Back in March 2018, LG unveiled webOS Open Source Edition optimized for Raspberry Pi 3 board. Last month, the company released a major version with webOS OSE 2.0 adding support for Raspberry Pi 4, dual displays, FOTA support and more.
We missed the release at the time but caught up as LG just released a minor update with webOS OSE 2.1 a few days ago that adds a Japanese keyboard, uses journald, and provides various fixes and improvements.
Some of the new features of webOS OSE 2.x include:
- Dual-display support which will eventually enable multi-display support for rear-seat entertainment (RSE) systems
- Firmware-Over-the Air (FOTA)
- Smack integration for enhanced security
- New passenger-friendly and touch input optimized Home Launcher as shown above
- WiFi tethering support via SoftAP
- Added support Raspberry Pi 4 (new reference hardware)
- Upgrade to Qt 5.12 and Chromium 72
webOS is generally known as an operating system for televisions, but the short changelog above makes it clear the company also targets the automotive industry.
Liliputing also notes that webOS was originally designed as a smartphone operating system developed by Palm, and then HP which added support for tablets. LG has all but given up on webOS for smartphones or tablets, but there’s a community project called LuneOS that keeps it alive, notably with efforts to port it to PinePhone Linux phone.
Back to webOS OS 2.x. So how can you try it out on your Raspberry Pi 4? Unless I’m mistaken there aren’t any binary releases, and instead, you’d need to build the image from source. If you don’t own a board, you could alternatively run webOS OSE 2.1 in the emulator part of the SDK. You can follow the getting started guide to try it out on either platforms.