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30 October 32010 / Robin Wellner

Concept: Hack-o-phone

Not  a Hack-o-phone

This is not an actual Hack-o-phone, but an image found on

Another crazy idea of mine: a Linux-based smartphone OS. But what about Android? Well, the half-hearted Google backlash in the Free world might be not very happy with such a Google-centric phone OS. I know there are many other parties in the Open Handset Alliance, but still.

So why not a new, “clean” Linux-based phone OS? Made by and for hackers from the beginning, just like Linux itself. No companies, containing only Free software in the strictest sense of the term. Having a focus on having a stable, functional and good-looking terminal, and the GUI being made up of very experimental functions and usage patterns (which the intended audience will probably love). Applications written in Lua (since it is small, fast and able to run on pretty much anything), distributed in both a centralized and a decentralized fashion (similar to how package management works on most modern Linux distributions).

This is only a vague, crazy idea, but do you think it can have any chance of existing? Will its probably lack of cooperation with hardware vendors spell its death? It may be possible, I’m not familiar with smartphones and how easy or hard it is to put a home-grown OS on it. Will it be ignored, because there are simply not enough people interested in this? What do you think?


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