How to get root/Magisk in /e/ on the Fairphone 3?

So the installation guide does not answer the question how you can install/get root access (likely with Magisk) on your FP3 with /e/.

Is there any guide?

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There is no information about root, because root is not needed and nothing fir ‘mums and dads’.

People who knows about root and the risk of root should know how to flash.

I prefer NEVER root your device. There us always a way to go without

The FP3 is the only smartphone so far supported by /e/ that offers the possibility to close the bootloader after the installation of the custom /e/ ROM - thus significantly increasing device security.

In my opinion, a rooting counteracts this security feature.

fastboot flashing lock

The last command will ask you to confirm on the device to lock the bootloader. Select LOCK THE BOOTLOADER with Volume + and valid with Power.

/e/ documentation Install /e/ on a Fairphone FP3 - “FP3”

But I don’t understand this feature. Because you can unlock it easy. Everywhere are howto’s. For My Xiaomi for example is a unlock toll available which will unlock the bootloader in seconds. So if there is a hacker which want steel your data he has enough tools to unlock the bootloader. I think the only way to secure your data is encrypt your phone.

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To unlock the bootloader, you need to connect the phone to a computer that’s the only case prevented by relocking the bootloader.

Question :
Is it possible to flash the magisk.zip with TWRP or adb sideload before relocking the booloader ?

It isn’t about simply unlocking/locking the bootloader, but about “Verified Boot” which a locked bootloader ensures.

Verified Boot is an important aspect for more device security and privacy protection. You understand this as a semi-professional with certainty, if you are only willing.

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Ah, ok, the verified boot I have overseen.

Did you change your mind ? :yum:

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No, but I accept if someone want secure his phone. For me it’s a no go. :upside_down_face:

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The e documentation will not cover rooting information as it is not required for the installation of /e/OS. You can check XDA or other web forums for more information on how to root.

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I flashed Magisk using adb sideload. Check my post on the fairphone forum. Mind that you can’t lock back the bootloader : it will corrupt the system.

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The e documentation will not cover rooting information as it is not required for the installation of /e/OS. You can check XDA or other web forums for more information on how to root.

@Manoj please don’t. Please don’t go that way. Being able to have root or not, is absolutely a core issue. You can not own your data without being root. If there’s someone able to tell you what you are or are not allowed to do with your data - someone able to deny access to your data, at that moment it’s not your data any more. (check the thread linked by @lost_geographer for some illustrations of why)

Please bring this up with your management. This is essential.

I do understand the arguments for preventing root access: “mum and pop”, “hellish to support”, “protect the user”, “protect system integrity” and all, but this is all background priority.

The /e/ foundation’s core promise, the “selling point”, is: “my data is my data”. If you break that promise, then nothing remains left of /e/. “No one cares about /e/” (be ware: hyperbole!), people are buying/installing /e/ for the trust in your promise.

I know I can somehow hack my device but that immediately gets me into a swamp (check the thread, find the posts about “system corruption”). I hate it: I went through all that bloody nonsense several time already with a couple of devices. I hate it. That’s why I bought a Fairphone with /e/: someone did the work for me, the phone is clean, I have peace of mind, nobody is f**ing with my data.

If you are telling me I am not intended to get root on the device, then you are breaking the trust I put in you. I will probably not send the device back, I’m too fed up with all the idle jumping through many hoops. But I will not recommend it. “my data is my data” will become just another set of word disembowled by marketing from their meaning.

Please do not. Please bring this up with management. Please find an acceptable way (for you and for the user) to let the user to be root.

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maybe e think root is bad and we are to stupid to deal with it, so they need to protect us from the evil.

this makes e (for me) to a placeholder until a other distribution came out somethink like LOS or other derivates with respect the freedom of choice of ther users.

Anyway you will find working howto’s for magisk on fp3 in the fairphone forum.

Hello everyone. So I just received my Fairphone 3 wich I ordererd here directly from /e/ store.
I read a lot on this and the official Fairphone forum. And still some stuff is not clear to me.

I’m a power user/tweaker and I use a Motorola Moto G 2 (2014/XT1068/titan) with TWRP, Lineage+Micro G+root and ofcource Xposed framework (for obb to SD and call recording mod).

I hope some day to get the Fairphone 3 also to work with Root and Xposed.

My big questions is:
When the official /e/ Fairphone 3 is locked, and I unlock it. What will exactly happen? How to treat this? WIll I lose fuctionallity? Like google pay or pay with bank? Is the only way to root it using Magisk (no hidden commands like in Lineage OS, no added SU.zip file?

If OTA is the only thing that will not work anymore, can I keep doing dirty updates using TWRP?
Using TWRP on my Moto G2 was soo easy. Just back-up and restore, no problem!
I really dont like that this phone can be bricked, So I like to make sure about this before I do something I’m going to regret.

I already found just now that TWRP cannot be installed (MAJOR dissapointment), only run trough USB as boot command. I’m going to try and findout if restoring and backing up is as simple with TWRP as it was with the Moto G2.

When Root is working, lets see about Xposed and then lets see about the obb to SD and callrecording mod’s, firewall and more.

But first I need a reliable OS with root that I can back-up and restore super easily…

/e/ is a Custom ROM. Nobody can guarantee the functionality you mentioned anyway.

The switch to Magisk comes from LineageOS, they dropped their own addonsu.zip.

Not in the same way, if at all.
The Fairphone 3 is an A/B device doing seamless updates, which work differently than before.

