Are there smartphones with open source firmware?

There are many ways privacy can by compromised on a smartphone.
Fdroid is the solution on the application level.
Custom ROMs on the operation system level.

Other important part is firmware.
Are there smartphones with open source firmware?

Librem5, and somewhat the Dragonbox Pyra.
Not sure how well the KaiOS offerings of Nokia fare.

I think the Pinephone works with FOSS firmware as well

1 Like

Right, but the situation on firmware is not all that good. Cheaper though.

it is possible with all delays users never see Librem 5.

Even with support from google it took years to start a new OS and create ecosystem.

Dragonbox Pyra already delayed release for 5 years. During this time device become outdated.

Librem 5 4500mAh battery holds only 14 hours without usage.
New os needs lots of titanic work.

Would be much simpler to improve current options.

No. Pinephone requires proprietary drivers/firmware. But it does have “kill switches” and can run free software OS.

They announced shipment of the Librem 5 will start in the next couple of weeks for the early backers.

Yes, but it lasts 6 hours with modem, wifi and screen on. Which is quite impressive to me.
The 14 hours of standby time is bad of course and shows there is a lot left to do e.g. suspension to RAM while the phone is not used.

Would be much simpler to improve current options.

If you are interested, here is a good read why not:

KaiOs contains closed source parts.

1 Like

Another option would be Replicant which runs on a few old Samsung Galaxy devices:

Since we are throwing out “close, but not perfect” answers, there is also the Sony Open Device Program. Depending on the specific device, the closed source portions can be very small. Certainly worth a look if you care to do a little research:

Its not running free firmware. There is no free firmware for example for the Broadmobi BM818.

Like @justsomeguy mentioned, Pinephone is full of closed source firmware. Not even the wifi can run without closed source firmware. The whole baseband is also closed source. The Pinephone also use Allwinner chipset and thus it support a company that dont care about free licences (GPL) and dont even release the sourcecode when they are asked. After many people asked them to release the GPL-Code they start to hide it better. Conclusion: By ordering a Allwinner based device like the Pinephone you support closed source enforcing companies like Allwinner.

The baseband firmware they use is not free and have known security issues that wont be closed by samsung any more. Just the Android that is running there is fully free software but that is not what @vinterneti asked. But yes, those phones can be named “the most free” ones running Android.

Those devices are not running free firmware. Its even terrible to be blocked by sony at the beginning with a closed bootloader you have to ask sony to unlock it. This is the opposite of openness.

The only smartphone on the planet that can run 100% on free software is the Openmoko
The baseband firmware there was also closed at start , but then there was a sourcecode-leak (you have to decide by yourself if having leaked sourcecode is opensource or not) and there is now OsmocomBB for the device:


Right. They could still get the RYF certification because the blobs run on a separate core:

1 Like

Thanks for bringing this up. Yes, this FSF RYF (stands for “respect your freedom”) is the most stupid thing ever in this thematic.
To get this “certificate” the people who use Libreboot Firmware dont install the Intel Microcode Security Updates. They use the completely outdated and known insecure Microcode that is been put into the CPU at production date. This is just completely stupid. Just only because some closed source software like the Intel Microcode is preinstalled on a CPU does not make it “free” and also it completely does not “respect your freedom”. I cant understand it how people can be that stupid to make such rules. I hope noone in this forum would share the mind that “preinstalled” closed source software is something that respects any freedom from anyone.

This Librem 5 certification is the same stupidity. When its true(its not, for example the i.mx8 raminit still rely to my knowledge on closed source software. i.mx6 had free raminit code available), then you either say “Librem 5 is free that far, that it run only free software at os level but the os communicate with closed source baseband” or you simply say “Librem 5 is not 100% free software”. Anything else is just some marketing-lie to the public.

1 Like is not 100% free of binary blobs, but is close. You can run it on a Xiaomi Mi A2 for example. It also has F-Droid built in.

1 Like

Curiously Replicant can’t ship with F-Droid because it is too unfree, and Xiaomi is not your friend atop that. Why start with something like an A2 and cripple it, and why of all things support a maker that doesn’t care about you other than in extracting your data?

@axfwaufg You have patent law confused with copyright law. It isn’t totally stupid, it just doesn’t arrive at the logical extremity you very much were able to derive. So, is there anything better, not a lot. If you don’t understand how people can be as stupid as they appear, are you factoring in that as your viewpoint?

Intel themselves don’t even ship microcode updates for known insecurities for stuff that old. Trusting Intel, isn’t how you get your freedom respected.

The bringup code that has to do with memory, or memory init somewhere else btw?

I cant reccomend calyxos. They even left in oct.2020 their users without any security updates. Better use instead of calyxos. There is no real difference in freedom between those two except that care more about security then other ones.


I am not confusing any law. I just wrote about free software. I don’t respect patent nor copyright law. (choose by pressing “go” the instance you want to use for watching).

‘not a lot’ is not the correct answer. In case of free notebooks there was the start with the novena made by the developer named years ago. Now there is the MNT Reform . The future is RISC-V.

And in case of this money-marketing-crap named “Respects your freedom - certification” there is a simple solution: stop this certificate crap. Give the people all the information on the product page. Leave the code to every single bit that is running on the device and also the full hardware schematics on the product website and tell the people that the device is running really 100% free software. There are enough intelligent people who would prove it wrong if you lie to them.

It could have even fewer blobs included, but Desai ignored my e-mail from 7+ months ago.

Micay already answered me 3+ years ago and understandably would only accept something like that it if was thoroughly tested.

1 Like

A bigger issue coming to fruition is that there are no fully free IMS stacks.

So soon we won’t be able to make calls! :upside_down_face:

1 Like

Though Graphene has interesting ideas, I would not recommend it for
actual use. The lead dev deliberately torched the update signing keys
back when he was lead dev on CopperheadOS. That left all existing users
with no update path.


The lead dev deliberately torched the update signing keys

He had good reason to.

he was lead dev on CopperheadOS

He was the dev. He created it.

But that is a whole 'nother discussion.

1 Like