Way back in February we (briefly) touched on the sterling community work being done to get Ubuntu up and running on the Fairphone 2.
That porting effort is being driven by awesomely productive Marius Gripsgård.
Marius is the man behind the UbPorts project, a community-supported Ubuntu Phone porting effort that also provides work-in-progress builds for the Nexus 5, OnePlus One and OnePlus X handsets.
Back in February the port was a little rough around the edges, with many key features not working (or working poorly). The port is now said to be roughly 70% complete, as Fairphone was happy to demo on its social media accounts this weekend (see image right).
Front and rear cameras and the GPS are two features still in need of fixing, so if you rely on accurate location detection or like to snap the odd selfie you’re best holding off for a little while longer.
Fairphone Won’t Be Selling Ubuntu Phones
The Fairphone 2 has a 5-inch FHD IPS display and runs on a quad-core Qualcomm Krait 400 processor @ 2.26GHz. It has 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC storage. It retails from €525 in the European Union.
But before you (or anyone else reading this) gets too excited Fairphone thinking they’ll be able to buy one of these decently spec’d phones pre-loaded with Ubuntu, I should remind you that Fairphone has no plans to ship Ubuntu on their hardware.
They said as much back in February, and they said as much again this week, noting that while they’d “love” to ship Ubuntu on their hardware, efforts such as this one “will stay a community project for the foreseeable future.”
Not a big surprise. The company is a small, but dedicated one. It has to provide ongoing support for its two Android-based OSes on two ethically produced smartphones. Their sales figures are impressive with more than 100,000 Fairphones sold so far.
The company is heavily rumoured to be planning a commercial release of its Fairphone 2 handset running Jolla’s (largely forgotten, and soon to be far more open-source friendly) Sailfish OS.
Interestingly, the Fairphone Sailfish OS port also began life as a community project. So, Ubuntu + Fairphone fans needn’t say never…