Degoogle my FP4

II came across another problem when trying to take out the bottom module: one screw didnt come out …

Easy to uninstall Google play store etc.

Here’s my first attempt using my Raspberry Pi PC. which

there is a FP4 specific wiki about Debloating/Degoogling, with a link to a corresponding discussion

hirnsushi said all.

And my initial comment waas all about that, what’s truely not true

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I have flashed e/os on my FP4. I think it is brilliant and NO Google anything !!

Y’all are free to use whatever you want, but please get your head out of the sand and stop spreading blatant misinformation.

  • microG only replaces half of Google Play Serivces, every single app that depends on it uses the proprietary Google Play Services library, microG does nothing to replace those libraries
  • microG when opt’ed-in by the user or by default by the OS (like /e/OS) connects directly to Google’s services for registration and notifications
  • microG when opt’ed-in by the user or by default by the OS (like /e/OS) for SafetyNet downloads and executes proprietary obfuscated binaries from Google, which I’ve yet to see anyone actually publish research on what it does or doesn’t collect in favor of just ignoring it
  • the majority of these “degoogled” systems don’t remove Google’s Widevine DRM at all.

Here is Google Widevine on that /e/OS FP4: proprietary-files.txt · v1-s · e / devices / android_device_fairphone_FP4 · GitLab

Here is Google EUICC provisioner on that /e/OS FP4: proprietary-files.txt · v1-s · e / devices / android_device_fairphone_FP4 · GitLab



Mike Kuketz, an IT expert, runs his own (german) blog. He always endeavors to publish information on the subject of data protection, among other things, with actual facts. He doesn’t just look at the topics superficially, but takes a very in-depth look at them with the help of his in-depth expertise. He tells things as they are and doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Up to which depth one would like to follow his suggestions, everyone must decide for itself. There are mostly variants for the beginner, advanced and professional.

So if you don’t want to just make/believe/follow any unverified statements but want to learn real facts about the various custom ROMs, you can follow Mike’s new series of articles Android Custom ROMs. So far, the introductory episode and an episode about CalyxOS have been published. Spread throughout the year, episodes about GrapheneOS, /e/OS, LineageOS, DivestOS and iodéOS will still be released. Have fun reading! :wink:


My takeaway from the discussion is:
Fairphone is not as „sustainable“ as it claims (no support for FP2).
I cannot have a truly google-free smartphone (unless I want to invest weeks into research and understanding the subject).
The logical step would be to abandon the idea of having a smartphone altogether.
Google-free & sustainable: old phone.

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No support is just not true. In Addition remind the phone is 7 years old, who else provides some support after this time?

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Defacto wrong
FP4 with suggested ROMs
Is New, Google free and sustainable
(For me also pixel devices with this ROMs are sustainable)

FP2 was introduced in December 2015 and will get its last software update is in March 2023 (also see This makes about 7 years of support which much more than nearly all other manufacturers give you. And in all these years you could easily replace damaged parts like the display or the battery if needed.

In addition LineageOS also supports the FP2: LineageOS Downloads - and with that you even get Android 11.

So why do call this not sustainable? What would be sustainable for you? 10 years? 20 years?

At some point all computer based devices come to a point where it becomes impossible to adapt current software versions to it - mostly because the chip manufacturers don’t provide open source drivers which can be adapted for newer operating system versions and in parts because newer software may need more RAM or a newer CPU.

Yes, in an ideal world a company like Fairphone would be able to produce all the chips themself and also write all the needed software themself - but Fairphone is not a huge company like Apple or Samsung and designing and producing chips and creating all the software to get Android support for it including all the required certifications is very expensive.

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You can also get a Librem phone - this is without Android at all since they use PureOS and at least the battery is easily replacable and they also have a guide how to disassemble the device:

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Or from Germany a Volla Phone, thats focused on privacy no idea if anything is self-repairable…

A sensible step if you can wean yourself from smart phones, absolutely :slight_smile:
Sustainability is relative. All physical forms degenerate and though humans have developed skills to make tools, machines and tech each item can only be sustained at the expense of other resources the greatest being human exploitation.

