Downsides of /e/

microG is sort of a drop-in replacement for those kind of services, but the whole point is to not actually use Google servers but use open source alternatives (like Mozilla’s network localization services for example).

The only exception would be the store drop-in replacement mentioned on their homepage. That would actually download apps from the actual Google Play store, but I assume like with Aurora that can be done without using a real Google account.

And all of this is configurable AFAIK, i.e. you’re not forced to use things you don’t like.


Than you would say this post is wrong or outdated?

Sorry folks for the german link, here is a automated translation:

microG: Open source Google Play Services Framework

If you like to run your Android smartphone without proprietary Google libraries, you know the problem: Some apps refuse to work because there is no Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) or Google Maps API. The microG Project offers a remedy. It replicates a part of the closed Google components and thus enables the abandonment of proprietary Google source code. However, one problem still remains: The infrastructure and services of Google are still used. For me, this is out of the question, but it might be of interest to some readers.

if so perhaps we should tell him that…

You’re probably right but I would prefer an opt-out option, that I can choose if I want to have that on my phone or not, because with every additional software, there’s additional potential of a security error.
Besides, with microg the signal app (installed through their website apk) wanted to connect to google. But as I installed microg and using the following command as well, it doesn’t wanted to connect to google, just to the signal servers.
adb shell pm disable-user --user 0

I haven’t used it myself, but the project page and this talk by the author for example claim, that it is “Opt-in to Google Services” and “Send only the data to Google that users want to”.
It sounds as if it should be possible to configure microG in a way that it doesn’t contact Google server (but then probably disabling some funktionality because there is no open alternative?).

But as I already said “Yeah, I agree they [/e/] should make microG optional.
Or for a start find a default configuration that doesn’t connect to Google.

Edit: I sort of did use microG while I was beta testing the /e/ builds for FP2 and FP3, but I actually didn’t really go through all the available settings.

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For most people the convenience of Google far outweighs any personal or political concerns regarding their data. The /e/ OS offers a viable alternative to the app ecosystem provided by Google as your account gives you access to a Nextcloud suite for email, photos and storage etc. Although it is far from perfect at the moment (and a lot of users don’t actually want the Nextcloud apps), it is definitely a step closer to a de-googled OS that might attract the average consumer and subsequently amplify the debate on corporate use of personal data which is important. People look at me as if I’m wearing a tin hat when I try and talk about this stuff. Anyway, this is why I think that /e/ is a product/project worthy of support.

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I know, and on the first glance it looks good.
But they are not very transparent about:

  • their nextcloud configuration
  • their appstore, sources, build process, security layer
  • audits, independent tests
  • how close do they work with the developers of the tools they use
  • do they intend do donate, or include the option to donate to the developers?

If, for example, qksms fixes a security related bug /e/ users have to wait until they build “Message” with the fix while a exploit is in the open.
Same goes for all their renamed/reskinned apps, Mail=k9, Accountmanger=davdroid.
They have some good choices but I prefer the original (with direct donation).

Support for /e/ goes not the source, it goes to some people repackaging other peoples work in a convenient black box. (that is not easy, not stealing and fair to be payed for)

I run Lineage OS and use the nextcloud app from F-Droid to connect to my own nextcloud.
It is self hosted, gives me contacts, notes, federation, syncing, video chat. all the good stuff.
I never had a google account and don’t know features I miss from not having google.
I sure don’t miss anything /e/ would have to offer because I have the same tools, but closer to upstream.

In my humble opinion “not google” does not automatically translate to “privacy”
If they change their attitude about critique and communication they might be just fine in the future.
Right now its just another organization in the middle I would have to trust.
But that is just me tinfoil hat talking.

I acknowledge that my way is not for everyone and a easy plug&play solution is tempting,
Compared to other choices it can be a alternative.
I don’t think they are /evil/ and don’t criticize anyone’s decision to use it.


These are good points. Do you mind if I start a thread and link back to this on the /e/ community forum?

Sure, give it a try but thread carefully

Because the average user doesn’t have the time to learn how to setup their own Nextcloud. Even those who genuinely care about privacy, who can do nothing but only shrug their shoulders about it. And even then, servers have to be maintained and monitored which again takes time.

Clearly, you are not the target audience. The question is, do you want others to enjoy access to the same technology in privacy?


I cant make it any bigger, sorry


Sorry. I also didn’t find how to make my text any bigger.

But that question is clearly answered.
Everyone is fine to use /e/, since the way of @angry_dodo is not for everyone and just can be an alternative.
The (peace)dove at the end of the text should have clarified it at least.

I myself switched to /e/ and considered the posting as informative and not in the least offending. So, where is the problem?


The problem is we cannot make our text bigger!

I even meant it in a more positive way as in “it (eelo) can be a alternative”

If people don’t recognize that the critique is so little compared to other options,
but still don’t want to read it they should not click a topic labeled “downsides of e”
No solution is perfect but without a discussion there is no moving towards it.


Thx. The perfect sentence to sum it up in my humble opinion!!
:smile: :+1: :clap:

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You made it very clear that /e/ can be an alternative and your thoughts about self-hosting your own cloud. I did read your text, and I understood what you meant.

I was just answering a legitimate question that was left unanswered, and I wanted to be explicit about why it’s a good thing we have projects like /e/, not criticizing anyone. Hope that’s clear and we’re done with the snarky comebacks.


Changed my FP3 os to /e/ today.

Moderate success, I would say. My previous de-googling proved very helpful. So contacts were on DAVx5, files on nextcloud too.

My banking app (Starling) works when installed via Aurora Store.
Typewise, the keyboard I enjoy typing on most, is stuck in ‘Free’ mode which is frustrating. There’s a £20 Pro version which I may try later on.
Fenix2 for Twitter straight-up doesn’t work.

I think IAP and licence verified apps are failing because of lack of Google Play on the device, microG doesn’t seem to fill the gap.

However, the installation was easy. Simple instructions and not much complication after that was helpful.
Google Photos seems to work from the app, which is great. I haven’t found an equivalent to it yet, so keeping that was important.

I will see how the days to come will be. I am hopeful that old-and-new habits will form quickly.


Hello all, we had some discourse on some downsides of /e/ on this thread.
In case the arguments haven’t been shared here, figured I’d cross-post.
But as angry_dodo said, we should probably keep that thread on topic.

True, but it looks like /e/OS for FP3 also has it’s fair share of bugs in the backlog.
It’ll probably be a while before I know enough to actually do anything to help.

  1. Not every issue listed there is an issue which every /e/ user with a Fairphone 3 would have. /e/ might still be beta (and who knows whether it will be anything else somewhen), but in general it works.

  2. A “fair share of bugs in the backlog” is a state in which every OS is at any time :slight_smile: .


I’ve been using /e/ for 6 weeks on my FP3.
It doesn’t have any more bugs than LOS I used to have on my FP2…