Fairphone Open OS roadmap discussion

Who is “we”, who are you? :slight_smile: If you look back at the personas (the target group of Fairphone) a pure AOSP would only satisfy one (or maybe two) personas out of the five. And especially these people could compile it themselves anyway…
Note: Out of my own experience I know that compiling might not be that easy.^^ And I totally agree with you that it would be nice to have an official Fairphone OSOS soon.

we = the Fairphone community / “regular” users

Well, whom of the five personas do you consider the “regular” user? I want to point out that the needs are rather diverse. And just because I identify with one of the personas more than with another, it doesn’t mean that I think their needs are more or less important. :slight_smile:


@sjjh @kuleszdl: You two want the same things. But what you call “personas” @kuleszdl calls “extension packs” but it’s pretty much the same. But those cannot be developed if there is no FP image to begin with … that can be shared/extended.

No no…I am familiar with the concept of personas, don’t worry. I am just talking more or less about the user meeting I attended and which impressions I got also from various people here posting in the forums. I didn’t see these personas fulfilled there - I rather got the impression, that there are many “not so tech savvy” people who care about open source and they don’t mind following long instructions, but building FP-OSOS themselves is way too much for them. I was also surprised how many people of the “non techie” part of community use the f-droid store!

So if Fairphone would just provide the bare minimum of a basic FP-OSOS build, I am sure the community will produce good tutorials etc. which will also taggle aspects of installing microG or whatever as well as getting f-droid or decent apps. This would be just much faster and more efficient than spending the limited time of the FP devs for it - this time could be used much better for fixing the various bugs or moving on towards Android 6.0.


Nice discussion going on here! :slightly_smiling:

In general, I think it’s a good idea to suggest apps for different standard needs to the users and give some advice to them. Otherwise, they had to e.g. read to a lot of topics in the forum here, which is very time-consuming and obviously not the way to go for everyone. However, I see multiple possibilities to implement this (and there may be even more):

  1. Community based tutorials, though we’d be in desperate need of better wiki “software” in this case, IMHO.
  2. Tutorials by Fairphone on the download site of FPOSOS (or linked from there).
  3. A software implementation integrated in the OS itself.

From my point of view, 3. might be a bit unnecessary overkill binding resources that could be better used for more important work. In particular, I’d agree with @kuleszdl and @lklaus here:

However, if FP wants to have an own solution to this and serve their customers directly by own software or tutorials rather than community based tutorials, I could in fact understand such an argument and would find it reasonable, as well, also from a customer’s perspective. (Also see the quote of @keesj a few lines downwards).

One way or the other, I’d agree with @TobiasF that it’d be nice to suggest several apps, explain basically their features and differences etc.:

In any of these cases, you’d still have to decide which and how many apps to preinstall. Of course, one could preinstall one app for every “standard need” (whatever these are) and provide alternatives for those who need them as suggested earlier:

And I agree to @keesj and @kuleszdl that this might be needed for quite an amount of users interested in FPOSOS:

However, if the tutorial or software implementation is clear and all info is accessible in one place in a user-friendly way (hence avoiding working through the forum), that could also serve the not-so-tech-savvy people. Though there will still be users (no idea how many) who may just want default preinstalled apps instead of working through a tutorial (even a user-friendly one) and who would be “lost” if provided with nearly no preinstalled apps (as e.g. in AOSP). Regarding this, I could understand a decision to include preinstalled apps for standard needs, although it’s definitely not my personal preference and I see a good point in:

And, as @keesj himself already pointed out, It’s a tough decision anyway:

I highly appreciate these thoughts. Some people (again, don’t know how many) may feel like pushed to use a particular app or classify the preinstalled apps as bloatware.

The bottom line is, I guess, that it’s just not possible to serve the needs of the wide spectrum of users (well, not a new insight :wink:).This being said, I like the idea of providing different “versions”:

Though this may produce to much work and one really needs to make sure that this splitting doesn’t screw up maintainability. Hence, I fear that this is not really an option.


Yeah, that’d be nice. @keesj?

You may know about the other possibilities of downloading apps only available from the Play Store while not using the Play Store itself (as documented in the Alternative Apps(tores) topic mentioned by @paulakreuzer). But apart from the less trustworthy options mentioned there (Evozi, 1Mobile Market etc.) I want to emphasize the open-source program Raccoon, which I’d put more trust in. It can be installed as a client program on a desktop PC and just extracts .apk files from the Google Play Store (you still need a Google Play account, but it could be a dummy account and it doesn’t need to be linked to your phone). In particular, it’s also available for Linux (for German speaking people see this German blog post and the Droidwiki entry for more info).

