English

FP2 Android 9 storage encryption outstanding


“Encryption is unavailable on Android 9 with the FP2. In order to have a working encryption on your phone, install Android 7, establish the encryption there and reinstall the upgrade to Android 9” (freely translated)

1 Like

Known issue, please read here:

Just to clarify:

  • you can’t enable encryption on FP2 with a fresh install of Android 9.
  • if you still want to have encryption on FP2 with Android 9, there is a way with stones starting from Android 7.

Your link is about the latter. I was advertising the first point :wink: Of course it is known, otherwise FP wouldn’t have written the description.
In hope it will help others

That is correct, but when you open the link, you can read a short report described by a Fairphone developer that fits to your issue…

In case that’s true I appologise in advance. But honestly I don’t see it. Did you double check your link? Cause it is definetely not here on the first page

Content

android 9 upgrade : make it clearer that screen lock should be disabled on encrypted phones

Open

android 9 upgrade : make it clearer that screen lock should be disabled on encrypted phones

Which version of the software are you running?

21.03.0-rel2

What happened?

Updater tool could not install Android 9. I had my notification that system could be updated. I accepted. Updater downloaded the new OS Updated asked for reboot I agreed reboot Phone rebooted to android 7. No special notification about any error or issue. When reading manual procedure for updating to android 7, I found that “The Android 7 upgrade cannot be installed on encrypted devices with secure start-up enabled. Please disable secure start-up first: go to security settings and re-enter your current screen lock, but leave secure start-up disabled. You should undo this after installing the update.” My phone is indeed encrypted. I disabled the screen lock, retried (updater downloaded the OS again) then the update happened seamlessly.

Expected behavior

The updater should test encrypted+locked condition (or at least the encrypted condition) and issue a message that screen lock should be disabled.

Steps to reproduce

Merely try to upgrade from FairphoneOS 19(? android 7) to 21 on an encrypted+screen-locked FP2

Screenshots

Is there a workaround?

Disable screen lock

Describe the impact this has on your everyday experience

Low as long as I could find out the workaround somewhere… but not at the proper place

To upload designs, you’ll need to enable LFS and have an admin enable hashed storage. More information

Linked issues

0

Gabe @gabrieleb · 1 day ago

Owner

Hi @fondemen ,

Just to make sure we are on the same page, let me know if the following sequence of events is correct:

  1. You were running Android 7, on an encrypted device, and with a screen lock.
  2. You got notified about the Android 9
  3. The update downloaded fine, and the phone rebooted to install the update
  4. Nothing was installed, and you found yourself back into Android 7
  5. You disabled the screen lock, then tried to update again. Everything worked perfectly.

Did I get it right?

Frédéric Fondement @fondemen · 1 day ago

Hello! Yes, this is exactly what happened. Sorry for the poor formatting of my issue… Thanks a lot for the upgrade job!

  • Collapse replies

  • Gabe

Gabe @gabrieleb · 22 hours ago

Owner

Ok, here is what I did with my test phone, after a factory reset:

1. Flashed `1.13.0` (Android 5)
2. Set up the device (updated all apps via Play Store, encrypted the storage)
3. Launched the OTA update to `18.04.1` (Android 6)
4. After the update, checked the Updater again. It offered the update to `18.09.2` (A7).

It forced me to remove the lock pattern before installing. This is by design. The warning is the same you can see in the article. I removed the pattern and upgraded.
5. Once on 18.09.2, I added the pattern again.
6. I was offered to go to 19.11.2
7. Once there, I got offered the 21.03.0 upgrade to Android 9
8. The upgrade to Android 9 went smoothly.

In other words, I cannot reproduce the behavior you witnessed. :thinking:

Question for you: how many times did you try and fail to upgrade, before you found out about the encryption bit and disabled the pattern?

Edited by Gabe 22 hours ago

And to clarify again: I don’t have an issue, it’s just another feature missing in FP2 Android9 which one would expect to be there.

1 Like

I was referring to this comment:

  • You were running Android 7, on an encrypted device, and with a screen lock.
  • You got notified about the Android 9
  • The update downloaded fine, and the phone rebooted to install the update
  • Nothing was installed, and you found yourself back into Android 7
  • You disabled the screen lock, then tried to update again. Everything worked perfectly.

Ok, your link completely describes a different situation and therefore doesn’t apply to my finding.
As ruled out here:

That would translate to the situation I experienced like that:

  • You were running Android 7, on an unencrypted device, and with or without a screen lock.
  • You got notified about the Android 9
  • The update downloaded fine, and the phone rebooted to install the update
  • Everything was installed just fine, and you found yourself infront of a shiny new Android 9
  • You tried to enable the storage encryption feature, then came up the information to go all back to Android 7 in order to achieve that.

OK, never mind, it has just been a confirmation of what you determined with encryption…

Ok, I finally get what you are trying to accomplish… And I also know, why it was such a stupidly long way to go…
You wanted to put in a follow up on how to successfully achieve having the storage encryption with a FP2 AND running Android 9.
Whereas I was highly irritated that you declared my finding as “well known”, although it is not clear that a fresh installed android 9 is incapable to encrypt its storage all by itself (which I expect to be solved by an upcoming update).
I think there might be people out there who think “oh, I read about those encryption problems, I want to avoid those and go for an unencrypted upgrade to Android 9. Then I can encrypt from there.” As of now, that is impossible.

And I doubt it ever will be possible to use encryption on a FP2 featuring Android 9 later on.

Some days ago another forum user - I cannot find the post at the moment - described the lack of SoC hardware encryption capabilities, which means that only software encryption is possible. Plus: The FP2, to my knowledge, is the only device out there featuring this specific SoC and Android 9.

There are reports of encrypted FP2s that were updated from Android 7 to 9, and consuming more energy, and developing even more heat, which all together seems to be the result of an overall bad combination: old SoC, Android 9, and encryption…

On a sidenote, it’s pretty interesting that Android 9 in the form of Fairphone OS would work with Android 7 encryption.

LineageOS couldn’t do that on the Fairphone 2. While LineageOS 15.1 (Android 8.1) still worked with an Android 7 encrypted data partition, LineageOS 16.0 (Android 9) just didn’t work this way, it could only handle newer encryption.

Before condemning Android 7 encryption too much, keep in mind that TWRP for the Fairphone 2 is able to decrypt Android 7 encryption, but not Android 8/9 encryption (at least not officially or reliably).
Meaning … running Android 9 with an Android 7 encrypted data partition should in theory enable you to do (or keep doing) TWRP backups including the data partition. (I didn’t check that, yet.)

Lineage OS cannot be upgraded from one version to another, if I am well informed, which might be the reason why encryption cannot be preserved…

The LineageOS Updater doesn’t support OTA upgrades, but you can upgrade manually … https://wiki.lineageos.org/upgrade_guides.html.

And upgrading to Android 8 (or installing from scratch) worked without a problem with Android 7 encryption in place. So in any case Android 9 did something differently.

1 Like

Good to know, thanks!

Could it be this post?

1 Like

Yes, that is the post, thank you!

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.