Announcing the start of /e/ R beta testing

:loudspeaker: We are planning to start testing of /e/ R beta builds.

/e/ R is the /e/OS version of Android R / LOS 18.1 builds

The builds, made by our build team will be for these devices to start with.

  • OnePlus One (bacon)
  • Xiaomi Poco F1 (beryllium)
  • OnePlus ‘5’ (cheeseburger)
  • Xiaomi ‘Mi MIX 2’ (chiron)
  • Fairphone ‘2’ (FP2)
  • Fairphone ‘3’ (FP3)
  • OnePlus ‘7 Pro’ (guacamole)
  • Motorola ‘Moto G7’ (river)
  • Google Pixel 4a (sunfish)
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (whyred)
  • Essential PH-1 (mata)
  • Motorola ‘Moto G7 plus’ (lake)
  • OnePlus 8T (kebab)
  • Sony Z3 Compact (z3c)

Looking for volunteers from the users group to help with the testing.

:warning: Please note the following points before volunteering to test the /e/ R builds

  • These builds will not be available OTA ( over the air )
  • Testers will need to do a clean flash on their device to install this build.
  • Some applications will be unstable on this build…testers will need to report such issues on the Gitlab

User who are interested pl send in the following details to

  • GItlab username
  • Telegram username

Required to add your name to the testing project…you need that access to download the builds. Telegram username is required to add your name to the testing channel where you can also share your feedback.

  • After completion of testing you do not need to clean install the dev builds as the R builds will update your phone OTA

  • /e/ R Testing will start from Monday 09 Aug …Expected to run for 2 weeks.

  • Check out the complete release plan

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone


Great news!

Then there are devices with three supported versions. The FP3 then has Pie, Q and R. Do you want to do this for a long time or is there a schedule for OTA updates?

We will eventually support only 1 OS version. It will not be possible to maintain multiple versions for the same device.
The OS upgrade will have to be manual for all devices. For now that means a stock ROM flash of the particular OS and then /e/OS. Subsequent builds will come in OTA

Is that the case for all devices? Is it not possible to do a clean install over a previous, /e/ Q install?

Also, after a clean install for /e/ R, will it be possible to restore a TWRP backup of data partition from /e/ Q? (If the answer is ‘No’, I’ll be thinking long and hard about whether to bother upgrading :slight_smile: )

My usual install process, on a phone protected by pattern screen lock, is

  1. Backup data partition using TWRP
  2. Format data partition using TWRP
  3. Install new version using TWRP
  4. Boot phone into new version
  5. Complete First Time Setup Wizard, setting the same pattern for screen lock
  6. Restore backed up data partition from old version using TWRP

I hope the same process will allow me to have /e/ R without using all my settings and data

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How long are the support periods for the FP3 versions?

This is not possible with the FP3, for example, when the bootloader is unlocked, all data is deleted.

Will there ever be a stable version with this “we need the latest release” policy? Whats the disadvantage of for example sticking at Pie?

Thanks. I know that FP3 is special :slight_smile: in that the bootloader can be relocked once /e/ is installed. My main concern is for the Sony Xperia devices that I own and / or support: on these devcies the bootloader cannot be relocked.

I really hope that it will be possible to move from /e/ Q to R without losing data on these and other devices.

I don’t think you could restore the whole Data partition as-is from a TWRP backup, as it contains Android system data …

As a registered tester, I made a backup of all mu Pie applications using App Manager Docs
A first look at the content seems very promising, I’ll keep you posted when I could restore it (after the official /e/ test scheme :wink: ).

BTW thanks for the initial poster for this app, unfortunately I can’t remember who or where …

At some point, security updates will expire. See also here:

They will be applied to /e/ after a while.

"This /e/OS update contains the Android security patches available for Q. See the following link for more information.

Android April security patch
Android May security patch"

How do you plan to move forward with the phones sells e.g. Fairphone 3(+)? Will there be end of support for Android 10 users some day only 11 being supported?

