Android and iOS account for almost 100% of the market for mobile operating systems. These two systems have managed to revolutionize in a few years the way we communicate, hang out and even work. A smartphone, today, is like carrying a computer in your pocket, since they have great power and, in addition, with a large number of apps that allow us to do practically everything. However, mobile operating systems still have important limitations compared to a desktop OS such as Linux.
The mobile apps are very complete and powerful. However, to this day, they have nothing to do with a desktop program. Smartphones today have enough power to be able to move freely any desktop operating system. However, due to the limitations that manufacturers apply, and the lack of free drivers, it is not possible to install, for example, Windows or Ubuntu on them.
Luckily, there are always users willing to go further, as is the case of Adrián Campos Garrido, who has managed to install native Linux on a smartphone.
OpenSUSE on mobile is a reality
Pinephone is a smartphone developed by Pine64 that seeks to go a little further and be different from the phones that we usually buy today. This smartphone has hardware very similar to that of the Raspberry Pi, being much more a pocket computer than the smartphone itself. This device has a 4-core A64 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and mounts a 5.95-inch screen. And the best of all is that, not having the limitations that other brands’ smartphones have, hackers can mess around with it freely.
A few days ago, Adrián Campos Garrido, also known as Hadrian within the community, showed on Twitter how he had been able to install a native Linux distro, specifically OpenSUSE, within this smartphone.
– hadrianweb (@hadrianweb) June 17, 2020
Of course, there is still a lot of work ahead to make the distro work the same as on a PC. However, its developer assures us that it is capable of making and receiving calls , SMS, it can connect through data, use Wi-Fi, rotate the screen and even install any available package in the OpenSUSE repositories. And all this, in addition, completely independent of Android. The Google system drivers have not been needed at any time.
This achievement has caught the attention of those responsible for openSUSE, who have contacted Adrián to start porting all the packages to the official repositories, and then porting the creation of the image to make it official.
Users who want to cheer up, can find the corresponding images here . It will be necessary to closely follow the evolution of this project that, without a doubt, can revolutionize the way of working, being able to really carry our entire computer in your pocket.
Other Linux for mobile
The good thing is the possibility of installing various Linux distributions on this Pine64 smartphone due to the similarity of the hardware with the Raspberry Pi and its integration with the Kernel. But things are much more complicated to do on other commercial smartphones, such as Samsung or Huawei. And much more even in the case of iPhone. But not impossible. There are already projects that are based on an abstraction layer called Halium that allows loading Android drivers on which to run other distros.
In addition, there are a large number of projects that allow us today to run Linux systems on smartphones. Among the most striking we can find, for example, Ubuntu Touch (currently developed by the UBports Foundation), PostmarketOS, KDE Neon, Arch Linux, Manjaro, PureOS and Mobian (Debian Mobile).
The future of Linux within smartphones is more than promising.