Downsides of /e/

Since there are many contributions to the topic of /e/ here, but there is apparently none that deals with the topics that are perhaps not quite so euphoric. The bad sides, which should also illuminate.
Therefore following my absolutely subjective impression and my experience with /e/.

On the one hand that there is no root out of the box and this feature is not wanted, as well as discussions about it in their forums, apparently not directly forbidden, but nevertheless unwanted.

On the other hand that you must believe the promise of privacy, because there is no possibility to check it.

The handling of bugs in their system, when you open a bug it takes days until the developers register it and you get a response, even if the bug has a security tag.

For example, currently it is not possible to connect to a wifi which protects its managmet frame.
You could also say directly that it does not comply with IEEE standards, more precisely IEEE 802.11w-2009.
This unfortunately has the consequence that in places where a higher standard of security is required than usual, you can not connect to the wifi. Especially the violation or not implementing of security standards leaves a really bad feeling, which is only topped by the performance of the responsible developers.

Moreover, /e/ has appropriated the work of LineageOS without giving anything back to this community,another point that leaves a really bad impression.

These are only the points I noticed, of course the data transfer to google is apparently prevented, but all in all I cannot recommend /e/ to people who like to have control over their own device and want to understand what is happening how and why.


What can you recommend?


What can you recommend?

At the current state?
Don’t buy a Fairphone 3 at all.


I’m not sure I agree with this. The idea of open source as I understand it is about “appropriating the work” done by others, creating something different/better/else based on it and then making it available for free to the community as well as giving access to the source code.
As far as I can see, this is exactly what /e/ foundation has done. They are also totally transparent on the fact that /e/ is a Lineage fork. What more can you ask for?
As for the remaining bugs, it seems to me you are perhaps asking a lot from a non profit organisation with very limited resources compared to the big players on the market.
/e/ for FP3 has been available for barely 2 months. Man, give them a bit of time to iron things out!
I’ve been running /e/ for a bit over a month on my FP3 and I think they’ve done a fantastic job.
In my opinion a FP3 running /e/ is the best (or least crappy, depending on the point of view) solution when you are thinking fairer electronics, open source and privacy.
Just out of curiosity, if you don’t recommend buying a FP3, what do you recommend?


Sorry, but that is hardly a recommendation, as it’s no real help. When you don’t recommend /e/ (and Stock Android as it seems), you should come up with another OS: Sailfish, UbuntuTouch, LOS … whatever.
And if it’s not a Fairphone, what else?

Finally; do you really consider the shortcomings of /e/ to be more important than the improvements for workers and environment?
That’s OK by me, but not the way I see it.


From the technical side of the contribution to LineageOS I cannot say so much. But I have another criticism of /e/ and that is: I think it’s a pity if you advertise as a google free smartphone OS and then microg is installed. In my opinion it should be optional, so that you either offer 2 versions. /e/ once with microg and once without or only one version that is distributed without micorg, but an installation guide for microg. Why? Because with microg and the usable services you only get Google again via detours… and uninstalling with
adb shell pm uninstall --user 0 ...
does not delete everything completely, so I had problems installing the signal apk from your website, even though I uninstalled microg, because signal still found remnants of “google” on my /e/. I could just solve it with
adb shell pm disable-user --user 0
which I already had uninstalled before, which also shows you could not completely delete anything restless.

Yes that could be one solution, but I like the concept of waste reduction (modular design). And for me it’s really important to support an economy that doesn’t rely on labour exploitation. And the other fair smartphone company doesn’t even offer /e/ nor LOS.
But because in our western societies a smartphone is something you change quite often. There are a lot of smartphone you could buy second hand (LinageOS supported) and reach at least the same goals. So I go with your opinion in some way.

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To me, then again it’s only my opinion, buying second hand doesn’t solve the problem : the product was still produced unfairly in the first place.
Isn’t it better to try and start a more positive cylce by, when available, buying a fairer product new that you will keep longer and eventually be able to sell second hand?
In the short term it might generate a bit more waste, but in the long run you get less waste (product lasts longer and can be sold second hand) as well as more fairly produced products.


