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

,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.

I don’t know what the recovery build is but if it’s as @AnotherElk says then you may already have it installed. Which again leads to confusion on why should some devices need to revert back to stock ROM if the OS provides all it needs?

Anyway to answer your question, as I wanted to play it safe, I went with the latest R build available: IMG-e-1.6-r-20221129238947-stable-FP3.zip. The S build is supposed to be for testing, or so I understood. I will cross that bridge when I need to upgrade again.

What I would do in your situation is install FairphoneOS and follow the /e/ install guide. This way if things go wrong you at least can fallback to a working phone, albeit with Google, and plus you gain some hands-on experience before going for the real challenge :slight_smile:

EDIT: By the way you will notice that FP provides instructions for all Windows, Mac and Linux but /e/ does not. I would recommend following the guide as closely as possible which is why I ended up using Linux. So when you are ready to install /e/ and you want to try with Linux, let me know as there are easy ways to run it in your computer without having to install it and it will cause no harm to your computer.

This has nothing to do with the recovery, and on devices required to revert to stock when upgrading the underlying Android version /e/OS is not in a position to provide everything, that’s why they have to revert to stock.

There’s more on the phone than the OS and the recovery. There’s additional stuff like firmware parts which get provided by the phone vendor, tailor-made for the Android version supposed to run on the phone. Of course the stock ROM will have these parts included.

Fairphone and the e foundation have an official partnership in place, so the e foundation gets everything from Fairphone in this regard to include in the /e/OS builds for Fairphone devices. But there’s no such official relationship with every vendor of every phone able to run /e/OS, and just grabbing these parts from stock ROM files without consent is a legal issue, so certain devices have to get updated “missing” parts by making a complete install of the stock ROM, should the need arise.

Just my understanding.

I don’t know if it helps but on my FP3 with R 1.6 stable, an adb sideload with R 1.6 dev just made the device a dev device. Thoose little apps I had on it, are still there

@AnotherElk @sam-a You were wondering before how it would behave…?

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That’s really good to know, I think it would be nice to add a foot note or something to highlight the importance of rolling back to the device’s original or stock ROM. The current state of the docs is quite scary actually, the opposite of beginner friendly. And I agree /e/ can’t make guarantees for every single device but most definitely should when it comes to those that are sold directly through their site. At least those pages should have special attention to these type of details.

Edit, I have deleted the original content of this post.

Apologies to all readers this post did not provide clarity, as it seems to be based on assumptions I cannot validate. Thanks to @AnotherElk for the subsequent post.

Perhaps of interest if you are looking at LineageOS for FP3 …

It all seems complicated.

Official (in their terms) LineageOS for FP3 was initially based on groundwork done by the e foundation for porting /e/OS to the Fairphone 3 …

“Since the /e/ foundation published the sources for FP3 support this was used as base.”

Usually first there would be LineageOS on a device, then /e/OS for the device would get based on this. In case of FP3 /e/OS got released first and official LineageOS was based on work done for /e/OS.

Hi, reflective_popcorn,

Thanks, I’d be very interested in trying this! If not tonight or tomorrow, maybe next week…

Hi Elizabeth,

Sorry for the delay it’s been rather busy with all the holidays and haven’t checked in much. Merry Christmas, Happy new year and all that jazz by the way :slight_smile:

Here’s a quick list of instructions on how to do that. Note that these instructions are for Windows only. I know it’s possible to do the same with MacOS but I’ve never tried.

I can’t post more than 2 links for some reason so I think it’s best to leave a quick video that walks through this process just in case, but here’s the written version.

  1. Download the Linux image, for simplicity I suggest Ubuntu since it’s widely popular and supported.

  2. Optionally, for better security, verify the download.

  3. Download Balena Etcher, Rufus, or some other tool to flash the image into a USB.

  4. Plug the USB, making sure you’ve backed up everything in it as it will get overwritten.

  5. Run whatever program you chose to flash the image. The instructions are very simple, just make sure you select the correct drive to flash to. This will take a few minutes.

  6. Once it’s done flashing the image, without removing the USB drive, restart the computer.

  7. This is the tricky part. Enter into the BIOS/UEFI boot menu by interrupting the boot sequence pressing one of the function keys. This step is equivalent to how we access the bootloader on smartphones holding Power + Volume Up/Down.

    Typically it’s one of F2, F10 or F12 but it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. It’s shown during the loading screen but sometimes it flashes to quickly to see properly so you can also look it up online. In any case, make sure you spam the right key as the computer boots up.

  8. Once you are in the boot menu, you should see an option to select the drive to boot from. Select the one you’ve just flashed and it should continue the boot process with Ubuntu instead of Windows. You may not see the boot menu but at least an option to change the boot order, in which case you need to move the USB option up to the top. This will tell your computer to find a OS to boot into in that order, looking for external drives first.

  9. Do not remove the USB drive while you are using it. Do not attempt to install Ubuntu, you will see an option to do that but that’s not what you want. When you are done you can power off normally and then remove the USB drive.

  10. As you need to download a few programs and files it’s probably best to have a decent sized usb drive.

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Booting and running Linux on Mac hardware can be a bit more tricky than on Windows hardware. I would strongly recommend running Linux as a Virtual Machine instead using VirtualBox on your Mac,

If you really want to live boot into Linux on your Mac, then best to follow a Mac-specific guide such as this one