Don't buy a FP3 yet if you don't like stock android or Google!

since I don’t want to mess up a technical discussion in the other thread again, here is a summary for everyone waiting for an update about TWRP and other custom mods.

Some quotes of the other topic:

see, THIS is what I assumed when I said:

still trying not to bully around, but this source code is under GPL (as I learned myself), so giving us a wrong or incomplete source code is violating the license. Am I wrong with this?

I would never buy it again, if I knew about the “cooperation” of FP with it’s customers - and the results achieved till now on getting the kernel working so far.

and finally, this qoute is the best.

thanks to all people who try to get this fixed.

have a great day, anyway!


There is no basic right to arbitrary operating systems on mobile phones. Period.


A. of course there is a right to “arbitrary your operating system”. it’s your phone, you may do with it what you want, as long as you don’t harm anyone else.

B. And yes ,there is a right to use their code as well. It’s called GPL, an open source licence that obligates them to publish the whole kernel code. afaik. therefore there’s a basic right to read and make use of the code they used. if the code is not working with this phone, they used another code, I guess.

and again, I guess, this makes you being able to give back your phone on warranty anytime in the future, since you didn’t buy an iPhone (closed source) but a phone that officially uses GPL licence but doesn’t apply to it’s rules.


Problem is, we don’t know if the kernel source is wrong or incomplete. A kernel can currently be built, but the bootloader doesn’t boot it. Is the problem the kernel source (GPLv2 license), the bootloader (Apache 2 license? Vendor license? - Apache 2.0 is not a copyleft license), or some form of locking mechanism (though the bootloader is unlocked, note that a locked bootloader in itself is not a violation of GPLv2).
Yes, it is annoying and undesirable that Fairphone hasn’t released a full image that would help figuring out which modifications to run, for whatever reason (my suspicion is that development is not being done in-house, or at least the initial development was done externally, and the external party is being cagey). They have stated an intention to do this, which is at least something. Diving into the license terms is not likely to speed up getting custom ROMs, as the current problems are not necessarily the result of non-compliance with GPLv2.


I bricked my phone when a tried some treble tricks. It is not kernel related


Maybe you can “unbrick” it with official Qualcomm tools?

To the general discussion:

A company (! FP is still a company) selling a fair phone should be expecting to have “special customers”. And “fair” does not neccessarily only mean fair RAW materials and fair work conditions, but also fair support for e.g. google-free environments.


Which tools are you talking about? Actually I just need stock system image…

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In a market economy, the Fairphone company gets to decide how they explain their umbrella term “fair”. They decided that at this point that term does not include offering or supporting the development of alternative operating systems, at least publicly.
If you disagree with that, you have the following options:

  • Buy the phone, accepting this shortcoming,
  • Don’t buy the phone, but seek a phone from another company that aligns closer with your requirements,
  • Try and persuade Fairphone (or one of their engineers you happen to bump into at FOSDEM 2020) that supporting other operating systems is a good idea and they should dedicate time/resources to it,
  • Reverse engineer, hack and program until you make it work,
  • Start your own company and do it yourself.

All of these are acceptable options. However, bear in mind Fairphone does not owe us anything other than satisfying the conditions of the open source licenses, and does not promise us more wrt. alternative operating systems. As much as I appreciate the concerns around stock Android and as much as I would applaud a move from FP in this direction, we are not entitled to a Fairphone Open OS for FP3, or even their active support with booting the source code they released.


Wishful thinking / speculation IMHO.

Again, the problem is that Fairphone provided and still provides this support for the Fairphone 2 (albeit not from the start, it took some months back then), so there’s precedence.

That’s the standard the Fairphone 3 is now measured against in this regard.
That users do that seems understandable enough to me, I just don’t get the impatience and undertones of alleging some kind of ill will on Fairphone’s side.


Would be nice by FP to publish timelines of their projects.


I don’t know if stock firmware is available. Maybe at xdadevelopers?

I was under the impression this was still in the pipeline at FP. You said yourself it took a while with the FP2 as well. Perhaps patience is in order?


Yet, they approach with the FP3 is a different one than with the FP2. And it was publicly communicated from day one.

This is the phone for all of us who dare to care about what kind of a world we’re creating with our purchase decisions. For all of us who want a great phone that is kinder to people and to the earth. For all of us who believe that care for workers and our planet ought to be a natural part of doing business.

