Do we need to flash new firmwares with modem.zip when running /e/ OS?

I’m running /e/ OS for more than a year on my FP2, does it get updates of the firmware like FPOS? I don’t think so, I need to flash GitHub - WeAreFairphone/modem_zip_generator: Scripts to generate a flashable ZIP file with the latest Fairphone modem firmware manually right?

The latest is from 2019 I think so guess you should have this?

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The releases of the community-created modem.zip follow the release pattern of Fairphone OS/ Fairphone Open OS (they use current OS install files to generate the modem.zip), so there are more current modem.zip releases, but substantial changes to what’s landing on the phone in the end would be very surprising at this point.

@Flaburgan: Maybe you could install it and report whether the vendor patch level given in the Settings in About phone differs from April 1, 2018 afterwards?

Nope, last update is 1 april 2018, 4437.1-FP2-0-08 so I’m definitely not up to date.

@AnotherElk ok, I don’t remember how to flash it but I will figure out and do it.

3 things can be said about this (at least):

  1. Up until now there was no newer date reported, up until now that’s the newest date there is. The modem files are mainly Qualcomm stuff, and Qualcomm dropped support after Android 6. After that some minor non-Qualcomm changes, and that was it, that’s where we are. Up until now.

  2. The patch date didn’t and doesn’t translate 1:1 to a specific modem file version. You could have the latest substantial changes in the modem files with this date … or not.

  3. There’s one way to make sure to be up to date: You install the latest release :wink: .
    (The last substantial change I’m aware of came with the 19.02.1 release, so @yvmuell would be right with the 2019 assessment.)

You can install it with TWRP, or via ADB sideload with any recovery.

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OK so I am in TWRP right now, I tapped “Install”, then selected the last modem-22.06.0-rel.0_2022-08-13.zip file downloaded here: Release 22.06.0-rel.0 · WeAreFairphone/modem_zip_generator · GitHub so I’m in the last step before flashing but TWRP is saying that the targeted folder is /sdcard, that sounds weird to me. Is this what I should do?

Edit: I understood, folder is not the target, it’s the folder containing the zip. Confusing. So, flashing worked without any trouble, phone rebooted, but it still says 4437.1-FP2-0-08 and 1st April 2018 in the settings. Isn’t there any command line to know the firmware version?

You installed the latest modem.zip, so you are definitely up to date.
This is the firmware version and vendor patch level since 2018, this is the expected result. Thanks for confirming.

The “vendor” in this is mainly Qualcomm, not Fairphone. There was no Qualcomm support for the Snapdragon 801 SoC in the Fairphone 2 anymore from Android 7 on.
Fairphone as the only vendor among the Snapdragon 801 phone vendors soldiered on with the Android 6 firmware from Qualcomm and got newer Android versions working with it and Google certified to boot. But that doesn’t change this firmware part anymore. It’s Qualcomm’s intellectual property and closed source.
You are looking at one of the industry’s main hurdles to get Android devices supported for a longer period of time. The chips need longer support from the chip vendors. Well, luckily that seems to become a trend now.

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Yeah I understand all this, what surprises me is that the community at WeAreFairphone are still providing new modem.zip versions. I mean, I understand they simply build it from FPOS, and I guess there has been a new FPOS version in June 2022, but if the firmware is strictly the same (and I guess that can be tested comparing the hash?) then they shouldn’t need to provide a new modem.zip file, right? Or maybe there are some small changes not related to Qualcomm but to smaller components, idk.

@Roboe: Any insight?

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I assume there is some automation set up to just create a new modem.zip whenever there is a new FP2 update. If that’s the case, I think this can safely be disabled. By now it’s just a waste of electrical power, network traffic and storage :wink:

Automation does this here? …

That’s what I assume.

For the modem.zip generator, automation IIRC is still done via Travis CI (back when that functionality wasn’t available on github directly). I never got the Travis setup working for myself so I can’t check.

No, there isn’t any automation on the WeAreFairphone repository, @Roboe merged some pull requests and committed manually the last versions last Saturday (catching several old versions at the same time): Commits · WeAreFairphone/modem_zip_generator · GitHub

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Can this file be flashed with LOS recovery?

Thanks, Singu

Any recovery should support installing via ADB Sideload from a connected computer.
Else the recovery would need to support installing updates from Internal Storage or SD card.

Just to be sure, I did this too long ago, can you post the exact command to flash via ADB Sideload :)? I also could try to install the zip from LOS recovery as I have an external SDCard with the file ready. Thanks!

Put your recovery into ADB Sideload mode (the feature is named differently in different recoveries).
Then on the computer do adb sideload filename (filename = the file you want to sideload).

If the recovery supports this, this would work, too.

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Sorry, my bad (in 20 chars).

I was able to flash via LOS recovery, thanks!

That’s it.

Maybe. Although Fairphone tweaked it at least one time in the past. It’s easier for me to regenerate the ZIP again from new official upgrade packages and provide a clearly versioned history, specially considering I’m not active in the community nowadays.

You can, however, check if some BLOB changed in fact, by checking their hashes. That’d come handy for the release notes.

Confirming what @AnotherElk and @Flaburgan pointed out correctly: nope, it was me doing it manually. I only set up Travis CI for #wearefairphone to build and deploy the #fprsmap, but fortunately I’m not owning/blocking that anymore since you replaced it with GitHub Actions, :raised_hands:.

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