Install /e/OS on a Fairphone FP4 - “FP4”

The instructions in this guide will assist you to install /e/OS on your FP4. Please read through the instructions at least once before actually following them, so as to avoid any problems later.

It is important that you know that downgrading Smartphones on OS versions greater than the /e/OS OS version you plan to install, can cause instability or at worst brick some devices. We recommend that you check your current OS version, before attempting the installation.

It is advisable to flash your device only if you know what you are doing and are ok taking the associated risk. All /e/OS builds are provided as best effort, without any guarantee. The /e/OS project and its project members deny any and all responsibility about the consequences of using /e/OS software and or /e/OS services.

Requirements

  • If required take a backup of all important data from your phone on an external storage device before proceeding.
  • Do not take a backup on the same device as some of these actions will format the device and delete the backup.
  • Ensure your phone is charged more than 50%
  • Check that adb and fastboot are enabled on your PC. If not you can find the setup instructions here
  • Download all the files and images mentioned in the download section below before starting the installation
  • Make sure you have a working data cable to connect your device to the PC. There are cables which are only for charging and do not transfer data.

  • Your device requires a code to unlock the bootloader. Get the code here before proceeding with the next steps

  • Enable USB debugging on your device. You can find the instructions here
  • Make sure that your model is listed in the Smartphone Selector. Check the model supported. Where available, information on the model supported should show as a pop-up when you hover the cursor on the Device name. The model number supported should be the exact same.
  • Boot your device with the stock OS at least once and check every functionality.
Warning: Make sure that you can send and receive SMS and place and receive calls (also via WiFi and LTE, if available), otherwise it will not work on /e/OS as well. Additionally, some devices require that VoLTE/VoWiFi be utilized once on stock to provision IMS.

Please share your experience , suggest tips or changes to this install guide documentation by visiting the FP4 specific topic on our community forum.

To report issues in /e/OS please refer this guide

Caution: The FP4 comes with an anti-rollback feature. Google Android anti-roll back feature is supposedly a way to ensure you are running the latest software version, including the latest security patches.

If you try installing a version of /e/OS based on a previous AOSP core version than the one running on your phone, or based on a security patch that is older than the one on your device, you will brick your device.

To check the security patch level on your phone with a locked bootloader, prior to installing /e/OS, open your phone Settings » About Phone » Android Version » Android Security Patch Level.Then compare it against the level of the security patch on the /e/OS build as visible in the Downloads for the FP4 section below.

Click the Details section to view some examples

Example 1
* Your FP4 with Google Android has a Security Patch Level saying June 5, 2022
* The /e/OS build available says: /e/OS build : R stable (Security patch: 2022-05-05)
* In this example, the /e/OS build has an older Security Patch level than the origin, so the anti-roll back protection will trigger, and you will brick your phone

Example 2

* Your FP4 with Google Android has a Security Patch Level saying June 5, 2022.
* The /e/OS build available says: /e/OS build : R stable (Security patch: 2022-06-05)
* In this example, the /e/OS build has the same Security Patch level than the origin, so the anti-roll back protection will pass, and you will be able to install /e/OS with no issues.

Downloads for the FP4

  • /e/OS build : S dev (Security patch: 2022-10-05)

  • /e/OS build : S stable (Security patch: 2022-10-05)

To understand the difference between /e/OS builds check this guide

Warning: Please note some of the above links can lead to external sites

Before install

How to Boot into bootloader mode

This section will be relevant later throughout the guide, when you need to reboot into bootloader mode.

  1. Remove any USB-C cable and turn off your Fairphone 4
    Tip: If you cannot turn your device off, remove the battery for about 5 seconds, then put it back in.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down button.
  3. Insert a USB-C cable connected to the power (can either be a power outlet or a computer).
  4. Release the Volume Down button as soon you boot into bootloader mode

For more details on how to erase the data on your FP4 refer this guide

Unlocking the bootloader

Tip: The steps given below only need to be run once per device.
Warning: Unlocking the bootloader will erase all data on your device! Before proceeding, ensure the data you would like to retain is backed up to your PC and/or an online drive
  1. Boot the device
  2. Enable and connect Wifi
  3. Enable Developer options
  4. From developer options, enable OEM unlock
    • Get the unlock code from this site and enter it
  5. Reboot on fastboot by running the command in the PC console adb reboot bootloader

    Tip: All the console commands are run on an adb enabled PC and in the adb console.
  6. Ask for unlock with fastboot flashing unlock
  7. Approve with volume + then power
    • The device proceed with a factory reset, and automatically reboots
  8. Reboot again into bootloader
  9. Unlock critical with fastboot flashing unlock_critical
  10. Approve with volume + then power
    • The device proceeds with a factory reset, and automatically reboots

Installing /e/OS

Tip: For Windows users, we advise to use Git Bash. For more info about Downloads and Installation see Official Documentation
Caution: The FP4 comes with an anti-rollback feature. Read the paragraph marked Caution in Requirements section of this guide, before proceeding.
  1. Unzip the archive

     unzip <fileyoudownloaded>
    

    Replace <fileyoudownloaded> with the name of the archive file you downloaded.

    Alternately you can create a folder and unzip the archive there.

  2. Confirm that extracted directory contains following content:

    • bin-linux-x86 directory - which contains linux tools including fastboot and adb
    • bin-msys directory - which contains Windows tools including fastboot and adb
    • img files - The img files that are to be flashed onto the device.
    • flash_FP4_factory.sh - The installer script.
  3. Boot into bootloader/fastboot mode.

    • Power OFF the device.
    • While holding Volume Down button, plug in a USB Cable that’s connected to a PC on the other end.
  4. Run the installer script on Terminal(Linux) or on Git Bash UI(Windows).

    • Make sure you are in the current directory which contains the flash_FP4_factory.sh file.

    Linux

    • Right click -> Open terminal here

    Windows

    • Right click -> Git Bash here
    • Execute the following command:
     chmod +x flash_FP4_factory.sh && ./flash_FP4_factory.sh
    

    The script will flash all required files and will wait for input at the last step. Proceed to locking the bootloader.

Locking the Bootloader

Caution: The FP4 comes with an anti-rollback feature. Read the paragraph marked Caution in Requirements section of this guide, before proceeding.

Once you have completed the above steps and before rebooting you can and should lock your Bootloader.

  1. Lock critical partitition with the following command
    • fastboot flashing lock_critical
    • Approve with Voume + then power
  2. Reboot again your device into bootloader, and plug it to your computer
  3. Lock the device with the following command
    • fastboot flashing lock
    • Approve with Voume + then power
Success: Congratulations !! Your phone should now be booting into /e/OS !!

Please share your experience , suggest tips or changes to this install guide documentation by visiting the FP4 specific topic on our community forum.

To report issues in /e/OS please refer this guide