From the very beginning Open Source software has been an important topic for Fairphone – it’s part of our history and DNA.
On every smartphone we produce and sell – we publish as much source code as we legally can. And we share all of this information publicly with our users and community on our Fairphone Code website.
Following this ambition we are excited to announce that today, following the Fairphone 5 launch, we are also releasing the source code for its Android 13 operating system.
You can find instructions for browsing, viewing and downloading the source code on code.fairphone.com. The source tree contains all Android and Linux kernel sources that we can publish, excluding some proprietary components. The public source tree also does not contain proprietary third-party apps such as the Google Mobile Services.
For now the sources are not buildable yet, this will follow at a later stage.
Feel free to discuss the release, and let us know if you have any questions or feedback!
What proprietary components are missing? And would the Fairphone 5 even be usable without them?
I’ve been wanting to buy a Fairphone for a while now, but I get bad ghost-town vibes when I visit Fairphone’s opensource website and the only phone that is mentioned is the “Fairphone 2”!
If you want to try out Fairphone Open check out the installation instructions. There you will find everything you need to install Fairphone Open on your Fairphone 2. https://code.fairphone.com/[Emphasis mine]
Beyond Android updates for the Fairphone 2, we also have our own alternative Android operating system – Fairphone Open, which is exclusive to Fairphone 2. https://www.fairphone.com/en/open-source/[Emphasis mine]
Yes, I do see that there’s little boxes on the side that mention Android Open Source Project for Fairphone 3 and 5. Source code to AOSP does not meet the promise of Fairphone’s earlier slogan of “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it.” All Android phones are based on AOSP with proprietary additions, so how is Fairphone’s commitment to Open Source any better?
I want to support Fairphone. I appreciate that it has ethically produced hardware, but I don’t want to be trapped in another proprietary software eco-system ever again. For that reason, I’ve purchased a Google Pixel and installed GrapheneOS and have been quite happy with it.
My hope is that in the next year Fairphone will update and strengthen their Open Source offerings so that my next phone can be Fair in both software and hardware.
Afaik they stopped developing the in-house FPOOS after the FP2 and partnered with certain custom ROMs instead. They actively work with Murena for example and provide them with early details about future devices to expedite development. Hence you’ll soon be able to buy an FP5 with /e/os preinstalled and full support through them. They plan to start shipping the end of September (a mere two weeks after the variant sold through FP directly).
You can already place your pre-order here:
This move allowed Fairphone to reduce their in-house workload while still supporting open source FP variants. Afaik only about 10% of people used FPOOS back when it was developed in-house. The rest used FPOS with proprietary Google services enbled.
(Note that you can of course manually install /e/os on any FP5 bought with FPOS as well, but the phones bought through Murena come with a locked bootloader despite the custom ROM being installed and full soft- and hardware support through Murena. So if something goes wrong that you can’t/won’t fix by yourself you can send it in and get it back with /e/os still installed.)
We have to do some work on our side in order to make the public sources build-able, but we won’t be able to prioritize this before the end of the year. Early next year is the best estimation we have right now. In the meantime we are available for any questions you might have about the source code, and we will try our best to support