Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2020


Regaining control of your smartphone with postmarketOS and Maemo Leste

Status of Linux on the smartphone

Linux mobile software and GNU/Linux distributions are currently not widely available for smartphones. This talk covers why it is desirable to have GNU/Linux (not: Android or Android-based) on your smartphone, what the current state of various software attempts at Linux on smartphones is, what progress has been made, and will also dive into the available old and new hardware (including the PinePhone and Librem 5) to run the software & distributions on.

Smartphones running regular (F)OSS Linux distributions are not common. We intend to provide an overview of the current Linux FOSS mobile stacks, distributions that package/provide the mobile stacks and to discuss the hardware that one can use to run this software. We will provide additional details for the postmarketOS distribution and for Maemo Leste (Debian based FOSS mobile software). We also hope to go into some detail about the upcoming PinePhone (

postmarketOS is a distribution based on alpine, with a focus on minimalism, security and mobile software. postmarketOS supports many old and new smartphones with varying degrees of support, and also packages/ships with various mobile software suites like Plasma Mobile, Maemo/Hildon, Phosh and more.

Maemo Leste is based on Maemo Fremantle (from the Nokia N900 days), but completely open source. It's a repository on top of Debian/Devuan that pulls in the entire Maemo/Hildon user interface and suite of applications. Building on top of a proven set of interfaces, Maemo Leste also aims to be mostly compatible with Maemo the way many people might remember it, with a modern twist.

Pine64 (known for ARM laptops and SBC (Single Board Computers) has decided to get into the mobile business with the PineTab and the PinePhone device. Aiming to deliver developer devices in 2020Q1 and enthusiastic end-user devices in 2020Q2, they've energized software developers who arewriting mobile interfaces for Linux and have been producing a mobile phone at remarkable pace. We will show the Pine64 device and discuss the current state of Linux support on the device.

We plan to give live demos during the presentation, but will have pre-recorded videos as fallback.


Photo of Merlijn B. W. Wajer Merlijn B. W. Wajer
Photo of Bart Ribbers Bart Ribbers