Mobile phone version of linux / fedora like OS (replacement for Android)

I am looking for a good OS replacement for Android for my phone, will soon get Librem 5 (purism did wonderful job with their OS from all the pre release devices I tested, but it PureOS is still Debian-based). I found an interesting OS made by e foundation fully open source works ok but still based on Android, not Linux. I have many PCs on Fedora / CentOS home and work, even custom router on silverblue Fedora 32, works better then OpenWRT, so with a Fedora Mobile OS will be 100% RHEF.

any good advice from a fellow Fedora member is welcome about Linux / Fedora Mobile OS.

Live Long and Prosper :vulcan_salute:

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The main problem for running a regular distro on mobile phones is … hardware drivers. There is almost no such devices with open source drivers, and many of them only have Android drivers. If you’ve drivers for a device, it is not too hard to get a distro running on it. Although, you’ll need phone apps like SMS & call apps, but that’ll be the easier part! If such devices exist, I’m sure that community will provide required apps too (although there are already some free/open source phone apps already).


To add to this a bit: most Linux-based mobile OSs are built on Halium, which has a device support list here.

thanks @refi64 and @hedayat for the advice I am using at the moment and to be honest works better then PureOS (Purism default OS) on Librem 5 and on one android device I have.
e is I believe also build on Halium, kinda like an open source clone to Android and has a good community support, lots of apps and the team supporting is doing an excellent job, until Fedora does a mobile OS I guess I will stick with E. silberblue ostree is good candidate for fedora mobile os core.


No, e OS is a variant of Android so it doesn’t need Halium.

ok I might be wrong I said “I believe”, not said I am sure, but it is still better option to use the android or iOS or for sure. until I find a better Linux solution it also works better then PureOS on my phone.
Android based OS is based on Linux and uses Linux Kernel, also it is better then iOS.
I have not found any good alternative linux mobile os that is supported with updates so, e OS for now.


Yes, sure. Sorry if my message didn’t sound friendly enough. I just wanted to say that it doesn’t need Halium; didn’t say that you did anything wrong or you are sure. :slight_smile:

it was not unfriendly and I don’t seek approval from anyone what to use (like we all should choose for us) just advice best on experience. well I prefer more of a Linux not Android OS for my phone (nor iOS), best option Fedora, tried PureOS on Purism not happy at all (it is based on Debian who) maybe it is still a beta or need to wait for the newer librem 5 in any case it is unusable for a business device, also the secuirty in PureOS is big ? for me . So between Android / e OS, e OS is better option for now.


I am also interested in the fedora-based version of phosh (the gnome-based shell for Librem5). And since the purism apps should be flatpaked, the ostree-based version of the system would be a nice choice.

The phosh definitely needs some more care, but it did not look bad to me when I tried that in the VM.

I tried few version of Fedora on Librem5 non of them worked including the ostree silverblue fedora, could be I have an older prerelease version, so I will wait for the next release before christmas and test it.

I removed the PureOS from my librem5 and I am using e OS (android clone),
it is more stable and works better, PureOS maybe be ok for PC for phone it is not at least in EUROPE,
the phones drop 3-5 minutes, SMS doesn’t work and software and few key apps are not stable, but it might be cause I have pre release version or the PureOS is not yet in final version or the apps are not tested for europe, europe and north america use different mobile phone infrastructure could be it.

“purism apps should be flatpaked,” I believe not since PureOS the OS of purism on Librem5 is based on Debian I believe the apps may be snaps but not flatpak as far as I am aware,

not sure what do you mean, but yeah if you want to say PureOS works ok in VM yeah I believe the same before I got the Librem5, but on the phone it is a different story and many of the phone basic services like phone calls and sms don’t work (could be just an issue in europe) and I was not able to get 4G or 5G (my city has 5G in germany already) only 3G with about 1mbps (could be just europe).

I personally would prefer Fedora based, not debian based OS like PureOS, I use RHEF for ALL work and home (CentOS+Fedora Workstation + Fedora Silberblue for everything even games) and migrated my NAS to CentOS and making a MiniPC router based on Silberblue to replace my OpenWRT.


Are you talking about the real phone or the devkit?

I saw flatpaks in multiple places, for example, developer docs:

I can’t find the link but I remember that Purism wanted to have its own flatpak repo.

Sad, but good to know.

So would I…;-}

too complicated to explain in forum, I had a earlier release Librem5 via my company few months back, just fedora doesnt work also tried few bsd versions (familiar due to pfsense firewall) even tried gentoo, I should get newer model soon Librem5 and hope to have better like with Fedora with it.

I have seen the links about flatpaks on PureOS, tried to install few and did not work on the phone and worked on the PC version, they said some code needs to be changed in the flatpak builder, but I don’t complain purism is doing the best they can I wish more companies are into Linux Mobile like them.

Well I expected problems in Europe since Librem 5 is more for North America, but I need to use it as a phone at least. I hope newer models will work better in Europe in the future.

Well I found time over the summer to build my self a custim build good router with silverblue as a router firewall to replace OpenWRT and CentOS custom build NAS to replace my BSD Nas, and migrated my game PC to Fedora, so only my phone is not RHEF / Fedora, but will probably be in the future.

I have few people from my company and we are talking about project to make a Fedora Based mobile OS probably for the next summer and we will startup some stuff over December and January
“The engineering rule is if it doesn’t exits build it” works great in the open source world.


That’'d be great!

BTW, You might also try SailfishOS, although not fully open source, but it is a OS with much more experience to be really used than any other GNU/Linux based OS. It even uses RPM packages (with zypper package manager). It is based on Mer, which seems to support more hardware than Halium (at least from what I learned from Halium docs) ( Although both of these are based on libhybris, and probably what is supported for one should finally work for the other too.

If there’ll be an effort to bring Fedora to phones, I’ll try to contribute too. Using Anbox, we might be able to get at least some Android apps to work on it too.

We use a lot of Huawei software at my company and I believe they made it as an OS, due to the hardware being huawei I am also more towards Mer then Halium, mostly because of the hardware.
I tried SailfishOS and e OS is better option, cause I prefer open source code, fedora is mostly open source. Well I am not sure if anyone is working on a fedora mobile if now I will give it a try.
I have my weekly mmo game today with my company team and if they agree I will talk to my executive team tomorrow at our weekly meeting so we can do it during work time as a free project, I believe with about 5-10 people to start with coders and sys admins we can do something until summer 2020.


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Thanks for the explanation!
I am glad Purism has sent someone the pre-released prototype. Since I’ve ordered my Librem in June this year, I don’t expect first batches so the modem will hopefully work well here, in Europe, in the time of arrival…

The project for Fedora-based mobile OS looks promising. I am not sure if the Python developer (me) can help, but I’ll try my best.

well my company does specific data analytics work and we had the librem 5 pre release versions, since a certain big client ordered them in a large quantity and all contractors that do software for that big client got early release models to test out the specif software for the phone, I don’t work for purism or any subcontracting, we have a partners that uses our software and wants it to work on purism phone.

well I like the idea of fedora mobile os, and plan to talk to my tech team today while we do our weekly mmo gaming and they wanna help at least 5-10 of them I can talk to my executive team and get more support, main reason is fedora community will benefit from it also we will as well and we plan to make it 100% open source for anyone to use so that might mean more fedora community support in the future.


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That sounds very promising. Thank you!