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June 19, 2024

PostmarketOS 24.06 Now Supports 50 Devices: A Big Leap for Smartphone Linux




The developers of the smartphone Linux system PostmarketOS have released version 24.06. It now supports 50 devices.

(Bild: postmarketOS)

The maintainers of the Linux distribution optimized for tablets and smartphones have released version 24.06 of PostmarketOS. In addition to the obligatory package and basic updates, new supported devices have been added.

The distribution is based on the concept of sustainability and is designed to enable upcycling of old hardware. Although the developers write on the download page that version 24.06 is considered stable, they warn in the release announcement on the blog: “This release is mainly aimed at Linux enthusiasts. We’re working hard on stability improvements and automated testing, but if you’re expecting Android or iOS levels of polish, this isn’t for you yet”.

The reasons for running Linux on the devices are manifold. PostmarketOS does not require users to create an account when they first start it, does not pressure anyone to store all their private data in the cloud, and does not install or recommend software that squeezes as much attention or money out of the user as possible, explain the project maintainers. They do not follow any AI trends that violate privacy. Instead, postmarketOS gives users full control over the device and allows them to use the devices far beyond the manufacturer support lifecycle.

Those who are still with us up to this point can look forward to updated desktop environments: The mobile Gnome shell is on board in version 46, KDE Plasma has been updated from the 5 branch to version Plasma Mobile 6.0.5, Phosh 0.39 replaces version 0.33, which was still included in the postmarketOS 23.12 version. Sxmo 1.16.3 includes new device configurations for Nokia N900, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and PineTab 2. All user interfaces are based on the “Meadow” wallpaper, which is also the basis for the image of the current version above this article.


Chromebooks have received new keyboard mappings. Samsung Chromebooks can even use GPU acceleration. The default logger is now Logbookd. The initramfs can export log files in case of boot errors and boot via USB network. Some devices based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450/625/626/632 are better supported, for example regarding the modem for mobile data, calls or SMS and the integrated GPS. Non-free firmware is now installed by default. In UI packages, hard-coded dependencies on PulseAudio have been removed, enabling experiments with PipeWire.

In addition to three more supported devices, two generic ports were added, one for x66_64 for pretty much any PC and for Nvidia’s Tegra with armv7 instruction set, adding support for Tegra 2, 3 and 4 devices.

The developers have transferred 211 devices from testing status to the “Stable” category. However, the quality of the ports varies greatly, from “can barely boot” to “most features work”. However, the postmarketOS makers argue that this makes it possible to run a current Linux distribution on old hardware: “This makes your old phone at least as useful as a Raspberry Pi, but with a built-in battery”.

However, interested parties will have to build the distribution for these devices themselves. The PostmarketOS project provides instructions for this.


Ready-made installation images can be found on the PostmarketOS download page. Interested parties should also read the corresponding wiki page for their device before setting it up.

A year ago, PostmarketOS 23.06 was released, in which the Gnome Mobile desktop environment was new. In addition, the project maintainers had done a lot of version maintenance.


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