Mobian logo, with the Debian ragged spiral replacing the "o" in "Mobian"
Launcher, showing all applications
DeveloperMobian community,
Debian community
OS familyLinux
Source modelOpen-source
Marketing targetSmartphones, tablets, mobile devices
Available inMultilingual
Update methodgraphical update manager, image-based updates, apt-get
Package managerapt
Kernel typeLinux kernel
user interface
Graphical (Native and Web applications)
LicenseMainly the GPL and various other open source licenses
Official website,

Mobian is a project to port the Debian GNU/Linux distribution running the mainline Linux kernel to smartphones and tablets.[2] The project was announced in 2020.[3] It is available for the PinePhone, PineTab, Librem 5, OnePlus 6/6T and Pocophone F1.[4] Droidian is a version of Mobian which runs top of Android's variant of the Linux kernel and the Libhybris and Halium adaptation layer, and works with devices which are supported by Ubuntu Touch. It can be installed using UBports installer.


Mobian is maintained by two teams, Mobian, and DebianOnMobile. DebianOnMobile maintains upstreamed parts.[5]

Software stack

As software stack Mobian uses the Phosh (Phone shell) graphical system developed by Purism, which is based on GTK.[6] It aims to integrate Phosh with Debian, to the extent that the need for Mobian's customizations will be minimized.[7] While all Debian apps can be installed on a mobile running Mobian, some will not work usably on the small-form-factor screen.[8][9] There is a set of apps that have been adapted to work on a small touch screen,[8] and which provide basic functionality. Many are GNOME-based.[10] The project maintains a list of apps that work well on its wiki.[9]

Initially Mobian based on Debian stable, in August 2021 Mobian switched to being based on the Debian testing distribution.[11] However in 2023, the first Mobian stable version was released, based on Debian stable again.[12]

Supported hardware

Initially Mobian was developed for the Librem 5 and the Pinephone which were designed to support Linux.[13] In May 2020, Pine64 announced availability of Mobian for PinePhone.[14] On 18 January 2021, the Mobian "Community Edition" Pinephone was released, an edition selling with Mobian pre-installed, and donating $10 US of the phone purchase cost to the Mobian developers.[6][15] Later Mobian announced support for the PineTab, a tablet, and the Pinephone Pro.[16] Mobian also supports the OnePlus 6/6T and Pocophone F1 Android phones with the mainline Linux kernel.[16]

Juno computer released a x86-based tablet with Mobian preinstalled to preorder in October 2022.[17]


In June 2020, writing for Fossbytes, Sarvottam Kumar wrote about how Mobian aims to bring Debian 11 Bullseye to mobile ARM64 devices by creating custom images for installation.[2] Linuxnews said it had a broad variety of apps, but the battery life on a Pinephone, at 4–6 hours, was still too low.[8]

As of June 2020, Mobian is waitlisted for DistroWatch coverage.[18]

In July 2020, Jean-Luc Aufranc in CNX Software article called it "a work in progress" he said it was "interesting" that it uses Purism's Phosh interface, and while it includes many apps, several functions were broken or unreliable.[13] Marius Nestor of 9to5Linux wrote about availability of Mobian as an alternative to postmarketOS on PinePhone. He said there were many apps available, but also many were not optimized for mobile devices.[9]

In October 2020, Linuxnews described Mobian as better than Ubuntu Touch but not as up-to-date as Arch Linux on the Pinetab.[19]

In January 2021, Pine64 announced sales of PinePhones with "Mobian Community Edition" installed.[20] Niklas Dierking wrote in about Pine64's announcement of availability of PinePhones with Mobian in two different hardware configurations, based on Pine64's announcement.[6]

In January 2021 Matteo Gatti of Linux Freedom wrote a detailed review of Pinephone with Mobian OS.[21]

In August 2021, Jean-Luc Aufranc of CNX Software recommended Mobian as "most stable OS" for using PinePhone as a mobile hotspot, in a detailed review of software and hardware.[22]

In September 2021, in a detailed review of PinePhone for Hackaday, Bryan Cockfield wrote about experimenting with, and switching to Mobian, or "mobile Debian". He called the ability to SSH into it like any other computer and install software with apt "excellent features" which "worked surprisingly well" for the Kodi media player.[23]

As of March 2023, Droidian, a mobile operating system based on Mobian, is waitlisted for DistroWatch coverage.[24]


  1. ^ "Mobian Team / mobian-logo". Debian Salsa.
  2. ^ a b "Mobian OS For PinePhone Aims To Bring Debian Linux To Mobile Devices". Fossbytes. 2020-06-20. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  3. ^ "There was OS for smartphones based on Debian Linux". Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  4. ^ "devices [Mobian Wiki]". Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  5. ^ "Mobian - Debian Wiki". Retrieved 2023-05-30.
  6. ^ a b c online, heise (January 20, 2021). "Debian in der Hosentasche: PinePhone Community-Edition mit Mobian vorgestellt". heise online (in German). Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  7. ^ "intro [Mobian Wiki]".
  8. ^ a b c "Mobian auf dem PinePhone". LinuxNews (in German). 21 June 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Nestor, Marius (2020-07-09). "Mobian Project Wants to Bring Debian GNU/Linux to Mobile Devices". 9to5Linux. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  10. ^ Gatti, Matteo (21 June 2020). "Mobian OS sul PinePhone: Debian sbarca sugli smartphone". Linux Freedom (in Italian).
  11. ^ "To Bullseye and beyond! // Mobian's Blog".
  12. ^ "A look back in the mirror... And a glimpse of the future!". Archived from the original on 2023-10-10.
  13. ^ a b Aufranc (CNXSoft), Jean-Luc (2020-07-10). "Debian based Mobian Linux OS Brings Librem 5 Phosh Shell to Pinephone - CNX Software". CNX Software - Embedded Systems News. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  14. ^ "May Update: PineTab pre-orders, PinePhone Qi charging & more!". PINE64. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  15. ^ "What is Mobian? // Mobian's Blog".
  16. ^ a b Kumar, Sarvottam (10 September 2020). "Mobian OS For PinePhone Now Available For Linux Tablet 'PineTab'". Fossbytes. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  17. ^ Wallen, Jack. "Juno Computers Announces New Tablet for Preorder » Linux Magazine". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  18. ^ " Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". Retrieved 2023-05-26.
  19. ^ Thommes, Ferdinand (19 October 2020). "PineTab Linux-Tablet mit Mobian und Arch Linux ARM". LinuxNews (in German). Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  20. ^ "Mobian Community Edition". PINE64. January 18, 2021. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  21. ^ Gatti, Matteo (2021-01-17). "Pine64, arriva la quinta edizione del PinePhone con Mobian OS". Linux Freedom (in Italian). Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  22. ^ Aufranc (CNXSoft), Jean-Luc (2021-08-08). "How to use PinePhone as a mobile hotspot - CNX Software". CNX Software - Embedded Systems News. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  23. ^ By (2021-09-02). "Pining For A De-Googled Smartphone". Hackaday. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  24. ^ " Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". Retrieved 2023-05-26.