5 Open Source Mobile Operating Systems – Alternatives to Android



When it comes to the Mobile Operating Systems, a few are named, which users count at their fingertips, Android, iOS, Windows, Symbian, Blackberry, bada. Some mobile operating systems are open source, means there is no limitation on its customization, while the ones not open-source are limited to the kinds of software authorized to run on the mobile device.

Android is the popular name in the list of not only open source but the entire Mobile Operating System list. Android, currently rules market due to its high popularity with immense growth in the number of its users. The Android app store homes millions of mobile applications, which are totally free for use.

There are a few more which are not known to many but not less efficient as their popularity. They are interesting, unique and amazing open source alternatives to Android and below are five of them.

1. Plasma Mobile

Plasma Mobile, mobile source mobile OS was announced this year in January by KDE. The mobile version Plasma Mobile, of desktop Plasma based on Kubuntu, is the user interface that intends to present confluence to KDE users. At present the mobile version of Plasma, Plasma Mobile is in the experimental stage and is available for testing on the LG Nexus 5 devices. Seeing how it gets the hardware deal in future will be interesting.

2. Tizen

The Linux based open source mobile OS, Tizen is the Linux Foundation-supported project. Also, many other tech giants like Samsung and Intel support Tizen. Initially, Tizen was to be released in late 2013, then in January’15, Samsung Z the first Tizen phone, was released in the South Asian market. Though, Samsung Z disappointed getting much recognition in a competitive market of India. Despite a Linux based mobile OS, Tizen had security issues. Tizen, as based on, HTML5, the powerful and flexible development environment is an innovative open source mobile OS with has feature-rich applications and fantastic user experience. The smartphones based on Tizen deliver multi-tasking, 3D window effects, multi-touch, location-based service frameworks, sensor and multi-screen resolutions support.

3. Librem

Librem here is not an open source OS but an open source mobile phone. The Linux distribution PureOS is privacy and security-focused and is intended to launch Librem, an encrypted and secure smartphone. Librem will be operating as a touch-optimized version of PureOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora and also Arch Linux.

4. pmOS

pmOS or postmarketOS, is a pre-configured and touch-optimized, Alpine Linux that can be installed on smartphones and comes with own packages. pmOS present smartphones, 10-year life cycle. Quite general to all iOS and Android stop rendering updates for older smartphones. But Linux operates on older PC versions. postmarketOS intends to deliver the same on the mobile operating systems by re-inventing Linux into a touch-optimized platform.

5. LineageOS

LineageOS, also called as custom ROM is an Android distribution. It was designed after the success of Android distribution, and CyanogenMod was discontinued. This open source mobile OS is a fork of CyanogenMod. Initially launched in 2016’s December, is now supported by over 178 smartphone models and is said to have installs about 1.7 million installs.

The Android OS is undoubtedly dominating the mobile market. In past few years, the users on Android has increased immensely. Android is loved by its users for the amazing features, flexibility, and customization that it has but there are other alternatives to Android as well. Might be or might not be as efficient and popular to Android but they too offer some interesting features. The write-up above covers some of the most amazing open source mobile operating systems.


  1. i doubt about lineage OS. after cyanogenmod buried, XDA development seems ‘sleeping’. All major developer leave or abandon their commitment and being continued by amateur. boring.

  2. I think the time has come to let go of Android. They have started to become evil, imposing restrictions on applications instead of letting users decide for themselves. I would not mind so much that they would block some things under the excuse of protecting privacy, but they should make a means available to those that know what they are doing to open back those restrictions.


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