FP3: From 0.23 Android 9 to /e/OS 1.x - seeking clarity

I installed /e/OS on my Fairphone 3 a couple years ago (before pre-installed was available, I think) and it went fine. I’m rather low-tech, but I took the phone-bricking warnings seriously and followed the instructions carefully.

Now I’m not sure which instructions to follow: should I upgrade (/e/OS Version Upgrade) or install? (Install /e/OS on a Fairphone FP3/3+ - “FP3”)

The “Upgrade” version says
Caution: Before following these instructions please ensure that your smartphone is on the latest Android firmware available for your device. For example if available, before flashing /e/OS ‘S’ install Stock Android 12. Similarly before installing /e/OS ‘R’ it should be Stock Android 11…”
And it seems that once I did that, the remainder of the procedure would actually be an ‘Install’. Yet the instructions for it are rather different from those given on the “Install” page. Also, Fairphone offers Android 11, not 12, so apparently I would have to install /e/OS for ‘R’, but the subsequent instructions are explicitly for installing ‘S’. Also, it links to a page saying ‘Stable R’ is only for Murena phones? Does that mean I take ‘Dev R’ for my FP3? These things might seem obvious, but I’m accustomed to instructions that spell everything out.

Another user here has commented that it “shouldn’t” be necessary to upgrade the Android build first (have been informed I cannot add another link here, sorry) but I don’t know if this applies to my device if it was made before /e/ had preinstallation on FP3 available. But if so, maybe I should not follow the “Upgrade” instructions?
In either case, I definitely have more questions.
If there’s a simple answer to which set of instructions I should follow, then any subsequent questions I have would pertain only to one of them, so I won’t go into detail regarding the differences between the two right now.
Or should I?
Thanks for any help! :slight_smile:

PS: apparently there’s another option, called “Easy Installer”, but it’s apparently beta? and those instructions have a couple of “this might not work for some of you, by the way” type of messages, all of which doesn’t inspire confidence in this relative novice (i.e. me).


Hi, I used Easy Installer to upgrade from pie 0.23 android 9 to R 1.5 android 11 couple of days ago on my Fairphone 3 and it went well. No need for preliminary actions, just download and launch Easy Installer (Try the Easy Installer beta) and it will guide you through the process step by step. It should be a version of Easy Installer which would take into account the back-up of your mobile, because the standard version does not. But I am not sure if this version is available yet…

I’m confused - you say you’re not sure if “this Beta version” is available, yet you have linked to the beta version that I referred to.

Sorry I just edit my post. After writing I understand that the version available (which I used) is indeed the beta version. But I’ve heard about this other version with back-up option and this one is not available yet

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My wife owns a FP3 with preinstalled /e/ OS (bought in the store of the /e/ foundation) with Android Pie 0.23.

I wish there was a step by step guide on how to update her FP3 to Android 11 or 12. It was mentioned again and again that an updated version of the Easy Installer should appear, but since a few weeks I have not heard anything about it.

I think it’s a shame that buyers who bought directly from /e/ are left out in the cold.


Easy Installer v0.16 (and later) can upgrade FP3 to Android 11(R). Make sure to backup your personal data before you do.


The Easy Installer page mentions that “To get the Easy Installer working on your PC you would need to install the OS specific fastboot drivers first.”

A lot of times PC is often used interchangeably with Windows. The fact that after following all the links I can only find Windows specific instructions makes me think we absolutely need a Windows computer to proceed.

Is this correct?

From https://doc.e.foundation/easy-installer

"The easy-installer beta is available for Linux, Windows and macOS.

Installation guide for Linux
Installation guide for Windows
Installation guide for macOS"

Thank you, already read those. In fact one of the steps to install such drivers say " 3. Plug your phone to your windows computer". The documentation is extremely confusing. It’s still not clear to me if I need to install “OS specific fastboot drivers” regardless of what OS I’m going to be using.

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,can update FP3 from Android 9/eOS .23 to A 11/e 1.*?
Have you done this? Or do you know (of) anyone who has?

Yes I did from eOS 0.23 on Android 9 to eOS 1.5 on Android 11 on my Fairphone 3

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Does this mean you used Easy Installer 1.5?

Did your FP3 come with eOS on it, or had you installed it yourself?

Sorry, one more edit, one more question: Did you do that on Windows, Mac or Linux?
(Thanks again!)

I don’t know which version, I just downloaded Easy Installer following the link on /e/OS documentation. I did it on Windows.

I bought my Fairphone 3 on e foundation shop with /e/OS already installed on it.

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Regarding Easy Installer:
I understand reflective_popcorn’s confusion. I opened BipState’s link (https://doc.e.foundation/easy-installer) and found this:

This essentially says:

  1. “Here are instructions for installing it on Linux, Mac, and Windows, take your pick.”
  2. “Before you do 1, you need to install drivers; here are the instructions for that.”
  3. I looked at the instructions for FP3, and they apply only to Windows.

Of course, it does say “on your PC,” but if this is indeed intended to mean PC = Windows, it ought to be made clear; e.g. “if you are using Windows, you need to install…”

Then it would fairly be clear that it only applies to Windows. For best clarity, a line could be added: “If you are using Mac or Linux, no additional installation of drivers is required” or something to that effect. (If, of course, this is even the case.)

If I have to use Windows, what am I to make of instructions like the following?

