Please Help: ways to install F-Droid on Android

Please help, I want to document all known ways to get F-Droid on Android. Here’s what I’m familiar with:

Are there any other ways? Things I haven’t tried or suspect they might work, please share your experiences, or maybe even links to blogs, external docs, etc.

  • How does installing F-Droid APK on newer Android versions where “unknown sources” settings changed work? With which version did that change? does it still require privileged extension?
  • I heard there’s a Magisk Module, where can I learn more? anyone got experience with it?
  • rooted android? (especially when there are no custom ROMs)
  • is there maybe a way to install F-Droid as root or with privileged extension over ADB?
  • ???
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The app trying to install the APK (browser or file manager) will ask for the permission to install apps. When you’ll want to install FROM F-Droid then F-Droid will need to get the permission to install apps.

Since Android 8

The main modules repo was removed from recent (>=24 iirc) Magisk versions. I still have a ZIP of it around if you wanna study it. Works in my testing.


Non-root? Device Owner Turtorial (#1) · Issues · Marcus / PrivExt · GitLab for Android 8 or later (tested on 10 and worked for F-Droid Classic only)

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One more way: download the APK on a computer and install it via ADB.
adb install fdroid.apk
Optional but recommended: check the signature/checksum before.

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This installs the app with user permissions, right? (no automatic background updates) Is there a way to install privileged extension with ADB?

See my last entry, “non-root” for “a” privileged extension. But that’s not “our” extension. That one also needs to be modified (maybe the Client too) to be able to use it directly, since that’s compatible with F-Droid Classic only so far afaik.

“Ours” can’t be installed w/o root/recovery/unlocking/etc

Also found this thread:

One more way: There’s an “unofficial microG installer”: microg-unofficial-installer. IIRC it not only installs microG but also removes/disables some pre-installed “bloatware” and substitutes it with FOSS pendants. It also includes F-Droid (our build with our signature, so no issues with later updates) and probably also the privExt.

Its Readme doesn’t have many details, but you can guess things from the Changelog: F-Droid, NewPipe, some UnifiedNlp backends) or check its XDA thread. I wonder F-Droid isn’t mentioned explicitly, but see

Another way to get F-Droid is to install one of the several alternative clients, by apk download or whatever, including the best one, F-Droid Classic, or others:

in alpha order:

or an alternative alternative client:

Edit+: fdroidcl on desktop could also be used to install any f-droid client from f-droid.


Just stumbled upon another one: There’s a Magisk module called FOSSAPPS describing itself as a “GAPPS Alternative”. It installs QKSMS, Koler, Lawnchair, Quickswitch, Etar, Metro Music, Kiwi, K9-Mail, Ncalc, Open Camera, Newpipe – and F-Droid.

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