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Open source phone stack project launches

Feb 5, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

An open source project has launched with the goal of building a completely open source software stack for mobile phones. The GPE Phone Edition (GPE2) project aims for compliance with standards defined by the LiPS (Linux Phone Standards) Forum, and has already published an early implementation.

The GPE2 project does not include a kernel, and it has not promised to support specific phone hardware platforms. Instead, it has issued a call for phone manufacturers to “open their devices so that the software stack can be adopted to a wide variety of mobile phones.”

Currently, the only shipping open phone hardware platform is probably Trolltech's Greenphone (left). However, FIC has announced a Neo1973 product to be based on OpenMoko (right), another recently announced Linux-based open source mobile phone operating system. The Neo1973 is expected to ship this quarter.

The GPE2 project appears to have been founded by Nils Faerber and Florian Boor, both contributors to the GPE Palmtop Environment (GPE) project. The pair report that they have already released an implementation comprised of 29 packages, along with a VMware-based “demo” download image built using the OpenEmbedded build system.

The GPE2 project's current implementation features a pair of libraries aimed at supporting LiPS standards. The “LIPS event” and “LIPS IM” stacks appear to have been authored by Liangjing Zhao and contributed to the GPE2 project by Orange/France Telecom's Beijing, China-based R&D lab.

Other features of the current implementation touted by Faerber and Boor include:

  • Application development and runtime framework
  • Voice call framework and application
  • Mobile phone suitable PIM application such as addressbook and calendar
  • SMS messaging framework and application
  • Instant messaging framework and application
  • Multi media playback framework and applications


The GPE2 project software is available now — with most of its constituent component packages in 0.1 or 1.0 releases — through a page hosted at the “LinuxToGo” collaboration site, here. The implementation can be downloaded as 29 separate packages, or as a VMware player-based Phone Demo image said to provide “almost full” phone features, when connected to a cellular modem.

Additional details, including a developer mailing list, can be found here.

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