Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I loved the B2G project. But unfortunately it only works with smartphones (ARM architecture). Although, some people are hacking its code in order to port it to other platforms (it's the case in this video).

I wish to accomplish the same, but instead of porting the B2G to Raspberry Pi, I wish to port it to a desktop Linux or BSD OS and run it on an ordinary computer. Is this possible? If it is, what do I need to learn or do?

share|improve this question
This question is still off topic for SuperUser. "Porting" is software development. This site is not about software development. StackOverflow is. Even then, the task of porting an entire operating system is a fairly large task, even if it is designed to be as portable as Linux-based OSes like FirefoxOS are, and requires extensive knowledge of build systems, compilers, and native code (probably some assembler also). The closest site I can think of where this would be on-topic is Programmers –  allquixotic Nov 27 '12 at 22:40
But, even if that is so, the best people to contact about this are Mozilla's own developers. –  allquixotic Nov 27 '12 at 22:41
I have googled it for weeks, but with no success. In my research I've found a few techniques and technologies. I heard of plain EGL rendering, QtWebkit, LinuxGL widget port, off screen rendering... I don't know if they are relevant or not. I've tried to run that "b2g-RaspberryPi" code on a Debian on x86 computer. No success. I only commented this to specify my current research in detail, and prove I did my homework before coming in here, just like the website recommended me so ;) . –  DanielNogueira97 Nov 27 '12 at 22:53
Well, I asked this in stack overflow, and they told me to come here, And I asked this on mozilla.dev.b2g's google group and still nobody answered me :p –  DanielNogueira97 Nov 27 '12 at 22:57
I will try to ask this on programmers and the Mozilla's own developers too... Thanks –  DanielNogueira97 Nov 27 '12 at 23:01

1 Answer 1

The information you ask for seems to be freely available on the Mozilla Developer Network.

See this page : Building and installing Firefox OS, where the build prerequisites page especially states that the Desktop version is Tier 1, meaning a primary target for development.

In your comments you seem to ask for a way to port it without needing an X window manager. However, in the list of requirements for Linux are explicitly listed X11 headers, so that Firefox OS is dependent on the X window manager. This means that despite its name "Firefox OS", it is far from being a complete operating system, and you need a Linux kernel with some implementation of X11 to get it working.

In conclusion, if your wish is to port it without an installed X window manager, then the answer to your post is negative. If an X window manager is available in your distribution, then you only need to follow the documentation and report problems to the developers.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, but I mean, I look at the b2g tests on the desktop at some YouTube videos and I see it is always on a window... I don't want b2g as a windowed app, but as the system itself... Is it possible to build and launch b2g drawing on the entire system? –  DanielNogueira97 Dec 5 '12 at 0:24
B2G relies on Gonk, an extremely simple Linux distribution, on top of which is Gecko. Gonk exposes direct access to the VRAM (video memory) for Gecko. Gonk on the desktop is apparently replaced by X11 or its equivalent, as FF OS needs graphics. So you will need some X11-like software to make it work on a desktop, or come up with some other interface between Gecko and video display. –  harrymc Dec 5 '12 at 8:43
But is it possible to use x11 headers but not a "desktop environment", like if I could setup Firefox OS and on the shell mode type "startx" or "xinit" and then render Firefox OS (on top of X) on fullscreen? Simplifying, Can I use Firefox OS as the X11 desktop environment? –  DanielNogueira97 Dec 5 '12 at 21:59
You still need an X11-replacement, supplying at least the functions invoked by FF OS. That's apparently what B2G has. FF OS is a graphical client, not server. –  harrymc Dec 6 '12 at 8:11
From these comments it appears that Firefox OS works in a similar way to KDE or Gnome. Of course, I am no expert, but you would need to look into which hooks Firefox OS needs, and either find or create a Linux distribution that would allow you to install Firefox OS as the window manager. –  Joshua Nurczyk Dec 7 '12 at 17:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.