Replicant support for FP2

Since the consideration of the Replicant’s leader about the Fairphone’s choice for the Qualcomm chipset I ask myself if there will ever be a Replicant version for Fairphone 2.

Unfortunately and despite our best advice, Fairphone people have decided to go with a Qualcomm platform. This means that there is no interest from the software freedom perspective, thus I won’t be spending any on my time on the device. Of course, I am very much a supported of the ethical approach on the manufacturing line, but it doesn’t make the device acceptable regarding software freedom.


The fact that the hardware is not free (if that’s what you’re talking about), despite having consequences regarding our ability to change the situation, does not implicate that it cannot respect our software freedom.

Maybe if the Fairphone software team provide a kind of support to Replicant team this will became possible, but at this point it seems difficult. I am not understand what have Qualcomm that is not good for software freedom, maybe he refer at the bootloader signature’s check of the chipset, but I’m not an expert: maybe someone in the forum could explain this?
However, the project is still at version 4.2 of Android, but i’m equally interested in it.


Can you provide links for your quotes?


Hello @deedend,

Running a fully open stack requires great investment from both hardware and software perspective. Combining this with Android is even more challenging. We’re producing a phone to improve the electronics value chain one step at a time. Fairphone 2 will be a great improvement terms of what we can release as open source and we hope for a more vibrant ROM community. We will also continue moving towards more transparency, privacy and security and this ultimately will indeed require using open hardware but we are not there yet and neither is open hardware at this point in time!


thank you, now the situation appears more clear…

1 Like

Nobody does, except Qualcomm and those with an NDA who wont tell. Potentially it translate to things like Lenovo’s Superphish, which was UEFI level software to intercept SSL traffic (I doubt it was only for commercial reasons).

After I saw Paul Kocialkowski at FOSDEM I attempted to direct Fairphone into his direction, as I found his efforts to get good hardware unneeded (when Fairphone was planning something new - and the two targeted customer groups are somewhat alike). To not exactly quote Joe; the limit’s of the Fairphone is currently the staff which isn’t experienced in making phones and has no time. Not even for a simple conversation (which for that reason doesn’t make sense anyway).

And as there’s no way to make anonymous comments I will not drop my serious concerns that totally contradict the Fair part in fairphone and likely affect end-users. My attempt was at a too late stage anyway, but I’m still interested in a small 1:1 talk with the CEO, as I doubt he’s aware or cares.

So how many phones does replicant actually run on? 2?

1 Like

Had a quick look on the replicant site. They support a whopping 9 devices (all 3 years or older), which to me, makes them completely and utterly insignificant. Their high horse attitude only hurts themselves. They appear to be wanting too much at once.

Ironically they list Samsung devices as supported which run either an Exynos SoC (Samsung’s own chipset) or (surprise!) a QualComm SoC.

What’s up with that?


Ah, it gets even better. The FAQ mentions how drivers and, for example, modem software is still proprietary. So in that aspect, I don’t see why FairPhone’s QualComm choice would be such a bad one.

Also, they say that they still lack hardware support for some of the supported devices, due to drivers for these pieces of hardware not being free. They refuse to stick to proprietary software instead to maintain full functionality of the phone. Now, I am totally baffled why anyone would willfully neuter functionality on his or her phone just so your software is “free”. And it’s kind of hypocritical when you accept the fact that you have no insight into the modem software you’re using whatsoever. I understand that if you remove this your phone becomes unusable, but it’s really a case where you stick to your beliefs until they really start to inconvenience you.

So sorry to be blunt about it, but I get the impression that Replicant is for ivory tower high horse hipsters who want to be better than you


[quote=“Jerry, post:9, topic:9574, full:true”]So sorry to be blunt about it, but I get the impression that Replicant is for ivory tower high horse hipsters who want to be better than you

Thank you for your “interesting” point of view, I’m sure I really needed to know how much stock android with gapps is useful for our needs and how EVERYONE must have it on their phones.
But this thread is intended to discuss about the OPTION to have Replicant on fairphone for people that are interested. Frankly, your personal statement is absolutely useless and a bit too “trolly” for me, but it’s only my opinion and I don’t intend to discuss more with you about this argument.


