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Mobile FOSS operating system for Europe

International joint project brings Oniro OS to German smartphone from Volla. The renowned Eclipse Foundation is developing an open-source multi-kernel operating system, Oniro OS. The project is supported by established industry brands such as Huawei, Linaro, Software Mansion, Array, Futurewei, Typefox, NOI Techpark. The system's cutting-edge scalable architecture can be used for all device classes, from IoT, smartwatches and smartphones to tablets and smart TVs. Together with Volla Systeme, the foundation is porting the alternative operating system to the latest and most powerful model, the Volla Phone X23.


As a young and ambitious German smartphone brand, Volla relies on an intelligent operating concept and maximum cyber security thanks to its own Volla OS operating system, which is based on the Android open source project. Alternatively, Volla phones are also available with the mobile version of the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu. Volla Systeme can thus contribute its experience in porting operating systems to four smartphone models to the project.

Mainline Kernel Linux

The special thing about Oniro OS on the Volla Phone X23 is that it is based on a so-called mainline Linux kernel. Few people know that Android is also a Linux operating system. However, the kernel, the core of the operating system, has been modified and differs from the standard Linux found on laptops and servers in data centers. Chipset manufacturers for smartphones such as Qualcomm or Mediatek develop corresponding device drivers that cannot directly be used by a mainline Linux kernel. For smartphone manufacturers, this means that an operating system has to be adapted to each smartphone model at great expense. Independent operating systems also always require a minimal Android system so that the hardware can be used to its full extent. Volla Phones for Ubuntu Touch, for example, use the software of the Halium project, which enables an operating system to be connected to the respective hardware.

Open source device drivers that can use a mainline Linux kernel would have the advantage that not only porting an operating system to a smartphone model be much more efficient, but they would also be transparent and verifiable by a developer community. An independent, open-source and at the same time standardized operating system at all levels accelerates innovation and increases cyber security. With a strong partner like Huawei, it may also be possible to motivate chipset manufacturers and board designers, the architects of smartphone hardware, to follow this path.

Special functions for Europa

Huawei is one of the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications products, from smartphones to mobile infrastructure. From the proprietary operating system Harmony OS for the Chinese market, the company branched off the open source variant Open Harmony. Oniro OS for the European market is derived from this. In addition to the guarantee of a full open source license, the operating system contains a number of additional software components such as Rust and React Native. In both cases, these are modern programming languages that have gained in importance. In addition to the GPL license for the Linux kernel, the other parts of Oniro are under the liberal Apache license.

Even if it will take time for Oniro OS to become a fully-fledged alternative for consumers, Oniro initially has great potential for industrial solutions. Volla System is already using the mobile Linux distribution Ubuntu Touch for industrial solutions such as a mobile POS system or a wheelchair control system. Together with the comparatively inexpensive standard hardware of smartphones, the Linux basis offers a perfect combination for fast implementation and high cost-effectiveness. Ultimately, users will also benefit. Oniro OS has the advantage that it is suitable for all device classes from smartwatches to smart TVs or the entertainment system of a car.

Prototype deployment

As a first step, the Eclipse Foundation is working with the partners in the project on a basic port of Oniro OS on the Volla Phone X23, which is characterized by a particularly powerful G99 gaming processor from Mediatek and large RAM and internal memory. The robust design with shock and water-resistant housing makes the device ideal for industrial and business applications. An affordable economy version Volla Phone X23E is also available and can be ordered right here.

Learn more about the Oniro project ...
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