There are more than a dozen different operating systems that can run on the PinePhone at the moment, and most of them have one thing in common: a Linux kernel. But later this year you may be able to install something a little different.
Genode is a free and open source, security-focused operating system framework that’s not based on Linux. It’s a cross-platform tool kit for building operating systems that can run on x86, ARM, or RISC-V hardware with as little as 4MB of RAM.
And according to a new roadmap for 2021, the developers plan to add support for the PinePhone this year.
The goal is to offer a feature phone-like version of Genode for the Pinephone with basic functionality including:
- Phone calls
- Mobile data
- Web browsing
In order to make that happen the team needs to first port its kernel and framework to work on devices with an Allwinner A64 processor, and by May the goal is to have Sculpt OS ported to the PinePhone to provide basic operating system functionality, and by August the roadmap calls for a working touchscreen, display, and web browser.
If everything goes according to plan, cellular functionality should be working by November, allowing users to use the PinePhone as… you know, a phone.
You can find more details in the roadmap, or visit the Genode website to find out more about the OS framework.