List of open-source mobile phones

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Mobile/desktop convergence: the Librem 5 open-source mobile, when connected to a keyboard, screen, and mouse, runs as a desktop computer.

This is a list of mobile phones with open-source operating systems.

Scope of the list[edit]

Phones sold with Ubuntu Touch

Cellular modem and other firmware[edit]

4 USB ports, headphone jack, MicroHDMI
The Dragonbox Pyra contains only one proprietary blob (GPU driver), but the Mobile (phone) Edition has more

Some hardware components used in phones require drivers (or firmware) to run. For many components, only proprietary drivers are available[1] (open source phones usually seek components with open drivers.[citation needed]) If firmware is not updatable and does not have control over any other part of the phone, it might be considered equivalent to part of the hardware. However, these conditions do not hold for cellular modems.[1]

As of 2019, all available mobile phones have a proprietary baseband chip (GSM module, cellular modem),[2][3][4] except for the Necuno, which has no such chip and communicates by peer-to-peer VOIP.[5][6] The modem is usually integrated with the system-on-a-chip and the memory.[4] This presents security concerns; baseband attacks can read and alter data on the phone remotely.

The Librem 5 mobile segregates the modem from the system and memory, making it a separate module, a configuration rare in modern cellphones.[3][4] There is an open-source baseband project, OsmocomBB.

Operating system: middleware and user interface[edit]

Family tree of Maemo

Generally, the phones included on this list contain copyleft software other than the Linux kernel, and minimal closed-source component drivers (see section above).

Note that it is often possible to install a wide variety of open-source operating systems on any open-source phone; the higher-level software is designed to be largely interchangeable and independent of the hardware.[16]

Devices with formal support[edit]

