What is your favorite distro+interface for the PinePhone?
Arch Linux (Phosh)
AVMultiPhone (Mate)
Fedora (GNOME)
Fedora (Phosh)
Gentoo (Phosh)
GloDroid (Android)
KDE Neon (Plasma Mobile)
LuneOS (Luna Next)
Maemo Leste (Hildon)
Manjaro (Lomiri)
25 vote(s)
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Poll: What is your favorite distro/interface for the PinePhone?
I'm curious what people say is their favorite distro and interface on the PinePhone. Because the forum software only allows 10 options in polls and I count 35 different combinations of distros and interfaces, I'm creating 4 different polls, and will combine the four polls when tallying the results:

Poll 1:
Arch Linux (Phosh)
AVMultiPhone (Mate)
Fedora (GNOME)
Fedora (Phosh)
Gentoo (Phosh)
GloDroid (Android)
KDE Neon (Plasma Mobile)
LuneOS (Luna Next)
Maemo Leste (Hildon)
Manjaro (Lomiri)
Poll 2:
Manjaro (Phosh)
Manjaro (Plasma Mobile)
Mobian (jwm)
Mobian (lxde)
Mobian (openbox)
Mobian (Phosh)
Mobian (xfce4)
Nemo Mobile (Glacier)
NixOS (Phosh)
OpenMandriva Lx (Plasma Mobile)
Poll 3:
openSUSE (Phosh)
openSUSE (Plasma Mobile)
postmarketOS (i3wm)
postmarketOS (Kodi)
postmarketOS (Lomiri)
postmarketOS (Mate)
postmarketOS (Phosh)
postmarketOS (Plasma Mobile)
postmarketOS (Sway)
postmarketOS (Xfce4)
Poll 4:
PureOS (Phosh)
Sailfish OS (Silica)
Sxmo (Suckless buttons interface)
Ubuntu Touch (Lomiri)
Other (explain in comments)

Please vote in one of the 4 polls. If you can't decide which is your favorite combination of distro/interface, then you can vote for multiple options. If I missed a distro/interface, please vote for "Other" and add a comment to this thread to explain your choice and I will tally it.
Here are the results so far:
Distro + Interface      | Votes | % votes | % voters
Mobian (Phosh)          |    23 |     31% |      41%  (With j8m2p6f’s vote added)
Manjaro (Plasma Mobile) |     8 |     11% |      14%
Sxmo (Suckless buttons) |     7 |      9% |      13%
Arch Linux (Phosh)      |     5 |      7% |       9%
Manjaro (Lomiri)        |     5 |      7% |       9%
Manjaro (Phosh)         |     5 |      7% |       9% 
PureOS (Phosh)          |     4 |      6% |       8%
LuneOS (Luna Next)      |     3 |      4% |       5%
Ubuntu Touch (Lomiri)   |     3 |      4% |       5%
Fedora (Phosh)          |     3 |      4% |       5%
postmarketOS (Phosh)    |     2 |      3% |       4%
Sailfish OS (Silica)     |     2 |      3% |       4%
KDE Neon (Plasma Mobile)|     1 |      1% |       2%
AVMultiPhone (Mate)     |     1 |      1% |       2% 
Gentoo (Phosh)          |     1 |      1% |       2%
GloDroid (Android)      |     1 |      1% |       2%
postmarketOS (Plasma M.)|     1 |      1% |       2%
Total votes             |    75 |       
Total voters            |    56 | 

Here are the results disaggregated by distro:
Distros                 | Votes | % votes | % voters
Mobian                  |    23 |     31% |      41%
Manjaro                 |    18 |     24% |      29%  (2 double votes removed in % voters)
Sxmo                    |     7 |      9% |      13%
Arch Linux              |     5 |      7% |       9%
PureOS                  |     4 |      5% |       7%
Fedora                  |     3 |      4% |       4%
LuneOS                  |     3 |      4% |       5%
postmarketOS            |     3 |      4% |       5%
Ubuntu Touch            |     3 |      4% |       5%
AVMultiPhone            |     1 |      1% |       2%
Gentoo                  |     1 |      1% |       2%
GloDroid                |     1 |      1% |       2%
KDE Neon                |     1 |      1% |       2%

