Not too long ago, I published an article on TecMint about 13 Most Promising New Linux Distributions to Look Forward in 2019 in which I listed a distro for mobile phones, Bliss OS.
Today, I introduce to you a free, open source, and futuristic project that aims to bring mobile devices together in one swoop.
postmarketOS is a touch-optimized, security-focused, and pre-configured Alpine-based Linux distribution created to be compatible with several old and new devices.
Below is an introduction from the developers themselves,
We are sick of not receiving updates shortly after buying new phones. Sick of the walled gardens deeply integrated into Android and iOS. That’s why we are developing a sustainable, privacy and security-focused free software mobile OS that is modelled after traditional Linux distributions. With privilege separation in mind. Let’s keep our devices useful and safe until they physically break!
The postmarketOS vision is for each phone running the OS to have only one unique package while sharing all others among all devices. You can read more about this in the article on how the developers are aiming for a 10-year life-cycle for smartphones.
It is possible to spin postmarketOS up in a virtual machine on your PC if you fancy that type of thing. The directions to do so are published here.
You should note that postmarketOS is in Alpha stage and the distro is currently deemed suitable for hackers as calls and SMS don’t work, etc. And as long as it is in an experimental stage the only thing you can use it for as a general user is test its capabilities.
The project has come a long way within the last year so it isn’t a crime to think that it will be released for public use by mobile phones and tablets sooner or later.
postmarketOS isn’t the first to come up with this idea and LineageOS is one example that comes to mind.
Do you think postmarketOS brings new features to the party? Share your thoughts with us in the section below.
6 thoughts on “postmarketOS – A Linux Distribution for Mobile Devices”
Yes, Linux on a phone is a great idea. I have been very disappointed that so little progress has been made in that direction. In my opinion the term security and android can not be used in the same paragraph! Even browser security on Linux is iffy. If you can create a file system (or a part of a file system) that android apps do not have access to then you could at least improve security.
Maybe it’s still too far away from having Linux phones, but at least we can assume Linux tablet experiences will be better. I really don’t want Windows, and I’ve formatted the SSD on my Win10 tablet and replace it with Ubuntu. Most of the things works but the experience is not very good.
Slowly but surely the dream of Linux Mobile is becoming a reality. Projects such as this set the stage for it to work on virtually any mobile device. PostmarketOS looks to be making huge strides in the endeavor. Plasma Mobile is also looking good. Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch lives on, too. I am loving it.
This is just the sort of thing that really interests me. Linux is such a cool platform and the possibilities seem endless. Desktop Linux is better than ever. These last few years have brought so many fantastic new technologies and improvements it’s amazing. Great article. It looks as though there will be plenty of subject matter to report on moving forward and you do it so well!
I do not have much hupe for it. The problem with mobile devices, that the hardware layer, (Camera, nfc, gps sim) are proprietary. for this reason, it is hard to update. I have a phone at thr nougat state, and there is no custom rom for it with which I can upgrade it bug free. So it is almost certain, that there will be no postmarketos for it.
Heck, I’d be interested in one that can be put on the old Windows Phone that is no longer going to be supported very soon. Give it new life and they will pretty much be all spares because people will have moved on to the obligatory duo-poly (Android or iPhone).
Considering some of the Windows Phones were set up to do Continuum, that could prove an interesting avenue…
Bring new features to Linux? This will help make other Linux distrobutions more touch friendly out of the box (or at least one could hope).