Nice feature requests. Is it possible to easily configure the DNS stuff such that the Google DNS servers can be replaced by other servers?

I don’t know yet how the update process will be organised, especially concerning self-compiled versions. And recompiling the image every time a new update is published, wouldn’t be really practical to me.


I guess notifications about critical updates (security and showstopper issues) would be sufficient - every time something like this gets fixed, it would be fine to recompile. You certainly don’t need to recompile to get some minor updates or the latest improvements in the source code documentation. :slightly_smiling:

Anyways, I still think the most important target group for FP-OSOS are people who DO care about privacy and stuff, are willing to take some additional efforts and read through wikis etc. but for whom compiling themselves or installing linux (virtual machines) is way too much. Official and “trustworthy”, pre-rooted FP-OSOS images are the best solution => and basically what many FP1 owners like(d) most about this device.


Can you explain, what exactly is sustainable about selling a device that will not be updated anymore in the future? So I have to buy a new fairphone every few years? Don’t think that’s fair. I would like to keep my fairphone 1, but I can’t install some apps already. Somehow this does not seem to me as a good way to deal with resources. Maybe you could think of an upgrade on a new android-version as a paid service or something like that. If you wave mit some money, there might be support of the manufactures for an update. Would be a better solution than throwing away the old full functional phone, because the software is outdated.


It’s a shame which big software fails (including security) are in the current Android Version and how slowly at fixing the Fairphone-Team is.

Hi jom:

We will improve upon this and as suggested plan on Monthly updates


@JacobVR, you are right and many people agree with you.

Even Fairphone agrees with you. That is why they have invested resources in updating Fairphone 1. We don’t know yet whether anything will come out of it.

Meanwhile, you can try the unofficial update which is compiled by a community member. There is even a nice and easy tutorial how to install the unofficial update.

However this thread is about the future of “Fairphone Open Source OS” which is only for Fairphone 2.


Are you referring to FP2? Are the fixes not included in the official image or does FP-OSOS (self-compiled) lack them?

Well, Android security patches are being released on a monthly basis. And Fairphone seems to have the goal to keep up with that, as @keesj pointed out - and I highly appreciate that! In view of this, I wouldn’t like to recompile every month, in particular facing my weak hardware (need to free 70GB space every time; and syncing sources and compilation takes more than 12h).


If it’s just the patches, recompilation and resync should be pretty quick if you use the compiler cache. But yes, you will need to reserve quite a bunch of disk space to do that.

My point was targeted mainly at people who want to compile their system themselves anyways. Of course, for the majority getting compiled binaries is more preferable.

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Fair enough. :wink:

Nobody wants to compile anything :slight_smile:

It’s boring and steals time. The pain is that all new features have to be adapted a little for each device and it’s OEM/SoC/bin blob bound source code. And not everything that is useful also ends up automatically in the Android-Code and it takes a while to end up in the OEM code. Also, most paid developers want a more “Apple-like” ecosystem, not so much a “Linux-on-a-phone” Android for security, user-friendliness, and marketing reasons.

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Is there any information on the release date of the OSOS binary? I don’t want to compile it on my own, but would like to start customizing it, without the thought of doing it all over again a week later.
Could someone who compiled an OSOS without GMS upload there files somewhere?

Not allowed. But maybe someone will ignore the strange licence and send you a private message with a link. The problem is the licence is pretty hard to understand. I’m not even sure if it is forbidden. But there is a discussion about that elsewhere if you search for it.

Update, Links:

I guess these lines are important: “Fairphone grants you (…) non-transferable, limited copyright license to download, install and use the Software for non commercial purposes only on a Fairphone 2 device in machine-readable (i.e., object code) environment”, “You must not take any actions that may result in the fragmentation of Android.” and “You are also not allowed to remove portions of the Software, alter or otherwise modify it, or translate, reproduce, copy, reverse engineer, reverse compile, disassemble or transfer the Software.” But I don’t see a lot about sharing here and the non-transferable is pretty vague. If everyone can download it you are practically sharing it anyway, it just makes things difficult.

But I’m not a lawyer and I guess the same is true for @keesj. There is no lawyer-like official statement yet, I think.


Q1 2016 is almost over. My FP2 is lying stupidly in its delivery box most of the time. What are the release plans/circumstances for the fposos? :rage: