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Just installed OpenOS on my FP2. Should I root it?

Hi everyone,

After following the very clear wiki on the forum, I installed OpenOS and I am already reinstalling my apps through F-droid and directly from the app’s site in other cases (like whatsapp).

I have come across several mentions of rooting the FP. My question is the following: If I am not a developer and just want to use my FP2 as a normal user. Should I root it? What advantages would that bring?

Right now I am unable to see my sd card and can only access the internal storage of the phone, eventhough the phone recognizes the sd card as mounted when I go to settings/Storage&USB it says the card is recognized and formatted to be used with the phone only. I wonder if this has anything to do with the (lack of) rooting on my phone…

Thanks in advance

In case you do need root: on Fairphone open root can be activated from the developer settings, so it comes more or less pre-rooted (see e.g. this post).

Based on this, I’m assuming you used the ‘internal’ (or adopted) storage option. In this case the SD-card is shown as internal storage (and won’t show up separately in the system any more - exactly as you describe). The bit about ‘the phone only’ is quite literal: the SD-card will also not be readable on other devices. In addition, factory resetting the phone will also mean you lose (access to) the data stored on the adopted SD-card (the card is encrypted for security, a reset deletes the key required for decryption). Remember to regularly back up your data to an external device.

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The two things I use that require root are

  • BetterBatteryStats - without root you can use it, but it cannot show battery consumption per app
  • AdAway - this adblocker works via the hosts file and simply doesn’t work without root; I knew that one and didn’t bother to look for something else that doesn’t require root
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Thanks @Johannes and @Ingo for the tips on rooting.

As for the clarification regarding the SD card, I find it strange because as far as I can remember, I was able to see my internal storage AND my SD card separately when I had the Android FP OS, so it seems strange that now I can’t see it.

Another thing I still don’t get is where is all the storage space then? When I connect my FP2 to my computer, or when I use Amaze to browse from within the FP2, I can only see the Internal Storage folder, and inside there is no other folder called ‘SD’ or anything similar… Or have the two cards “merged” into one?

If the card was formatted for internal storage, this is the case.

The feature was introduced in Android 6, and I think the system will only ask you what to do with an SD card when it is formatted or when it is inserted in the phone for the first time. I can only presume that when you upgraded from Android 5, the card was not recognised as ‘new’ (as it was already present in Android 5) and therefore remained as portable (external) storage, which was basically the only option under Android versions before 6. Changing OS will reset the record of which SD cards are known, so you may have been asked about the SD card after the switch to Open.

When an SD-card is used as portable storage, you still see separate folders.

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I root mainly because Adaway, AFwall+, Greenefy and Xposed (with amplify). You shouldn’t root if you plan use apps which don’t work correctly with rooted phones, like some bank apps.

The only reason I regrettet rooting my Fairphone 2 was that online banking is not possible on a rooted phone.
Other than that, I feel much better if I’m not restricted on my own device and use root for a couple of apps.
Most importantly (for me): Battery Charge Limit. It enables me to limit the maximum battery state of charge without physically disconnecting the charger, in order to increase my battery’s lifespan.

You can also use banking apps with a rooted Phone: Install RootCloak (Xposed). Then you can configure apps you want to “think” the phone is not rooted… :wink: But I don’t know if it is working with every banking app…

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