Do you have other examples?

To be honest, I am a little surprised that some people expect the 100% solution here. From my experience you will almost never find a 100% solution to basically anything in the world, not in the software development area and especially not for free like /e/. In the end it is not about the final solution, but about making steps in the right direction.
I installed it and yes, there might be some things which are not ideal, but hey, it’s just so much better than the G00gle infected OS before and together with the FP3 itself a huge step into the right direction. And by the way: Feel free to contribute to improve /e/, they will definitely appreciate it. I am also still thinking about how to contribute.

Apart from that: If you really want to get rid of G00gle, FB and all the other tracking companies, then you have basically only one option today: Sell all your phones, computers etc. and stay offline. Because if you just open a random website or install a random app from one of the commercial app stores, you will find G00gle and/or other trackers for sure in 9 out of 10 cases on the page/in the app. This is what the web has become nowadays unfortunately and most people don’t care about it. I am happy that these guys at /e/ and Fairphone do care and work hard on improving things.

Disclaimer: I am not working for /e/ or Fairphone: :wink:


Why should anyone contribute to a product, /e/ instead of a project, LOS?

  • uMatrix to block third party content,
  • F-Droid is a trusted transparent source for apps. I don’t have the same trust in the /e/store.
    Is it true that they use prebuild images from APKPure which gets them from ?
  • What is the default DNS on your /e/phone right now?

I’m just learning about /e/ and there some gaps to fill

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I would support both, why not? Because they’re also selling phones to make some money and LOS is not doing that? No problem for me to be honest, I appreciate transparent business models because then I assume the need for selling my data is less strong. It’s by far better than e.g. G00gle with its “everything is completely free” attitude (on the consumer side, not talking about b2b).
Yes I am also using uMatrix, F-Droid etc. Still I am sure they still get enough data, there are just too many ways to leak data.

Could you please check your DNS? I am curious because the default in the /e/ repo is google but they state it is not.
edit: and there is no indication what other DNS it would use

Yeah, I agree they should make microG optional. IIRC correctly they are considering a “minimal /e/” because some people also don’t like the preinstalled apps. So I think at some point they might offer what you’re asking for.

But I’m a little confused by your statement “Because with microg and the usable services you only get Google again via detours”.
microG just mimics the Google services, to my knowledge there is no Google involved.


It depends on how you look on it. If you say, without you buying it second hand it will be destroyed and probably not recycled. Environmentally wise it is better. labor wise, it depends, probably it would be better to buy something new (from a fair source) you can’t buy second hand or it doesn’t make sense to buy second hand (because of hygene or whatever). I don’t know how it is in your country, but where I was born in, there are a lot of smartphone contracts, where you get every second year a new phone, so for them it probably doesn’t matter if you buy their phone second hand.

But if you say, they rely on your buy of their phone after their usage and they wouldn’t buy a new one if you don’t buy their old one, than you’re totally right.

If you say you need to generate a demand for fair electronics, in order to change the marked, than you’re probably right as well.

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Perhaps they don’t expect a 100% solution, I also use it, because for me it is the best compromise of an almost fair smartphone, almost google free official rom, almost free from closed source. I guess the threat starter hasn’t as well the illuison of a 100% solution. But wanted to give the critiques some room, perhaps because he could support /e/ in a way to get nearer to the 100% solution :wink: which for sure never can exist, but nearer to that optimum and where society would be without critiques?


By default it is set to “Use network DNS” on my phone, which probably means the DHCP DNS. If you switch that off, you can set your own DNS. The predefined value on my phone is, so apparently no G00gle DNS.


microg opcional is not lineageos ?

Hi rosbeef, I don’t understand your question.

Perhaps I understood something wrong. But I understood that microg is a google free software but makes your phone able to use

  • Google Cloud Messaging
  • Network localization services (don’t know if there’s also Google involved)
  • Google Maps through the apps

I don’t know if there are also other services involved. I digged not so deep in it.

That’s exactly what I meant! :wink: