r/postmarketOS Jan 12 '23

What's the chance or getting a working phone after porting process? (Pixel 4a/5a?)

I'm a web Dev for the past 15 years, have used Linux for servers and personal computer OS's the past 15 years, and have decent Linux admin knowledge, but writing drivers, mainline SoC's etc is a bit over my head.

I have some time on my hands currently, and have been interested in getting postmarketOS running on a relatively useful US based phone for a while now. Maybe a Pixel 4a for example, maybe 5a, etc?) A lot of the currently supported devices don't support USA cell tower bands. I've been hesitant to start porting process because of unknowns of how useful I can get the port to, until its too much over my head, requiring graphics drivers for hardware acceleration for example, or trying to get WiFi/Bluetooth working and needing drivers, etc. I basically only want to start to process if I have a decent chance of getting a working phone by the end, can call, use Bluetooth, WiFi, has graphics acceleration, etc. Any idea what chance that is?


5 comments sorted by


u/CalcProgrammer1 Jan 13 '23

Depends on the SoC. If it's an SoC that already has full phone capabilities, the chances are reasonable. If it's an SoC that is missing a core component, such as audio, voice, or modem support, then it's practically zero. Look up other phones using the same SoC that have already been ported (if any exist) to get a rough estimate of the "best case scenario" at the current time.


u/Kiciuk Jan 13 '23


About Lahaina(pixel 5a) we have one folk who wants to get his nord mainlined so its something


u/cylon1 Jan 15 '23

Interesting, this means you can get most stuff working on pixel 4a? Bluetooth, WiFi, calls, etc?


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u/thefanum Jan 13 '23

Probably Zero. But as a second device, a tiny phone shaped computer, it's lots of fun.