Open Source Insider

Aug 28 2013   12:04PM GMT

Firefox OS, an operating system for HTML5

Adrian Bridgwater Adrian Bridgwater Profile: Adrian Bridgwater


Mozilla is of course famed for its Firefox browser and multifarious web extensions, but the organisation has now also developed its own Firefox OS operating system.

Firefox OS (or FxOS if you prefer) is a mobile operating system built upon the Linux kernel (and booting into a Gecko-based runtime engine) that has been constructed for software applications developed entirely using HTML, JavaScript, and open web application APIs.

Mozilla’s says of its new OS… “Firefox OS for developers: the platform HTML5 deserves”.

Mozilla is clarifying how its Web Activities technology allows developers to extend the functionality of HTML5 apps without having to access the phone hardware on behalf of the user.

In other words, you don’t need to ask the user to access the camera or the phone, but instead your app asks for an image or initiates a call and the user then picks the app most appropriate for the task.

According to Mozilla, “Firefox OS is currently under heavy development; we are constantly working on ways to make it easier for you to use and hack on Gaia (the default set of apps) and create your own. However, you need knowledge about systems in order to do things like build the entire Firefox OS stack, or flash a phone with a build of Firefox OS.”

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