Besides Fairphone 2 which phone would you recommend to someone who is interested in free software?
I’d recommend the Fairphone2. Its the only free software ROM that you can run with verified boot and a supported update channel.
Otherwise, get anything that’s officially supported by LineageOS.
If you can wait until 2019, have the trust and the money, I think the Librem 5 is a great idea, as it’s running GNU/Linux with GNOME or KDE.
Something supported by Replicant: https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/ReplicantStatus
If you want 100% pure free software, then Replicant is the only way to go . Replicant requires a bit more work than LineageOS to use since things like Wifi are harder to use.
Any of the Replicant supported phones are a good way to go if you absolutely want free software. I got a Galaxy S3 i9305 (International) and it works with Replicant. You will also need a USB OTG cable and an external WiFi adapter supported by Replicant.
Another good option will be the Librem 5. If I had the money I would absolutely back that campaign. While they currently don’t plan to ship with any android derivative, porting replicant should be very possible and then we would have the ultimate free software phone. Replicant + the full F-Droid catalog of good mobile friendly applications. The only question will be, “Can we dual boot Purism’s PureOS and Replicant?”
Which LineageOS-Phone would you recommend?
Sure, why not? If the hardware is fully free and open source and you therefore have all drivers’ source code available, you can even triple boot with Windows ARM
It should be one of these
You can also consider one of the official supported devices for CopperheadOS
If the hardware is fully free and open source and you therefore have all drivers’ source code available, you can even triple boot
Three options, all of them work in progress:
- ZeroPhone: https://www.crowdsupply.com/arsenijs/zerophone (a smartphone that looks like a dumbphone)
- Pyra: https://pyra-handheld.com/ (not a phone, but a small, mobile computer with phone function)
- Librem 5: https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/ (please consider supporting their crowdfunding campaign)
The best thing is, that none of them will run Android, but “normal” (= mainstream) Linux, i.e. Debian (or whatever you like to install).
The problem i find with those lists is that results vary wildly between devices. For example, I have a LG G3 device here, and I can’t root it at all. Of all the tricks I could find, none would really work and I’m stuck with a locked down device.
What we need is a rating of how really “free” each device is. “Working with replicant” is good, but there are some acceptable (e.g. proprietary GPS) and non-acceptable (impossible to root) compromises… I mean looking at the list of devices supported by replicant, there are none that work with free wifi…
Such a rating and a list of compromises would be great.
Regarding the compromises: As far as I know there is no absolutely free phone as the base band is always proprietary.
sure, but there are free wifi and gps and camera chipsets… no reason why those should be closed as well…
maybe we should lobby http://gsmarena.com/ to have a “freedom” metric of some sort? or are there better comparison sites?
Levels of free for a phone:
- Unlocked bootloader
- This makes it possible to install alternative OS’s
- Open Source Kernel tree
- Theoretically possible to port Lineage
- Lineage OS Ported
- These are listed at https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/
- Any phone off this list could be useful to you
- Bootloader easy to unlock
- As far as I know only the Nexus, OnePlus and early Galaxies fall into this category
- Replicant ported
- These are listed at https://www.replicant.us/supported-devices.php
- Unfortunately most of these have very poor support
- Actually full free device with full hardware support and free bootloader
- Librem 5? (Preorder at https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/)
- Free Baseband
- OsmoCom Project but illegal for production use
As far as the best Lineage Phone goes, I would go with a OnePlus of some description. They have a bootloader that is easy to unlock (no unlock codes from the website required).
The OnePlus 2 is a great buy (used) and a decent phone. I personally would reccomend it for a new Lineage OS user.
The Free Software Foundation Europe has a Campaign regarding this topic.
If you just want a phone that works well with LineageOS (assuming that it’s “free enough” for you) I suggest you choose a popular model.
CopperheadOS also has verified boot and a supported update channel. It’s not free software as the code is CC BY-NC-SA but still worth mentioning. (I’ve got one and it works well)
There is a wealth of options, and right about now is the time presenting the most options:
If you would like to get a simple to use LineageOS device, then get a nexus 4,5 or 6. They are all supported by latest LineageOS and are extremely easy to flash.
When you get it, flash once the latest factory image(latest bootloader and baseband), then flash with fastboot twrp recovery and from there on LineageOS. Done.