This is our 3rd generation phone. We’ve learned massively through experience, and that’s essential when you’re blazing a trail for which no map exists. We’ve strengthened and professionalized our organization. We’ve built a more stable and scalable company. We focused on further improvement of our product and supply chain, and we’ve worked on expanding our impact and sales.

Sure, they did so in the beginning.
And then there happens the thing nobody thought of in advance and everything gets delayed. The smaller the company, the more likely this is going to happen.
Standard-receipe for annoyed customers. Don’t make a promise, you might have problems to keep.

I’d rather “create a world with my purchase decisions” that is not ruled by internet monopolies.


@hirntot You are quoting from the other thread without understanding and out of context - this in my opinion is far from fair. I totally agree that Fairphone should provide a google-free OS, or support the community to do so - but I don’t like your aggressively demanding approach, this will not help.


that’s quite an accusation you can’t prove to be true. (and don’t use @pigpig’s phone as an example. he tried to install an alternative rom through an alternative way (called treble) in order to copy the original system image. He failed and (probably) bricked his device. this is exactly what I assumed that will happen sooner or later and why I wrote “start melting down your phones” even before I learned that some people already did.)

you got me wrong. And I disagree. I don’t demand any google-free OS and no support. And I don’t think they shoud, honestly. I just expect them to fulfill their part of our contract.
I bought a Phone from a producer who claims to use a Linux-based OS on his device (Android). I learned, that the kernel source code is different for every device (this honestly was new to me. I thought this is similar to computer’s linux), but luckily it still is under GPL.

I am not a super-linuxer, therefore I have to trust the others who say: It’s not possible to know whether FP used this code or another. But the provided code is not working as it is supposed to work.
Now, in my point of view, it’s Fairphone’s duty to prove that they really did publish the right code.

well, you might be right. we will probably never know why FP did what in the end. but still, they might be interested in keeping their community (hey, at least they have one!) satisfied or even happy.
offering an alternative OS takes weeks to months for development. This would be nice, but just nice. Not mandatory.

but publishing the right source code in a reproducible version (this is not a personal wish, this is mandatory according to GPL) or even the system image takes a few hours and even a trainee could do that.
This is why I am really unsatisfied with what FP is doing here. And why I recommend everyone not to buy that phone (yet).

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I hope that nobody minds that I slightly changed the capitalization of the topic title.

An all-caps “DON’T BUY FP3” is not a good title IMHO. “DON’T BUY FP3 YET” is closer to reality from my understanding.

Although I’d prefer to not have any caps at all. :wink:

And I’m unsure if “we” should irritate “normal” users with this warning. I’m aware that some are irritated by the absence of the Open OS or other alternatives. But I’d rather irritate the “more knowlegeable minority” than the average Joe/Jane Customer…


I agree this issue will not affect the majority of users. I almost feel like it’s a ‘they give a finger and you want the entire hand’ type of situation. Fairphone is doing such an amazing job compared to much larger manufacturers, but still they’re very heavily criticized. Nothing wrong with healthy criticism of course, but it’s hardly fair to hold them to a higher standard you would much larger companies.


Not I did use pigpig’s phone as an example - you did! As an example for Fairphone publishing a not working or wrong source code - and this is just plain untrue.

Your title says otherwise: “… if you don’t like stock android or Google.”

You are accusing Faiphone that they published a not working or even wrong source code without any prove. Instead you claim that Fairphone needs to prove you wrong - is that how you think it works: I accuse you to have stolen 100 € from me, and its your turn to prove, you have not?

You seem to think, if we have the source code, we just need to feed it to a compiler and everything works. If it does not work, the source code must be faulty. But that’s wrong, and you should know so from the thread you are quoting from.

Take this explanation from @calvofl0 for example:

  • having the kernel source code does not mean having a compiled and running kernel. If you are a Linux user, just go to kernel.org, grab the latest Linux release, compile and replace your existing kernel. If you are experienced it is fairly easy, but it is not a trivial thing to do. Now, when it comes to doing the same for a smartphone, it gets a bit more tricky. No one here actually managed to boot the compiled kernel on FP3.
  • The trick seems to properly package the compiled kernel into a boot image, and this seems to be very much device-dependent and it is not specifically documented for FP3.

There are other things to consider in addition to the source code - which contract requires Faiphone to address these?