Locking Bootloader für FP4 after flashing e/os is not possible

I followed the instruction under https://doc.e.foundation/devices/FP4/install and the suggestion at the end is to lock the bootloader - but if I do this my device “is corrupt” and will not start any longer- Without locking the bootloader the device (FP4) works fine. Is there anyone here with the same problem?

Kind regards, Ulf

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

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There are at least six others with exact same issue as far as I can see. Imho this is a serious issue that needs addressing, or at least some feedback from e team.


Hi I have the same issue. FP4 with installed e/OS but can not lock bootloader. Need help too

kind regards

Was it installed following the current install instructions? …

"Caution: Ensure that you flash an image with a security patch level greater than the level of the existing security patch. Failure to do so will prevent you from locking your bootloader.
/e/OS build : R dev (Security patch: 2022-04-05)
/e/OS build : R stable (Security patch: 2022-04-05)"

It seems an up-to-date stock OS on the Fairphone 4 would be on security patch level 2022-05-05 right now, which would make the warning apply to /e/OS being on 2022-04-05 right now.

thank you for your reply
I followed the instructions, I installed “IMG-e-1.0-r-20220526188860-stable-FP4.zip” which was on top and therefore the latest. Was that wrong?
I don’t even know what it means to “flash an image with a sec patch level greater tan an existing sec patch”
After all the phone works perfect and I could install all apps I require. They work flawless
I am not really a crack when it comes to installations… at the end, I am just another freeloader who wants to get rid of google & CO
At the end of the day, how important is it to lock the boot loader? really so dangerous?

thank you anyway, I don’t know If you could help me further up the road

Having just ordered a new FP4, and intending to install e/OS on is, I’m expecting to run into the same issue. What’s the expected next dev/stable release of e/OS? “Monthly” it says on the site, so would that be around June 26?

Would I be able to just install the current stable, not lock the bootloader, upgrade to the next version in a few weeks, and lock the bootloader then?

Disclaimer: I don’t have a Fairphone 4 myself, I can only do my best going by logic, by things which are the same across devices as well as by what I can cite as a source.

No. As the instructions say that the patch level of /e/OS needs to be newer (or “greater”) than the patch level existing on the device before installation to be able to lock the bootloader, there’s no safer choice than simply using the latest /e/OS image.

The security patch level indicates how recent the security patches in the OS are. Google patches the Android base for all Android OSes monthly, the many different Android OS vendors including Fairphone with Fairphone OS and the e foundation with /e/OS then apply those patches to their own OSes within their own update schedule, more or less timely.
So, across OSes the existing patch level on a device not only depends on when a user updates the OS, the patch level really can differ between different OSes at the same point in time.
Like right now for instance. The latest Fairphone OS update for the Fairphone 4 as of right now has security patches as recent as 2022-05-05 (see above), the latest /e/OS updates for the Fairphone 4 as of right now have security patches as recent as 2022-04-05 according to the install instructions.

How dangerous it is depends on your personal risk assessment in your very own mindset and circumstances.
User data should be inaccessible after simple loss or theft of the phone as long as you chose a PIN/password/pattern for your screen lock, which will automatically serve as the necessary PIN/password/pattern to decrypt user data. But who really knows? Software these days can’t guarantee anything other than that it will have bugs at least, if not conceptual shortcomings :slight_smile: .
With an unlocked bootloader anything can be booted or installed by somebody getting physical access to your phone. So somebody snatching your phone unnoticed, installing malware to grab your unlock method or to do stuff with your data after you unlocked, then slipping the phone back to you still unnoticed just to wait for you to unlock it … is a possibility for you to either prevent or accept.

Thats a reasonable expectation, but in practice delays can happen due to technical difficulty and whatnot, so don’t fix yourself too tight to an exact date … or week :wink: .

See here … and be aware that locking (as well as unlocking) the bootloader will force a factory reset for security reasons …


Today received my new FP4 and can see the mismatch still applies. Is there any other way how to deal with it?

I am a bit confused, as here:

while https://doc.e.foundation/devices/FP4/install still states

  • /e/OS build : R stable (Security patch: 2022-04-05)