Fairphone 3 Source Code

Worried why? Their helpdesk is probably overburdened. The employees get a Dutch wage; not a Chinese or Indian one.

Yes, /e/ is a commendable alternative.

However it is much easier for laymen to tamper with a second hand smartphone, and the chance the binary blobs get out of date is also increased.

I’m not aware these source code dumps lead to reproducible binaries on smartphones (so with Android). If you distrust Fairphone, and are afraid they tossed in some backdoors in their binaries, then them releasing some source code isn’t going to take the distrust reasonably away.

You can make it Google-free as it is. All you’ll have to do is disable a bunch of packages, and ideload F-Droid or Aurora Droid. Be aware Google is co-author of AOSP. If they have nefarious intentions, surely they’ve put loads of backdoors and vulnerabilities in the source code, or in the binaries…

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E.g. take care of DNS, and don’t forget the connectivity check for captive portals in wlans with a login page. And what else.
Besides, how trustful are the apps one is installing?


Not releasing the source code is adding to distrust

You can just hide most google apps, but you cannot purge google services for example.

F-droid requires open source or gives a big warning if there are binary blobs sideloaded by the app.

What worries me is this quote from https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360032971751-Operating-systems-OS-for-the-Fairphone-3:

We are currently investigating the possibility of bringing back FP Open on Fairphone 3.

Which is coorprate speak for: “It’s not going to happen, LOL”.

Open WiFi. Weak/shared WPA2-PSK keys. Both a joke. Only a strong, secret WPA2-PSK is secure, and even then you are better off with correctly set up WPA2-Enterprise.

With Fairphone 2 it took them half a year. We’re now (within 4 days) on 3 months since announcement of Fairphone 3. And you’re already moaning here with toxicity about distrust. That is the core issue here: @Matombo’s and @FairOpenIsGreat’s severe lack of trust in Fairphone, and quite frankly, their lack of trust in humanity in general.

The latter is fair enough, but then be consistent. Take it further than “is the source code available”. Binary blobs. Reproducible binaries. Backdoors/vulnerabilities in source code.

The former, is quite frankly pathetic. Somehow, this public benefit corporation is evil? As evil as the large multinationals such as Google? As evil as large corporations who are in the smartphone business, such as say Motorola, AllWinner, or MediaTek? Nevermind the fact that they are residing in The Netherlands, and the fact you can sue them (unlike some shady Chinese company).

Yeah, you can, and you can block them as well.


I said it’s adding to distrust, nothing about my “base trust level”.
After all i bought a FP3 and i’m not sending it back.

That’s a little bit harsh on your side

I think you missunderstadn where my “consistency” lies (and maybe are mixing it with FairAndOpenIsGreat?). Binary blobs if linked as shared libraries for example, are not a violation of the GPL. No source code for the rest of the Linux kernel is.
And this is unrelated to the fact if it’s useable or not.

But lets stay on the practical side: Without the sources there is no chance for the android modding community. With the sources there is at least some chance for the android modding community.

No one said that. I carefully picked my words to only state facts about the gpl and not to accuse FP of being evil.
After all I bought a FP3 and i’m not sending it back². I wouldn’t have done it if i thought that FP is evil.

That’s why they should be extra carefull.

Enlighten me.


Some posting by @Kifuz in another thread with relevance to this thread as well:

So, Fairphone is at least publicly announcint, that they area actually working on meeting the GPL requirements. That’s not really sufficient of course, but it is at least showing, that they are on track.


This whole, already way too lenghty and too ideological discussion leads to exactly nothing. Just wait and see when Fairphone is going to release the OS sources. What a waste of time …


I disagree, even a little reaction is better than ignoring the issue.

It’s better than not saying anything.

Apparently, fairness in software development is not that important to the company Fairphone, or they dont take it seriously.

So i marked BertG’s post as the solution for my original question because it’s fairphone saying “No, but …”

Looking into the post:

As parts of this kernel are owned by third parties, we need their permission first

Asuming good faith I interpret this in a way that the kernel is dynamically linking binary blobs in a way that it will crash without them. But with the binary blobs not actually being part of the kernel. Otherwise they would not need to ask according to the GPL.
But, why not release the rest of the kernel in the meantime?

