Online / 5 & 6 February 2022


2 Years of Mobian

Birth and growth of a mobile Linux distribution

The Mobian project was initiated a few days prior to FOSDEM'20, back when the first PinePhones (BraveHeart edition) were arriving in the hands of developers and enthusiasts. From a single-person weekend project aimed at running Debian on one specific device, to one of the major mobile Linux distributions, let's board into a journey through the past, present and future of Mobian!

Mobian started as a collection of hacks and scripts for running Debian on the PinePhone. Initially published as "Debian+Phosh" on the PINE64 forum, all packages were manually (cross) compiled and uploaded to the developer's personal web server.

Over time, it gathered a strong community of users and developers and ultimately gained recognition from the wider mobile Linux community, to the point where it partnered with PINE64 to release a "Mobian Community Edition" PinePhone. Over the course of its 2 years of existence, the project implemented tools to ease development and automate deployment, and added support for more mobile devices, such as Purism's Librem 5, but also Surface Pro tablets and a few Android phones such as the OnePlus 6 and Pocophone F1.

This talk will walk you through those 2 years of development, highlighting the project's contributions to the (mobile) FLOSS ecosystem. We will also emphasize how its members work, as part of the DebianOnMobile team, towards its ultimate goal of becoming irrelevant by making Debian a reference distribution on mobile devices. Finally, we will give you an update on the project's current status and plans.


Photo of Arnaud Ferraris Arnaud Ferraris