By the way, just curious, what is the main reason that upgrades from one Android to another is such a hustle? I come from the linux world, where upgrading a machine is now routine - although after some upgrades it is recommended to do a clean install…

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I am a non technical phone user and I love the /e/OS. I bought the FP3 at the with android 9. The statement "The OS upgrade will have to be manual for all devices.” concerns me, and differs from the weekly updates that OS upgrade OTA is still in progress.

As a non technical user I don’t want to do a manual update. So I will be stuck at android 9, what doesn’t mean that the phone is unusable. I will keep using my phone.

What FFP3 also said: "what is the main reason that upgrades from one Android to another is such a hustle? Why does it take now more then half a year to make OS upgrade OTA possible.

As a non technical user I hope OTA brings for me a up to date /e/OS on FP3…


This is also as an answer to @eugene_072 's query…
Devices sold on the eSolutions Shop will be an exception and continue receiving support on their current OS. As long as the vendors provide support and security patches are available for a particular OS we should be able to provide this support.
The upgrade to 11 will be the tricky part. The issue is with the system updater app. It blocks any different OS from installing on the phone.
As you may be aware we had announced an OTA testing for OS upgrade for the S9 and S9+ devices. We even formed a team of volunteer testers. This testing is now on hold as at the last moment we detected an issue with the modified updater in that it wiped out the IMEI of the devices. I have a s9 with me on which we tested this. A developer is now working on figuring out how to prevent this while an OS OTA upgrade happens.
An alternate is to configure the Easy Installer to flash the user device to an OS upgrade. The important point is there should be no data loss. We are looking at both options.


I believe that the main reason is Android Verified Boot 2. This became an increasingly bigger issue in each release after Oreo.

This is my elementary deduction, I would like to hear better … with q,10 and increasingly with r,11 “anti free enterprise pieces” are widely scattered.

As different manufacturers implement Android security tricks selectively, it now requires something of an expert to know for each device how to crack the lock.

the Linux world, where upgrading a machine is now routine

But there you own the machine! :slight_smile:


Because regardless of which OS and device we are talking about, in-place OTA upgrades always need an extra effort which is only done for users who say …

… and (more importantly and understandably) don’t want to start from scratch with user data and Apps.

A new major OS version gets developed and tested starting with clean installations from scratch, so a clean installation from scratch should work once a new major OS version gets released.
Trouble with untested hardware may still happen, though.

Of course users out there over time have every possible state or situation of an OS installation on their devices, which nobody could ever test entirely. And of course almost nobody really wants to do a manual install from scratch.

So, OS and device vendors go to more or less reasonable lengths to make in-place upgrades to a new major OS version happen, because else a lot of users would just continue using the old stuff with increasing security risks and anger about missing support in case of trouble, but every effort towards an OTA upgrade can only go so far, no matter how much vendors try to test and try to safeguard the process. There are always cases in which this doesn’t work out for this or that user.

Software is complex, nowadays too complex one might say, so things are complicated, a smartphone is not a toaster.

If you happen to have Fairphone Angels in your vicinity, ideally with Fairphone 3 expertise, they might be able to help you in person with OS upgrades and such … 👼 The Fairphone Angels Program and Map (Local support by community members) - Local - Fairphone Community Forum


Thanx for the explanations.

I understand that it can be difficult to make OS upgrade OTA possible.

When I stepped into this project it was not my intention to do manual upgrades. I bought the phone at the so I didn’t have to do the install myself. I will be using my FP3 as my daily phone and install all the updates OTA. I hope the team will be able to succeed OS upgrade OTA.


That’s a good point. From @gael manifesto on behalf of the e foundation:

That stated /e/ intends to offer an alternative that can be used by people who are not
comfortable with this situation and not IT specialists. Therefore, /e/ has to be as easy to use as
market standards.

Why don’t you ask Fairphone how they do it? The jump from Android 9 to 10 also works there.

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The Fairphone answer might be, like, we go with the flow, we do not have to degoogle.

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More or less … Search results for 'android 10 upgrade fp3' - Fairphone Community Forum

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