An old cell phone is like a raspberry pi, if a pi had a built in touchscreen, camera, microphone, battery, wifi, and gps.
When I get one in I immediately install Xubuntu from a USB stick and do a total wipe.
(If you do this, get a real ASUS power supply. The cheapo ones with no brand and no UL certification overheat. Fires have been reported.)
Very very happy to know there's alpine for phones now.
I long for the day where I can have the same feeling on my phone.
Rooting it is straightforward, and the first thing I did was to install a firewall, and AdAway (so I get system wide ad-blocking and tracker-blocking). It's an incredible feeling that for the first time in forever I'm more in charge of what my phone does.
The only caveat is that the support from LineageOS for less popular phones isn't great (unless you get lucky!) but if it does work on your phone, absolutely go for it.
An interesting ticket  is to try and boot devices using an upstream kernel. This would enhance the utility of older devices, given the community fork of Ubuntu  is abandoning devices stuck on a Jelly Bean kernel (v3.4) without serious back-porting.
It has a very concise, cross-platform GUI DSL ("inherited" from Rebol) which requires a 1MB runtime only on top of the host OS' GUI system.
Look what can you build in ~7kB which can run on top of a 1MB runtime, not a 100MB browser...
A few years ago I've actually built an iPhone app launcher simulator in a few kilobytes which looked exactly the same on a PPC iBook, an x86 Mac Mini or a Windows PC...
> For Linux folks, sorry guys, the GUI support is not yet ready for prime time, though in the meantime, you could use Wine, Red GUI usually runs just fine on it.
With the PC/x86 architecture, you had a pretty basic standard. Even if you had things like a PCI modem that didn't work or an unsupported Ethernet card, you could always at least get a Linux distribution to boot on any PC. There are x86 systems that aren't PCs (PS4, Wonderswan, etc.) and it was the PC/BIOS standard that really paved the way for Linux back in the 90s/2000s.
I wish Windows would unlock their bootloaders. ARM+UEFI seems like the perfect platform for easily creating alternative OSes. Microsoft barely has a mobile market. They should really open their devices to the community.
One of our goals is packaging all sorts of user interfaces, and ubports is one of them (but it depends on individual developers, if they actually want to do it, because developers are encouraged to work on what they like most):
As for the Alpine Linux it's based on, that stuff is seriously nifty in its own right. Any old decrepit box is a decent server with Alpine on it.
They do not support full disk encryption, although it has been asked for by the community for ages.
Also Sailfish tries to abstract components from Android with libhybris. I wanted to have a real Linux distribution, which does not need some sort of Android compatibility layer to actually work, or else it would just run behind Android and the phone industry (as I've worded it in the introduction post of pmOS).
MeeGo has its last release from 2012 (according to Wikipedia), so one would need to update everything first, deal with the legacy stuff that it brings and fully maintain it from there. By using an alive desktop/server Linux distribution all the regular distro maintenance does not need to be done, it just needs to be bent to run on phones.
Finally there is the pmbootstrap component. I've started scripting everything before I developed it and realized, that I need a real program that abstracts all the bootstrapping and cross-compiling. The result is, that you can install it on any Linux distribution, that runs Python 3.4 and OpenSSL, and it sets up all the crosss-compilers and else everything you need in chroots. I haven't seen any other of the existing projects doing something like that.
(We also have the deviceinfo files, and the one-package-per-device thing, which I haven't seen anywhere else.)
What these projects can share is mainlining kernels at least, and there could be more. We have heavily documented what we do and I hope that this will prove to be useful to other projects as well.
This is really exciting!
If there is a way for a laymen to help please provide some guidance, I'm comfortable tinkering around with Linux and breaking and fixing things but this looks a bit over my head.
Keep up the great work!
I would love to use a phone in that manner. in the same way I built my own desktop to connect to the internet.
Even if you can spend "only" one weekend on it, it would hep porting to your phone immensely. As we document our progress in a device specific page, someone else can pick it up from there and advance your port!
Get started here:
Google is going to have to save Android Things from the same fate or we'll have billions of unpatched IoT devices.
Without diagnosing Android One, Nexus, Android Silver, etc. and why they all failed - not to mention Cyanogen - why do two guys with a Linux distro think they will succeed?
The big difference compared with Android and everything based on Android/AOSP is, that we keep the effort for each device minimal. Read the introduction post for more information: https://ollieparanoid.github.io/post/postmarketOS/
I do wonder if using linux will make battery management hard
All you need is some Linux knowledge, and we will help you with the process in the irc/matrix channel.
Even if you can't get very far, it helps the next guy who picks up your work and starts from there. That's why we document our progress on a device-specific wiki page:
Um. That could be a problem.
My guess is that FB, Mail, Whatsapp, Twitter/insta/Snap, and news apps make up the top 5.