Deciding for an alternativeOS and open questions

Hi everybody,

I would like to change to an alternativeOS. I already decided that I would like to go with microG and am now standing in front of the decision between

LineageOS for MicroG, /e/ OS and iodeOS.

I (think I) get the difference between using Open GApps and microG. But what the differences between LineageOS for MicroG, / e/ OS and iodeOS ?

What I collected so far:

  • All three are besed on LineageOS and microG
  • LineageOS for microG is not completely open source
  • IodeOS comes with a custom firewall
  • /e/ and Lineage os have different launchers
  • /e/ ist forking from Android 9 right now (Not sure for the others?)
  • /e/ is handling critisism badly?

It also seems to be a matter of taste. But I would like to make an informed decision.

I fount this website: to check if apps are able to run on a degoogled phone. Does this mean it would work for all three OS ?
For iode I also found this list: Compatible apps with iodéOS with iodéOS - iodé

I use Apps which need an additional account. Will Apps that are connected to an account (Google account or connected via e-mail) presumably work?

I also have an App which I payed for. I hope this information is connected to my account (Connected via e-mail not the Google accunt) to still have pro-version features?

Are there other ways to check if an App works on an alternativeOS before installing it?

Can I lock the bootloader again? (In general No, but with an FP3 persumably yes?) Should I lock the bootlaoder again? I am afraid to unlock the bootloader, failing the installing procedure or recognizing that certain apps I need don´t work anymore and not being able to revert to FairphoneOS or ending up again with FairphoneOS and an open bootloader. I would like to avoid ending up with an expensive paperweight.

I would appreciate some help!

PS: Sorry that this post is a bit chaotic. I searched the whole day and these are my open questions.


Ya left out CalyxOS in addition to my DivestOS: Patch Levels - DivestOS Mobile

What got you to this conclusion?

Literally none of them are “completely open source”, all of them inherit the vendor blobs.

/e/OS is months behind basic security patching:

My DivestOS has built in content blocker, ability to revoke network permission (from GrapheneOS), and WiFi/Cellular data restrictions (from LineageOS).

microG is just an app, not a system or platform.

Locking bootloader is critical for security.

  • /e/OS is on 11 for FP2, and 12 for FP3 & FP4
  • iodeOS is on 12 for FP3 & FP4
  • CalyxOS is on 13 for FP4
  • DivestOS is on 11 for FP2, 12 for FP3, and 13 for FP4
  • LineageOS is on 11 for FP2, and 12 for FP3
  • L4M is on 11 for FP2, and 12 for FP3

If you use apps that needed the play store then divestOS will not work. Some apps do work with a message (it need the play store), but some not work. And with microG this works.

What phone do you use? If it is the FP4 then CalyxOS is an option. If you have a FP3 then CalyxOS is not an option.

I have a FP3, and after some testing I find iodeOS the best choice (but that is because I have an app for stocks, etc (Peaks, and no alternative for it) that need the play store). I think DivestOS is the best choice if privacy is number 1, and you do not mind drop some apps or find alternatives for it.

But apps you payed for in the playstore cannot be used on any of these alternatives (if the payment is done in the play store).

But there is not really the best. It is personal. But like @SkewedZeppelin say … /e os is far behind security patches so not really a good choice.


On OSes which don’t have the genuine Google services there are no guarantees for Apps using Google components or being dependent on Google services.
Google-dependent Apps are not only obvious ones, they are rather the norm than the exception.

If you want to know about certain Apps, you can install Aurora Store. This is an alternative Play Store client with anonymous access (if you so choose), which displays whether an App is dependent on GSF (Google Services Framework) or not.

On an OS without the genuine Google services Google-dependent Apps might work without any trouble, or they might work with some trouble, or they might not work at all.
If they work without any trouble at a certain point in time, this is not guaranteed and can change at any moment.

microG greatly improves compatibility, but it is not a cure-all. It mimics the genuine Google services to a certain degree, but if Google change things on their side, at any moment this mimicry can break for a while or for good, and thus App compatibility can break for a while or for good.

The most promising combination for running Google-dependent Apps you really rely on to work on non-stock Android OSes to me seems to be

  • Android Custom ROM without microG
  • Open GApps (or similar projects, which all install the genuine Google services)
  • Google’s device registration for the use of Google Apps and services on non-certified Android OSes … … to not endanger your Google account with violating TOS (might be old knowledge, though, I didn’t have a look at this for a long time)

In theory, yes, but do be aware that they could be using different microG versions and that things may be fixed or break after microG updates (I was without TIDAL for about 2 months due to a microG update breaking it).

While microG is amazing in how much it can do, the fact that app developers simply don’t care supporting it and it’s a short-staffed project means things will sometimes be broken for months or longer. So if you really really need an app that needs Google Play Services (check out F-Droid if you don’t know about it for an app store of open source apps which don’t need Google Play Services) and not having access will negatively affect your life, I can’t recommend using microG. If you, however, are okay with sacrificing some apps for slightly increased privacy and freedom it can be really good option.

I’d like to suggest Sapio instead of Plexus by the way, as Plexus hasn’t been accepting updates to the app info since May 12, 2022 while they’re restructuring, which means all info is now at least 7 months outdated.


In the meantime, there is news.

  • iodĂ©OS is on 13 for FP4 (beta)
  • LineageOS is on 13 for FP4


Running myself on LOS20 but tested eOS for about 2 weeks on my spare FP3. Wasn’t too impressed… Installed iodeOS last week and liked already after booting up. That surprised me, usually I am way too grumpy to like new things :smiley: but they had already some nice presets.

@Gotopos Did you try them yourself in the meantime, have a preference?

Why? Explain yourself please.

Aurora store run on every Android distro.

I’m running lineageOS for microg on FP3+, I have looked the bootloader and I’m very pleased of it.
But honestly I use cyanogen mod/lineageos since android 2.3, I have never ised stock rom. The first thing that i do on a smartphone is remove the stock rom and install lineage.

verified boot is only enforcing when locked.

locked bootloader prevents an attacker from replacing the system with a malicious one as it can’t easily be replaced without wiping user data.

verified boot also makes it more difficult for malware (via remote attack) to gain longterm persistence

So, you have confirmed that loking the bootloader is a good choice, why will be critical for security?

Also verified boot is not set on FP3, and I don’t know if it’s possible to set it.

FP3 and FP4 both support relocking and verified boot, I document this in depth here: Faq - DivestOS Mobile


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