B2G/Transition Project/FAQ

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Frequently asked questions

What is B2G OS?

The Boot to Gecko (B2G) project was started in 2011 to build a complete, standalone operating system for the Open Web. B2G is a community maintained open source project based on the Linux kernel and Gecko rendering engine and has been used as the basis of commercial Firefox OS smartphone and smart TV products.

In December 2015, the Mozilla Corporation announced it was shifting its focus away from smartphones to other types of connected devices. Since then a transition project has been underway to modernize B2G and create a leaner platform on which to build smart TVs and other potential connected devices products in the future. As part of this transition, Mozilla's community of volunteers is taking ownership over the smartphone-specific parts of B2G, which makes Mozilla employees focus on their efforts elsewhere.

The transition project aims to replace Mozilla's legacy app runtime with new standards-based web apps and move the core B2G system closer to the architecture of the Firefox web browser. This will reduce complexity and maintenance costs and create a platform for the future based on emerging web standards.

Where is Mozilla going?

As mentioned earlier on Mozilla Corporation announced, part of the team will be focused on connected devices, and Mozilla's community of volunteers is taking ownership over the B2G OS. Mozilla is a well-known non-profit and most trusted company in the Internet world, it is thus important that we focus on promoting openness accessibility, privacy and security in this new phase and on pivoting to Connected Devices has becomes a path forward as we seen the tremendous devices forecast of Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020.

Why Do We Need Your Help?

Maintaining an operating system is a big project. A large community of volunteers is needed if we want to keep B2G running on the smartphone form factors. There are many contributing ways, such as building and testing the OS, filing and fixing bugs, developing new features, porting to new devices, helping with documentation and localization, and even just using and talking about the B2G project.

Help is already needed on the transition project to get core system features working, to port smartphone apps to the new architecture, and to document everything which has changed. Once the transition is complete, we hope to build an even bigger community of contributors to help B2G moving forward.

If you're interested in the challenge of maintaining a complete and standalone operating system for the Open Web, then we want to hear from you! B2G is made by the community for the community and we need your help.

What does the “chrome” mean?

In a browser, the chrome is any visible aspect of a browser aside from the webpages themselves (e.g., toolbars, menu bar, tabs). This should not to be confused with the Google Chrome browser.

When will you officially end developing Firefox OS?

Despite most of the Mozilla employees will be focusing on Connected Devices, the development of B2G OS will never end. May 31st is officially set to be smartphone transition completed.

What will happen to Firefox OS staff?

Mozilla employees will continue to work on other product initiatives across Connected Devices and other Mozilla teams.

Where to find and join B2G OS discussion meetings?

Volunteer community shall refer to B2G OS - Public Project Calendar for any B2G working group meetings.

How’s the transitioning work?

Despite weekly meeting notes, please find transitioning dashboard for more detail and which may also help you to understand the project status and what are being prioritized.

Where to check the readiness of the codebase?

Currently, the system, lockscreen, homescreen, search, settings, and keyboard are running as chrome. You will be able to experiences basic features, such as lock/unlock the device, Wi-Fi, date, and time, use the keyboard and browse the web.

  • The codebase can be found here:
  • You can check the bugzilla status by visiting the Meta bug 1252143
  • You can also check out the latest status from the weekly updates here and volunteers for contributions

What language skills do I need to participate and contribute?

We prefer C and C++ for gonk and gecko; shell and HTML/CSS/JS for gaia.

Is there a Meta bug created for B2G OS transition works?

Please refer to B2G OS transition’s Meta bug 1252143

Where is the B2G OS transition forum?

There are various of transition groups can be found in Discourse, for instance,

Where to find B2G OS development guides and documentations?

From now, you can find Mozilla Development Network for any guide and documentation. Team is also working on Getting Started slides (WIP), we will update when its available.

Where can I request for code mentoring?

Mozilla staff is working on collecting the list. Please add your name and contact here As alternative, you can also visit main forum and ask for help from the forum.

Where to find the availability and maintainability information of APIs?

The APIs discussion can be found in here, As alternative, volunteers can also submit bug to kick off the API maintenance issues.

Where to find the current commercial transition status for the smartphones?

There is no impact on the commercial part. The addressed milestone will be still kept and followed. Visit Smartphone Commercial Transition for detail.

How to Get Started?

There are many ways to get in touch with the B2G community including the main forum, the dev-fxos mailing list, our #fxos IRC channel for real-time chat, and the B2G OS telegram group for more general and informal discussions. We also hold weekly public meetings on Vidyo where you can catch up with the latest news and meet other members of the team.

See B2G OS on MDN for a list of ways you can get involved depending on your particular interests.

I’m well-experienced Firefox OS community and be able to start coding, so what can I help?

You are able to help starting now, and there are various areas to join:

"I'm a web (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) developer, how can I help?"

By porting a Gaia smartphone app: figure out ways to get it working as a web app (or turn it into chrome)

"How can I install Vidyo on Ubuntu 16.04 or Debian 8?"

Vidyo is not installable on Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian 8, this is because the package from the Vidyo website has a bogus dependency listed in their install manifest (libqt4-gui instead of libqtgui4).

If you want to install Vidyo, try this package then manually install libqtwebkit4 with apt install libqtwebkit4

Otherwise, try to use equivs tool. To do that, follow this guide.