Here is my experience on my sony Xperia XA2 /e/ OS install. I had installed LineageOS before on this phone so I already knew some of the issues. I was able to dig a little further into the details though.
I redacted this post over several weeks/months during which I’ve added details when I could. I’ve added them in nested bullet points.
Can you install /e/ by just replacing the system partition of a LineageOS phone and keep your user data?
- Didn’t work for me. The screen showed the /e/ logo forever.
Can you revert back to lineageOS after having done what I wrote above?
- Didn’t work either. /e/ seems to have messed with data beyond just the system partition and now neither can boot.
Installing /e/ on Xperia XA2
- The instructions about flashing the custom recovery may be false. XA2 has 2 slots, so a custom recovery usually can’t be installed (at least the way it’s written in the docs). You’d have to boot it from fastboot every time.
- I recently found a post from TWRP where they detail how to actually install the custom recovery. In this post they advice against installing TWRP using fastboot like in e/lineage’s docs. (I haven’t tried it yet though). https://twrp.me/sony/sonyxperiaxa2.html
- The steps to install didn’t seem to work, as I always ended up with TWRP warning me that I had no OS installed after flashing. I tried erasing+flashing, erasing+erasing+flashing, erasing+slot change+erasing+flashing, erasing+flashing+flashing, erasing+flashing+slot change+erasing+flashing. What seemed to have worked in the end was reboot to lineageOS recovery (still on phone)+erasing+flashing+boot TWRP+flashing.
- Maybe it would have worked if I installed TWRP like explained in the link above
What about backups?
- /e/ can save internal storage to NextCloud which is cool
- Not all folders are automatically added to NextCloud. And I can’t find a way to add one manually.
- I ended up installing the nextcloud app. I can configure it to use /e/'s nextcloud, and add a folder to “auto upload”
- If you did a Nandroid backup with TWRP before flashing, it’s actually just tar files. This allows you to reset app settings on your new install like they were before but:
- The app must already be installed again
- You have to chown the file to the new app user (with adb shell run ls -hal in the app folder to find the new user)
- You then have to fix something with SELinux, of which I don’t know the command anymore
- I found it on this post, which explains much more too so go read it if you’re in this situation: https://www.semipol.de/2016/07/30/android-restoring-apps-from-twrp-backup.html
- If you’re looking to restore your contacts but don’t have an .vcf file, you can generate it from contract2.db using https://github.com/stachre/dump-contacts2db
- Think twice when making a Nandroid backup. Check again whether internal data has actually been saved and it’s not just app data. Also, encryption might be a hassle to recover you data later on.
- I just checked again, and TWRP doesn’t allow making an internal sdcard backup, so make that backup manually before flashing!
Weird stuff happening with /e/:
- Increasing cloud account storage is quite a buggy process:
- I already have an account
- I click the increase storage button on my main view
- I chose a plan
- The shopping page asks my username and password. I tried every possible combination, none worked.
- Skip login
- The shopping page asks what username and password I want for my new account (?)
- I type my current username and password
- Finish checkout
- Loads forever and eventually ends in 404 not found. The url reads nextcloud-storage-update-failed
- The account now says that I have the amount of storage I ordered.
- With the default launcher, opening and app in a folder and the exiting the app keeps the launcher folder open. This behaviour seems kinda weird to me.
- Actually I’m not that fond of Bliss Launcher, so I switched to Open Launcher from F-Droid
- Calendar app can’t import all events form an .ics file. It only imports the first one. To work around this, I used https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.sufficientlysecure.ical/ to import all events form the .ics file to the /e/ account.
- Random reboots every now and then
- Errors pop up, showing 5XX error status. I guess it’s linked to cloud sync
I just made sure the posts I linked to were saved by the web archive, so you can search them there if the links become dead.