Do I keep all my setup upgrading to /e/ v1 from last 0.23 on a Fairphone 3?

You may have a long wait: this week’s Development and Testing Updates post was i
updated to say


I don’t get it… are there really users of the same hardware (FP3 for instance), and some are on Android 9, others on Android 10, etc. but all running /e/OS… What the hell is that mess… I must be so ignorant of the harware/OS stuff on phones… but I would have expected that all /e/OS users with the same hardware would get the same OS provided they update at the same pace…

Plus the naming of all this + R and Q makes it utterly complex for the regular user… is there a diagram to illustrate that for bare humans ?

1 Like

I suppose one can choose the android version when flashing the first time. And then, while delta-upgrades within the same version don’t delete any of your settings, maybe switching to the next android version imposes a complete reflash? I say, ‘maybe’, I’m not sure.
Otherwise there certainly are cases when on is fully satisfied with one’s version and don’t wish to ‘follow the trend’, so indeed you find yourself with a population of /e/OSes based on three different android versions…

1 Like

And at least until version 0.23 all of them got updates within the major Android version they run.

Provided they update. Which not everybody does.

Upgrading to a new major Android version is not supported by the OS updater on most /e/OS devices currently, this capability has to be added by developers with a lot of extra effort, because such upgrades are tricky to do in-place with user data etc. staying intact, so only a few devices so far offer this. Progress in that department can be tracked here …
Upgrading to a new major Android version on the Fairphone 3/3+ currently is still a manual process, by default including a data wipe.
Understandably not every user is excited about doing a manual upgrade. And as long as support with at least security updates continues on the old major Android version, there’s not much pressure to upgrade.

Yes, sadly.
Wikipedia has a list of Android versions and their names … … and as can be seen, Google stopped giving “official” names to Android versions with Android 10.
Since according to my (limited) recollection Google over time tended to refer to the next major Android version with the next letter of the alphabet before release, and only revealed the corresponding full name upon release, everybody at least moderately involved or interested is so used to letters that “unofficially” in many places Android 10 gets referred to as Q, Android 11 as R, Android 12 as S, and let’s just see if it stops with Z :slight_smile: .

To make matters more complex, there are different /e/OS build types (also referred to as release channels) catering to different needs and target groups. They are explained here …
Traditionally, the /e/OS devices bought from the e foundation have stable builds installed, users who install themselves get dev builds to use.
This is not set in stone anymore for a while now, however, depending on what the e foundation decides to make available for a device. On the Fairphone 3/3+ users installing themselves can choose stable or dev builds. Once decided, changing the build type will require a new install with a data wipe.


Thanks for the detailed explanations.

Is there some docs for /e/OS about such topics… I expect this to be a pretty FAQ… although it seems complex enough to require multiple sources of sparse informations… and if the forums are the only ways to address these issues… hmmmm… we’re not there yet :-/

Back to the initial subject. So it’s not simple to backup my data, reflash and restore my data, to perform the “upgrade” from whatever “version” I installed once, to that very “version” customers of Murena buy these days (1.0) on the same hardware.

I’m probably too much a Linux user used to switching devices, and making smooth transitions, provided my $HOME is backed up, not having to consider which firmware or even which kernel and graphics drivers are actually running my laptop :-/

So “my data is my data”, but even if GAFAM’s can’t much snoop on it, it seems to be more “my data is my phone’s [firmware/android version of any kind]'s data” :wink:

If you’re already on Android 11, it’s a simple OTA update.
If you’re already on Android 10, it’s a simple OTA update.
If you’re on Android 9, and if the e foundation doesn’t continue updating Android 9, you would need to upgrade to receive further updates.


Let me summarize/rephrase a bit:

Depending on the version displayed:

1 Like

As you use linux, you should try out Android Backup and Restore Tools project. I had some success with it, backing up spps and data from one version, then restoring to different versions and devices. It doesn’t do everything, but it is much better than having to reinstall everything from scratch. Some mire info on my experience with it in this post


@oberger Before using @petefoth tool, you may just try the (free) /e/ cloud, that is able to backup lots of things from the phone, as it is designed explicitly to place the google backups.
While a Linux user myself, I must say I am satisfied backing up contacts, accounts, documents etc. over there.
Indeed I even paid a bigger version of the ecloud just to suport them somehow…
(also : as ecloud is visibly based on an Nextcloud instance, any other nextcould of yours should offer the same capacity too)

1 Like

No. It is designed to sync some items (notes, calendar, contacts, some photos and files, though there are currently issues with file and photos). ecloud does not back up any user-installed apps, or their settings and data.

TWRP backup does do that, though on an ‘all or nothing’ basis. With many devices, restoring a backup from one Android version to a higher version (e.g. pie to Q, ir Q to R) has not worked. By all means try it, but you should have an alternative, fallback plan in case it fails.

The project I linked to (it’s not mine, I’m just a happy user :slight_smile: ) provides such sn alternative.


Is it mandatory to have a rooted phone, in order to backup it ?

Not for TWRP. For the tool I link to, the docs say the phone must be rooted, but it is sufficient to enable ‘Rooted debugging’ in developer options. The tool needs root access to mount, read, and write to the system partition on the phone via adb shell. Rooted debugging has sufficient access to allow that, even on sn unrooted phone


Yes, you got it, @petefoth. I was referring to the link.

Unfortunately “rooted debugging” is no longer there on stable devices running 1.0.

1 Like

That’s a shame. In which case, TWRP backup looks like the only way for users running stable builds.

My comments were in response to a user with a FP3 running v0.23-p, an Android 9 / pie, who would like to update to v1.0, so needs to be running a Android 10 / Q or Android 11 R build. Upgrading from Pie to Q or R will involve wiping existing data.

If that user is on a stable v0.23-p build, then their only way of preserving their apps is TWRP backup and restore, which will probably involve using TWRP. And for some devices, even that does not work: a backup from a nougat or pie build cannot always be restored on a Q or R build.

If they are on a dev build, then they should have rooted debugging, and the backup tool I linked to offers an alternative solution


What about Seedvault? It should be included in every version now. [HOWTO] use Seedvault early to understand Android backup

You can launch it with ActivityLauncher (from f-droid) and off you go.

Good point - I’d forgotten about SeedVault. It doesn’t back up / restore as much as TWRP or the tool I linked to, but it’s better than starting completely from scratch.

Or you can start it from adb on a connected computer, as outlined in the first post in the thread you linked to. Worth reading all of that thread :slight_smile:


I have updated my Android version now using the Easy Installer of /e/OS for the Fairphone 3. It is easy to use and now I am on Android 10 as well, so that I have /e/OS v1.0 finally.

However, what I wanted to ask here in the forum:
@AnotherElk mentioned that people that own an Fairphone 3 and use /e/OS can be on different Android versions: either Android 9, 10 or 11.
The Easy Installer now automatically updated me to Android 10. As far as I have seen it, it unfortunatly did not give me the choice to update directly to Android 11, what I would have liked to do, when I do this manual effort.

Does anyone know more about this, if it is also possible to update the FP3 with the Easy Installer of /e/OS to Android 11 directly, so that this does not happen to me in the future again that I am on a too old Android version?

Thanks already for all of you guys’ advices!

Currently there are no stable releases of Android 11 (R) for the Fairphone 3/3+, there are only dev releases still marked beta.
The Easy Installer only installs stable releases.