Simplest way to switch to open OS?

I’m coming back to this forum after a long leave (I owned a FP1 for years, then gave it to one of my sons when my employer imposed me a mandatory closed company phone).
I now just got a new Fairphone 2 and, as an old user from the time when Fairphones were spontaneously rooted and without GApps, my immediate objective is to install Fairphone Open.

I have two quick questions :

  1. I have seen there are step-by-step methods to do this here, all involving a reflash via USB/computer.
    Do I understand correcly that there is no path, from FP standard OS to FP Open, that would just use the onboard ‘updater’ app?

  2. In my memory from FP1, an issue with GApps-free was with the GPS that would’t use Google’s side info on GSM towers and wifi stations to accelerate convergence, which one had to solve with a very complex, and often faulty, installation of something called ‘UnifiedNLP’.
    (At the time it was nifty to also harvest neighboring stations to develop the open database, I don’t know if this is still important)
    My question : is there now a simple way to deal with UnifiedNLP or whichever addon that’d have replaced it? (also : does OpenGApps do the job?)

Thank you!
P. S. by the way, any further avice on running GApps-free would be welcome!

1 Like

Welcome back. :slight_smile:

  1. Yes there is currently only the manual installation method which involves a script that you just have to run on your computer and that will basically do everything for you.
  2. GPS is much less an issue with the FP2 than it was with the FP1. The microG unified NLP could definitely help, but it’s probably not necessary.
    I’m not using it myself, but I believe you can simply install the unified NLP + backends from F-Droid.

OpenGAPPS is the same as Google, so switching to OpenOS and then installing GAPPS anyway only makes sense if you want root which is available in OpenOS via the developer settings.


If you trust Android enough, you could set location mode to ‘device only’, which only uses GPS to determine location. (The trust issue is to do with whether or not that means that GSM/wifi location isn’t shared anyway).

So if you do want assisted GPS, but instead of via Google via a different location provider, you can look into UnifiedNLP. If this is important to you, don’t install Android 7 (18.10), but stick to Android 6 (18.04) for now, as unifiedNLP is not yet working with the newer Fairphone Open Android 7 (bug report).


It might also make sense without root, namely if you want to install the pico version of GAPPS in order to access the play store/services but not having all those google apps you don’t use (and cannot uninstall - just deactivate - on the regular FP OS).


Thank you all for these very quick reactions!

This is most significant for me : indeed, I’ll probably head to Fairphone Open, and I’m interested in UnifiedNLP assisted GPS. I understand that I can I safely find the Android 6 FP Open package easily, and install it like the latest one :slight_smile:

Good remark. Furthermore, now I remember my old times with FP1 better, I found it was quite easy to get a basic GApps-endowed tablet with the right app on it, and then just send it to the FP with one of the many utilities available on F-Droid. I’ll certainly start like that…

Thanks again!

While I cannot provide a set of instructions (I have no FP2 and it was already a bit of an effort to write it for the FP1), it should probably be possible – if you have root on your FP2 – to switch to Fairphone Open OS with an approach similar to what I wrote in this topic:

Someone would have to write a similar guide for the FP2 switch to Open OS. Given the circumstances mentioned before, it cannot be me though, sorry :angel:


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