Plasma Mobile – A Mobile KDE Linux Project


If you ask most people walking the streets of any major city in the world which mobile operating system they’re running, chances are the answers would be iOS, Android or Windows Phone. The world’s top three mobile operating systems may dominate the market by shear numbers but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other alternatives being developed and researched. That’s where Plasma Mobile comes in, a mobile KDE Linux project that’s absolutely free.

Google’s own Android is based off of a Linux kernel and while the base of Android is open source, Google still holds some things close to the vest. The developers over at KDE are looking to provide the entire operating system for free and other developers are welcome to assist in the development and share with the community. Overall Plasma Mobile isn’t as polished as Android, iOS or Windows Phone, but it is still in prototype stage and is undergoing testing. Let’s take a look at what Plasma Mobile offers.

Plasma Mobile offers…

  • Freedom. Plasma Mobile is Free and Open Source software. It can be acquired free of charge, with the power and licensed rights to change it in any way, to redistribute it and to understand how it works.
  • User-friendliness. Plasma Mobile is designed via an open process, making sure that the requirements and wishes of users are heard and implemented in the best possible way. Ergonomy and integration across devices on top of a high quality software stack provides a stable, rich and reliable system that helps users get things done efficiently and effectively.
  • Privacy. Plasma Mobile integrates with services trusted by the user. Instead of depending on claims from hardware or operating system vendors, trust is based on software that has been audited in an open development process, Free and Open Source software that can be combined with services from trusted sources, including those of one’s own.
  • Customization and personalization. Plasma Mobile has been built with modularity from the ground up. From the wallpaper and the Look and Feel to lower-level system components, almost every aspect of the system can be customized.

Plasma Mobile’s intention is to be an inclusive operating system that will support a myriad of apps (native apps are done in Qt) including GTK, Android apps, Ubuntu apps, and many more. For you developers out there who would like to check the software out, there is a prototype program running now, just hit the source link to contact the Plasma devs.

Plasma Mobile is available as a developer prototype running on an LG Nexus 5 smartphone. It can make and receive phone calls. It provides a workspace to manage the system, and a task switcher to control and navigate apps on the device. There are also x86 builds, suitable for an ExoPC, for example, which can be useful for testing. Several apps have been included—both native and 3rd party—in the device images to allow the system to be tested and improved.

While this OS isn’t one of the big three it is refreshing to see developers working on alternate mobile operating systems. Continued development is essential to drive innovation within the broader mobile space and even small outfits like Plasma Mobile play an important role in that.

What do you think of Plasma Mobile? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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Last Updated on November 27, 2018.


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