used to from your Linux laptop and/or servers.
- I'm not so sure about that.
- Well, the Deck will work regardless of what software you put on
it. If you don't mind the stock OS, you can use that
instead. F-Droid works on regular Android, and Termux can even be
installed without F-Droid. Alternately you can
try PostMarketOS for an
Android-free experience, though that option is still somewhat
- Why doesn't anyone else make a mechanical keyboard laptop?
- I know, right?
- Two gigabytes of RAM doesn't seem like much.
- if you use your Deck as an SSH terminal, you don't even need to
run programs locally, just connect to a more powerful machine and
get your work done there. Combine this
with tmate and you've got a system
for instantly sharing SSH sessions across machines and even with
- How difficult is it to assemble?
- It's much easier than the Atreus keyboard. Simply screw it
together and attach the screen bracket. Only 4 connections need to
be soldered for the charging port.
- Where did you get the idea?
- The Atreus Deck was inspired largely
by the n-o-d-e
cyberdeck and the PocketCHIP.