Model Organization Mobile operating system Operating system support Date released
(or cancelled)
Current state
Clockwork uConsole Clockwork Debian, Ubuntu, or Raspberry Pi OS[17] Yes 2022 pre-order
Volla Phone 22 Hallo Welt Systeme UG Volla OS (based on Android Open Source Project), Ubuntu Touch[18] Yes 2022[19] Shipping
PinePhone Pro[20] Pine64 Manjaro Linux with KDE's Plasma Mobile by default;[21] Yes. 20+ other (mostly Linux) operating systems should be able to be swapped in[22] by swapping an SD card.[23] 2021-12[24] shipping beta;[25] As of August 2022, PostmarketOS warns: "At present the PinePhone Pro should be considered a development platform" and says calls are "broken".[26]
F(x)tec Pro1 X[27] FX Technology Limited. Ubuntu Touch, LineageOS or Android ? 2022-07[28] shipping[29]
Volla Phone X Hallo Welt Systeme UG Volla OS (based on Android Open Source Project), Ubuntu Touch[30] Yes 2021[31] Shipping
Fairphone 4 Fairphone /e/OS, LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch [32] 4Q 2020 Shipping
DragonBox Pyra Mobile Edition[33] OpenPandora GmbH [34] Debian[33] Yes 2020-12 / 2021-01? Shipping[33]
Volla Phone[35] Hallo Welt Systeme UG Volla OS (based on Android Open Source Project), Ubuntu Touch or Sailfish OS Yes 2020-11 Shipping
Fairphone 3+ Fairphone /e/OS, LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch [36] 3Q 2020 Shipping
Librem 5[37] Purism PureOS, a Debian derivative developed by Purism for their mobiles PureOS has a lifetime support guarantee 2019-11[38][39] Shipping[40]
PinePhone[41] Pine64 Beta "Braveheart" Edition had a choice of user-installed OS;[42] Later "Community Editions" sold from June 15, 2020 to February 2, 2021, each of which donated $10/phone to the developer community that wrote the OS it shipped with.[43][44][45] Subsequently, Pinephones all shipped with Manjaro and Plasma Mobile. Yes. Twenty-odd different operating systems[44] can be user-installed as of March 2021; OS can be swapped by swapping out an SD card. 2019-11 Shipping
Fairphone 3 Fairphone /e/OS, LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch [46] 3Q 2019 selling discontinued, but supported
Gemini PDA Planet Computers Android, Debian, Sailfish OS 2018 shipping
GTA04 based motherboard, fitting inside the shell of a Nokia N900. Neo900 QtMoko, Debian, SHR (Stable Hybrid Release), Replicant 2018-03 (last updated) Stalled[47]
Pop Mirage Cyanogen Alcatel Mobile CyanogenMod[48] Discontinued 01-11-2016 Discontinued
Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition Meizu Ubuntu Touch UBports, community-driven[49] 2016-02 In stores in Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, and Asia Pacific; online in Egypt, Russia, India and Sri Lanka.[50]
Zuk Z1 Lenovo CyanogenMod[51] Discontinued 2015 Discontinued
Andromax Q Smartfen CyanogenMod[52] Discontinued 2015 Discontinued
Fairphone 2 Fairphone Fairphone Open OS, /e/OS, LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch [53] 3Q 2015 selling discontinued, but supported
Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition Meizu Ubuntu Touch UBports, community-driven[49] 2015-07 In stores in Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, and Asia Pacific; online in Egypt, Russia, India and Sri Lanka.[50]
BQ Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition BQ Ubuntu Touch UBports, community-driven[49] 2015-06 Discontinued
BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition BQ Ubuntu Touch UBports, community-driven[49] 2015-02 Discontinued
BQ Aquaris X5 Cyanogen Edition BQ CyanogenMod,[54] PostmarketOS[55] PostmarketOS, community driven 2015 Discontinued
Wileyfox Storm Wileyfox CyanogenMod[56] Discontinued 2015 Discontinued
Wileyfox Swift Wileyfox CyanogenMod[57]PostmarketOS[58] PostmarketOS, community-driven 2015 Discontinued
YU Yureka
YU Yureka Plus
YU Televentures (Micromax Informatics) CyanogenMod[59] Discontinued 2015 Discontinued
YU Yuphoria YU Televentures (Micromax Informatics) CyanogenMod[60] Discontinued 2015 Discontinued
OnePlus One OnePlus CyanogenMod[61] Discontinued 2014 Discontinued
GeeksPhone Revolution GeeksPhone Firefox OS Discontinued; formerly developed by the Mozilla Foundation under the Mozilla Public License, later proprietized as KaiOS 2014 Discontinued
GeeksPhone Peak+ GeeksPhone Firefox OS Discontinued; formerly developed by the Mozilla Foundation under the Mozilla Public License, later proprietized as KaiOS 2013-11 (cancellation)[62] Cancelled[62]
Alcatel One Touch Fire Alcatel Firefox OS Discontinued; formerly developed by the Mozilla Foundation under the Mozilla Public License, later proprietized as KaiOS 2013-07 Discontinued
ZTE Open ZTE Firefox OS Discontinued; formerly developed by the Mozilla Foundation under the Mozilla Public License, later proprietized as KaiOS 2013-07 Discontinued
GeeksPhone Keon GeeksPhone Firefox OS Discontinued; formerly developed by the Mozilla Foundation under the Mozilla Public License, later proprietized as KaiOS 2013-04-23 Discontinued
GeeksPhone Peak GeeksPhone Firefox OS Discontinued; formerly developed by the Mozilla Foundation under the Mozilla Public License, later proprietized as KaiOS 2013-04-23 Discontinued
GTA04 Golden Delicious QtMoko, Debian, SHR (Stable Hybrid Release), Replicant 2012-04 "Currently not in stock"
Developer phone Aava mobile MeeGo Discontinued 2011 Discontinued (was available to developers only)[63]
N950 Nokia MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan Discontinued; formerly hosted by the Linux Foundation 2011 Discontinued (available to developers only)
N9 Nokia MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan Discontinued; formerly hosted by the Linux Foundation 2011 Discontinued
N900 Nokia Maemo 5 (Fremantle)
(some proprietary components until Maemo Leste)
Discontinued 2009-11-11 Discontinued
Neo FreeRunner (code name GTA02) OpenMoko Openmoko/QTMoko Linux, Debian, SHR (Stable Hybrid Release), Gentoo (all Linux-based), Inferno[clarification needed][citation needed] 2008-06-24 Discontinued
Neo 1973 (code name GTA01) OpenMoko Openmoko Linux (Linux-based) 2007-07-09 Discontinued
Eten G500[64] E-TEN GPE Palmtop Environment 2006 Discontinued, developer phone
Greenphone[65] Trolltech Qtopia 2006 Discontinued, developer phone

Devices with 3rd party support[edit]

