/e/ = 1€/month?

Over the last days, I was trying to find out what actually is the net worth of users’ data on a standard googeled phone. Did not find a lot of precise figures - except for this one.

Nevertheless, if we want to have private phones, it will be necessary that we (the users) pay for the cost to keep our device(s) private and operational - development and maintenance have a price, although /e/ is doing a lot with the support of volunteers. Still there is a maintenance cost. This is something that so far has been discussed little in this forum.

Let me change the topic for a minute: Personally, I finally made the step replacing my Google email account that I have been using for almost 15 years to another, more privacy respecting one. On my way inquiring alternatives I found out there are a few (I consider) trustful ones. For GDPR-reasons I was only looking in Europe. Most of them charge a price at around 1€/month, that amounts to a fair 12€/year.

For that money I receive an email service that I trust and I contribute to create jobs within a meaningful business. Moreover, it was important to me to find a local provider, so I support a local business. Of course, it is just a tiny amount of 12€, but if there are more people following that example that will make a difference.

What I am wondering now: Could such a 1€-approach not be a path for a mobile phone OS. It feels like my whole neighborhood pays much higher amounts for the Netflixes of this world - every month.

1€/month for /e/? I do not know if 1€ is enough or too much. I am not sure if this should be compulsory to pay or to be kept on a donation base. But if (future) users understand that the maintenance of an operating system has a cost, that they are already covering (payment with data) but an alternative could be as cheap as 1€/month, that would help users to make a very simple consideration: Do I mind (and am I willing to pay for the provision and maintenance of an OS 1€/month? Or I do not care that my personal data is being collected.

By the way, my email provider works on a credit base: I have an account with them, where they take 1€ per month. The account can be charged via bank transfer, credit card, Paypal and soon Bitcoin. They are not asking for my real name (this is just an optional). If the credit has been all used up, the account is still reachable for arriving emails but I can access them only if I top-up credit. Seems to me a model easy to handle.

What do you think?


I think that /e/ cloud services can be commercial, and that’s right.
I think that a few strong requests to make a donation for the project development inside the eOS (during initial setup, after each OTA update and as special desktop shortcut) is also not a bad thing.
I think selling flashed phones with a reasonable margin is the wise decision.
But I don’t think it’s a good idea to introduce a mandatory subscription.

And yes, I’m also a user of Posteo email for 1€/month.


juts name them! posteo is great and worth named.
I agree to such a financial agreement, same as I agreed to the posteo offer. But then please also use green energy for your servers, that’s one of the main reasons why I chose posteo.

there should be a free fully featured testing phase and so on, so maybe make people only pay for later updates? They could get shown some notification that the update is not done for ** days and that the system gets insecure and outdated if they don’t sign up for an extended /e/ account.

In addition, I wouldn’t like to tie the overall functioning of my phone to any Internet account.

While donations are always welcome a compulsory tag around it kind of spoils it. Personally I think contributions should be voluntary.


Personally, if something makes me happy i’m going to donate. In the case of /e/ i’m donating monthly using patreon because i believe it is necessary, and i’m happy with my clean phone. This project needs all the financial injection it can get.

1 Like

A donation is a voluntary contribution for a charitable purpose or as recognition (for good work). Open Source and donations go together very well.

/e/ cloud & email 5GB just fits perfectly into the /e/cosystem. Maybe permanent free 3GB for testing purposes would be enough. And for this, ecloud | e.emai Extra Storage, starting in smaller steps, e.g. 5, 10, 20, 32 in addition to 64, 128, 256 GB for a fee.

The monthly donation by direct debit is practical, but maybe not every user is happy to see a debit month after month. And - does G°°gle and Facebook have to be absolutely necessary?

1 Like

@Manoj @archie

I fully agree with this. I have no objection to spending money to support a project that makes sense. But I absolutely don’t need a minimum of 64 Gig of storage, even if the price is more than fair. You should reconsider your offer, starting with a smaller storage space, such as the 20 Giga I currently have for a fee, which is fine with me. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for the suggestion @Larnicone we will come out with more storage options soon.


The Open Source Digital Audio Workstation Ardour has build up a pretty successful contribution system. People are free to contribute, all though it makes getting updates and binary packages (for Windows and OSX) more easy AFAIK if you are a subscriber.


1 Like

Good topic and ideas.
I’m thinking we can also imagine a system where users donate money for the maintenance of /e/ on one specific phone. For example, I would personally donate for the maintenance of the Fairphone 2 (my phone) if it were possible. It would also be an indicator of what phones need most work or attention.


I’m pretty sure you can already do that through the xda developer forums, providing there’s a maintener for that specific phone. When they publish their official or unofficial ROM, they usually provide information on how to donate to them.

I’m happy with the efforts of /e/ to bring their OS to as many phones as possible but it’s really tough to keep up with that many phones’ security updates and patches, and there’s more to consider than just that but also support from the manufacurer, security updates mainstream Android, and also of course LineageOS itself.

If you want to contribute for a specific model then I’d take a look first at Lineage and XDA directly first.

The Lineage project is currently still an important element for building /e/ OS ROM, even if LOS does not seem to be necessary for further development → @ManojThe point is /e/ is not dependent on Lineage to continue supporting. It make it easier to port a device if it is already on Lineage’s list of supported devices but we are now adding devices which were never on Lineage’s list.”

With all the joy about /e/ we shouldn’t neglect → LineageOS Device maintainers under any circumstances. Recommendable: Support donation for the »LOS project«