Mobian Project Wants to Bring Debian GNU/Linux to Mobile Devices


Meet Mobian, a new Open Source project that aims to bring the powerful and very popular Debian GNU/Linux operating system to mobile devices.

If you thought for a second that the Linux phone market lacks operating systems you can try, think again as developers are just getting started. After postmarketOS announcing their PinePhone Community Edition, now there’s a new project called Mobian, which promises to bring Debian to Linux phones.

That’s right, you can now install and use a pure Debian GNU/Linux operating system on your PinePhone. Mobian helps you do that by integrating the standard Debian GNU/Linux packages with the GNOME-based Phosh (Phone Shell) user interface developed by Purism for their Librem 5 phone.

On top of that, Mobian brings a bunch of apps so you won’t get bored while trying Debian on your Linux phone. The apps that are currently fully optimized are Calls, Chatty (SMS messaging), Fractal (Matrix messaging app), Fragments (BitTorrent client), as well as Forklift (video and audio downloader).

The list continues with the GNOME 2048 game, Epiphany (GNOME Web) browser, Shortwave internet radio, Wiremapper Linux client for Pockethernet network tester, Metronome app for the GNOME desktop, and Grock app for displaying geological maps of the UK.

Of course, many other apps are working well, but there might not be fully optimized for your mobile device, and you can also run Web Apps simply by converting any website to a launcher on your device’s home screen. For a complete list of supported apps, see the project’s Wiki page.

For now, Mobian only works on the PinePhone, but the project’s leaders said on Twitter that the plan is to support other mobile devices in the future. If you want to install it on your PinePhone, you can do so right now using the installation instructions provided by the developers here.

Last updated 4 years ago

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