Model Organization Mobile operating system Operating system support Date released
(or cancelled)
Current state
SHIFT6mq SHIFT Shift-OS (Android), PostmarketOS[66] partial mainline Linux support 2021 shipping
XFone Mobile Pro
(re-launched Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro with Ubuntu Touch)
SageTea Ubuntu Touch UBports, community-driven[49] 2022-01-19 (originally 2019) Shipping
XFone Mobile
(re-launched Google Pixel 3a with Ubuntu Touch)
SageTea Ubuntu Touch UBports, community-driven[49] 2021-06-19 (originally 2019) Shipping
OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T OnePlus multiple partial mainline Linux support[67][68] 2018-05-21 Discontinued, used market
Pocophone F1 Xiaomi multiple partial mainline Linux support[69] 2018-08-22 Discontinued, used markets
Snapdragon 410/412 based phones multiple postmarketos partial mainline Linux support[70] Discontinued

Distributions for existing phones[edit]

KDE Plasma Mobile running on postmarketOS on the Nexus 5

postmarketOS, Ubports, and KDE Neon are open-source distributions running on existing smartphones originally running Android. Maemo Leste is available for Nokia N900 and Motorola Droid 4.

There exists a database listing which older phones will run which open-source operating systems.[71][72]

Custom-made phones[edit]

A CircuitMess Ringo phone, running a video game.

It is possible to home-build a phone from partially open hardware and software.[73][74] The Arduinophone[74] (touchscreen) and the MIT DIY Cellphone (segmented display)[75][76] both use the Arduino open-hardware single-board computer, with added components. Circuitmess Ringo (previously MakerPhone) is another DIY Arduino phone with open source firmware[77] and available schematics,[78] focusing on education. The PiPhone[79] and ZeroPhone[80] are similar, but based on the Raspberry Pi.

