Top 10 Things To Do After Reflashing


Since the 1.54 final firmware is out, I have been flashing and reflashing every couple of days (first to move to the RC from 1.53 and then from the RC to the final release). Reflashing is pretty easy and fast enough, but you lose most of your settings when you do so. So I came up with this short list of 10 things I usually do after I reflash. Whether you are new to reflashing or not, you may want to check it out to see if you did not forget to do anything !

There are a couple of annoying defaults when the Pandora is reset after reflashing. The Pandora sleep mode is off when you close the lid, you get all the ugly wallpaper (sorry Pandora team, but I’m not a fan of that selection),  you get big fat icons of the PNDs on the desktop, and a few things do not work anymore. Alright, let’s fix that! It takes less than 10 minutes.

That's what we start with. Gee it's not pretty.
That’s what we start with. Gee it’s not pretty.

1. Lid close settings OR let the Pandora get some sleep

Easy ! Go in Settings > Lid-Close Settings and select “Go Into Low Power Mode”. Now the Pandora will go to sleep every time you close the lid, and save a lot of energy that way. That is how you can keep it running for several days without recharging it.


2. Font size OR Come on, you don’t need glasses

I find the font way too big at size 11. I guess it depends on your eyesight, but I prefer my text a little smaller, therefore I put the default size at 9 (go in Settings > Desktop > Appearance). You can also enable hinting to your liking to make the fonts look better on your system (try out the different settings to see the difference between None and Full).


Then… take that opportunity to shrink the fat bottom panel a little. It won’t hurt and will make you gain some healthy screen space. 28 pixels is not a bad place to be, I have seen worse.



3. Remove icons on Desktop OR Live Icon Free or Die Hard

After years of Win XP and messy desktops cluttered with icons I have become convinced that icons do not belong there. Especially if you have a keyboard or a menu with categories, the advantage of  desktop icons is pretty thin, and makes your whole desktop ugly to look at. That is very much a matter of taste, I know people who prefer to have icons all over the place (and their pants on the floor at home). If you like it clean like me, go in Settings > Desktop > Desktop and then select the Icon tab. Choose “None”.



4. Change Wallpaper OR What’s wrong with pretty girls?

Time to remove the wallpaper and put something a little bit personal. No, not a photo of my dog or lolcats. Here’s a wallpaper from the Japan celebrity Nozomi Sasaki (note: don’t click this link if you do not like women – you are warned). Go in Settings > Desktop > Desktop and stay in the Background tab. Click the little + sign on the left in the middle, to look for the wallpaper to insert. Select it, then click on Close and you are done.





5. Change Theme OR When it sucks, you got to do something

The default theme is, once again, not really to my liking. There are many xfce themes to choose from, personally I like the simplicity of “xfce-smooth”. Go in Settings > Desktop > Appearance, then in Style tab to enter your choice.



6. Install Java Support OR When installing more is not always too much

You may know me from my numerous Java-related PNDs on the repo. There are lots of good apps in Java filling some gaps so I usually recommend installing OpenJDK to run those. I usually keep it on my SD card (but you can get the installer on the repo) and you simply need to run the installer. Simple.



7. Install Timidity Midi OR get the fricking music working in Duke Nukem and Doom

Many ported games like Duke Nukem use Midi instruments to play music, therefore it is fairly important to install Timidity support (get the PND first and put in your SD Card Pandora/menu folder). I recommend installing the mid size set (33Megs) and using your SD-card as a medium, as long as you keep that SD card in your Pandora most of the time.



8. Install Community Codecs OR when laziness brings good things to your life

Always nice to be able to launch videos directly from the file explorer. First you need to get the pack PND from the wiki page, then put in your SD Card pandora/menu folder. The installation takes a while but it is well worth it. Go in System > Community Codec Pack Installer and run it.



