Switch It Up: A Desktop When You Want It, PocketHome When You Don’t

With a few taps of the screen, Allgray’s PocketDesk lets you switch between the feature-filled PocketHome GUI from marshmallow and the standard NTC C.H.I.P. desktop. It’s the perfect setup for the Pocketeer who wants to change graphical context on-the-fly.

Setup Your PocketDESK


The first thing you’ll need to do to get PocketDesk on your PocketC.H.I.P. is to flash it with the Desktop GUI 4.4. That’s right, don’t use a PocketC.H.I.P. image if you want to use PocketDesk, use the C.H.I.P. Desktop GUI 4.4 image.

Next, you’ll need to decide if you want your PocketC.H.I.P. to run PocketDesk Lite, which installs only the Desktop GUI. Or, if you want to go all in with PocketDesk Full: a combination install of the Desktop and PocketHome GUIs. Can’t decide? Go with the full version.

Desktop GUI on PocketC.H.I.P.

Because PocketC.H.I.P. is running a C.H.I.P. image, you won’t have a working touchscreen until you run the installation script for PocketDesk. To access a terminal session, either SSH into your PocketC.H.I.P. or connect it to a monitor using a composite cable. It’s also handy to have a USB keyboard and mouse, but it’s not required. After the install script runs on PocketC.H.I.P., both PocketHome and the Desktop GUI will be properly configured for the touchscreen and keyboard.

Switching from Desktop GUI to PocketHome & Back

Switch GUIs using the drop-down menu in the upper right

Switching between the PocketHome and Desktop GUI is done by logging out of the X session. In PocketHome tap on the Change to Desktop icon. In the Desktop GUI tap on the Computer Things menu, scroll down to Log Out, and then click the Log out button. You’ll then see a login screen like the one pictured above. Select which GUI you want to use from the drop-down menu in the upper right, then enter your username and password.

For full instructions on how to install Allgray’s PocketDesk, browse on over to his git repository.

How are you modifying your PocketC.H.I.P.? Make sure to share your latest hacks on the forum and send us a tweet. We can’t wait to see what you’ll make next.

About the Author

Posted by

I'm busy writing and editing content at Next Thing Co.