Avoid bootloop/bricked FP4 when flashing /e/OS

I just got my brand new FP4 yesterday and intend to flash /e/ OS onto it.

Looking at the /e/ OS documentation for the FP4 I noticed a warning saying:

Caution: Ensure that you flash an image with a security patch level greater than the level of the existing security patch, Failure to do so will brick your device.

Since I already installed the (as of now) latest update on my device, my security patch level is not March 5th, while the latest stable release image of /e/ OS apparently dates to the 24th of Febuary.

Being the impatient person I am, I tried to find out when to expect the next release of /e/ and came across this open issue:

I understand the problem is triggered by the final step, where the bootloader is locked again, right?
One of the devs explicitly says

You will be able to lock your bootloader after flashing an upcoming release with a newer security patch level.


It should be ok with a over the air update but relocking the bootloader afterwards might force you to set everything up again.

So guess I’ll give that I try tonight.

What are the dangers of using a phone with the bootloader unlocked for a few weeks? I assume this mostly allows anyone to connect it to their PC and have full access or am I missing something REALLY bad, as in “remote exploit bad”?

If you’re reading this and are quite certain I’m heading for disaster, a little heads up would be nice. :sweat_smile:

Maybe this answers your question?


Yes, regarding the unlocked bootloader it does. That’s basically what I thought. I think, I can live with that for a couple of weeks. :+1:

I just installed /e/ OS successfully without bootloop by following the instructions of the official documentation, but simply skipping the paragraph “Locking the Bootloader”. So my bootloader is still unlocked, I see a warning at boot, but it boots just fine. :+1:

PS: I assume this is just normal behaviour, but when running the fastboot commands to unlock the bootloader, the phone rebooted a significant amount of times. It took several minutes, but it always managed to finish whatever it was doing and came back working. So as usual: Patience is key! :sweat_smile:


Maybe the system was trying one of the slots which was “unbootable”. So it tried to boot that about 6 times and changed to the other (bootable) slot then.
You can check that if you want by going to Fastboot mode and typing in fastboot getvar all and searching for unbootable slots (slot-unbootable).
On unlocking the bootloader I’ve just seen my device rebooting for clearing the data partition and rebooting again a second time after that.

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Hi guys.

I’m new here, as I received my Fairphone 2 days ago and installed /e/ almost immediately.
Just to keep you informed that as of yesterday with up-to-date software, bootloader issue is still there :slightly_smiling_face:
Anyway, glad to have a functioning /e/ OS and a great FP4