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FP2 Open OS - Wish: A powerful Recovery ROM (and what it has to do with freedom / root / gapps)

Hi,
I think a lot of confusion regarding the root and user freedom discussion the last days comes from some misconception about the unlocked bootloader vs a powerfull recovery ROM, that allows flashing of arbitrary content. Please feel free to correct me if i understand anything wrong.

Unlocked Bootloader

this allows us to:

  • flashing the entire phone (including the recovery ROM) with the help of some external tools from the PC

this does NOT allow:

  • flashing a custom ROMs from the SD card (without the PC)
  • flashing the ROM without loosing the settings
  • flashing additional apps/binaries into an existing ROM (like SuperSU for Root Access)

Installed Recovery ROM

this allows us to:

  • flashing signed ROMs from the SD card (without the PC)

this does NOT allow:

  • flashing unsigned ROMs
  • flashing unsigned apps/binaries into an existing ROM (like SuperSU for Root Access)

Powerfull Recovery ROM
These are for example ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) or Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP).

this allows us to:

  • flashing custom ROMs from the SD card (without the PC)
  • flashing custom ROMs without loosing your settings (at least to a technical possible degree, i.e. you can keep your user data, but no one will guarantee, that this data is usable on another ROM)
  • flashing additional apps/binaries into an existing ROM (like SuperSU for Root Access)
  • making easy full ROM backups and restore (to/from SD card)

Implications on the Users Freedom
A powerful recovery implies a very flexible way to manage and experimenting with ROMs and it also enables you to flash additional content into the ROM. This allows to bypass limitations such as “no root” easily. Furthermore, it allows you to go forth and back (regarding custom ROMs) without loosing your settings permanently! This is the way nearly all custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod are using to install them. It is also no problem to have root and gapps at the same time using one of these cusotm ROMs.
Therefore I think a lot of the users here are used to this flexibility and therefore still feel locked in when using FP2 with unlocked bootloader. They are forced to decide between the one and the other world and are not able to adjust the existing ROM to their needs. The freedom a developer has (because OSOS is FOSS) does not reach the end user!

Related Questions

  • Which Recovery ROM will be shipped with FP OSOS images?
  • Does there exist any powerful recovery ROM for the FP2 yet? If so, where can i find it?

Wish:

  • Make it possible to use (at least for the official FP OSOS builds) a powerful recovery or - even better - make such a ROM the default. If the user then wants to flash gapps or anything else he is free to do so and shoot itself in the food (if he wants to).
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Currently there are two possibles I’m aware of (untested):

I don’t think FP can ship such software, else they will loose the right to bundle google software with their updates, I guess.

Update: If one wants to know more about this process (and about the future) reading the “Android Compatibility Definition” might help. I think this is the one the FP decided to follow.

2 Likes

I haven’t tried it myself yet but this looks promising: ✏ Porting TWRP recovery

1 Like

thx for linking this in.