The community around Linux phones is interesting. The phones do sell to a lot of people, but it seems a lot of those people come back to complain that Linux phones isn't what they expected it is.

For some reason all the distributions for the PinePhone are bending over backwards to provide an android or ios experience on the phone. The operating systems are judged on the amount of apps preinstalled and every tiny issue labels the distribution as completely unusable.

Stability doesn't matter at all, as long as there are features! more features! Doesn't matter there are 20 patches on top of every package and things aren't upstreamed. Doesn't matter if the kernel is full of hacks with no upstream in sight for most things.


There are 6000+ people in the PINE64 discord, 1300+ in the Telegram room for the PinePhone, 3000+ in the Matrix channel and probably there are people in the IRC room. You'd expect some people to actually pick up app development but as far as I can see it's still mostly the same people as a year ago that are developing the operating systems.

Megapixels isn't the best camera application because it's terribly great code or is well designed. It's basically my first C project, first v4l2 project and first GTK3 project but I started it because nobody who actually knows any of these things want to, and so far nobody who knows these things has stepped in to do better (don't worry, I get enough comments that my code is horrible and performance is bad, it's just that nobody has every been able to improve the performance except for Benjamin)

Megapixels has a fully user-configurable post-processing pipeline basically since the start. It allows you do anything you want after clicking the shutter button in the app since it's a shell script. Still people complain about how they don't like that there's an extra file they don't want (the dng) or photo upload is missing. ITS A SCRIPT, CHANGE IT. Do you really want a Linux phone?


There are 18 distributions now for the PinePhone, slightly more if you count derivatives of those distributions. Still people want to create more distributions (mostly from scratch trying to emulate an android/ios experience more) instead of actually implementing missing features in the existing distributions or fixing issues in the upstream applications those use.

Even the distributions that exist don't seem to follow the philosophy of the distributions they are based on. Arch mobile uses pacman and alarm repositories but doesn't ship like Arch Linux does, empty, ready to set-up like you want. Mobian also ships with every app that works preinstalled so it looks less empty. postmarketOS would also be considered bloated by Alpine Linux standards. People even want to use Flutter to make UIs, was the phone lacking in google technologies for your liking?

Having an "one true way" to use the UI and tons of preinstalled apps is the reason I dislike the android ecosystem. But even weirder, there's tons of people asking for Android roms for the PinePhone. What's the point? Do you believe in the church of papa Alphabeticus, the pope of the internet? Have you used Linux at all? Do you really want a Linux phone?

The versus culture

A lot of people still think they need to defend the PinePhone against the Librem 5 or vice versa. Breaking news: you're totally allowed to own both and be happy about it. People keep saying the PinePhone would be nowhere without Purism and that the Librem 5 wouldn't have lasted this long without the PinePhone. The truth is that we need both to succeed, these aren't exclusive options, you're allowed to like both.

It's the community that against "the other side". It's the developers that are actually working together to make something.

There are so many options of software you can install, there are multiple hardware options. People are still complaining to other people that they have chosen wrong. This is Linux, you can do what you want with your device. Do you really want a Linux phone?