How feasible is Linux on the Fairphone 3?

Please excuse my ignorance and keep in mind i am an old (very) blacksmith with virtually no tech ability at all.

I own a lovely FP3, very happy with it . . . no issues at all.

I run linux in different flavors on my laptop and work station at home / work .

My question is with the introduction of the two new linux based phones on the market, the librem 5 and the new pine phone, how feasible is it to one day have a linux (and I appreciate what android is) based system on my fp3 ?
please be gentle with me, i use a hammer all day not a keyboard :wink:


There was Ubuntu Touch for the FP2, so maybe there will be a community port for the FP3 as well. However at the moment, there isn’t even LineageOS available yet (a G00gle free Android version), so I guess it’s going to take a while.


Ubuntu Touch is currently available to a limited amount of devices, because significant work is needed to “port” the device.
Part of this work is to configure it for Halium (interface between Linux-based OS and Android drivers).
At the moment Halium is only working for Android 5 and Android 7 devices that already have a LineageOS port.

As far as I know the team is actively working for an Android 9 Halium that will open it to all devices compatible with project Treble, so in a far future we could hope for a “GSI” (Generic System Image) of Ubuntu Touch you could flash to your FP3 :smiley:
No idea of when it’ll come, but it’s not for tomorrow


Halium for Android 9 is no GSI

Honnestly I don’t really know what exactly is a GSI, what I understood is that -thanks to Treble- a port can now be generic and not device-specific. Like the generic alternative OS for FP3 :slight_smile:

@basxto Do you have any explanation on Halium 9? Will it be Treble-compatible or not?

wow . . .
I guess this is obviously more complex than server / desktop Linux !
It’s such a pity Linux is such a wonderful concept, allowing for the “free” dissemination of knowledge and communication . . .

1 Like

Problem is Android proprietary drivers, not Linux :wink:


yet I have open source drivers for propriety hardware in my computer, granted they are less efficient than the propriety versions but they work.

I looked it up and I confused some things. They are working on Halium 8, not 9. And the person who works on it does not know what GSI is. But Halium 8 GSI would also be helpful for us.

I cannot see what sense a linux (apart from Android) would make on a smartphone like the FP3. Smartphones are all about apps and app ecosystems, and there is no such thing for linux on phones. Apart from the fact that, to my knowledge, there is no Linux distribution that is generally optimized for smartphones.

There is, mentioned here several times … Ubuntu Touch.
And it’s available for the Fairphone 2 … so, precedence.


There are even more linuxes for mobile devices:

But of course their market share is next to negligible.


Frankly, I thought it was more or less dead. Probably after reading something like this

a while ago.

Well … I guess the very much not dead UBports community and the users using this Linux on their phones couldn’t care less about what anyone thinks … they might be in a small niche, but it’s enough to prove “there is no”-like comments very wrong :wink: .

(Disclaimer: I don’t use it because I’m very fond of some Android stuff, but I briefly installed it on my Fairphone 2 and have seen it work for myself and it’s a pretty interesting experience.)


pine phone has at lease 4 distro’s that can be installed upon it.
the librem 5 is said to be able to install another 2-3 distros .
surly a small mobile computer in your pocket is what a smart phone is .
And I for one trust the foss environment more than I trust Alphabet.


If you’d like to get a bit of an overview on a (developing) ecosystem, check out this talk from last weekend at a dev conference called FOSDEM:


I know FOSDEM. Interesting presentation for sure, but this is still very niche, carefully worded. And there’s no app ecosystem at all. In a sense that developers can make a living from it.

1 Like

True! But like FairPhone, I consider it super cool that some people are getting the ecosystem started :slight_smile:

1 Like

Is it a mobile phone you are looking for or just a device that runs GNU/Linux and is more portable than a laptop? If it’s the latter you could check out other projects (like etc.) too.

Or the GPD MicroPC for that matter, this thing is really neat, although I can’t say much about the Ubuntu supposedly running on it, I’m running Windows on it …

1 Like