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

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:


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.


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.


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 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

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 …
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.


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:

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? and

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


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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I’m trying to get my head round this stuff. I’m sorry if this is a stupid question but how do you boot TWRP if it is not installed?

It’s not a stupid question at all.
You connect the phone to your computer, boot the phone into Fastboot Mode, and then the fastboot command on your computer can boot bootable software images (like the TWRP images for the Fairphone 3) on the phone without installing them.

All that is needed for that and how to do it exactly is described here … … just follow the “Installation” section until “Once booted”.


I have found this very interesting Web page:
“# How to Install OTA Updates in Rooted Android Device”

Sound very impressive, any thoughts on that ?

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That is how I install OTA updates both on my rooted FP3 and my rooted FP3+. It would be nice if it could be automated! However it’s quite easy to do! But there are some caveats.

It’s also described here:

Note that there is a problem that has arisen since this last page was first posted. I think it only affects Google Pixel phones but the latest versions of Magisk manager have “Install to inactive slot” disabled until the problem is sorted. The FP3 and FP3+ seem unaffected but you can’t use the latest Magisk manager. See also:

I also thought this might be a way to get a FP3 with /e/, TWRP and Magisk.
The first OTA update of /e/ after I had installed TWRP and Magisk on slot B worked fine until the reboot. Then it ended in a screen requiring to lock the bootloader. Then some more attempts to boot and finally the message that only a factory reset would help. I returned to slot B. On slot A I did not have TWRP and Magisk yet. So neither TWRP nor rooting was the problem but the unlocked bootloader. And as far as I understood all the topics I read, the bootloader must not be locked if Magisk is installed.
Did I understand something of the procedure wrong? Did someone accomplish a working OTA update of /e/ with TWRP and Magisk?

Edit: I flashed /e/OS images with fastboot to slot A. Again it does not boot into system mode because “the software can’t be checked for corruption. Please lock the bootloader.”
Then I flashed the latest OTA zip with TWRP to slot A. Same result.
Seems, that the phone denies to boot into system with unlocked bootloader. I can boot into slot B, but not into A. When booting in slot B the splash screen says. “Bootloader is unlocked and system integrity cannot be guaranteed.” So it is only a warning and the phone does not deny to boot into system. I wonder how users managed to update their system with an unlocked bootloader with the descriptions in this and the Fairphone forum. :slightly_frowning_face:

Was there something wrong with my installation of TWRP and Magisk? I had installed /e/ with the Easy Installer, so it was installed to both slots. Then I installed TWRP and Magisk, I think this affected only the active slot. Is that correct? So how does the first OTA update work when TWRP and Magisk are only in the active, not the inactive slot?

I need help with this.
I installed /e/ with the Easy Installer, thus /e/ should be on both slots, is that correct? I did not lock the bootloader because I want to install TWRP and Magisk.

Now I installed TWRP, then Magisk, everything works fine. The phone is still in the slot which is active after installing /e/, in this case it is slot B. If I reboot the phone I get a splash screen saying that the bootloader is unlocked, after a pause the phone boots normally into system mode.

I think now I have to change the active slot to install TWRP and Magisk also to slot A. But if I change the active slot to A and reboot the phone I get a different splash screen as described above. It demands to lock the bootloader and eventually ends up in recovery mode. I cannot boot into /e/ in slot A.

What must I do to have /e/, TWRP and Magisk in both slots and to be able to boot into both slots?

Edit: Maybe it is not an issue with unlocked bootloader, TWRP and Magisk but an issue right after installing /e/ :