11 Open Source Mobile Operating Systems

Now there has been increase in large number of smart phones in the last few years. So for those smart phones there is necessarily to be best Operating system to make the smart phones the best. Some companies like apple create Operating systems for their phones by themselves and some companies use the Operating systems from other software companies.

So in that trend there has also been in the increase of different Mobile Operating System, Some are premium, Some are Open-source and free whether some are closed-source. So in this post we are talking about the Open-source mobile operating system available of all time according to different types of phone models.

Open source logo


Android is the most popular mobile OS these days, initially developed by Android Inc which is based on modified version of Linux Kernal. It was first released on 21 October 2008. It is a free and Opensource project licence under Apache 2.0 and GNU General Public License v2. It supports mobile platforms like ARM, MIPS, Power Architecture and x86(citation needed). Android OS is programmed in C (core), C++ (some third party libraries) and Java (UI) with the graphical user interface. Now it is the part of Google and some examples of the phones powered by Android OS are Google Nexus one and Samsung Galaxy.Lot of developments are undergoing on android and presently the Android jellybean version is running on the new generation smartphones.

Firefox OS

Firefox OS is a new mobile operating system developed by the famous Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko (B2G) project.It comes with Linux kernel and boots into a Gecko-based runtime engine.Firefox OS support applications of  HTMLJavaScript, and other open web application APIs.Firefox OS currently undergoing heavy development and we can expect Firefox OS powered devices this summer.

Ubuntu mobile

Ubuntu Mobile is a Mobile OS released on June 2008 under the GNU GPL licence by the Ubuntu Canonical Ltd who also develops popular Linux Based OS for desktop computers. It was planned to run on the Intel Mobile Internet Device platform, x86 mobile computers based on the Intel Atom processor.Unfortunately this project has been discontinued.But in year 2013 Canonical announced the Ubuntu Mobile project again and this time it looks like a completely revamped attempt and it comes with everything the developer need from a mobile platform.

Symbian OS

Symbian is a Microkernal based Mobile Operating system with associated libraries, user interface, frameworks and reference implementations of common tools and was originally developed by Symbian ltd. It was acquired by Nokia in 2008 and made royalty-free and Opensource software under the EPL licence by Nokia in February 2010. It is also programmed in C++ and supports platforms like ARM and x86. It has default graphical user interface S60 platform, UIQ and MOAP.


Meego is a linux based Mobile Operating system developed under the joint venture of  Nokia, Intel, Linux foundation and Meego community. It is a opensource project programmed in C++ and supports processors like ARM and x86. MeeGo handset UX is based on Qt, but GTK+ and Clutter will be included to provide compatibility for Moblin applications.

Bada SDK

Bada is a mobile Operating System being developed by Samsung electronics for the Samsung mobile phones. It is a Opensource software designed to cover both from Smart phones to lower-end features phone. It is also a Linux kernal based OS and supports ARM platforms only. The example of phone powered by Bada OS is Samsung Wave S8500.

Openmoko linux

Openmoko is a Linux kernal based Opensource Mobile Operating system developed by Openmoko project. Openmoko Linux uses the Linux kernel, GNU libc, the X.Org server plus their own graphical user environment built using the EFL toolkit, GTK+ toolkit, Qt toolkit and the illume window manager .The OpenEmbedded build framework and Opkg are used to create and maintain software packages. The Openmoko development has not been discontinued due to financial problems.


CyanogenMod is an aftermarket firmware based on Android Operating System. It is an Opensource software released under Apache 2 and GPL V2 licence. . It offers features not found in the official Android-based firmwares including support for the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), multi-touch, the ability to store and run downloaded applications from the microSD card, compressed cache , a large APN list, a reboot menu, support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB tethering, as well as other enhancements.


OPhone is a Linux-based smartphone software platform developed by China Mobile and based on the Android operating system developed by Google. OPhone is based on open source software and mobile internet technologies. It supports ARM, MIPS, Power Architecture and x86 platforms.


SHR (formerly Stable Hybrid Release) is a community-driven Linux distribution for smartphones which is based on the FSO framework. Several different graphical toolkits are made available, such as GTK+, Qt and more. It is a opensource software released under the GNU licence and also available in multi-language. It is powered with Enlightenment’s Illume 2 uder interface and supports ARM platforms only.


WebOS is Palm’s proprietary mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel. It is actually a Closed Source software, with some open source aspects released under GPL licence. webOS’s graphical user interface is designed for use on devices with touchscreens. The examples of phone powered by WebOS is Palm pre.

Here we listed out the mostly known open source mobile platforms,let me know if we missed out any newer ones !

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