The main components to make an open mobile phone are:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stallman, Richard (19 September 2011). "Is Android really free software? – Google's smartphone code is often described as 'open' or 'free' – but when examined by the Free Software Foundation, it starts to look like something different". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2012. the software of Android versions 1 and 2 was mostly developed by Google; Google released it under the Apache 2.0 license, which is a lax free software license without copyleft. ... The version of Linux included in Android is not entirely free software, since it contains non-free "binary blobs"... Android is very different from the GNU/Linux operating system because it contains very little of GNU.
  2. ^ Welte, Harald (5 February 2010). "OsmocomBB Project Rationale". Retrieved 26 September 2013. Every mobile device that is connected to a cellular network runs some kind of baseband processor with highly proprietary and closed-source firmware.
  3. ^ a b Amadeo, Ron (26 September 2019). "Purism's Librem 5 phone starts shipping—a fully open GNU/Linux phone". Ars Technica. Retrieved 8 October 2019. Purism actually couldn't find an open provider for the cellular modem, so the best it could do was isolate it from the rest of the system in an M.2 slot.
  4. ^ a b c FaerberCTO, Nicole (4 September 2018). "Progress update from the Librem 5 hardware department". Purism. The cellular modem is arguably the most complex part of a mobile phone. The modem is the component that has to implement all the familiar protocols you would associate with a phone (like 2G, 3G, 4G and the upcoming 5G). It does so by running its own proprietary black box operating system. The cellular modem is also covered by thousands of patents held by hundreds of patent owners. Now imagine this… This cellular modem sits right on the same RAM bus as the SoC! Non-free software not only has access to the data flowing to and from the SoC, but also has the ability to modify it. Because this modem operating system is a propreitary black box, we have no idea what this component does or what kind of vulnerabilities it has... The situation is further complicated by the fact that during our research into cellular modems, we realized that there are only a handful of silicon vendors in the world that make these chipsets and nearly all of them integrate their model with the SoC on the same bus. In addition, you historically need to acquire a license to run the proprietary firmware to power the modem on SoCs.. This left us with only one choice: to use ready-made modem “modules” and our own layout that isolates the modem from the SoC. There are a number of these modem modules available in different form factors with various available options in speed, bands, etc. By going the module route we can both provide supplier choice in modems that meet our strict standards, and also allow modem isolation from the RAM and host CPU.(text is CC-by-SA 4.0)
  5. ^ Aufranc, Jean-Luc (30 November 2018). "Necuno Mobile Open Source Linux Smartphone is Powered by NXP i.MX 6 Processor". CNX Software - Embedded Systems News.
  6. ^ "Necunos - Redefining Mobile Security". Necuno Solutions.
  7. ^ Android (operating system)#Licensing "drivers and firmware vital for the proper functioning of Android devices are usually proprietary"
  8. ^ Stallman, Richard (5 August 2012). "Android and Users' Freedom – Support the Free Your Android campaign". gnu.org. Retrieved 9 September 2012. Even though the Android phones of today are considerably less bad than Apple or Windows smartphones, they cannot be said to respect your freedom.
  9. ^ "Yes, this is us". lineageos.org.
  10. ^ "A fork in the road | CyanogenMod". 25 December 2016. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Linux on Android smartphones: Project Halium wants your handset to run Ubuntu, Sailfish". ZDNet. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Mobian OS For PinePhone Aims To Bring Debian Linux To Mobile Devices". Fossbytes. 20 June 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  13. ^ Prague, Liam Proven in. "postmarketOS 22.06 aims to revive end-of-life smartphones". www.theregister.com. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  14. ^ "The Next PinePhone Community Edition Will Feature Manjaro Linux". Fossbytes. 31 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  15. ^ "Related projects — Halium documentation". docs.halium.org. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  16. ^ Braam, Martijn (20 December 2019). "Yet Another Librem 5 and PinePhone comparison". TuxPhones.
  17. ^ CNX-software, 26-10-2022, uConsole is a modular Arm or RISC-V handheld computer with optional 4G connectivity
  18. ^ "Volla Phone 22 runs Ubuntu Touch or a Google-free Android OS (Crowdfunding)". CNX-software.
  19. ^ PostmarketOS, [https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Volla_Phone_22_(volla-mimameid) Volla Phone 22 (volla-mimameid)
  20. ^ T., Raffaele (15 October 2021). "PinePhone Pro released: specs, pricing and very first impressions". TuxPhones - Linux phones, tablets and portable devices.
  21. ^ "Pine64 komt met PinePhone Pro-Linux-smartphone met sterkere hardware". Tweakers (in Dutch).
  22. ^ "PinePhone Pro". PINE64.
  23. ^ "October Update: Introducing the PinePhone Pro". PINE64.
  24. ^ [https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PinePhone_Pro_Developer_Edition PinePhone Pro Developer Edition