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This is a good point, they could’ve waited a few months for the third parties to give permission and not released the phone at all yet, which would’ve cause more outrage, or released the phone with the proprietary OS it comes with and make the Free software nerds wait, either way its better to have a phone released then not releasing a phone at all because you want to cater to a very small group of people in the FP community.


There’s a question about this specific topic on opensource.stackexchange.com from 25/11/2019:

It wasn’t me asking, I just thought I’d leave it here :slight_smile:


I agree there is nothing new in this discussion for a while, but I disagree it is a waste of time. I’m working for a startup too, and know very well that world where you try to achieve as much (and good) as possible with very limited resources. As it has been said above, this boils down to make choices: it is a matter of priorities. To deliver Fairphone Open OS and its source code on the FP3 is one of the tasks they have to do. But as it has also being said wisely, maybe only 5% of FP users care about it. So this is totally the kind of task which is planed and that everyone in the company wants to achieve, but which is constantly delayed because something more important is coming. And here is why a topic like that is valuable. It is constantly reminding that this task is important to some members of the community, trying to increase the priority of the task, to put it as close as possible to the top of the TODO list.

I never doubted that FP will release the source code. I trust them. But each new month without it is time wasted for developers to bring /e/, Ubuntu Touch or Sailfish on the FP3. Being a member of the Ubuntu Touch community, I can tell you that a lot of people are coming every day asking which phone they should buy to run UT. So, we’re talking about a missed opportunity here. I don’t want to finally see a port of UT on the FP3 on 2022, when people will say “What, why should I buy now a phone which is 3 years old?”.

Something huge is currently happening in the Linux phone community, and all this momentum which could have been very beneficial to Fairphone, as the FP3 was the first on the market, is sliding to the PinePhone and the Librem 5, and it is a shame as those phones aren’t fair trade for sure, and also the first phone those companies produce, so surely not as good as the FP3.

This is why this topic is important.


An idea: maybe they wait for releasing Android 10 since they will have to give the sources for it two. It is a way to avoid more work…


To summarize:

  • Fairphone knows they are currently violating the GPL license.
  • The kernel sources currently contain some kind of intellectual property from Qualcomm which the developers (note: those developers are not working directly for Fairphone, they are working for a company that is hired by Fairphone) are working on removing.
  • If anybody is not trusting the software on the phone, they can’t trust any OS on any phone & probably most/all OSes on computers. Even when the kernel source will be released, there are hundreds of proprietary blobs running which have more or less full access to everything.

So the day before yesterday fp answered my support request:

Dear <rl_name>,

My name is Joana from the support team. I’ll be your case manager, nice to e-meet you :slight_smile:
Thank you for supporting Fairphone and for reaching out.

Currently we are not publishing the FP3 GPL licensed source code yet. We are working on making it public, but at this point I do not have an estimated date for it.
I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help this time. I suggest you signup for our newsletter to be kept in the loop of any news about Fairphone products and updates.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Best regards,

Well that doesn’t help xD


I got the same answer… Did not answer the satisfaction pill as I did not want to punish Joana for a situation she can’t remedy…

(I also asked for a complete Rom Image, but the answer was the same)


Hi all,
I bought a FP3 in September. It’s pretty much just been laying around since then. I have an Iphone 6s that I won in a contest that I’m still using for now. The main reason for me to buy the FP3 was that I read about the Fairphone Open OS that exists for FP2. Just wanted to add to the discussion that there are people that buy it for that reason. Maybe more then one should think. My main goal is to have fully open software without any Apple or Google stuff lurking inside. So hope that FP will manage to release the sources earlier then later. Being a software developer I’m absolutely willing to participate in further development of the OS in my spare time :slight_smile:

Just my 5 cents.


I didn’t buy a FF because I saw in this forum that no Open OS exists.

I think a mobile where Google collects all data is not “fair”.

Google can’t collect all data if you don’t let them … and even a Fairphone Open OS or LineageOS are still Android at their core … by Google.

UBports then? Might be even longer off than more open Android OSes.

While I indeed share the general sentiment … If everybody would think and act this way, Fairphone wouldn’t exist anymore, and what good would that do?