Mobian is a project that transforms the Debian GNU/Linux distribution into a mobile-friendly operating system by bundling Debian with a phone-friendly user interface and a selection of mobile apps.
First launched this summer as an image that can be installed on the PinePhone, the developers of Mobian have announced that the operating system is now available for the PineTab as well. You can find the latest nightly installation images at the Mobian website.
Mobian uses Purism’s phosh phone shell which has been optimized for small, touchscreen displays. It uses a Wayland compositor and GNOME technologies including GTK and GSettings.
Available applications including Chromium, Epiphany, and Firefox (web browsers), Evolution (email, calendar and contacts), Maps, Telegram, Weather, and terminal applications. There’s also support for using web apps like native apps.
While Mobian is still a work in progress, it already supports key features including hardware-accelerated video playback, WiFi, Bluetooth, and audio. There’s also a pretty lengthy troubleshooting page on the Mobian Wiki
Originally released exclusively for Pine64’s $150 PinePhone, Mobian is also now available for the $100 PineTab tablet. The two devices share some key hardware: both have Allwinner A64 processors, eMMC storage, and 2GB of RAM, for example.
But with a 10 inch, 720p display and 64GB of storage, the PineTab is a bigger device with more storage and a lower price tag. It also has support for an optional detachable keyboard… but you can’t use it to make phone calls and there’s no support for mobile data.
You can find instructions for installing Mobian on the PinePhone or PineTab at the Mobian Wiki.