A slim and pure Linux operating system on the smartphone, tablet or ARM notebook – postmarketOS delivers exactly that. The open source operating system is primarily aimed at Linux enthusiasts. The recently released version postmarketOS 21.12 is based on Alpine Linux 3.15 and has three updated user interfaces optimized for mobile devices.
Changes under the hood
postmarketOS also contains some useful extensions. Sometimes the GUI gets stuck or a terminal stops responding. With a keyboard you can then quickly open a new terminal with a key combination and, for example, complete or restart processes. With the built-in TTYescape it works on the smartphone or tablet by pressing the volume down button, clicking the power button three times and finally releasing the volume button.
The Phosh user interface – a mobile-optimized variant of the GNOME Shell – does not hide apps that are not optimized for mobile devices in the app list. This so-called app drawer filter can be used with postmarketos-tweaks in Version 0.9.0 switch off via GUI. On some devices they also support the adjustment of the suspend timeout for deep sleep modes and now set it down by default from 15 to 2 minutes – that saves a lot of battery. The developers describe further small adjustments in their PostmarketOS release announcement December 21st.
The developers deliver ready-made distribution images for the 23 devices that are now supported. For smartphones and tablets, they contain the user interfaces Phosh, Plasma Mobile (KDE) and Sxmo, which are optimized for mobile devices. The latter surface now uses Wayland and no longer the X11 substructure. Other form factors, such as the PineBook Pro, on the other hand, can work with the Plasma Desktop, Gnome, Sway, Phosh and the console.
postmarketOS 21.12 runs on the Arrow DragonBoard 410c, ASUS MeMo Pad 7, BQ Aquaris X5, Lenovo A6000 and A6010, Motorola Moto G4 Play, ODROID HC2, OnePlus 6 and 6T, PINE64 PineBook Pro, PinePhone, PineTab as well as RockPro64, Purism Librem 5, Samsung Galaxy A3 (2015) and A5 (2015) and S4 Mini Value Edition, Galaxy Tab A 8.0 and A 9.7, Wileyfox Swift, Xiaomi Mi Note 2, Pocophone F1 and Redmi 2. The distribution can be found for the individual devices on the Download page from postmarketOS download. The developers have also linked installation instructions there.