And here are the results disaggregated by interface:
Interfaces              | Votes | % votes | % voters
Phosh                   |    43 |     57% |      70%  (4 double votes removed in % voters)
Plasma Mobile           |    10 |     13% |      16%  (1 double vote  removed in % voters)
Lomiri                  |     8 |     11% |      13%  (1 double vote  removed in % voters)
Suckless buttons        |     7 |      9% |      13%
Luna Next               |     3 |      4% |       5%
Silica                  |     2 |      3% |       4% 
Android                 |     1 |      1% |       2%
Mate                    |     1 |      1% |       2%

And the results by distro family:
Distro family                  | Phosh | Lomiri | Plasma M. | Other | Total
Debian (Mobian,PureOS,KDE Neon)|    26 |        |         1 |       |    27 (1 double vote removed in Debian+Phosh)
Arch   (Arch,Manjaro)          |    10 |      5 |         8 |       |    21 (2 double votes removed in Arch Total)
Alpine (pmOS,AVMultiPhone,Sxmo)|     2 |        |         1 |     8 |    11
Only 25 people have voted so far, so it is a little early to do any analysis, but I found these results to be interesting:
  • 72% of PinePhone users say that Phosh is their favorite interface. I think that this shows that Purism's decision to create a new interface (rather than using one of the existing Linux mobile interfaces) was justified. Purism's software development is helping to sell the PinePhone, so we shouldn't have such a bitter partisan rivalry between the PinePhone and Librem 5. As I see it, PinePhone users need Purism's dev work, and Purism benefits from all the PinePhone users who are testing and packaging their software and the help from the Mobian and postmarketOS developers who contribute to Phosh. All the major desktop distros (except Gentoo and Slackware) are now packaging Phosh, so it looks like Phosh will become the way that most people eventually use mobile Linux.

    I think Phosh is winning by default, since UBports needs more volunteers to maintain its huge codebase, Plasma Mobile is behind Phosh in terms of development, and most PinePhone users don't want to use proprietary software, so that eliminates Sailfish OS's proprietary Silica interface. However, 61% of desktop Linux users report that they use a GTK-based desktop environment and Phosh is based on reusing a lot of the existing GTK desktop applications that people already use, so it shouldn't be surprising that Phosh is currently winning.
  • 20% of PinePhone users say that Sxmo's Suckless buttons interface is their favorite. PinePhone users are really a hardcore crowd. However, I notice that most of the people who voted for Sxmo also voted for one of the graphical interfaces, so I wonder how many people are actually using the Suckless buttons interface as their primary interface. I suspect that many wanted to vote for Sxmo because it is so cool and geeky to use the physical buttons on the side of the phone to control the phone, but as the PinePhone becomes more mainsteam, I predict that Smxo will have a smaller percentage of users compared to Phosh and Plasma Mobile.

  • In my last poll in August 2020 about what interfaces people were using on the PinePhone, Lomiri was the second most used interface after Phosh. The fact that Lomiri only got 1 vote in this poll leads me to believe that a lot of people voted for Lomiri last time, because it was installed on the first Community Edition of the PinePhone. This time I asked people which was their favorite distro+interface, rather than which interface(s) they had used, and the results are very different. I think UBports is being hurt by the fact that it has so few volunteers to maintain its code (it only has 9 people with commit access) and Ubuntu Touch was originally designed to use Android drivers through libhybris, so it is a lot of work to switch the code to use Linux drivers.
    Edit: Lomiri now has 3 votes, so it is now doing much better in this poll.

  • Plasma Mobile has improved a lot since the last poll in August 2020, when it only got 11% of the votes. Unlike Lomiri, Luna Next, Glacier and Hildon, I predict a bright future for Plasma Mobile because KDE has a large number of volunteer programmers to keep working on the Plasma Mobile code. It seems very likely to me that Plasma Mobile will become the second most popular mobile Linux interface after Phosh. I think Phosh will remain the dominant interface, because the GTK/GNOME environment has so much corporate support from IBM/Red Hat, Google, SUSE and Canonical, and Phosh is designed to work top of the GTK/GNOME libraries and reuse GTK/GNOME applications. In contrast, Plasma Mobile only has corporate support from Blue Systems, so I foresee it as not being as competitive, but Phosh is very dependent on the success of Purism as a company, whereas Plasma Mobile will do well without any corporate support.

