Poll: If you could install any mobile operating system

How does Firefox OS work for you?

Firefox OS nowadays is pretty acceptable.
In fact I’ve started using it sooner in 2013 when I got a GeeksPhone Keon borrowed from a friend that earned from Mozilla at Campus Party Brasil.
Since then, Firefox OS have improved very much. I’ve started with version 1.3 on Keon, then in december I got another GeeksPhone, but this time it is a Peak device, with better hardware. I’ve recently updated it to version 2.2, downloaded from GP site and it brings very good improvements (gps now works, navigation is smoothier, the UI is more clean and a lot of other improvements that is being integrated every 6 months or so).
The apps on the marker are also evolving, when I first tried openWapp (https://marketplace.firefox.com/app/openwapp) it could not handle groups at all, but recent versions made it and also to open videos and audio received.
There are alternatives like Telegram app (https://marketplace.firefox.com/app/telegram) that works very well, altough there is only some friends of mine who really use it.
Another nice app is Quake Benchmark (https://marketplace.firefox.com/app/quake-benchmark) that is a 3D world like a quake scenario.
There is also apps for Facebook and YouTube there are the actual mobile site versions registered at the market place. Google Maps site also works well, with GPS location via Geolocation API (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Geolocation/Using_geolocation).

Also, for gamers, there are plenty of mini-games available and things are getting better for 3D games as the Unity engine was ported to Javascript/WebGL using Emscripten (http://blogs.unity3d.com/2014/04/29/on-the-future-of-web-publishing-in-unity/ ) and also there are other improvements on the Javascript world like asm.js (https://hacks.mozilla.org/2015/03/asm-speedups-everywhere/)

There are some bugs with all of this, of course, but I think it worths, because it is a nice eco-system and very free (it is also almos 100% java-free, so you will have less hassle with (re-)licensing)


I chose (Fairphone) Android for a simple and selfish reason: There are millions of apps already available on the various Android stores and trying something newer like Firefox or Ubuntu, although very tempting, means starting from scratch, waiting for developers to come up with equivalent apps, and probably years before the app stores offer a half as comprehensive choice of apps as the Android ones.
Ideally I would like to be able to dual-boot my phone with Android for continuing normal use and another OS for experimentation, just like I do on my PC with Windows and various flavours of Linux.


It really depends on two different cases: On one side, Nowadays, at least in Norway where I live, a mobile phone with android or iOs is really a neccesity, You use it for banking, for public transport, listening to broadcasts etc. etc. so realistically any mobile phone I would ever use needs to be able to run apps from those systems, either natively or emulated
On the other hand, my former mobile phone was a Nokia n900 running maemo which was kind of a wrapping on a full fledged debian system, and running debian on all my home pcs, I really loved using maemo, So for the feeling of use, I’d love to have any system as close to standard linux as possible. - If sailfish is really able to run android apps and what I have heard about it linux compability is true, that is probably my dream mobile OS. - but as other have said, the important ting is to be able to choose.


Well, that has made the poll worthless now. I hope the discussion still has some value…

@Paul: The poll was aimed at the question which OS users would prefer “if a genie or a fairy would grant you that wish”. I would then probably vote for Ubuntu, although the Fairy should grant me three wishes: one about the choice of OS for FP2 and the other being that Ubuntu is all of a sudden a complete OS with perfect convergence with the desktop. A thrid wish would be that Ubuntu would have included the option to restrict privacy settings on individual apps, which I haven’t heard anything about until now.

