Android Alternatives: List of Best Open Source Mobile OS

Android is an open-source operating system developed by Google. Android is based on the modified version of the Linux kernel. This OS is designed mainly for touchscreen mobile devices. It was revealed in November 2007, after the launch of Android, the Symbian era came to an end. Currently, Android has 73% of the market share all over the world. However, there is always a demand for Android alternatives for users who like to try something new.

If you are interested in Android alternatives, then there are several alternatives to Android OS that have been made by developers from around the world. Android alternatives OS can be installed on your touchscreen Android smartphone by replacing the Android OS. Your Android device must have root permission to do that. Until you are an expert, We do not recommend you to do this. Installing different OS might brick the device permanently.

Searching for Alternative to Android? You are at the right place. Here we have curated a list of the best open-source mobile OS that turned out to be a great alternative to Android.

Android Alternatives: List of Best Open Source Mobile OS

1. postmarketOS


PostmarketOS is one of the best free and open-source operating systems available primarily for touchscreen smartphones, based on the Alpine Linux distribution. It is still under development and can be installed on touchscreen smartphones. If you are sick of not receiving updates shortly after buying new phones, you can use this mobile OS.

postmarketOS can use various graphical user interfaces or desktop environments, such as Plasma Mobile (KDE), Hildon, LuneOS UI, MATE, GNOME3, and XFCE. This could be an excellent Android alternative. PostmarketOS comes preinstalled in PinePhone. If you want to use this OS, you have to buy a PinePhone smartphone.

2. Plasma Mobile


Plasma Mobile is entirely free and open-source software. Plasma Mobile is currently under heavy development and is not intended to be used as a daily operator. It runs on top of a Linux distribution. Plasma Mobile turns your phone into a fully hackable device. 

There are two methods of installing Plasma Mobile on your Android device. The first method is the installation from PosmartketOS and the second method is installation through the Halium Project. We do not recommend you to install Plasma Mobile on any Android device. To use Plasma Mobile, you can buy PinePhone.

3. Mobian OS


Mobian is a new open-source Linux-based smartphone OS based on Debian. Basically, it is a set of software that makes it possible to run the popular Debian operating system on a smartphone or tablet. The developers did that by adding the Phosh user interface to Debian. In Mobian OS, you will get a set of mobile apps for web browsing, file management, gaming, communications, and more.

It uses the .deb packaging format to share all software. Mobian image can be installed on the Pinephone. There are plans to bring the software to the Librem 5 smartphone and PineTab tablet as well. However, there is a lot to develop in Mobian OS. The supported app includes Firefox, Calls, Files, Telegram, a media player, a text editor, and more.

4. LineageOS


LineageOS is an open-source operating system for smartphones, tablets, and computers based on Android. It is one of the best open-source mobile OS and can be the best Android alternative. It is the most popular custom ROM, as an open-source firmware, with over 2.6 million active users. It started its journey under the name Cyanogen. It was released in 2009 for HTC models Dream and Magic.

Lineage OS has broad support that extends to over 190 mobile devices. Moreover, LineageOS even preserves compatibility for some older models like Nexus6. It can be installed in the Android devices of almost all major manufacturers, including Samsung, Google, Motorola, and OnePlus.

5. GrapheneOS


GrapheneOS is open-source privacy and security-focused Mobile OS for smartphones. It is compatible with several Google Pixel smartphones and some others as well. It does not have Google Play services. It's possible to install Play services as a set of fully sandboxed apps without special privileges through sandboxed Play services compatibility layer.

GrapheneOS has two supported installation methods. The first method by using a WebUSB-based installer. The second method by using a command-line installation guide aimed at more technical users.

These are some best open source mobile OS and good Android alternatives as well. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section.

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