PostmarketOS is a smartphone operating system that grew out of a dream of providing a 10-year lifecycle to smartphones. So it’s probably not a surprise that the developers focus on stability, with major new releases coming to the stable channel every six months.
But with the rapid pace of development in the Linux smartphone space since the release of the PinePhone, the postmarketOS team has added occasional “service pack” updates to the roadmap, and the first one is now available.
PostmarketOS v20.05.1 includes a number of backports from experimental, “edge channel” releases that have been thoroughly tested for stability.
While postmarketOS can boot on hundreds of devices, right now the PinePhone is the only phone that’s officially supported by the stable channel, so almost all of the new features are exclusive to the PinePhone so far. Among other things, the new service pack brings:
- Linux kernel 5.10.4 (a long-term support version of the kernel with support for 60 Hz display refresh on the PinePhone)
- Phosh 0.7.1 user interface with support for swipe-up-to-close-app gestures
- Autofocus firmware for the PinePhone camera
- Updated gnome-control-center with a more mobile-friendly UI
- Updated Geary email client enhanced for small screens
- XMPP support in the Chatty app
Other changes include an update to the GPU driver that should help with performance when using the disk encryption unlocker and the addition of the eg25-manager for improved stability in phone calls.
If you’re already running the stable build of postmarketOS on your PinePhone you can update to v20.05.1 by opening the Settings app, clicking About, and then choosing the Check for Updates option. Or you can open a terminal and type “sudo apk upgrade” without the quotes to start the upgrade. You may have to reboot your phone for all of the changes to take effect.
If you’re installing postmarketOS for the first time you can flash a pre-built image of the latest stable channel release to a microSD card or internal storage, or follow the postmarketOS installation guide to build your own image using the latest software.