Android is an open-source project but the bundle of proprietary software that comes along with your smartphone might leave you unhappy.
Instead, you can use the best Linux smartphone Operating systems for all your android devices such as mobiles, tablets, etc.
A few questions such as which Linux operating system is available to install today? may arise in your mind. It the mobile operating system that is responsible for running all the various apps on your phones and tablets.
We bring some of the alternatives to Android, we bring you 9 best Linux operating systems you can install today to replace Android on your devices.
Best Linux Smartphone Operating Systems
KaiOS is a popular Linux-based mobile operating system and runs on millions of devices. It is similar to the Tizen OS we will be discussing as we proceed further. The KaiOs is part of KaiOS Technologies based in the US. KaiOs highly depends on the source code of B2G or Boot to Gecko, it is an open-source operating system that acts as a successor to the discontinued Firefox OS from Mozilla.
KaiOS target is to bring 4G LTE E, VoLTE, GPS, HTML-based applications, and Wi-Fi capabilities to non-touch smart devices. Google and Reliance Jio are the leading companies to have made investments with KaiOs Technologies in the recent past.
You can download various KaiOS apps from a dedicated app store similar to the Google Play Store called KaiStore. Currently, it is the second-best OS for mobile devices, Apple iOS comes after it. The recent trends suggest this Linux operating system is here to stay.
The key features of this OS are it consumes less battery, uses less RAM, and low energy consumption.
Sailfish OS also known as SFOS was jointly developed by Jolla, Mer. The OS came into existence as a continuation of the abandoned operating system MeeGo, itself based on Maemo and Moblin. Many corporations and government bodies in Europe used Sailfish OS shipped with Jolla smartphones and tablets.
Currently, you can find the latest Sailfish OS version, Sailfish X running on a number of Sony Xperia X devices. It is termed as the most secure encrypted system, but it’s not open source. You will have to pay $50 for a full version of Sailfish X and is available only in the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland. While the free version comes with a time limit.
The Sailfish OS offers all kinds of mobile payments and banking transactions and is compatible with any Android ecosystem. You can install any apps you can find on Android on Sailfish OS as it comes with Android app support.
Unlike SailfishOs, TizenOS is an open-source Linux-based mobile operating system developed by Samsung. Samsung uses the TizenOS in its smart TV, smartwatches and home devices. The company also tried to promote the operating system with its Z series smartphones shipped to developing mobile markets like India. This experiment failed to gather attention and also tons of security issues cropping up restricted developer’s interest in TizenOS.
The TizenOS is widely being used in various smart devices smart watches, gaming consoles, and more. You can find a number of resources on the Tizen official website along with recently updated versions, news, etc.
4. Ubuntu Touch
Ubuntu touch also known as Ubuntu Touch is a free mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system developed by Canonical. Initially, it was developed for touchscreen smartphones with an intention to give a complete and unifying user experience on touchscreens. After the project was abandoned in 2017, UBports revived it and started developing it as a community project.
Updates for Ubuntu Touch are released from time to time and continue to support a long list of devices released for this open-source Android alternative.
UBports keeps releasing OTA updates for Ubuntu Touch from time to time. While there isn’t a long list of devices that were released for this open-source Android alternative, it’s interesting to see the non-profit UBports Foundation working hard to keep Ubuntu Touch alive.
Ubuntu Touch offers better security that prevents malware attacks. Though it offers limited apps, it acts as a good measure to prevent security breaches from unknown downloads.
You can find Ubuntu Touch pre-installed on many devices such as OnePlus One, Fairphone 2, and Nexus 5 (Hammerhead). We may get to see it on many other smartphones in the future as well such as OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3.
PureOS is a security-focused Linux distro from Purism and uses the GNOME desktop environment. It is free and open-source software that you can find on all Librem smartphones. It is considered to be the most secure and private mobile device yet.
Much of the success of Librem smartphones will depend on PureOS. The project has a huge similarity to a Linux based smartphone. It features a user-friendly interface and high security and privacy protection.
LineageOS is a free and open-source mobile operating system based on Android. The OS is under active development and a number of LineageOS images are available for a number of devices. LineageOS is the successor of Cyanogen after the developers discontinued its development and shut down in December 2016.
More than 185 phone models like Samsung, Motorola, Xiaomi, etc are using the open-source operating system. It makes it possible to customize the device as per your requirements. The updates are constantly released which increases its longevity. No need to get bugged by Android apps that violate your privacy.
7. Plasma Mobile
Plasma Mobile was released in 2011 and is another open-source user interface for mobile phones. Also runs on a Linux operating system, Plasma mobile gives users full control in customizing their OS. Making it a fully hackable device as the developers have claimed.
Plasma Mobile is a powerful open-source operating system out there, powered by Kubuntu, and uses a multi-platform toolkit Qt. Users can fully customize the OS using Plasma Mobile. Developers have created custom images for x86 tablets and devices like Nexus 5z.
It also comes with some exciting open-source widgets such as Telepathy, it is interpersonal communication software with features such as voice over IP, instant messaging and videoconferencing.
It has plans to create a Linux-based phone operating system that’ll be able to replace Android and iOS. Though the OS has not received any major update for a few years, the OS has many supporters out there.
PostmarketOS is yet another Linux mobile project gaining attention. It is an open-source project which aims to deliver a ten-year lifecycle to mobile devices. postmarketOS is based on the Alpine Linux and requires just 6MB of storage space. It is capable of running Wayland X-based environments like MATE, Xfce, and GNOME.
It is a sustainable, privacy, and security-focused free software mobile OS that is modeled after traditional Linux distributions. Literally allows you to keep your devices useful and safe until they physically break.
There’s an extensive list of devices that can boot postmarketOS, but the developers haven’t been able to get the calls working on the devices. However, given the continuous developments and growing documentation, I’m pretty optimistic about the project.
Halium intends to improve future Linux mobile projects, it focuses to unify the Hardware Abstraction Layer for projects which run GNU/Linux on mobile devices with pre-installed Android.
The Halium project aims to standardize other software and improve Linux access to the audio, camera, GPS, and other hardware.
If everything goes well it will make is easy to install Linux on smartphones