Related to the above: it seems that there is still a lot that we don’t know about the possibilities of the different OS-es. For example, I thought that Ubuntu also had the possibilitiy for webb-apps. But I am not sure here. Althouth the discussion is already to a large extent hypothetical - first since the list of technical details of FP2 already shows that the OS will be Android 5.1 and second, becuase the different OSes (especially Ubuntu) are in constand development) I would very much like the comparison of the different OS-es to be a factual one: based on current situation and future possibilities. It would be amazing, if the OSes could be compared to the followint qualities:
OS-es listes: one extreme/the other extreme

  1. Openness of OS (how much of the OS is open source) --> Replicant/ Apple
  2. Openness of Apps (how ‘free’ are you to install your own apps) --> Replicant/ Apple
  3. Availability of Apps (how many apps are there?) --> Android / Firefox
  4. Availability to restrict rights to indiv. apps --> CyanogenMod / Android
  5. ‘Android-like’ UI (the grid/tyle system mostly used) --> Android / Ubuntu and Sailfish

Clearly quite a lot of research should be done, since it should go further then what most user (including me) have ‘read on a forum somewhere’. Maybe a similar comparison has already been made elsewhere. I would be really interesting in something like this, if anybody knows a link?

Also, I can inmagine that Fairphone developers are quite interested in the imporance that FP-users put on those individual OS-qualities. I participated in a poll on my personality-type a couple of weeks ago. Maybe something similar could be done about the OS-es: users are asked to divide 10 points between these five - or six or more - qualitites?



Did you mean me? If you type ‘@’ + a name you have to type the exact user name - or select it from the list that pops up - or you can end up summoning a user who hasn’t been active since September '14.

You are right, that would be customary, unfortunately polls with three selections don’t work with our current Discourse version yet.

Indeed that would be cool. Wikipdeias comparison of mobile operating system has some of that information. But:

  • Openness of OS: I guess you can just make categories, but not give a percent value. E.G:
  • 100% free
  • Aims to be 100% free but contains some 3rd party proprietary elements
  • Mostly free and open source, without the expressed goal of being 100% free in the future
  • Partially Open Source
  • Proprietary
  • Openness of Apps: You could either compare the percentage of FOSS apps in the repositories or make categories again:
  • Only 100% free Apps allowed
  • Only 100% free Apps in the official repository but you can download from other sources
  • No restrictions for Apps licenses in repository but proprietary Apps are clearly marked as such.
  • No restrictions
  • Only proprietary Apps
  • Availability of Apps: You can just compare the numbers of Apps available in the repositories and whether you can download from other sources. But I the number will be falsified by the number of useless, buggy and malicious Apps.

My vote goes to SailfishOS, I will purchase the FairPhone 2 if it comes with SailfishOS!


@schept, you may be right with the poll beeing kind of worthless in your context. But on the other hand, usrs like me got introduced to Fairphone this way. I wouldn’t be too sad. see it as a proof of how like minded sailfish and fairphone users seem to be in many regards :wink: opensourcing ui of sailfish, well thats another story. Most sailfish users are willing to believe jollas promise to fully openspource at a point that certain market reach is accomplished. time will tell.

I would buy a fairphone if i only could flash a mint sailfish port to it myself. No need to limit your whole userbase to the choice of one os imho.

Maybe Fairphone could support porters in some way? at least with know how.


@mosen, @WilliePre Welcome to the forum!

This is what we know so far:

Fairphone wants to bring more fairness to software. In line with our
overall design objectives, our strategy for software focuses on
openness, transparency and ownership with which we aim to achieve more
product longevity.
We’re using open source methods to help us achieve our goals. This
includes striving to make our operating system (OS) source code and
development environment available for anyone to use, review, modify and
At the same time, we are looking to collaborate with established
alternative operating system vendors that share our ideas for openness.
We’re in discussions with organizations to develop alternative operating
systems that are optimized for the Fairphone 2. Our aim is to give
users the choice in the operating systems that they want to use, instead
of being limited to one that the manufacturer has pre-selected.


My question is therefore, could anybody please explain the enthusiasm for Sailfish, in comparison to CM? Or am I missing obvious things?