  • I expected both Ubuntu Touch and postmarketOS to do much better, since they were the first two distros to get Community Editions, and both had a head start over the other distros in terms of supporting mobile devices, but both of them only have gotten one vote so far. The first, second and fourth most popular distros on the PinePhone are Mobian, Manjaro and PureOS, respectively, which seems to indicate that people prefer using the standard Debian and Arch toolsets that they already know from using Linux on the desktop. Debian and Arch are the two most popular Linux families for end users on the desktop, so it makes sense that people coming from desktop Linux would prefer similar distros on mobile devices, rather than learning Ubuntu Touch's peculiarities or the Alpine toolset in postmarketOS.

  • I'm surprised that PureOS got so many votes, considering that it is no longer listed as a distro for the PinePhone on the PINE64 wiki and clover has paused development of PureOS.
I went with LuneOS because I'm stoked about a WebOS-style interface, but I like Manjaro+Plasma so far. Haven't tried actually using LuneOS as a phone yet but it would be great to be able to boot into WebOS.
it doesn't get happy
it doesn't get sad
it just runs programs
I updated the tally results with the latest votes. "redrumsir" on reddit pointed out that several people voted twice for Phosh, Lomiri and Plasma Mobile, so I retallied taking out the double votes in the "% voters" for the favorite interface. Since there were 3 double votes for Phosh, that reduces Phosh's lead. 

With the PinePhone shipping with Manjaro+Plasma Mobile as the preinstalled OS, it will be interesting if Manjaro will overtake Mobian as the favorite distro and Phosh will lose some of its lead. I should probably do another poll in 6 months to see if the situation has changed.
I recently got the beta edition Pinephone with Manjaro+Plasma. I haven't tried anything else yet, so this is my favorite and that doesn't mean a thing.
I've been using Debian or its derivatives since the 2.2 kernal, so Manjaro is a bit of a change.

The touchscreen interface is a really terrible way to operate a computer. Does Phosh make that less worse than Plasma? If so, how, please?
(06-21-2021, 09:31 AM)nelstomlinson Wrote: The touchscreen interface is a really terrible way to operate a computer. Does Phosh make that less worse than Plasma? If so, how, please?

For some things, the touchscreen is OK, but when I want to type and especially when I want to use the terminal, I almost always attach a Bluetooth keyboard or I ssh from my PC, so I can use my PC's keyboard.

In my opinion, the Maliit virtual keyboard (which is used by Plasma Mobile, WebOS, LuneOS, SailfishOS and is the backend for Lomiri's keyboard) is better than Squeekboard in Phosh, but Maliit was developed by Nokia in 2011 for MeeGo, so it had a major head start. 

As I see it, Phosh and Plasma Mobile are under heavy development and improving rapidly, whereas Lomiri is more complete, but it is having more trouble maintaining its code, and I see the same problem with LuneOS (which is based on the free parts of LG's WebOS). I think that the best interface is SailfishOS, but I won't use it because of its proprietary Silica interface. Another problem is oFono, which is used by Plasma Mobile, WebOS/LuneOS, SailfishOS and Lomiri, but it isn't as well maintained as ModemManager. Phosh is based on ModemManager and Plasma Mobile is switching to ModemManager.

Phosh has a substantial lead over the other interfaces in this poll, which I think is due to the fact that Purism is paying for its development and Phosh was designed to be a thin overlay on top of GTK/GNOME, which is already maintained by the big Linux companies (IBM/Red Hat, Canonical, Google and SUSE), so Phosh has a lot more corporate support than the other interfaces and it is easier to maintain and incorporate into existing distros. By getting rid of libhybris and switching to ModemManager, Plasma Mobile is getting easier to maintain and incorporate into distros, and UBports is working to get Lomiri incorporated into Arch and Debian, so they are all working to break out of their silos, but Phosh was designed from the beginning for close compatibility with an existing desktop stack.
(12-24-2021, 10:44 AM)amosbatto Wrote: ... Purism is paying for its development and Phosh was designed to be a thin overlay on top of GTK/GNOME ... they are all working to break out of their silos, but Phosh was designed from the beginning for close compatibility with an existing desktop stack.

