Free Software initiatives for 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 Upcycling Android campaign and 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. Any information on this page not an official statement, position, recommendation whatsoever by the FSFE. We are grateful though for so many Free Software developers offering users freedom and diversity and mobile phones.

Operating systems

DIY: Free Software OS for phones to install yourself.



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.

Plasma Mobile

Plasma Mobile is the mobile version of the KDE plasma desktop. Non-free firmware blobs are required to use it.

Ubuntu Touch

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.

Android-based custom ROMs


CalyxOS is an Android mobile operating system with proactive security recommendations and automatic updates.


DivestOS provides long term support tested booting on over 60 devices with enhanced privacy and security. It features extensive automated kernel security hardening, automated removal of over 700 proprietary blobs, and GPL licensed source trees. Many of its apps such as Mull (FOSS Firefox fork) and Hypatia (FOSS malware scanner) are also available on the official F-Droid repository.


/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.

Phone devices

Devices you can buy that come with pre-installed Free Software operating systems.

with GNU-Linux


Also on 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.

Librem 5

The Librem 5 is a phone developed 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 antenna. It is shipping with PureOS, with a version of the Gnome 3 desktop.


Another hardware option is Pinephone, that supports multiple Linux distributions. Currently shipping with Manjaro with KDE Plasma Mobile by default.

with Android-based OS


Fairphone 4 and 3+ combines fair-trade, sustainable, and repairable hardware with a deGoogled operating system, /e/.


The NitroPhone exists in different models of Google Pixel hardware with GrapheneOS installed. Optionally, microphones, sensors and cameras are physically removed.


The Murena line of phones run /e/os, a de-Googled Android. These phones comes with longer than typical warranties reflecting the /e/ foundation's strong concern for sustainability.

Discontinued initiatives

Mozilla has been working on FirefoxOS.


Activities/Android/OtherInitiatives (last edited 2022-08-17 10:42:15 by anonymous)