The obvious thing is pretty easy to explain. Its the usability of the phone and the native apps. Cyanogenmod still needs the “horrible to use” Android apps and on my Jolla I mostly use the native apps.
My suggestion is, watch on youtube “how to Sailfish”. I once went Sailfish and will never go Android again.

I chose Ubuntu for me as I use it on my laptop, but I think Firefox OS’s focus on HTML/open standards would be a good choice for the Fairphone and a pragmatic solution to the splintered mobile OS ecosystem as a whole.


Even though Ubuntu Touch isn’t fully ported to the OPO I have it on there, and its running well and I really love the OS, it doesn’t need the ability to turn into a desktop for me, but I like the idea.

I would have been interested in sailfish if it hadn’t been that its only 50% give or take open source, and I feel very lied to by them, they seem dodgy, on the outside advertising as a free alternative and advertising it as open and community friendly, while its far more proprietary then half the OS’s out there, google android with googles apps is less proprietary then that, and that makes me feel uncomfortable, other wise I would have felt more secure with it and interested, but now I’m just fully on board with Ubuntu Touch!


Do you have a source for that estimate? How does one even measure the percentage of openness?

PS: First I didn’t know what you meant with

I guess you meant “on board”, so I fixed that. :wink:

1 Like

I voted for Sailfish as well (and i also strongly support the fairphone). In my opinion, Cyanogen Mod is still too much linked with Android services (that’s why i won’t buy ones).
I’m very enthusiast with Ubuntu phone as well, but it not seems mature enough yet. SailfishOS has already thousand of everyday users and Jolla has demonstrated that an alternative to Android/iOS is viable. In view of their important contribution in several open-source projects (such as Wayland, Qt, Mer), the proprietary UI seems almost irrelevant to the choice…

However, Jolla has published some tools and their documentation to port Sailfish on Android phone… So it could be possible to support both Android-based OS and SailfishOS in order to let the choice to the user.


Other polls similar to this type frequently offer 3 (or some such smaller number based on total number of choices available) choices in 1-2-3 preference to get a better sense of the most popular choices for ranking purposes.

Yes, but like I said unfortunately our current Discourse version (forum’s software) doesn’t support that.

not so much important for me.
I can only said what I don’t want: blackberry, Symbian, windows phone…
I prefer Android/Linux like.

1 Like

For security and privacy reasons


I discovered Fairphone on the Sailfish Jolla forums and think that it would be a great phone to run the Sailfish. The current phone we have is very anemic hardware wise and I would be willing to buy the Fairphone 2 if Sailfish was running on it.


The SailfishOS UI is kind of closed source, but still open to various hackery due to it being written in QML which is stored in plain text on the device, but with some closed compiled C++ backing classes that we dont have access to just yet.

Compared to CyanogenMod you’re right there aren’t a lot of fully ported devices yet, but you can take a look at the current list here. The current porting process however does make use of the CyanogenMod sources, so any device that runs CyanogenMod 11 can potentially run SailfishOS (and Ubuntu).

Advantages are as I see it is that Sailfish is a Glibc based Linux distro, this means you can take any normal open source linux software out there and compile it for Sailfish (you might have fun with some dependencies, but generally is ok) . Additionally a lot of the stack is using Open Source solutions, like Ofono for modem, Connman for network management, Systemd for services, DBus for IPC, Wayland for compositor, messaging system is Telepathy based, the list goes on.

The android layer called alien-dalvik is proprietary however and licensed by Myriad, so make of that what you will.

It’s hard to directly compare SailfishOS and CyanogenMod as they are completely different approaches to creating a Smart Phone OS. CyanogenMod has more features, is more stable, and also has the force of googles code drops to help it along the way. SailfishOS is significantly less mature, but is re-thinking things from the ground up, releases a lot of its own open source software and also contributes upstream to other projects.

I think one of the main reasons for the enthusiasm is that its not Android, and a lot closer to the dream of a Linux smartphone than Android is ever likely to be. Not to mention the residual enthusiasm for Meego which is related in a way.