It's a fact: smartphones tend to have a dramatically short lifespan, no matter the price range. While features remain more or less the same, even high-end smartphones tend to become slow within two or three years, forcing their users to an upgrade. And while it's widely known, even among non-technical people, that Linux can give new life to older desktops, is this the case also for smartphones?
The answer is yes, but only since very recent times. Because postmarketOS, the lightweight, Alpine Linux-based Linux distribution for smartphones, has seen the light only two years ago. To be precise, exactly two years ago, and TuxPhones is here today (also) to celebrate their birthday. Only if the emoji in the title didn't crash your browser, of course 🎂️
Only an utopia?
Utopias, by definition, don't exist. postmarketOS does. So nope. Checkmate, skeptics.
And not only it does exist, it boots Linux on almost 140 devices at the time of writing, and the number is growing relatively fast. While reverse engineering is being done on many modems, though, only few are currently usable without libhybris, an Android emulation layer for Linux. The situation is similar for GPU drivers, given the generally closed-source nature and fragmentation of mobile chips. Is your device one of the lucky ones? Maybe. And if it isn't, this friendly Twitter bot will warn you when it becomes one.
To find out more about the history of postmarketOS and its latest developments, we'll leave you to the official postmarketOS blog post celebrating this second birthday between all the hard work.