Unlocking bootloader FP2

Good afternoon everyone,

I’m looking to install a custom OS (Ubuntu touch) on the Fairphone 2 (I will buy these second-hand).
As far as my knowledge goes, it is necessary to unlock the bootloader in order to install custom operating systems like ubuntu touch.
For the Fairphone 3, I found the following Self-help URL:

However, I cannot find something equal for the Fairphone 2.

Is someone able to help me out? Is there a page that I did not found? Or is the bootloader already unlocked (and if this is the case, is it safe?)?

Thank you very much,



as far as i understand, the bootloader is already unlocked.
You can install ubuntu touch easily using the instructions given on the UBPorts website:


Thanks vthejay for your answer.
Did you install a custom OS on FP2 yourself, without unlocking the bootloader?

Would prefer to be sure before I buy them.

I can second @vthejay without reservations. I have installed Fairphone OS, Fairphone Open OS, LineageOS, /e/OS, Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS on an FP2 … all without ever having to think about unlocking the bootloader.

Just adding that @oli.sax is our friendly UB Ports expert here. :slight_smile:


In the past I have installed Fairphone OS, Fairphone Open OS, LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch (used it only for a day with Ubuntu Touch) and I am right now using Lineage OS with microG. :slight_smile:
Never had to worry about unlocking the bootloader.


Thanks a lot guys! Seems like I can buy them without worrying about this topic.

Have a nice day :wink:

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Hi @urs_lesse, I see in this discussion that you are experienced with Linux on FP2. I’m trying to install Ubuntu touch, but my FP2 is not rebooting to bootloader, I’ve tried it many times (pressing the Volume Down + Power buttons) as recommended by the ubports installer, but it’s not working. The ubports installer also tells me at the very end that the installation was successful, but after reboot, Android is still installed on my FP2 (I had selected to wipe it off). Do you know what I could try? And if you would rather recommend another OS, e.g. Lineage, I’d be very happy to know about that. This is my first try to change the OS to get rid of google. Thank you for having a look at my question! :slight_smile:

Please note that I only installed Ubuntu Touch for a short time and never used it for my own everyday use.

I think if you are not that experienced yet, LineageOS or /e/OS might be better options for you. Ubuntu Touch is a more radical departure from Fairphone OS and does not natively support Android apps (you can run them, but basically it requires Ubuntu Touch to emulate Android within itself). Simplified speaking, LineageOS offers you a “blank sheet” or “bare bones” Android (a bit like Fairphone Open OS, but you can choose to add various intensities of Google to LineageOS if you want), while /e/OS adds their own app store, Google-free synching and a user interface slightly reminiscent of Apple’s iOS to the base that LineageOS offers.

Others, feel free to add or correct me. And if you have an idea what went wrong with Felicia’s attempt to install Ubuntu Touch, don’t hesitate either. :slight_smile:


Could you describe what is not working? What have you done exactly and how do you know it’s not working?

If you want to quit Google apps and services, and not quit android altogether, I’d recommend to use a degoogled Android like LineageOS or /e/OS. As Urs said, /e/OS is done to be simple and user-friendly, while Lineage looks more like a stock android.


Yes, I think I should try Lineage first. I didn’t know that there was such a big difference. I’ve been using many apps from F-Droid, and the change will be easier, if it’s just “google-free”. I know that many things won’t work, but I wanted to see how much is actually still possible without google. Thank you!


I try to describe it:
I installed ubports installer, launched it and followed the process. The first time I tried it, snap was not yet installed, and I corrected that. At a later try, I found out, that USB debugging had to be activated, and I did so.
Each time I try to boot (Volume Down + Power), nothing happens: I tried both ways, phone connected and disconnected, but I just saw the loading screen of FP2 when it was off and connected, the normal FP2 booting screen during my first attempts, and during my later attempts, the Fairphone ubuntu screen. Several times when I pressed Volume Down + Power, the phone did not react anymore, and I could only switch it off by taking the battery out.

I’m getting the following failure messages (is this the problem?):
Failed to load module “canberra-gtk-module”
g_settings_schema_source_lookup: assertion ‘source != NULL’ failed

My first try:
info: device selected: FP2
info: Installing Ubuntu Touch on your Fairphone 2 (FP2)
info: configuring…
info: settings: {“channel”:“ubports-touch/16.04/stable”,“wipe”:true,“bootstrap”:true}
info: Downloaded file 2 of 2

My last try:
info: device selected: FP2
info: Installing Ubuntu Touch on your Fairphone 2 (FP2)
info: configuring…
info: settings: {“channel”:“ubports-touch/16.04/stable”,“wipe”:true,“bootstrap”:true}
warn: undefined
info: All done! Your device will now reboot and complete the installation. Enjoy exploring Ubuntu Touch!

It looked all good, the ubuntu installation finished, I selected the reboot at the very end, and it was again Android.

Your phone was probably in fastboot mode (which is correct in this case). At least while Fairphone OS was still installed you should see the LED slowly blinking blue when in fastboot mode.
It seems that at least Ubuntu start screen was installed during your attempts…

Did you try to long press on/off button? Pressing it for more than 15s will do a reboot while being in any status.


Yes, I tried that, pressing the on/off button “forever”, but no reaction.


Sounds strange. But well, if you tried it and it didn’t work - it seems there is some strange status where even this HW based function does not work… :frowning:

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The strange thing is that the reboot to recovery is not working. It get’s stuck at erasing the cache partition (I’ve deleted the cache already), nothing happens, it just says “erasing cache partition…” When I decide to stop waiting, and press the buttons as shown, it reboots in Android asking for my password. When I disconnect it from the laptop, shut it down again and press the buttons as shown, the second picture appear with “No Command”. Again nothing happening, just waiting for device, nothing else


It’s normal.
When on this screen you have to

  1. hold the Power button pressed
  2. briefly press Volume +

And yes, indeed, with all cables unplugged.
(you can check the #dic:recoverymode guide)

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As was said above it still might be easier to just install LineageOS or /e/OS…

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Yes, and that’s not working. The phone is not reacting anymore, and I can only shut it down by taking the battery out. And if I then press on/off plus briefly volume up, it boots in Android.
I think I found the similar problem described here: [FP2] Instructions to get into Recovery do not work as displayed · Issue #1436 · ubports/ubports-installer · GitHub
I think it doesn’t make sense to try further. I hope I’ll be more lucky with Lineage. :slight_smile:
Thank you all! <3