It soon becomes clear that people don’t like many forms of exploitation and so we have a business of increasingly smart phones and gadgets, so old ones will not be supported for very long as it is not Financially sustainable

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I meant for example: If I need a new bottom module I cannot get it through Fairphone anymore.

I did not say it correctly: I realise there is software support – and appreciate it. But the hardware which I need to replace is not available anymore.

Yeap! that’s the way of the ‘new’ tech business

Regarding the release date, the FP2 does well, but of course this doesn’t help you if you bought it just before the release of the FP3 in 2019. Sadly, I even read from time to time about people buying a bunch of the same spare parts “just in case” before they aren’t available anymore and some of these will surely go to waste unused, leaving another FP2 unrepaired.

For me, it’s like reducing plastic waste. Easy to start with and you will get more passionate over time until you reach your personal balance between comfort and the goal. Going zero waste is close to impossible, just because you don’t see it anymore doesn’t mean that there is no waste produced for you.

At this point, I wrote a lot. Then I realised that it’s way easier to ask first at which point you currently are and how much you depend still/at all on Google services. I will still leave my wall of text there in case it’s helpful, it is just not finished.

Most important thing first: Always keep “No backup, no mercy!” in mind. A phone with Google services will backup a lot of data in the cloud, photos, app data, settings, contacts, calendar entries… Don’t keep important data just on your phone!

My personal journey:

  1. Get aware of the data Google has about you and decide what you don’t trust them with:
    Set the permissions to use your data as strict as possible.
    Replacing an app is relatively easy in most cases (Camera, Gallery, …), replacing a service will most likely cost you money, time or both (data backup).

  2. Not just apps provided by Google share data with it, many other companies do so. εxodus is a good starting point to check your other apps for trackers of all kind.

  3. Start replacing the easiest apps first, this will get you motivated. The best approach is to use FLOSS apps (from F-Droid, the PlayStore or whatever safe(!) source you found), otherwise you will most likely just distribute your data even more.
    The list in the first post of this thread is a good start, you may find more up-to-date apps with more specific requests.

  4. Disable the replaced Google apps or just don’t use them anymore for some time until you are sure you can live without them.

  5. Use a tool like Universal Android Debloater to get rid of the unwanted apps you can’t disable. It’s relatively safe to use with the presets, but I had to do some factory resets on my old phone after playing around and removing too many apps. Check this after every system update.

  6. Now it’s getting tricky, since you pay for Google’s services with your data. Replacing the dialer will prevent Google from knowing about your calls, but they still have all your contacts. If you have a trustworthy mail provider and it offers this service, you could sync your contacts and calendar entries there. If you have some webspace for example, you could connect it via a file manager and synch your photos with it.

Of course you can jump between the steps at will. If you got this far, enjoy it and decide how far you want to go next.


The way how I’ve been using Android for many years now:

  1. I run my own Nextcloud server for files, addressbook and calendar and have my own e-mail server - but services like or Posteo are also sufficient for having more privacy (both based in Germany, but there are similar providers in other countries as well).
  2. DAVx5 is used to synchronize addressbook and calendar with Nextcloud - so Google does not have any contact data at all.
  3. For e-mail I use K9 Mail or FairEmail.
  4. Pictures and videos taken with the camera are automatically uploaded to my Nextcloud (the Nextcloud app has an option for this) so I don’t loose anything if the phone might get damaged in a way that it can not be recovered.

So if my life requires the use a certain app from the Google Play Store (e.g. the tan generator of my bank) which is not in F-Droid store, then I can not use LineageOS? Or are there ways to find the relevant apk outside of google’s play store and install it reliably within LineageOS?

Sorry for maybe a bit hijacking this thread, but relevant question to me in regards of degoogling phones: Is there any way to use the google play store without a google account?