F-Droid as System App

Hello together,

would please someone tell me how to install F-Droid as system App?
In F-Droid I found:
and tried to install it but it didn’t work.
Then I did a bit research and found:
Whats the right package to install F-Droid as System app. And is it enough to install one of those packages or do I have to flash something?

I also installed Yalp and Yalp has the ability to “upgrade” itself to a System app. flashing any OTA files seems to be optional in Yalp…

I’ve not much experience in flashing and don’t want to break something. So I would like to have a way without flashing - if it is possible. In Yalp this was very easy but F-Droid confuses me.

Please give me a simple step by step guide. Thank you so much!

On my Tablet I have Lineage OS 13 and on my Phone I have Lineage OS 14.1 (Android 7.1.2) - both rooted.


This is the one you’ll want to download and flash via custom recovery (like TWRP).
Then you can use:
to update whenever an update for the privileged extension is available.

It’s not possible without flashing, but flashing with TWRP is super easy.


Thanks for your explanation. I’ll try it that way.

But what is this package for?
when we already have
https://f-droid.org/packages/org.fdroid.fdroid/ ?

Best Regards

It’s for installing F-Droid without having to enable “unknown sources”.

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So if I installed https://f-droid.org/FDroid.apk
and now download and flash
I’ll have to leave “unknown sources” enabled?

No now it should work with unknown sources disabled.

Ok, thanks. But in general:
What is the recommended way to install F-Droid so that it can install updates in background AND “unknown sources” is not needed?
I think most people (me too) start with the .apk from the website (https://f-droid.org/FDroid.apk).
Then download https://f-droid.org/packages/org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged.ota/
from within F-Droid and install with TWRP and viola? … Or did I miss something?
Please excuse my dumb questions! If those steps are written down somewhere, point me to the page! :slight_smile:

edit: and for updating privileged extension I need org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged, right?

edit2: I managed to flash fdroid.fdroid.privileged.ota (file was a bit hidden in /data/data/blabla … but it worked. Now I have a ticked extension checkbox on the bottom of f-droid options.

It’s exactly what you did.
You only have to have unknown sources enabled once to install F-Droid itself.

There are also some OSes (e.g. Lineage OS microg and Fairphone Open OS) with privileged extension preinstalled (but not F-Droid apk). For those there is
To install F-Droid (I think via the updater app) without needing to enable unknown sources even once.

Exactly. :+1:

Seems like it worked. Now just try installing an app from F-Droid while “unknown sources” is unticked.

It works! :slight_smile: Thank you!
The many packages are a bit confusing for beginners. :smiley:


One more question:
On my next new phone I’d like to flash the both OTAs right after LineageOS. I assume that is possible. Do I need to install the “normal” packages after that to get updates for the privileged extension and f-droid itself?

Ok, two questions :sweat_smile:
Very unlikely to happen but is there an easy way to remove the OTAs from the system? LineageOS for example distributes some su zips and corresponding su-uninstall zips.

It does not matter which one you flash first, since they flash to separate locations. On a dirty flash only flashing the privileged OTA will work/do anything.

Just another post, not the first, which is illustrating that the descriptions of the different F-Droid app and extension versions are pretty bad and rather incomprehensible for common users.

It begins with the replacement of user-facing app names by native cryptical package labels. The client F-Droid becomes [org.fdroid.fdroid] or [org.fdroid.fdroid.ota_1001050], the Privileged Extension is [org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged] or [org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged.ota_2070], why? And who needs why what? The descriptions don’t provide much help.

[org.fdroid.fdroid.ota_1001050] seems to be an OTA ZIP for devices with already built-in Privileged Extensions (e.g. Fairphone - https://f-droid.org/en/2018/01/24/fairphone-open-ships-F-Droid.html) to install F-Droid as a system app like Google’s Play Store on conventional devices. The OTA update comes with the standard description of the client, why it should be flashed via custom recovery to the system remains blurry.

[org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged.ota_2070] - the description starts with a note “F-Droid requires root privileges to install Privileged Extension as a system “priv-app””.
Actually the statement is false. F-Droid (the client, the app) requires nothing because F-Droid doesn’t install anything. The OTA update has to be flashed with a custom recovery, so users need a rooted device running such a tool and install it by themselves.
The description finishes with “The standalone APK is called [[org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged]], and that provides updates after this OTA package is installed.” May be, but first of all [org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged], the F-Droid Privileged Extension, will be the installed system app after flashing the OTA, that it should provide app updates was already mentioned in the text above, why this repetition?

[org.fdroid.fdroid.privileged], the F-Droid Privileged Extension, as an “standalone” APK file. Possibly it could be installed by the client, I’m not sure. I’m using LOS 14, Android 7, tried to install it which resulted in the message that it doesn’t work if you are on Android 5+. If it should be possible, I suppose it will be installed as a user app and in this form useless. So you had to transform it into a system app with a third-party tool that is capable to do that for getting the desired functionality.
In February 2018 the worldwide share in devices running Android 4.4.4 and below was about 18%. Under this circumstances the note “Instead of this build, most users will want to install the “Over-The-Air” (OTA) update ZIP file…” is more than curious. They won’t want, they will HAVE TO install the ZIP package, otherwise they should forget the extension.
And what’s the meaning of “This is here to update Privileged Extension when it has been installed using the OTA ZIP.”? When the Privileged Extension is installed I expect that it does its updates on its own?

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