Poll: If you could install any mobile operating system

To the contrary: Firefox OS is built around the principle that you can load WebApps from anywhere.

That depends: Most apps are simply websites enriched with offline-storage and icon using XML file placed on the server (yes, that is a bit of a simplification). Installing these apps is not very different to a bookmark and these apps can be on any web server and would be installable.

I do not know if this is the same for “packaged” apps that use access to sensor etc. We should have a look in the Firefox OS Wiki or simply ask them on IRC.

I think you are looking at this from a to technical perspective. Sailfish is a complete operation system developed by a smallish team. It is really independent. CyanogenMod, on the other side, is essentially Android plus some customisation (“Mods”). I suspect most users still install the Google Store, have the Google Play Services etc. They mostly do this to get (1) never version of android for devices not longer regarded by their manufacturer, (2) get a pure android experience without “skins”, (3) because of some useful mods included and possible (4) to get rid of Google Apps. This is roughly the order of reasons is suspect.
Still, the development of the system is largely in Google’s Hand, and i think this is no problem for CyanogenMod, but it somehow makes this less a dedicated OS on its own.

Sailfish (as Ubuntu or Firefox) is largely driven by a Open Source crowd. And all of these have, different, fresh approaches to what a smartphone is and HOW it is used. Sailfish has a very interesting user experience, for example.

It will be tree very soon and four before the end of the year! Two more lower to mid spec from BQ (Spain) with 4,5 and 5inch available today, one from Meizu (China) mid to high specs, that will be released very soon. Those are devices originally designed for Android. BQ is currently developing a fourth device that will be designed for Ubuntu and offer “convergence”, albeitht only limited at start, so you can plug it into your monitor and keyboard and use as PC. This will probably be mid to high spec as well.


For convergence you will want very high specs. And I think convergence also hinges on Canonical getting their stuff done on the software side. As it is atm, convergence is in a very experimental state.


Please correct me if I’m wrong (I don’t know more about Sailfish than what you are writing here and how I interpret it) but isn’t that the worst kind of partially open source software? Getting the benefits of open source (crowd sourcing) but making the User Interface (which I guess they have the copyrights to) proprietary.

Depends on what you do. The FP2 will have same resolution as my desktop monitor and more then my laptop. If you mainly surf the web and edit documents, the Snapdragon 801 for example can be sufficient. Note that i wrote “limited” convergence. And you are absolutely right about the software part. Just saying: Apart from allowing USB keyboard and mice input and using an connector to drive the external instead of the internal display, the CPU/GPU has not more to do then in a smartphone.

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I haven’t posted on the forum before, so am not familiar with replying to different users individual quotes.
Also: I am in no way an expert. Info in this and other posts comes from wikipedia and forums. Also, I have no smartphone atm, mostly because of privacy reasons.

Firefox: yes, I know about the webapps. Still, what I have seen from the firefox marketplace hasn’t impressed me at all. As far as I know, there is no possibility to use: whatsapp, a good mailclient, chat-services like text/chat secure, public transport-apps, etc.

Ubuntu: when I read the user experiences on the fora, ubuntu-touch is very much ‘under construction’. The fact that one can buy a phone (at bq or somewhere else) does not automatically mean its ready for ‘regular’ users who want their phone to ‘just work’. Concerning convergence; I guess the FP2-specs come very close to what is necessary for convergence. Remember that Ubuntu 14.04 works fine on desktop/laptop computers that are 5-6 years old.

Replicant: I’m not very informed here, but from what I know there are only a handful of phones on which replicant has been ported. I also expect the user-base to consist mostly of Free-software-activists with a above-average knowlege about linux.

Sailfish: at least Jolla, the company behind Sailfish has apparantly stated that their aim is to make all code open-sourced, but this is not the case for the moment. I am not sure, what is worse, by the way: to have the UI closed source, or some drivers (as with CM). Maybe there is somehone with the right expertise to comment on this? Also, the UI seems like ‘something special’ that offers a different experience than the one known from apple and android.

Cyanogenmod is very much and very fast developing into a full-blown OS. The amount of telephones that come pre-installed with CM is increased. Also CM is now both community-based, as well as ‘incorporated’. The startup has received millions of dollars of investments (from Microsoft among others). If this is a good thing, btw is up for debate. I personally like the possibility to restrict some apps some rights (Geo-data for example) that and general ‘full-control’ that CM offers to users. I am not sure to what degree Sailfish offers the same. I hope someone can comment on that.


Its probably true that most replicant users are free-software activists or enthusiasts but that might change if it got ported to more (popular) phones.

