What Is A Linux Device – Update 08/08/2021: We wrote an in-depth review of the first prototype of this Linux tablet. Click here for our JingPad A1 DVT review.
One of the projects we’ve frequently followed on our Twitter feed over the past few months was Jingling’s upcoming tablet and desktop environment. The Chinese startup originally appeared in January 2021 and promised an operating system similar to iPadOS and released a bootable ISO, which we tested immediately after the release along with the sources. In fact, the latest JingOS v0.9 was released days ago along with a detailed changelog.
What Is A Linux Device
It’s finally on sale. A few minutes ago, the campaign for the A1 tablet was opened, and the company began accepting pre-orders for the device for shipment in September 2021. The company’s YouTube channel posted several progress reports specifically, showcasing Linux and Android apps. Both the standard Linux tablet and the device prototypes on display perform amazingly well. Their first tablet, based on ARM64
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The device, which starts at $550 and retails for $695, comes with an optional keyboard and stylus to compete with Apple’s latest offerings, and should run Linux and Android. The “JDE” desktop is based on KDE
Platform, and the work in this regard has been open source on GitHub and developed in active communication with KDE developers from the beginning.
The specs look promising in absolute terms, though its high-mid-range price tag doesn’t seem to put the device in direct competition with devices like the popular $99 PineTab and PinePhone (the latter of which was featured on VICE just yesterday).
If I could make a risky comparison, I’d see the JingPad as more geared toward the average user in terms of performance and consumer use, rather than an inexpensive hobbyist portable device for Linux developers and enthusiasts. As we said before, it won’t use the main Linux kernel until the month-long effort.
Linux Powered Device
, which means that the project still has a long way to go and while its bold goal of entering the tablet PC market is too early to rest easy, this project will probably survive.
Purism Librem 5 Gets Big Camera Upgrade, Video Recording Capabilities As we’ve often mentioned, cameras are one of the areas where Linux phones lack Android alternatives. This is partly due to the extreme fragmentation of sensor drivers, as most mainframes do not support Linux cameras, and partly Raffaele T. 01/02/2023
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GNOME Shell is one step closer to Linux phones The first post on this site was about the GNOME project, which is “preparing” its environment to adapt to the growing demand for responsive and mobile Linux devices. This was in 2019, before libhandy (the mobile Gtk library) was considered stable and Librem 5s and PinePhones were less than Raffaele T. 11/15/2022 Google and Apple have dominated the smartphone space in recent years, but a small (but growing) number of phones are equipped with GNU/Linux based operating systems.
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Meanwhile, there is a growing number of Linux distributions designed to run on mobile phones. For example, there are at least 17 different software versions available for the PinePhone. Some of these operating systems are designed for a specific device (like the PinePhone), while others like Ubuntu Touch or postmarketOS can also replace Android on Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, Xiaomi, FairPhone and many other smartphones.
But as of mid-January 2021, most Linux distributions for mobile phones are in the works. Some features may not work. You may not be able to run applications that you normally use on other operating systems. And some of the best phones designed to run Linux are aimed at open source enthusiasts rather than the general public.
The rapid evolution of Linux phone software development has been fascinating to watch, and Linux phones can be a lot of fun to tinker with, which is why I started this site to focus on this new and exciting space in the phone market. It may not be long before some of the Linux distributions mentioned in this article become truly viable alternatives to iOS and Android, at least for some users.
But should you buy a Linux phone to replace your iPhone or Android phone? It can be. But for most people, the answer is probably no. Or at least not yet.
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In January 2021, there are few ways to buy a smartphone with a pre-installed GNU/Linux distribution.
The cheapest option is to buy a PinePhone. Priced between $150 and $200, it is a budget phone with entry-level specifications.
Pine64 sells the PinePhone in parts, and the version currently available for purchase is the PinePhone KDE Community Edition, which comes with the Manjaro Linux operating system and the KDE Neon user interface. But you can also try other operating systems by downloading to the microSD car or writing to the phone’s built-in eMMC storage.
In addition to supporting Linux-based operating systems, the phone has some special features such as hardware kill switches that allow you to physically disable the microphone, cameras, and wireless functions when you’re not using them.
Linux Device Tree Overlay
Note that in addition to bulk ordering, Pine64 ships phones in bulk. This means that the KDE Community Edition of the phone is available for a limited time, and when it runs out, it may take some time for a new version of PinePhone with different software to become available.
Pine64 plans to start shipping the KDE Community Edition to customers on January 18th, but if you order today, it could take several weeks or more for the phone to arrive.
And when it does, you can find a viable replacement for your iPhone or Android device. See the section below for more information.
If you’re looking for a phone with slightly more specs, the Purism Librem 5 has a faster processor, but still packs a rather modest 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It’s a much thicker phone and costs a lot more – the Librem 5 is available for $799.
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This phone also takes longer to ship. Orders placed today won’t ship for a month, meaning you may be waiting a while for this phone.
The Librem 5 comes with PureOS, a custom Linux distribution developed by smartphone maker Purism. It has a user interface called Phosh (short for “phone shell”) and basically if you take the desktop OS, add support for mobile features, call and text, and scale the interface to something decent. comfortable with the 5.7-inch touch screen.
Like the PinePhone, the Librem 5 has hardware pin switches for the camera and wireless functions. And like the PinePhone, you’re not stuck with the operating system that comes with the phone. You can also install alternative operating systems.
The nice thing about both phones is that if you connect a monitor or TV with a USB to HDMI adapter, you can also use them as a mini desktop computer, running desktop-style apps on the big screen. Don’t expect them to be perfect
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There are other phones that ship with Linux-based operating systems, but they tend to be slightly different, as only one Linux distribution is officially supported.
For example, the F(x)Tec Pro1-X smartphone is also available with Android or Ubuntu Touch. However, there is no official support for other operating systems, and this $649 phone is a limited edition device that will be available for a limited time. The standard F(x)Tec Pro1 ships with Android only.
And you can pick up a Volla phone for around $439 and it should ship in February. The phone is available with Android or Ubuntu Touch operating systems. If you want, you can also install the Linux-based Sailfish OS, but this is a community-supported version of the operating system and not officially supported by the phone manufacturer.
If you’re an early adopter of technology willing to work with software bugs and a limited app, sure. If you’re a developer, who can help improve these apps and operating systems? Absolutely. But you might want to use it as a secondary device as your main phone.
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If you need a phone that is 100% reliable, has great battery life, has no issues with calls and texts, takes great photos, runs all the apps you want, and generally just “works” out of the box.