I agree that a different OS “flavor” the users could switch to would help.

Exploits that exist for the old android version the FP1 is now stuck with show how important this issue is. Due to hardware choices the fairphone project made it depends very strongly on code from the manufacturer of the phones’ chip. And the manufacturer does not care. But @Jerry is also right with the modem part, but this will not change.

The software vs hardware fairness was a misconception from the beginning of the FP project and it was known and pointed out during that time, but choices were made to reach the projects goals at least partly.


But mistakes are being made again for the FP2 just to sell the crowd a “fair” but still pretty standard vendor locked phone again.

That’s the really sad part. Why not wait a little? Rushing this and just trying to sell more phones that only last one or two years it really bad. If I want expensive up to date tech, I buy Apple.

But I want something that is build fair and will work for a while time and can be repaired. Not just another standard vendor locked phone that was build more fair. This is what FP1 was for.

FP2 should address the software fairness, be build modular and help the worker by building the ever changing parts in a fair way, not by building just another standard phone more fairly. I guess I will skip FP2 and just buy a cheap used phone in the meantime if I have to.

1 Like

I had an idea some time ago and this post reminded me to share it here.
If it turns out that the FP2’s chipset- or motherboard-module can (theoretically) be replaced do you guys think we could successfully crowdfund a project to create an open-hardware module and a replicant distribution that will run on it?
Or is that just crazy talk? :smiley:

1 Like

We discussed this a while back for FP1(U) too. :slight_smile: it’s amazing how similar we think sometimes… :wink:

1 Like

It’s a bit crazy, but I think that a similar proposal made to, for example, the openmoko community could have a interesting impact. But it may not be enough anyway…

It won’t work. If I recall correctly, too much of the FP1/U hardware was based on the choice of the “wrong” chipset. But maybe these guys could answer your question:

If the FP1/U hardware would work with a GTA04 board, there would be a chance. But I don’t think so. Else somebody would have already wrote that here. But hey, why not ask?

Is openmoko still existent?
Their official website was last edited in August 2013…

But to quote more from the same source as the original post:

Which platform (instead of Qualcom) they should have been choose for authorise the freedom solutions?

The could have chosen a modern platform that doesn’t check the bootloader’s signature, such as the i.MX6, OMAP4/5 or Allwinner.

1 Like

I agree although I don’t know if these chips will be any better. And this is why I won’t buy the FP2, alternatives were never really discussed. They settled with a new partner pretty quickly or at least this is how I feel about it.

The FP1 was a prototype to check if it would work at all. But the FP2 feels rushed. But maybe this is the only way to get money into the project? I don’t really know, I never saw discussion about this and I have to admit that I stopped following the whole project for a while, so I’m not sure.

But I would buy a voucher for a FP3 if they would tell me on what hardware they will focus the next time, just to support the project.

1 Like

I don’t think that Fairphone made a rushed decision and surely looked into the subject deeply. On the other hand they need to have in mind their most important driving thought: To prove to the big players that a fair smartphone is possible. I have never heard of these open chip sets before, but I am sure that they would not be a consideration for e.g. Samsung. But a Qualcomm chip in a fair phone, hey that’s something they might consider and imitate Fairphone.


[quote=“fp1_wo_sw_updates, post:15, topic:9574, full:true”]It won’t work. If I recall correctly, too much of the FP1/U hardware was based on the choice of the “wrong” chipset.

If the FP1/U hardware would work with a GTA04 board, there would be a chance. But I don’t think so. Else somebody would have already wrote that here. But hey, why not ask?

I refer to the FP2, and only in the case that Fairphone decide to open up the hardware specification, so third party could develop alternative modules and/or mainboard. I think that the FP1/U is too close for that, sadly.

I don’t know if Qualcomm was such a bad choice, either. There seems to be quite a lot of Qualcomm-related open source development recently.

I couldn’t find anything about free Snapdragon modem drivers, but it’s listed on the mainlining wiki page, so maybe we’ll see work on this at a later time.
There is source code available for Qualcomm Gobi 3G modems, however and the Snapdragon 801 product brief mentions Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE Advanced for connectivity. Maybe it’s possible to reuse some of this code then.