From Wikipedia:

In November 2013, it was announced that Replicant could work on a Fairphone
 device and that the bootloaders may even be free software. The 
Fairphone team seemed "definitely interested" in helping to get 
Replicant ported to the device.[30] In December 2014, Fairphone admitted that it had failed to convince chipset vendor MediaTek to open up the source code for first-generation Fairphones.

So now that we got rid of Mediatek Replicant on a Fairphone could be possible. :smile:

Also I added a sentence to the original post to make clear what my intention was with this poll:

I agree, it’s probably better to have underlying frameworks, drivers, OS, etc available as open source instead of the other way round (i.e. like it is the case with FP1 where everything is stalled for that reason).

Yeah it may be better in the sense that it is more convenient. But the difference that I think is more important is that Fairphone tried to make everything open but couldn’t, Jolla on the other hand (as far as I understand) took open source software, built upon it and closed their selfmade parts, which I think is a worse philosophy.

I would still disagree: They regulary rebase on Android after major releases and the differences are mostly what you described. Cyanogen is still very much Android.

The marketshare of devices with CyanogenOS (which is NOT the same as CyanogenMod), is unknown, but might in fact be rising. Cyanogen has sadly started to offer extension apps only closed source and for CyanogenOS. I understand that perfectly from the viewpoint Cyanogen, the corporation, and i am fine with that. It is is just a tad confusing.

Just a side note: Finally, something like that will come in Android M, which is the sucessor to Android 5.1. If Fairphone want’s to deliver on software sustainability, that update simply has to be released for FP2 some time in future.

That is not entirely true. There are developes at Jolla that have been working on Mobile linux for years and avid open source contributors to Maemo and Meego and Mer.


You almost tempted me to… :stuck_out_tongue: (On a more serious note, I chose Firefox OS because of its platform-independent webapps).

This poll got mentioned on Twitter by @Jolla_DE :smiley:


Ok now I’m no longer wondering why Sailfish got so many votes. Especially since he makes it sound like this is a democratic election.

But it also shows that Sailfish has some serious supporters :slight_smile: . Would be interesting what happens if the Firefox and Ubuntu communites got involved as well :slight_smile:


Do you think that many people would create an account just for that poll? Are new members even capable of voting during their first day?

It’s hard to say. The last few days a lot more people joined the forum than usually, but I guess that mainly has to do with the new fairphone being announced! :smiley:
But I can see that many of those who joined only viewed one topic, didn’t post anything and spent little time on the forum.

I don’t know if new members can vote but it doesn’t say that they can’t in the topic about trust levels:

PS: I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing that someone recruits sailfish enthusiasts to our forum but this sort of campaigning is one reason why the fairphone team shouldn’t take our poll results at face value.
Polls are just for the community to have fun with and not to make decisions for Fairphone.

PPS: I think its quite obvious that we have a lot more Sailfish enthusiasts now than before the FP2 was announced. In the original poll there are 219 posts by 106 users and only 23 posts (by 18 users) mention “Sailfish”. As opposed to e.g. 28 users mentioning “Ubuntu”, 34 mentioning “Firefox” and 34 mentioning “cyanogen”.


Go with SailfishOS please.


@Niklas_Wallin, welcome to the forum. If you want the Fairphone team to hear you you should contact them directly.
And may I ask you how you found our forum? Are you a potential Fairphone customer or a Sailfish enthusiast who wants to see Sailfish on as many devices as possible?


Voted for Ubuntu, but actually I´m even more interested in two OS´s that are not on the List yet.

First is Silent Sircle (Blackphone OS)

But what i would most love to see is TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) once the mobile Port is ready.
Here is the Latest source i found concerning the mobile port but maybe someone knows more about its current state?

However this leads me to another Question:
Can the Fairphone (1 or 2) boot from a an sd-card, or a usb-drive?


I’m not 100% sure but doubt it. It is very rare for smartphones to really boot from SD-card. You can flash a ROM from an SD-Card but that’s nothing like the TAILS experience where you get a fresh system everytime you boot. You would have to reflash each and everytime.

Edit: There might be ways to do it. You definitely need to flash a different bootloader first though.


Hello, everybody

nice discussions and very good and informative posts here.

I’ve met Fairphone only today and have found this thread looking for Firefox OS support, as I use it since december of 2013.

I wil not make a post advocating for Fairphone to directly support or develop the “bits” needed to have this or another OS running on it’s phone, but instead to stick with as free as possible hardware, firmware and drivers and also be supportive with the teams of each OS so they can do the real implementations easily. Most OS projects have documents like “porting to new hardware”, maybe we could have a list for “porting OSes to fairphone” like a counter-part =)

Kind regards,