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Home » PostmarketOS 23.12 is Here: Breathing New Life into Smartphones

PostmarketOS 23.12 is Here: Breathing New Life into Smartphones

After six months of development, the postmarketOS team has released version 23.12, bringing the power and flexibility of Linux to a wider range of mobile devices than ever before.

For years, smartphone users have been at the mercy of manufacturer whims and limited lifecycles. PostmarketOS shatters these constraints, offering an independent, community-driven Linux distribution specifically tailored for smartphones and tablets. Think of it as a second life for your beloved device, free from bloatware, outdated software, and manufacturer control.

PostmarketOS 23.12: Key updates

Expanded Device Support and a Unified Environment

PostmarketOS 23.12 increases the roster of officially supported devices from 31 to an impressive 54, including additions like Xiaomi Mi A1, Mi A2 Lite, and the ODROID XU4 board. Notably, the release introduces support for Chromebook laptops, expanding the OS beyond smartphones.

Added devices in this release:

  • Xiaomi Mi A1
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2/Y2
  • Google Chromebook with CPU x64
  • Google Chromebook
  • Google Kukui Chromebook
  • Google Oak Chromebook
  • Google Trogdor Chromebook
  • Google Veyron Chromebook
  • Samsung Chromebook
  • Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6″
  • ODROID XU4

Complete supported device list:

  • ASUS MeMO Pad 7
  • Arrow DragonBoard 410c
  • BQ Aquaris X5
  • Fairphone 4
  • Google Chromebooks with x64 CPU new
  • Google Gru Chromebooks new
  • Google Kukui Chromebooks new
  • Google Oak Chromebooks new
  • Google Trogdor Chromebooks new
  • Google Veyron Chromebooks new
  • Lenovo A6000
  • Lenovo A6010
  • Motorola Moto G4 Play
  • Nokia N900
  • ODROID XU4 new
  • OnePlus 6
  • OnePlus 6T
  • PINE64 PinePhone
  • PINE64 PinePhone Pro
  • PINE64 Pinebook Pro
  • PINE64 RockPro64
  • Purism Librem 5
  • SHIFT6mq
  • Samsung Chromebook new
  • Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6″ new
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2015)
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2015)
  • Samsung Galaxy E7
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Max
  • Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9300 and SHW-M440S)
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Value Edition
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0″
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1″
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7
  • Wileyfox Swift
  • Xiaomi Mi A1 new
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite new
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime new
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus new
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 new
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2/Y2 new
Phosh by GNOME in PostmarketOS
Phosh by GNOME in PostmarketOS

A distinguishing feature of PostmarketOS is its commitment to a unified environment. Device-specific components are neatly packaged, allowing for identical builds across diverse devices. The release caters to a broad spectrum of user preferences with main user shells such as KDE Plasma Mobile, Phosh, GNOME Mobile, and Sxmo. Moreover, users have the flexibility to install other environments like MATE and Xfce.

PostmarketOS 23.12 running in Samsung Chromebook
PostmarketOS 23.12 running in Samsung Chromebook

Additional updates

  1. Kernel and Package Updates: The Linux kernel has been updated to release 6.6, and the package database is synchronized with Alpine Linux 3.19.
  2. GNOME Mobile Updates: The GNOME Mobile user environment receives an update, migrating components to the GNOME Shell 45 branch.
  3. Phosh Environment Upgrade: The Phosh environment, developed by Purism for the Librem 5 smartphone, jumps to version 0.33. This release introduces features such as password visibility in input fields, screen lock mode control, advanced sound settings, and enhanced notification handling.
  4. KDE Plasma Mobile and Sxmo Updates: The KDE Plasma Mobile shell sees an upgrade to version 5.27.10, while the Sxmo graphical shell adopts version 1.15 with added support for devices featuring electronic paper-based screens.
  5. Enhanced Security and Functionality: PostmarketOS 23.12 prioritizes security with an interface for encrypted partitions using the unl0kr on-screen keyboard. Network access via USB has been optimized with a shift from RNDIS to NCM. Loupe replaces Eye of GNOME as the default image viewer in Phosh and GNOME environments.
  6. Improved Update Process: The release introduces checks for boot partition size and addresses issues with mirrors lacking the “alpine/” directory in their URL. The update process now boasts enhanced reliability.
  7. Innovative Features: Noteworthy additions include the option for swap partition compression using zRAM technology, activated through the “rc-update add zram-init default” command. Future releases plan to enable zRAM automatically.

That’s about the summary of the new key features of this release.

Head over to the postmarketOS website to find compatible devices, download installation images, and join the vibrant community.

New Installation

For new installs, see download and make sure to read the wiki page for your device.

Upgrade

For existing installations, see the upgrade to a newer postmarketOS release wiki article.

Recommended manual steps after upgrading:

Summary

In summary, PostmarketOS 23.12 marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Linux on mobile devices, offering increased device support, refined user interfaces, and robust security measures. As the project continues to push boundaries, you can anticipate even more customization options and enhanced stability in future releases. Imagine the possibilities: repurposing old phones, experimenting with different Linux flavours, and enjoying a secure, privacy-conscious mobile experience.

Via official release announcement.

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