@hirntot and any interested person willing for a summary in non-too-technical terms:
Just some clarification of the steps made so far…
Fairphone published (as promised) the kernel source code, but not yet the complete install image.
In this topic, a few people managed to compile the image properly and outside of the android’s build environment, but
having the kernel source code does not mean having a compiled and running kernel. If you are a Linux user, just go to kernel.org, grab the latest Linux release, compile and replace your existing kernel. If you are experienced it is fairly easy, but it is not a trivial thing to do. Now, when it comes to doing the same for a smartphone, it gets a bit more tricky. No one here actually managed to boot the compiled kernel on FP3.
The trick seems to properly package the compiled kernel into a boot image, and this seems to be very much device-dependent and it is not specifically documented for FP3. It is not possible to directly see how it is done on FP3 because there is no access on the phone to the relevant data without rooting the phone first (which is what people are trying to do here!). In order to break this vicious circle, corvuscorax proposed to
check automatic phone updates, and try to grab the boot image from them. The problem was that these updates would not provide the whole system in the phone, but just the differences between the system in the phone and the updated system; a lot of impressive work was done in order to extract as much information as possible from these differences, but nothing really useful was found so far (even though in a future update the full system might be provided, and we are ready for intercepting it if this happens). That’s why, meanwhile, it was proposed to
come back to the boot process, and try to understand what goes wrong. The problem is that there is a lack of debugging information during the boot process. Actually, debugging information is normally not conveyed through the screen when a smartphone boots, but often (and this is device dependent) through a signal across 3 pins on the motherboard.
That’s why Matombo took the initiative of soldering wires on his phone.That’s why pigpig took the initiative of probing debug pins candidates inside his FP3. It seems no one here has attemtped soldering anything yet .
To conclude with, if you wish to get rid of google on your phone/to have it rooted/to install a free OS on it, you have a variety of options:
- Wait till Fairphone actually does it (I really think they will, even though they have no obligation, but it will certainly take time)
- Wait till Fairphone makes a full image publicly available (I don’t think they have any obligation of doing it, but they promised to do so; it might also take some time, but less than the previous option)
- Do the whole work yourself from the published source code (that’s what is tried here, but see, it’s hard and not clear if it will take less time than the previous option)
- Wait till someone external to Fairphone does the job in hopefully less time than Fairphone (that is my strategy, trying maybe also to help a bit here and there when possible)
Anyhow, whenever there is significant progress, for sure you will know very quickly, even if you don’t read all posts in this topic. This is my bet: if you don’t see any new post here for 3 days in a row, then the custom ROM is running on FP3 .