Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, July 3, 2020 at 17:15

I found my community at Mastodon. They share a lot about Ubuntu Phone - particularly Ubuntu Touch operating system and its current maintainer The UBPorts Project and the hardware maker PINE64. Fortunately unexpected, two interesting things come - the arrival of Volla and also Fairphone which want to be the next Ubuntu Phone and powered with the Touch. These are interesting to cover in a short summary so this article is for you who are interested in Ubuntu Phone once again. Let's go!

Photo by Ernmander at Mastodon
(Ubuntu Phones - photo by Ernmander from Mastodon published January this year republished here with his permission)

In The Beginning

Ubuntu Phone was Canonical's idea to begin with at 2011 - same years when Unity first introduced - and unfortunately abandoned at 2017. The concept was Convergence, the mobile operating system was Ubuntu Touch, and the hardware was Ubuntu Edge. Canonical wants Ubuntu mobile to work magically on desktop and laptop just by plug and play. They made a legendary crowdfunding that was closed with twelve million dollars and twenty thousands of comments. In the reality, Ubuntu Touch successfully powered BQ Aquaris, Meizu, and Galaxy phones. In the end, Canonical Ltd. as Ubuntu company discontinued Ubuntu for phone in favor of Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT.
However, Ubuntu Phone apparently survives today not in Canonical's hand but in a small project called UBPorts who is doing everything to continue development of the Touch operating system and engage with device makers to make Ubuntu Phone real. It is truly exciting! Now we can see UBPorts efforts bear fruits as one by one Phones coming from PinePhone, Volla, FairPhone, and more.

And for me myself, actually I have no interest in mobile phone as I am dedicated only in desktop computer field. However, if it is Ubuntu Touch we are talking about, then I am interested, and will be highly more interested when the hardware coming from our own Free/Libre Open Source Software community like Purism and PINE64. Thanks to people I mentioned in the Acknowledgement section, and thanks to Mastodon social media, I found Ubuntu Phone once again and now excited to convey this to the world. Last month I made a toot at Mastodon which surprisingly got many responses and it is the inspiration for this article. Hello world, this is Canonical's dream comes true!

1. UBPorts and Ubuntu Touch

Visit - The UBPorts Project along with The UBPorts Foundation continue the open collaborative development of Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system and its user interface Lomiri (formerly called Unity8). One of amazing things created by UBPorts is easy OS installation procedure where we just install a software in computer then connect a supported phone device and click to install Ubuntu Touch into that device - very different to experiences we might have with Android 'custom roms flashing'. They are active at Mastodon (news) and Pixelfed (photos).

The installer in action:

(Ubuntu Touch installation from laptop to tablet - Photo by Ernmander originally published at Mastodon republished here with his permission)

UBPorts official photos showcase:

User testimony on how easy it is to install the OS:

2. PINE64, PinePhone, PineTab, and Ubuntu Touch

Visit and their store - PINE64 is a promising computer manufacturer which focuses on ARM rather than PC architecture and they make PineBook the laptops, PinePhone the phones, and PineTab the tablets with official support for GNU/Linux operating systems. The good news is that they sell PinePhone Ubuntu Touch editions! Another good news is that their products are interestingly inexpensive. To order their Ubuntu Phone, visit their store link above.

Everyone wants to know about PINE64 PinePhone Ubuntu Touch should look at Aral Balkan's toot:

Video by Martijn can depict user experience of Ubuntu Phone these days:

3. Volla Phone and Ubuntu Touch

Visit and - Volla is a new German startup who make secure phones via crowdfunding and they already ship Volla Phones with Volla OS and Ubuntu Touch in partnership with UBPorts. You can preorder one at Indiegogo link above and select Ubuntu Touch as the operating system choice.

Volla Phone website with Ubuntu Touch:

Volla preorder with Ubuntu Touch:

4. Fairphone and Ubuntu Touch

Visit and store - Fairphone is a phone maker company which focuses on life environment and making their hardware free software friendly. The second edition is the device promoted officially by UBPorts. However, unlike PINE64, Fairphone does not ship officially with Ubuntu Touch - that means we must install it manually after purchasing. To buy one you can go to the store link above.

Promoted by UBPorts themselves:

Photos from 2016:

5. OnePlus and Ubuntu Touch

Visit UBports Device Info - OnePlus is a Chinese phone maker company which the hardware are able to handle free software operating systems. Ubuntu Touch can run the best on the OnePlus One and it is currently 1st rank device according to UBPorts. You can buy one secondhand in the device info link above.

The phone:

Currently ranked 1st device:

6. Purism, Librem Phone, and Ubuntu Touch

It is amazing to see that even Purism, the maker of Librem and PureOS, interested in producing Ubuntu Phone as well that in 2018 they announced collaboration with UBPorts. Unfortunately, it seems now in 2020 the products are either not available anymore or the collaboration got cancelled. However, the idea is familiar - as Purism Librem also came to us via crowdfunding - and the phone design is adorable. I believe Canonical's crowdfunding - although unsuccessful - still inspired many of us including Purism too.

7. More Devices

Actually, there are more Ubuntu Touch devices in reality thanks to people made experiments with their devices such as:

Sony Xperia:


Something fun but very meaningful:

I believe all these can invite you curiosity once again in Ubuntu Phone.


  • @Ernmander at Mastodon who inspired me highly to write this article thanks to his Ubuntu Touch photos.
  • @PINE64 at Mastodon too
  • @UBPorts at Mastodon as well who pioneered these all and made great efforts to save Ubuntu Phone.
  • @TuxPhones at Mastodon who specifically conveys news about Ubuntu Touch, /e/, postmarketOS, SailfishOS along with PinePhone, Fairphone and others in this field.
  • @Kapper at Mastodon once again who has tremendous amount of experiments and presentations of Ubuntu Phone alike devices.

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.