FP3 : Fairphone Open OS?

In the “General Fairphone 3 discussion”-thread I found this:

I wonder if this is possibly a replacement for FP Open OS? Another method for the same goal: no separate OS, but simply remove the Google stuff from the default OS?

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The Android Open Source Project can be found here:


At least me, I will depend on someone making it a simple update.
Implementing something myself? No way!
Sorry, at least not enough time; even if I should be able to grasp what is necessary; something I would not place a bet on. :wink:

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AOSP is the basis for every Android, including FP OS. The wording there is confusing, it probably means something very similar to the existing FP Open OS.

And yes, removing Google stuff (& installing some apps replacing lost functionality) is basically how FP Open OS is made.

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Thank you for all the informative posts in this thread.
From all I read the best solution for an Open Source OS for the Fairphone 3 would be /e/OS.
The main reasons being :

  1. It de-googles the OS more deeply than Fairphone Open did
  2. It can be used out of box because it contains the necessary replacement apps (mainly an alternative app store, an alternate search engine and a sync app linked to a sync server). Fairphone Open did not.

I really wish that the Fairphone team will cooperate with the e.foundation to make this possible and official (including the automated updates of the OS).
If this succeed then it will be possible to offer the option to buy pre-installed Fairphones with this OS, as an official alternative to the Google Android.
Offering this option is in my opinion the key to the success of the Open Source OS on the Fairphone.

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Agreed, /e/ seems to be the best option today to deliver a fully working de-Googled, Android-based OS, with a big enough brand name to support a wide customer base. Unfortuantely the timing is not quite right, FP3 is coming soon but eOS is still in its beta phase and is simply not mature enough (yet) specially for a EUR450 phone.

However they are currently looking to partner with hardware manufacturers to start production to sell their own phones with eOS preinstalled… right now they are selling refurbished phones which I think it’s great since that is great for the environment as well. Does anybody know of any licensing issues that would make this partnership not possible?

If I had to choose between these two for a new phone today, I would go with a refurbished /e/ phone as it’s still great for the environment but also software ecosystem. Although to be fair I haven’t really looked into FairOS and I don’t know how ‘free’ it really is.

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FP has to pay a licensing fee for unlocked bootloaders, but that would also apply to other open OSes.

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I’m not saying you’re wrong, but:

  • /e/ is not fully de-Googled: E.g. it uses microg, which accesses the Google services. So if you really want to be #livingwogoogle Lineage OS without microg is better suited.
  • /e/ is in beta stage. Version 1.0. has yet to be released.
  • The userbase is definitely smaller than Lineage OS
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They already use it for OSINT. Even recruiters use it these days (illegally, but OK).

If it is private information, a government can request it. Google publishes in its transparency report how often a country requests such information. Other companies, I don’t know. This is why you should not host your private data without E2EE (ie. only you have the unlock key).

A government could do the same with such a foundation. Due to GDPR, you can ask companies what information they got on you, too.

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I know microG will remain pre-installed after v1.0. but this may change in the future, and still it seems that it can be disabled as per user needs easily (as per their community forums).

LineageOS is definitely more popular, but runs on volunteer effort which means support for any given device may stop overnight and without prior notice. This happened to me twice already.

This is just my opinion, but if /e/ can prove they are up to the task, as a company I would put my trust (and money) in them rather than a project like LineageOS. Specially if they can focus on maintaining fewer devices if they find a hardware manufacturer like Fairphone :slight_smile: I really hope this happens!

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That is true, but for now /e/ is completely dependent on Lineage OS, so if Lineage stops support so will /e/, right?

I think the opposite is the plan.

Well maybe but if LineageOS drops support for a given device /e/ could still maintain it, but I suspect that using their codebase is a way to get things up and running quickly. In any case, I’ve been doing some reading about Open OS and it sounds like is already Google-free, isn’t that what /e/ is trying to achieve? Does OS work only with Fairphone or is it portable to other devices as well?

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If LineageOS drops a device (as they do very often, especially when they decide to move to a new Android version!) then /e/ will usually continue to maintain it. For example, LineageOS moved on from Nougat, to Oreo and then Pie; /e/'s main base is Oreo and they are prototyping Pie, and all the Nougat devices are still maintained as well. This because they don’t see the Android version as critical to providing /e/ OS (which I agree with). Ultimately they say they will move away from being based on LineageOS and this is certainly true now for Nougat-based devices as they are not maintained by LineageOS anymore AFAIK. Whether or not they will support new devices which LineageOS doesn’t support is another question which we have yet to find the answer to.

However, /e/ is not very clear about which devices are officially supported and which are community supported. The vast majority are community supported but are built on /e/ infrastructure and updates deployed to phones automatically, so from an end user perspective there is no difference.

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Any ETA of lineage OS support?

I estimate it will be ready in two weeks time.

I will be wrong, of course, because there will not be any ETA.

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Very useful reply :slight_smile:

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“No.” would have been less than 20 characters :wink: .

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FIVE percent only, gosh…
At least, let’s see things positively : I now understand the feeling of being myself “part of the 5%” too :grinning:
Still this is the full market for a company like Purism, that alone should be worth raising attention in Fairphone!

P. S. this is not an ad for Purism : just compare the specs, FP3 beats them hands down on almost every line…

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Well, look at it the other way: Fairphone has the potential for the mass market, as people buy it like other android phones. It’s not only a geek’s phone…

And also, you still can root it and use ad blockers and firewalls to reign it in. There are reasons why you e.g. need the play store

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The community is generally aware of Purism. Purism has different design goals and primary ideals than Fairphone (the Librem 5 is not a fairly made smartphone). I take my hat off to both companies, as I can see the value in both, and both deliver a unique product for a niche I find valuable.

Btw that percentage doesn’t include the people who also use a different OS such as SailfishOS or LineageOS + microG or Ubuntu Touch or /e/.

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Hopefully they will work on alternatives for the new FP3 without Google Services! Notice, if you have no control over the data which are passed to google, it’s not a 100% ethical phone anymore. So please keep on working on an alternative!

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