There’s been a lot of activity in the mobile Linux space recently, and it’s been a while since I’ve done a Linux Smartphone News Roundup, so let’s take a look at some recent developments from the folks working to make free and open source software alternatives to Android and iOS.

Phosh 0.14 released [Phosh]

Phosh is a mobile-friendly user shell for mobile Linux distributions. Originally developed by Purism for the Librem 5 smartphone, it’s also been ported to a number of mobile Linux distros for the PinePhone and other compatible smartphones. This build brings seek buttons to the media player widget, support for automatically pausing the media player when headphones are unplugged, launch splash support, and a WiFi hotspot mode indicator in the status bar, along with a bunch of bug fixes and other changes. 

Manjaro ARM Beta 18 with Phosh released for the PinePhone [ManjaroLinux]

The Manjaro team are some of the most prolific developers of Pinephone-compatible operating systems, with regular releases of new builds featuring the Plasma Mobile and Phosh user interfaces. This new Phosh release includes the Linux 5.14.17 kernel, Phosh 0.14 user interface, GNOME 40.5, and more. 

postmarketOS Release: v21.06 Service Pack 4 [postmarketOS]

The developers of postmarketOS also have a new release featuring Phosh 0.14 user interface. This latest update to the stable channel of postmarketOS also brings a feature-complete multi-factor authentication app, an improved modem helper daemon, and more. This will be the last service pack for postmarketOS v21.06, with the next stable release expected to be v21.12, which should launch in December. 

postmarketOS + mainline for the OnePlus 5/5T! [TuxPhones]

While the PinePhone and Librem 5 get a lot of attention, developers at postmarketOS have been doing a lot of work to bring mainline Linux support to older phones that originally shipped with Android. There has been quite a bit of success with phones featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processors, but now there’s a near-mainline Linux build of postmarketOS for the Snapdragon 835-powered OnePlus 5 series as well. It’s still a work in progress – the display, touch input, and WiFi and Bluetooth are working, but mobile data, phone calls, and SMS are not. Neither is the camera or audio. But development is off to an impressive start. 

OnePlus 5T running postmarketOS (via @deathmist)

postmarketOS Cheat Sheet [@braam_martijn]

Want to try postmarketOS, but unsure how to do things like install or remove applications, start or stop services, or install the operating system? Developer Martijn Braam’s 1-page cheat sheet might help. 

Nemomobile in November/2021 [Jozef Mlich]

Nemo Mobile version 0.6 was released recently, with a new boot splash screen, updated device lock, and updated audio and Bluetooth functions. There’s also support for using a mouse with Nemo, and there’s initial support for running the operating system on the PineTab tablet from Pine64. 

PinePhone Pro & keyboard units are shipping to developers [@JustineSmithies]

The PinePhone Pro is a $399 smartphone with higher-performance hardware than the original $150 PinePhone, but in order to make sure that users can get the most out of that hardware, Pine64 is shipping the phone to developers before making it available to the general public in early 2022.

Now the first developer units are starting to arrive, and it looks like Pine64 is also shipping the $50 PinePhone keyboard to developers ahead of general availability of that accessory, which is expected to go on sale this month. 

Manjaro team gets a PinePhone Pro & keyboard too [@ManjaroLinux]

Another real-world photo of a PinePhone Pro and PinePhone Keyboard. 

Sailfish OS 4.3.0 released to Early Access subscribers [Sailfish OS Forum]

The latest version of the Linux-based Sailfish OS brings too many changes to summarize in a paragraph or two, but among other things there are security improvements, bug fixes, sharing menu improvements, you can close the web browser menu with a drag, and Android apps can now open files and web links (Sailfish is a Linux OS with some Android app support, no need for third-party tools like Waydroid). 

You can keep up on the latest mobile Linux news by following @LinuxSmartphone on Twitter and Facebook.

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3 replies on “Linux Smartphone News Roundup: New postmarketOS, Manjaro, Nemo, and Sailfish OS builds, Phosh 0.14, and more”

  1. Sailfish is dead in the water until they push VoLTE support.

    1. All of these open-source alternatives are dead in the water, until they can find a way to be Financially Sustainable.

      Apple and iOS have large profits from their Hardware Division, and their Software Services.

      AndroidOS is backed by Alphabet/Google which has deep revenue streams from Online Services.

      BadaOS and Tizen OS, they were being supported by Samsung, who were making profits from their Whitegoods and Hardware Sale profits. But that Operating System is basically on the decline/discontinued.

      So yeah, it’s not enough to be “open-source” or even being a Great Alternative. It must also be Financially Sustainable, which they seldom are. I see some hope coming from China, as they piggyback on decades of innovation here, and make an alternative that gives them freedom away from American OS and Ecosystems.

      1. Will it be being “financially sustainable” lead to +1 form of “surveillance capitalism”?
        Probably yes.
        Open source software is a form of sharing/caring. Institutions, governments must support open source. Governments are killing themselves while not supporting open source. You may know Denmark has established a consulate in silicon valley. From my point of view this translates to “big tech” are new governments. Here we are still discussing “sustainabilty” yet. Very unfortunate.
        (I am a self taught English speaker with some limited writing skills otherwise I can tell a lot more about these subjects discussed above.)

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