Symbian Opens Up

When Nokia bought Symbian in 2008, nobody had any reason to believe their thoughts were anywhere near Open Source — particularly given that just weeks prior, its Open Source chief declared that when it came to FOSS, the company wasn't "ready to play by the rules." Nevertheless, Open Source was exactly what Nokia had in mind for Symbian, and as of today, the process is complete.

Parts of the Symbian platform have been Open Source for quite some time — portions of the code were Open Sourced shortly after it was donated to the Symbian Foundation, and other portions have slowly been released in the nearly two years since. The complete opening wasn't expected until later this year, but finished ahead of schedule due, said Foundation Executive Director Lee Williams, to "the extraordinary commitment and dedication from our staff and our member companies."

The Symbian Foundation picked the Eclipse Public License as its Open Source variant of choice. According to the Symbian Developer Community site, the EPL was chosen "because it balances our goals of encouraging development of the Symbian platform, builds a contributor community and encourages vigorous commercial competition through innovation on top of the platform." It goes on to specifically address the choice not to use the GPL, saying they "[want] to be absolutely clear" that those using the Symbian platform in devices "will be able to add new features and support new hardware without having to make all of that code open source," excepting certain alterations of the licensed code itself. Some code, however, is available under other Open Source licenses, though examples were not immediately available.

The full Symbian^3 codebase — 108 packages in all — is now available for download from the Symbian developer site, including developer and product development kits.

Image courtesy of The Symbian Foundation.


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


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Nokia PC Suite

Alejandro Nova's picture

Nokia is doing giant leaps to be a true Software Libre company. But all these efforts seem meaningless to me without one thing.

Why, oh why, can't I buy an ordinary (S40, S20) Nokia phone, plug it into a Linux computer, and watch it sync, at least, with Kontact through an Akonadi resource? (let's admit it: Qt is made by Nokia now, so no GNOME for the time being). There is a program under Windows called Nokia PC Suite, made entirely in Qt, that allows me to manage a Nokia phone under Windows. This baby is useless in Linux, even under Wine.

So, this has to be done. A Libre (free as in freedom) Nokia PC Suite for Linux, with libre drivers for the Linux kernel.

Try OpenSync or multisync-gui

Rajan R Vaswani's picture

Other than wammu or gammu or xgnokii, you could try multisync-gui. I have successfully interfaced multisync-gui and evolution. It is possible to sync with Sunbird too.


ChrisM's picture

Cool, but... No editor credit?? ;D

Well Done But Maemo 5?

Cypherinfo's picture

Hello, this is a great new for all the Nokia users and not only those. I'm one of them. I has got a nokia 900. It runs maemo 5 a debian version of linux. While the symbian is great - with Skyfire and Opera mobile browsers - to display all websites and thir content, Maemo cannot login to websites like and for example. We'll see in the future with new firmwares and new browsers availability.