Initiatives for free mobile phones
This page aims to collect initiatives which try to bring Free Software and hardware on mobiles phones apart from Android and what we describe with our Free Your Android campaign. Please feel welcome to update and extend information where you see need; the page is open to edit for people without an FSFE account so please be careful.
Ubuntu Touch is the mobile version of the well-known Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution. After Canonical Ltd. announced the end of their support for the project, the operating system was picked up by the UBports community. The community is currently in the process of setting up a non-profit foundation under German law. It is the declared goal of UBports to create a complete free-software stack for mobile devices, though due to the lack of hardware with free firmware, non-free blobs are required to use Ubuntu Touch.
Plasma Mobile is the mobile version of the KDE plasma desktop. Non-free firmware blobs are required to use it.
The Librem 5 is a phone currently in development by Purism. It was financed through a crowdfunding campaign in 2017 and started shipping in September 2019. The goal of the project is to create a device without any proprietary firmware blobs, a separate baseband module and hardware kill-switches for the antennae. It is shipping with PureOS, with a version of the Gnome 3 desktop, but versions of Plasma Mobile and Ubuntu Touch have been announced.
Another hardware option is Pinephone, that will start shipping in November 2019, and for which versions of PostmarketOS, UBPorts and KDE Plasma Mobile.
Also the hardware side there is the GTA04 phone. It is the follow-on for Openmoko GTA02 and was designed to require no proprietary drivers. It runs GNU/Linux, but it requires non-free firmware in order to use the WiFi. So close, yet so far away.
The Maemo/MeeGo initiatives developed systems for mobile phones based on GNU/Linux, with many nonfree components. They have now moved into Mer and Tizen. While Mer is a community effort to continue work on the MeeGo codebase using Qt, Tizen is a corporate initiative that uses only parts of MeeGo plus Enlightenment and HTML5.
/e/ comprises a mobile operating system (OS) and carefully selected applications, which combine to form a privacy-enabled internal environment for mobile phones. It is associated with common online services – a search engine, an email service, an Android application repository, and online storage. The whole environment is free from Google services. /e/ is a LineageOS fork and contains some additional features.
Mozilla has been working on FirefoxOS.