Define bricked.
Even if Fastboot Mode doesn’t work anymore, not all hope is lost with the Fairphone 3.

Plain wrong, where did you get this from?
Of course you can install TWRP, if you choose so. Installation procedure is given on the official TWRP page … https://twrp.me/fairphone/fairphone3.html.
Whether it is advisable to install it instead of just booting it when needed depends, as installing it changes the boot partition. There is no recovery partition to just flash it to.

I had no luck with restoring all partitions with TWRP in one go, but installing the OS from scratch, setting up encryption like it was before and then restoring just the data partition was looking good when I tried.

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Dear “AnotherElk”,

Thank you so much for your extensive answers!

What I did mean is, that I read on the official Fairphone forum about losing important? decription keys, data (factory reset) and in the past I even read something about losing special drivers (modem, camera, other drivers because of license related?) and people never to be able to go back to stuff that involves NFC paying and these more advanced blob drivers?

This I could find so quickly: https://forum.fairphone.com/t/fairphone-3-unlocking-without-oem-unlocking/57683

So to put it simple. If I unluck my /e/ phone, what will I lose now???
Here I only find stories of people going from Fairphone OS to /e/ and leaving it unlocked with magisk root. Not about people actually buying the phone from /e/ and then unlocking it.

That I read indeed before thanks. The part about the active slots is still confusing to me (feels to me like a gigabyte motherboard saying dual bios or so) but it feels like waseting diskspace. Then again I’m very much windows minded and these partitions may work totally different. I have to catch up on that too.

Then again, with my Moto G2 I never did OTA or dirty flash. I always wiped and did a clean install since it would be way more stable. Is OTA updating with /e/ on the Faiphone stable and the only/most user friendly way? Can I update using a Zip file in TWRP and do a dirty flash after modifying the boot partition with TWRP? I did not find any talk about this eighter…

Thanks I caught up on it. Just so annoyed why every iteration they have to make stuff more complicated.

And modifying the boot partition seems also quite dangerous if you ever want OTA updates I guess I understood from reading. Is this true and what other irreversible dangers are there?

https://forum.fairphone.com/t/twrp-3-4-0-on-fp3-with-e/62293/3 and
https://forum.fairphone.com/t/used-to-the-fairphone-2-dont-do-these-fairphone-2-things-on-the-fairphone-3/57721


Note: When flashing full stock images, that include sbl1 or aboot, make sure both slots have a working fastboot before flashing.
And never flash both slots without first testing on one.

That never was a problem in the past. You just had your Lineage and your TWRP.


So in short:

  1. What will I lose (forever) by unlocking the Fairphone bought from /e/ running /e/ OS and locked bootloader, flashing magisk and rooting the phone?
  2. What other reliable “dirty” and “clean” update method is there if OTA is impossible anymore?
  3. Is there any difference in /e/ drivers compared to the google android version for the Fairphone?

Locking as well as unlocking the bootloader will force a factory reset, which will wipe the data and cache partitions. Only the OS itself will be left as is, and once booted it will greet you with the initial setup.
So you will most importantly lose your data in the Internal Storage, the Apps you installed and the data those Apps themselves stored in the data partition.
If you incorporated an SD card into Internal Storage, it will be wiped. If you let an SD card be external storage, it will not be touched.

This shouldn’t be the case. At least not with Fairphones. Perhaps other vendors are complicating matters?
In case of need you can completely reinstall the Fairphone 3 to its stock state with this here.

Probably because there just is no story (in the sense of drama).
If you buy it and first thing you do is unlock it, there’s nothing on it to lose.

I did a few updates this way and the process worked just fine. (On my Fairphone 2 I don’t OTA update out of habit, so I had to get used to this, too.)

Once you halfway wrap your head around it, it’s pretty convenient and robust.
An update gets installed in the background on the inactive slot while you continue to use your phone with the active slot. Once the update is done, the necessary reboot just switches the active slot to the updated one and that was it.
If really something would go wrong with an update, the old working OS state would still be there on the other slot, and you could just switch back.
The data partition is shared between the both slots, so the data is the same. You don’t lose new data by switching the OS back to an older state.

And, just to mention it, the importance of your data can be measured by how recent your backup of this data is, so be safe with a backup in any case.

It’s true that installing TWRP will break OTA updates with the stock Fairphone OS, because its update process checks the boot partition for changes and doesn’t update if the boot partition was changed.
I don’t know whether it is the same with /e/'s update process.
I don’t know any further dangers, I just boot TWRP when I need it, I don’t install it.

The unchanged boot.img is in the install files, so you can revert a changed boot partition to an unchanged state if you need to.

I get where you’re coming from, I used this setup long enough myself. But things change.

If you have a look at the install files and install instructions for the Fairphone 3, it’s just partition images, and they just get flashed to where they should be on the phone with fastboot.
As long as you know what you are doing and you don’t mess up the slots, you could do this manually.

This would be a question for the /e/ developers, you can reach them via the /e/ GitLab.

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Dear AnotheElk,

Thanks so much for your answers :). It’s all clear to me now.

Update: OTA Updates, fingerprint scanner and NFC payments (ING banking) and call recording, F-droid as system app all work with Magisk root in the above mentioned way on my phone

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I can’t help you with your “complex” setups, but I’d like to mention that I’ve always done OTA updates on my Android devices and that never gave me any trouble.

Edit: and that includes the FP3 (no matter if stock ROM or /e/; but no Magisk or TWRP installed).

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