Tip: If the driver does not work, there are other drivers listed. Feel free to install and try them.”

“Unfortunately, Fairphone does not provide an official “fastboot interface driver”. You can use the one we extracted [linked] but there can be cases where it may not work.”

This is what I referred to above as not inspiring confidence. Having been abundantly warned that if anything goes wrong, the phone may be bricked - and being a non-expert, so taking “anything” to mean “anything” - I am reluctant to try instructions that seem so iffy.

And if I use Mac, the following tale can also give a layperson pause:

The “Solution” says “There double clicks then open the EasyInstaller, after I have shared it under Security-General and under Security-Privacy Java” but I don’t know what that means. I looked in the settings, under Security —> Privacy and find nothing that says Java there.


Easy Installer is named Beta as it is still in active development. One might spend some time reading this older / historical thread to make a judgement on how wary one should be. [LIST] Devices working with the Easy Installer.

The use of “Drivers” really is a Windows Issue, Update drivers manually in Windows - Microsoft Support. One really has to follow Windows guidance.

Linux users using the documented method have to rely on a flatpack installation (and Easy Installer itself) to get everything right.

I agree Mac users would need some expertise to follow the cryptic clues, but hopefully only if it does not run right first time. Mac however is not renouned for compatibility with other systems !


It seems that there are often a variety of Windows drivers for some Android devices. Fairphone users have experienced the situation loosely expressed like this; a simple driver might allow communication with the device normally, but not in adb or fastboot – that is three possible connection types. Sometimes the “full” driver might have a name like “combination driver”.

As you prepare to start Easy Installer connect your device to your Windows PC with a good usb data cable and open Windows Device Manager.

In the event your device has a driver issue, Device manager will show it as :warning: Problem device.

If you see a :warning: Problem device run Windows Update, ensure the warning clears.

Without closing Device manager start Easy Installer.

Easy insaller during progress will cycle the device through other modes adb and fastboot [1]. If you see a :warning: Problem device in your Device manager window, stop Easy Installer, run Windows Update, ensure the warning clears; continue or restart Easy Installer.

Should :warning: Problem device appear at any stage, stop Easy Installer and run Windows Update again.

Remember to restart Windows if it is indicated ! Easy Installer is expected to be competent to “start again” without issue; in this case it will take a litle time to double check any jobs done already.

[1] and / or Odin mode in the case of Samsung.

This. A thousand times this.

What bothers me is having to take the time while /e/ is not providing clear documentation and update instructions about their own products. We’re talking about a phone that /e/ themselves are selling on their website. Effectively, what is happening here is that they are leaving the user to take all the risk of damaging their phones without any liability to them.


If you didn’t buy the phone directly from them, they are simply not liable, same as with any other Android Custom ROM vendor out there offering you a customised Android OS to install yourself.
If you bought the phone directly from them, you could take it up with their support channels.

The FP3 /e/OS Android 9 situation is lamentable.
The state of the online documentation is very much lamentable in crucial parts.
Question is how quick we want to assume this will change. I’m more of a realist myself.

As for Fairphone users … If you happen to have Fairphone Angels in the vicinity (community volunteers offering help), ideally with /e/OS or other Custom ROM expertise, you could ask them whether they would be able to help locally …



I bought the phone from /e/ directly but, realistically, contacting support is not going to help at all. If there was a solution it would’ve been published already… or would it?

My expectations are all over the basement’s floor at the moment. Definitely, this situation is very disappointing… especially for paying customers who must rely on community effort to address issues that are mainly caused due to lack of communication. And don’t get me wrong the community has been nothing but helpful, as much as they can be in this type of situation anyway.

Anywho I wanted to get this over with so I wen ahead and after a considerable amount of time and effort, cross referencing every piece of documentation I could get my hands on, I flashed v1.6 on the damn thing. I used the command line instead of the easy-installer as that’s what most of the documentation I could find used.
Everything seems to work fine, but I gotta say it has been an absolutely horrible experience. Exactly the type of thing I wanted to avoid by buying directly from /e/ in the first place.

@Elizabeth, if you are willing to get your hands dirty and use the command line on your computer (Linux is what I could find more information about so that’s what I used) I can testify that this method worked for me to upgrade from /e/0.23 (Android 9 - P) to /e/1.6 (Android 11 - R). But I must warn you, taking a page from /e/'s book, I don’t make myself responsible for any damages to your phone :wink:


Of course not! :smiley:
Thank you for sharing these details.
Can I ask - what build did you install? The “Upgrade” instructions (linked in OP) offer “Stable R” and “Dev S” – the linked page explaining differences between builds says that “Stable R” is only available for Murena phones – since you bought your FP3 with /e/ pre-installed, I guess that’s what you have.

I’m wondering whether I should take R dev or S dev. Also, what are these “recovery” builds? Is that something else I should install? (Asking generally, not r. popcorn)

Thank you for providing these details. Maybe this should be added to some clearly labeled instructions on using the Easy Installer.

/e/OS includes its own recovery program which gets started when the phone gets booted into recovery mode. If you’re curious, just keep Vol + pressed while the phone starts or reboots.

Once /e/OS gets installed this recovery program will get installed alongside the OS, but depending on how users are supposed to install /e/OS manually on a device, they might need a fitting recovery program to do the initial install … these recovery downloads provide it for standalone use.