  25. ^ [https://pine64.com/product/pinephone-pro-explorer-edition/ Pine64 shop: PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition
  26. ^ [https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/PINE64_PinePhone_Pro_(pine64-pinephonepro)/ PostmarketOS status
  27. ^ "Pro¹ X". F(x)tec.
  28. ^ "Pro1-X shipping has begun!". F(x)tec.
  29. ^ "Pro1-X shipping has begun!". F(x)tec.
  30. ^ "The Volla Phone X". Volla Phone.
  31. ^ PostmarketOS, [https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Volla_Phone_X_(volla-yggdrasilx) Volla Phone X (volla-yggdrasilx)
  32. ^ forum.fairphone.com, Operating systems for fair phones
  33. ^ a b c "The Pyra". Official Pyra and Pandora Site. Retrieved 13 August 2020. The mobile edition adds mobile internet, and also has telephony services (making the Pyra a phone)
  34. ^ "More Information". Official Pyra and Pandora Site.
  35. ^ "The Volla Phone". Volla Phone. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  36. ^ forum.fairphone.com, Operating systems for fair phones
  37. ^ Librem 5 – A Security and Privacy Focused Phone. 15 November 2017.
  38. ^ "First Librem 5 Smartphones are Shipping". Purism. 24 September 2019.
  39. ^ Weaver, Todd (5 September 2019). "Librem 5 Shipping Announcement". Purism. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  40. ^ "Librem 5 store page". 2019–2020.
  41. ^ PinePhone website. 2019-10-02.
  42. ^ "PinePhones Start Shipping - All You Need To Know". PINE64 +. 15 January 2020. As for software, the phone arrives preloaded with a factory test image rather than an end-user operating system. This preloaded factory test suite is running on Linux – postmarketOS to be precise – which allows you to test various features of the phone and run an automated test. ... I assume that everyone getting a Braveheart PinePhone understand that it’s up to them to find the operating system build they are interested in, flash it and take part in the community discussion and ongoing development. Most builds are available on the PinePhone Wiki
  43. ^ Erecinski, Lukasz. "June Update: postmarketOS CE PinePhone, Shipping & PINE64 Cluster". PINE64.
  44. ^ a b "PinePhone Software Releases". PINE64.
  45. ^ "The end of Community Editions". PINE64.
  46. ^ forum.fairphone.com, Operating systems for fair phones
  47. ^ "Neo900". neo900.org.
  48. ^ Phoneradara, 25-08-2015, [https://phoneradar.com/alcatel-pop-mirage-smartphone-announced-cyanogen-13-1-2500mah-battery/ Alcatel Pop Mirage Smartphone announced with Cyanogen 13.1 & 2500mAh Battery]
  49. ^ a b c d e f UBPorts - UBPorts keeps Ubuntu Touch alive. 04 September 2017.
  50. ^ a b "Where To Buy-Meizu". www.meizu.com.
  51. ^ Talk Android, 25-08-2015, Lenovo Zuk Z1 launches in India with Cyanogen OS onboard
  52. ^ Android Headlines, 09-06-2015, Smartfen Unveils Cyanogen OS-Powered Andromax Q Handset
  53. ^ forum.fairphone.com, Operating systems for fair phones
  54. ^ Zdnet, 04-01-2016 , BQ Aquaris X5 Cyanogen Edition review: Affordable Android with extra security features
  55. ^ Postmarketos, BQ Aquaris X5 (bq-paella)
  56. ^ Android Authority, 25-08-2015, WileyFox launches Swift and Storm running Cyanogen OS
  57. ^ Android Central, Wileyfox Swift review
  58. ^ Postmarketos, Wileyfox Swift (wileyfox-crackling)
  59. ^ GSM Arena, 02-11-2015, [https://www.gsmarena.com/yu_yureka_and_yureka_plus_start_getting_cyanogen_os_121_update_-news-14788.php YU Yureka and Yureka Plus start getting Cyanogen OS 12.1 update
  60. ^ Android Authority, 12-05-2015, https://www.androidauthority.com/micromax-launches-yu-yuphoria-607675/
  61. ^ Android Authority, 25-09-2020, [https://www.androidauthority.com/oneplus-oxygen-os-history-1160617/ The evolution of OnePlus software: From Cyanogen to Oxygen, and beyond
  62. ^ a b "Peak+ cancellation". 28 November 2013.
  63. ^ "Aava Mobile Oy". www.aavamobile.com.
  64. ^ Linux Devices, 2006-01-08. Linux hacked onto GPS-enabled PDA/phone
  65. ^ Linux Devices, 2006-09-12, User-modifiable Linux phone ships
  66. ^ Portmarketos SHIFT SHIFT6mq (shift-axolotl)
  67. ^ postmarketos.org: OnePlus 6T (oneplus-fajita)
  68. ^ [https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/OnePlus_6_(oneplus-enchilada) postmarketos.org: OnePlus 6 (oneplus-enchilada)
  69. ^ [https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Xiaomi_Poco_F1_(xiaomi-beryllium) postmarketos.org: Xiaomi Poco F1 (xiaomi-beryllium)
  70. ^ [https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Qualcomm_Snapdragon_410/412_(MSM8916) postmarketos.org:Qualcomm Snapdragon 410/412 (MSM8916)
  71. ^ Mehta, Tushar (12 November 2019). "Here's a list of 200+ smartphones that can run Linux distributions". xda-developers.
  72. ^ Gatti, Matteo (12 November 2019). "Linux: ecco una lista di oltre 200 smartphone compatibili con il pinguino". Linux Freedom (in Italian).
  73. ^ Making your own phone is easier than you might think, Lisa Grossman, Issue 2909, New Scientist Magazine
  74. ^ a b Arduinophone designer's description
  75. ^ DIY Cellphone on the designer's MIT homepage
  76. ^ David A. Mellis & Leah Buechley. 2014. Do-It-Yourself Cellphones: An Investigation into the Possibilities and Limits of High-Tech DIY. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '14).
  77. ^ "Official Review: Circuitmess Ringo". GBAtemp. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  78. ^ "CircuitMess-Ringo". GitHub. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  79. ^ Hunt, David (25 April 2014). "PiPhone – A Raspberry Pi based Smartphone".
  80. ^ ZeroPhone – a Raspberry Pi Zero based smartphone