9. Fix your Model Frequency at Start OR Full Throttle, baby !

The profile for my Rebirth at boot is set to accept only frequencies up to a maximum of 700 Mhz. That is allright for everyday use, but I usually need to overclock for certain applications. I go in Settings > CPU settings and set a new allowed maximum at 900 Mhz. If you have a 1Ghz unit settings may be different.



10. Get the Time Right OR Don’t use that lame Pandora time excuse to be late at work

For some reason even when I indicate my timezone when reflashing, it never comes up right when I reboot. Is that a bug? Who knows. A quick fix is to go to Settings > Date and Time, and then selecting your timezone. After that, I usually do a synchronization with the Internet time and this gives me the correct, precise time.


That’s it! I hope this proved useful to some of you. This is obviously MY top 10 and there’s nothing universal to it. If you are familiar with reflashing and take extra steps on top of those I described, feel free to share them in the comments !

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13 Comments on "Top 10 Things To Do After Reflashing"

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Stephan Sokolow

I just keep my OS partition on SD and grab the rootfs tarball from

It means I can “reflash” just by renaming my homedir, deleting everything else except autoboot.txt, and unpacking a new tarball.

Among other things, that saves me the trouble of steps 2, 3, 4, and 5 since those settings are stored in your homedir.


Thanks, that sounds like a pretty good tip as well. Did it work for all previous firmware upgrades so far? Did you ever get into any issue this way ?

Stephan Sokolow
As far as the firmware is concerned, it’s basically the same thing as starting fresh in a boot-from-SD configuration. (With a /pandora-populated SD card already inserted and an unimportant folder named /home.orig in the root.) I’ve never had any problems show up when I replaced /home with /home.orig and, since it’s basically the same thing as restoring an Xfce desktop from a backup, the only place I’d even consider problems cropping up would be in dotfiles belonging to Pandora-specific stuff. I did once run into problems because, part-way through the first-run process, a finicky SD card triggered remount-ro and I… Read more »
Stephan Sokolow
Actually, I forgot to mention it, but I have experience doing this in even more unusual situations and it didn’t cause problems there either. Linuxe distros which can be installed using only tar and a text editor (OpenPandora firmware when booting from an SD card) or which support chroot-based installation (Gentoo, Debian, etc.) are pretty good about this sort of thing. …just make sure you keep to a compatible binary format with the chroot-requiring kind. (eg. Don’t try to install an x86_64 Gentoo from an x86 Gentoo LiveCD unless you’ve got a non-standard solution for installing the updated GRUB MBR… Read more »

Thanks a lot!

By the way, in the last screenshot I see that you have CJK input installed…

Would you mind to explain how to setup it in the pandora?

I’m specifically interested in Japanese. Background: I use ibus-anthy in my linux desktop, with control-space to change input method.

Thank you again!


Actually you are already anticipating my next article (already in writing). Full guide on how to install Japanese input in a couple of days !


Great news! Eagerly waiting your next article


Thanks for a great guide, I was just done reflashing mine and trying to remember everything to set up again. I also activate hinting (full) since the fonts seems to get more readable that way. Even the small 9 pt font 🙂
The Sub-pixel order seems best as RGB or BGR. Not sure what it’s really supposed to be though.

Stephan Sokolow

I haven’t checked, but if you take a magnifying glass to your screen and look at some black-on-white text in Mousepad or equivalent, you should find it much easier to tell which is right and which is wrong.

An incorrect subpixel order would normally be worse than just leaving it off but I guess the high DPI of the Pandora’s display must be masking that effect for you.


Hi, when you say

what do you mean by “final release”? Isn’t version 1.54 currently the latest version? Do you know why there’s a version 1.52 in the directory dated April 3 while 1.54 is dated March 28?


[…] You will need, of course, the original files of Duke Nukem 3D to play the game, but I can confirm that you can get those from good old games without any issue (6 dollars at the time of writing). You also need to install Timidity midi files in order to enjoy the music, but I assume you have already done so if you followed my self-proclaimed excellent tutorial on what to do after reflashing… […]