BharOS: 5 free open-source mobile OSes to try on your Android smartphone

BharOS is a Linux kernel-based operating system for Android phones from an IIT-fed startup that is currently being touted as a rival to India’s own Android and iOS. BharOS is still in testing, but is said to be compatible with Pixel smartphones. You may have to wait at least a few more months to get his BharOS installed on your phone, or get a phone that ships with BharOS. In the meantime, here are some custom Android OS builds you can use without Google services.

Please note that installing a custom ROM on your smartphone comes with its own risks. The bootloader must be unlocked to install custom ROMs. This makes the device vulnerable to hacks and malware. Not only that, custom ROMs can also break key features of your smartphone, making it unusable. Finally, always download custom ROMs only from verified sources.

Sailfish OS is available on select Sony smartphones.

Sailfish OS

If you don’t use Google services on your Android phone and want your own secure and stable operating system, Sailfish OS is one of the few options that offers Generation 4 security protected from the Firejail sandbox. Risk of security breach using Linux namespaces. This operating system is developed and maintained by the team behind the Jolla series of devices that launched shortly after the Nokia N800 and N900 series smartphones.

Since this is still a Linux kernel-based OS, users can sideload APKs. However, the main drawback of this operating system is that support is limited to some Sony smartphones.

Ubuntu Touch is also available on a wide range of devices.

ubuntu touch

Ubuntu Touch is also a great way to enjoy your smartphone without Google services. This custom operating system is available on select phones from Xiaomi, OnePlus, Asus, Google, and Samsung. Compared to other Linux kernel-based OS, Ubuntu Touch offers a unique and secure user experience.

Lineage OS was formerly known as CyanogenMOD.

Lineage OS

A favorite among custom ROM enthusiasts, LineageOS (previously known as CyanogenMod) is one of the world’s most popular open source custom Android ROM makers, offering improved security, timely software Supports updates and security patches. Similar to BharOS, LineageOS also allows users to choose their own default app. LineageOS is available for all major brands of smartphones including Google, Nokia, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Motorola, Lenovo, LG and more.

It is said to be the official Linux distribution for smartphones (Image credit: PostmarketOS)

Post-market OS

As the name suggests, this OS is based on the Linux kernel and intended for installation on aftermarket or postmarket phones, also referred to as a true Linux distro for phones. It is said to be a sustainable mobile OS and is based on free software. PostmarketOS can be installed on select Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi devices.

Arrow OS is one of the lightest custom ROMs available.

Arrow OS

Arrow OS is another AOSP-based custom ROM available for all major brands of smartphones. This custom ROM offers a clean UI with very minimal first party apps and allows users to choose their preferred apps. It comes with many customization options as well. Arrow OS is also known for providing a stable user experience.

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