In the last years, the number of Linux distributions aimed at smartphones and tablets has grown considerably. What was initially a land of projects like UBPorts, Armbian and postmarketOS has grown to interest projects like Manjaro, and several Debian and Arch spins.
However, the newborn Kupfer does not look like yet another fork for Linux phones. While at an early stage, the ambitious project's infrastructure mimics that of postmarketOS, and even shares some early testers and users. The aim is not only to build a ready-to-flash Arch with some added mobile packages, but rather to have a complete pmbootstrap-like suite of tools (the Docker-based kupferbootstrap) to easily port new devices, and maintain existing ones. The first devices to be supported are Snapdragon 845 phones (OnePlus 6T, Poco F1 among others) and the BQ Aquaris X5 – and, interestingly, no PinePhone yet.
It is worth reminding that this is not the first Arch spin to target mobile devices: the PinePhone-specific danctnix's Arch fork is currently a popular and well-maintained choice among PinePhone users.
With its own stack, several developers, and a bootstrap system that closely resembles postmarketOS's own in features for cross-compiling packages without the hassle of manual configuration, Kupfer might even be able to cut a slice of the mobile Linux share in the next years.
Cover picture: Oneplus 6 running Kupfer, @jld3103:matrix.org