Open source phone OS

Sadly for phones for example there is currently not that much choice, you can pick android with googles spyware or pick iOS, the linuxonphone things might improve this hopefully. we will see.

I’m kind of bumped there is no european alternative for many of these things, Haiku is kind of that for a Desktop OS though.

The eu funded minix3 for example but i don’t see it usable as a desktop or phone OS anywhere : /

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Well, for phones you can also pick one of the modified Androids without spyware. The GNOME/KDE + distro variety of Linux I agree isn’t really ready for widespread use but Ubuntu Touch is in somewhat better shape at the moment. There’s also Sailfish although that isn’t fully open. Anything other than Android/iOS does require the same kind of dedication that running Haiku as your main OS would though…

From Haiku to Ubuntu Touch on a phone using this stuff does make you appreciate how easy it is to run Linux on a PC these days. There may never have been a “year of the Linux desktop” but you got tons of options with software and hardware is mostly well-supported. It wasn’t always like this. I remember struggling with Netscape 4.7 on Linux and being happy when Mozilla 0.9.x arrived. Feels a little similar with the current Haiku browser situation.

I tried those routes too :slight_smile:
For Sailfish i never managed to get any supported phone, as for android I tried lineageos for quite some years, but this indeed gets really annoying. On a second notr I had builf myself a spare computer just to build android but that just wasn’t possible from disk space alone :confused:

Manjaro were involved with a hardware company & apart from notebooks computers they were working on a phone. I don’t know if it still happening/happened or not, I’ve been >5 or 6 years away from Manjaro.

I just pulled up an older web page about the pine phone (Manjaro):

Found a current for sale for the Pinephone / Manjaro ARM thing:
Not expensive either!

There is a lot of review here & of other opensource phone OS’s.

In the end it would seem that the Pinephone is underpowered.

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Yes there are a bunch of alternative open source phone operating systems, even commercial ones like sailfish. The main issue is they dont have apps that have become ubiquitous like whatsapp. Although there are also usability problems in many cases too. The pinephone is a bit underpowered but there is a newer version, the pinephone pro, available PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition - PINE STORE

Sailfish does support android apps, but it’s patchy at best. I used it as a daily driver on a supported xperia phone for a while but had to give up in the end.

I don’t like smart phones & would much rather sit in my comfortable chair in front of a 24" display or two with a wireless keyboard in my lap & the wireless mouse operating well on the arm of my chair. :slight_smile:

Different strokes for different forkes! :wink:

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Totally agree with you on this one, believe it or not i’ve never bought a smart phone in my life :rofl: crazy right?, i still use an old phone with rubber buttons which doesn’t even have a camera :sunglasses: so what?

Well done! I came very late to the mobile phone scene, only 'cause my ex-wife had a 90+ years old mother & I used go off camping. So my X gave me her old phone & got an update for herself. I’ve moved since those days & now mobile is the only phone that I have in my house.

Probably a pretty common scenario these days.


You folks are lucky, I grew up in a much younger generation (I was born in 2008!) and was pretty much expected to have a smartphone when I became a teen and have been regretting it ever since XD


There’s Jolla Sailfish:

On limited hardware, and the opensource version has some limitations. But it’s probably the best option if you want a “not Android” system.

Otherwise there’s Replicant, LineageOS, /e/, and various other Android distros that remove (some of) the Google spyware.

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I bought a Pinephone just to try out alternative operating systems and apps with intentions of making a secure platform viable in my pocket.

The ultimate Android google-repellent (and what I use personally) is GrapheneOS which modifies the musl memory allocator and some other cool technical stuff to reduce the amount of things able to track/spy on you, and can block apps access to the network even.

If my understanding is correct Sailfish is not really all that open source. But at least you can still use most of the proprietary bits for free on ported devices, except for things like android support etc, and they did contribute some nice things to open source like libhybris. In terms of actual source code there was a reasonable summary on reddit some time ago:

  1. Device drivers. Proprietary of manufacturers (as in all mobile phones)
  2. Linux Kernel. Based on Vanilla, heavily patched by Jolla. Open source.
  3. Mer Core. Middleware software. Open source expect for two parts of Silica. Uses e.g. libhybris, wayland.
  4. Sailfish UI. User Interface, proprietary of Jolla. Mostly QML so quite accessible and hackable but not commercially distributable*
  5. Pre-installed apps. Mostly proprietary of Jolla with few exeptions. Documents and Browser have been open sourced after first release.

You can use Android apps on Ubuntu Touch (and Linux desktops) too via Waydroid. It’s probably the most mature option if you want something that’s not Android and a community run FOSS project. UT does also rely on the android drivers with no source available on most devices though.

I am pleased to be able to tell you that there is :grinning:. Genode (discussed - albeit to a mixed reception - elsewhere in the forum) is being developed very actively for the Pine Phone. I am very excited for this development, largely for the same reasons as you allude to, that it is a European system, and will hopefully uphold our own values of privacy which is not respected by US surveillance capitalism or the Chinese “great firewall”. It is of technical parity with Fuchsia, Google’s own attempt at a replacement for Android.

how is it ??? my phone is getting tired

The Manjaro KDE touch-screen OS it came with has difficulty running updates and I haven’t tried SculptOS on it yet. I might take the advice of @PulkoMandy regarding Sailfish Free edition. The Sailfish X version is not legal to use outside of Europe for some reason (which doesn’t sound promising).

i don’t care about BS laws

@SCollins , if you want a PinePhone for primary use, skip the PinePhone original and beta editions and look into the PinePhone Pro. The pro edition has a mobile version of the Rockchip 3399 hex core but comes at a higher cost and isn’t fully compatible with the simpler quad-core PinePhone models as far as operating system selection. I have the beta edition quad-core with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal eMMC storage. The capacity of the pro model is similar but faster.