There’s a new Linux distribution for smartphones that’s the first I’m aware of to be based on the Xfce desktop environment, but while the first pre-release builds of ExpidusOS for the PinePhone are now available for download, there’s still a lot of work to be done to make it into a usable operating system.

It looks pretty though.

At this point ExpidusOS has few apps, doesn’t seem to support wireless connectivity, and while it responds to touchscreen input, there’s an always-visible cursor on the display. Screen rotation is also only partially working – you can manually rotate the display, but touch input is inaccurate when you do.

Still, the operating system shows a lot of promise, and the lead developer says a number of volunteers have joined up in hopes of making ExpidusOS a useable smartphone operating system in the coming months.

Here’s a roundup of recent Linux smartphone news:

JumpDrive v.07 adds support for the Librem 5 [JumpDrive/GitHub]

Volla Phone now available from the Volla Shop [Volla]

The Volla Phone is available with a choice of Android or Ubuntu Touch software. Initially only available through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, you can now buy one from Volla using PayPal. Folks who pre-ordered through Indiegogo in January should have their phones shipped this month.

SailfishOS browser adds Mesa support[@adampigg]

Among other things, that means the browser now runs smoothly on the PinePhone, as you can see in this short video.

Manjaro PinePhone builds with Lomiri, Phosh, and Plasma Mobile[@linmobblog/YouTube]

While the point of this video is to look at a set of recent builds of Manjaro ARM for the PinePhone running the latest versions of three different user interfaces, it’s also a pretty good way to get a sense of how the three most popular Linux phone UIs (so far) look.

Megapixels 0.15.0 QR code support [Martijn Braam/YouTube]

The latest version of the Megapixels camera app for the PinePhone adds support for graphicsmagick in the post-processing script. It can also decode QR codes. This video shows QR code support in action.

ExpidusOS brings Xfce desktop environment to smartphones [ExpidusOS]

The new PinePhone operating system is a lightweight Linux distro with the Xfce desktop environment. Pre-release builds are out now and they’re very rough around the edges (almost no apps, no wireless support that I can see). But it’s an interesting project.

You can keep up on the latest Linux smartphone news by following Linux Smartphones on Facebook and Twitter or by subscribing to our RSS feed.

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