A big selling point of the PinePhone is that it supports the mainline Linux kernel, thus traditional Linux distros and regular desktop Linux software.
Now, desktop Linux apps are rarely tailored for touch input on a desktop, laptop or tablet screen, much less touch input on a space constrained mobile one.
But the ability to run Linux apps on the PinePhone device is something a fair few folks are curious about.
The video below, filmed by developer Martijn Braam, shows Firefox, GIMP and a Qt5 Matrix client all running on a developer version of the PinePhone running postmarketOS.
PostmarketOS is billed as a “real Linux distribution for phones”. It’s based on Alpine Linux, has its own packages, and, can be used with the Plasma Mobile interface on top.
As mentioned, trying to run desktop software on a 5.9-inch screen isn’t my idea of fun (one imagines things might be a bit more usable when the phone is in landscape mode) but there’s a rough glint of potential there — and that excites me.
And don’t forget that a crop of GNOME apps are adding “responsive” UIs for use on the Purism Librem 5. There’s no reason why those apps couldn’t be ported to run on postmarketOS too.
Sadly postmarketOS as a mobile OS isn’t considered ready for daily driver use. Heck, it can’t even make calls at, according to the website. So, while this tech demo is interesting, it’s probably not the system we’ll see the phone ship with in the new year.