Recently there have been companies working on smartphones that ship with Linux with Purism Librem 5 and Pine64 PinePhone being the most popular. But it has been possible to install Linux on various other (Android) phones thanks to projects like PostMarketOS or UBports’ Ubuntu Touch.
But to make it easier to find out whether your phone is supported, the guy(s) at Tuxphones have created a database of phones that can run Linux.
There are currently over 200 devices listed. The database is not updated manually, and scripts are used to scrape websites and wikis of open source projects such as PostMarketOS, UBports, Asteroid OS, or Maemo Leste. Some Linux operating systems such as Tizen or Sailfish OS are not included because they are not fully open-source nor independent.
The use of scripts means the database does not only contain phones, but all some SBC’s, smartwatches, and TV boxes. If you click on the More Information button, you’ll get a list of supported operating systems with status, and link to the wiki as shown below with Xiaomi Mi A1.
The database is quite new, and currently, if a phone supports multiple operating system there will be multiple entries for the phone for each OS. But there are plans to improve the website as follows:
- More detailed support info and description
- Merging devices to show only a card for each one, with information about all supported distributions
- Better usability for small displays
- Support for SHR and webOS/LuneOS supported devices.
Before you go ahead an install Linux on your phone, bear in mind that those projects are often work-in-progress, and for example the few PostMarketOS compatible phones I’ve checked in the databased all have an “alpha” support status, meaning you should expect a fair amount of bugs and/or missing features.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.