I should say that SXMO is like Phosh in that regard, minus the corporate support that is.
They simply took DWM (which is already distro independent), optimized the interface to be more suitable for smartphones, and that's it.
Phosh is basically an alternative Gnome shell, which is functionality that has been around since Gnome 3, and I guess so far barely anyone made use of it other than the Gnome developers themselves and Canonical.

Don't get me started at separating something that used to be glued together, as a developer I know very well how much of a disaster this is.
Best is to just develop in components from day 1, so you don't need to deal with having to remove the glue later on.
I want to thank everyone for voting in this poll, which only had 56 voters. Sadly, the MyBB software used by the PINE64 forum only allows one poll per thread with a limit of 10 options, so it is hard to do proper polls here. I'm going to stop tallying the results for this poll, because I think it is best for everyone to refer to the far more comprehensive poll results that PINE64 just released with 3079 respondents.

I was struck by the differences between the results of this poll and the PINE64 poll. A very high percentage selected Mobian and Phosh in this poll, and I think that is probably because a lot more Mobian users visit this forum, because Mobian doesn't have its own forum, whereas there are separate forums for Arch, Manjaro, postmarketOS, UBports, Sailfish OS, Sxmo, etc. The Mobian on PinePhone subforum has three times more posts than any other subforum under PinePhone Software. Since Phosh is the default interface for Mobian, that helped drive up the percentage that report Phosh is their favorite interface in this poll.

The biggest difference between the two polls is that 70% of the voters in this poll selected Phosh as their favorite interface, whereas 31.2% selected Phosh in the PINE64 poll. In the PINE64 poll, Phosh was the favorite interface, but not by huge margins like in this poll. One difference is that this poll allowed people to select multiple options, whereas the PINE64 poll didn't. If we look at difference between all respondents and the people who report using the PinePhone as a "daily driver" (DD) in the PINE64 poll, then we get a little closer to the results of this poll. I suspect that most of the people who voted in this poll are hardcore PinePhone users, and the PINE64 poll found that people who use the PinePhone as a daily driver are more likely to use Phosh as their interface than Plasma Mobile and Lomiri.

Favorite distro by percent of voters
Distro        | This poll | P64 poll-All | P64 poll-DD
Mobian        |       41% |        22.2% |       27.4%         
Manjaro       |       29% |        31.2% |       27.2%
Sxmo          |       13% |   not option |  not option
Arch Linux    |        9% |        12.7% |       14.9%
PureOS        |        7% |   not option |  not option             
Fedora        |        4% |         1.5% |        1.4%     
LuneOS        |        5% |              |             
postmarketOS  |        5% |        20.0% |       21.3%
Ubuntu Touch  |        5% |         7.6% |        4.2%     
AVMultiPhone  |        2% |              |             
Gentoo        |        2% |              |        1.3%     
GloDroid      |        2% |              |             
KDE Neon      |        2% |              |
NixOS         |        0% |         1.4% |        0.6%
Nemo Mobile   |        0% |              |        0.3%
Sailfish OS    |        0% |              |        1.2%

Favorite interface by percent of voters
Interfaces    | This poll | P64 poll-All | P64 poll-DD
Phosh         |       70% |        31.2% |       39.3%   
Plasma Mobile |       16% |        18.8% |       15.0%
Lomiri        |       13% |         9.7% |        6.7%         
SXMO (+SWMO)  |       13% |         9.6% |       15.5%       
Luna Next     |        5% |              |         
Silica        |        4% |         2.9% |         
Android       |        2% |   not option |  not option         
Mate          |        2% |   not option |  not option
Other         |           |         1.7% |        2.5%   
No preference |not option |        24.0% |       18.2%

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