LineageOS
LineageOS Wordmark.svg
DeveloperLineageOS open-source community
Written inC (core), C++ (some third party libraries), Java and Kotlin (UI)
OS familyAndroid (Linux)
Working stateActive
Source modelOpen source[a]
Latest releaseLineageOS 20 (based on Android 13) / 31 December 2022; 35 days ago (2022-12-31)[2]
Marketing targetFirmware replacement for Android mobile devices
Available in
Update methodOver-the-air (OTA), ROM flashing
Package managerAPK-based
Platformsarm, arm64, x86, x86-64
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
LicenseApache 2[3] and other licenses[4]
Preceded byCyanogenMod CyanogenOS
Official websitewww.lineageos.org

LineageOS is an Android-based operating system for smartphones, tablet computers, and set-top boxes, with mostly free and open-source software. It is the successor to CyanogenMod, from which it was forked in December 2016, when Cyanogen Inc. announced it was discontinuing development and shut down the infrastructure behind the project.[5][6] Since Cyanogen Inc. retained the rights to the Cyanogen name, the project rebranded its fork as LineageOS.[7]

LineageOS was officially launched on 24 December 2016, with the source code available on both GitHub and GitLab.[8][9] In March 2017, it reportedly had one million users with the OnePlus One being the most popular device.[10]

History

Main article: CyanogenMod

CyanogenMod (often abbreviated "CM") was a popular[11] open-source operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, based on the Android mobile platform. CyanogenMod users can opt-in to report their use of the firmware.[12] In March 2015, Forbes indicated over 50 million people were running CyanogenMod on their phones.[11][13]

In 2013, the founder, Stefanie Kondik, obtained venture funding under the name Cyanogen Inc. to allow commercialization of the project.[14][15] In her view, the company did not capitalize on the project's success and in 2016 she either left or was forced out[16][17] as part of a corporate restructure which involved a change of CEO, closure of offices and projects, and cessation of services.[18] The code itself, being both open source and popular, was forked under the new name LineageOS and efforts began to resume development as a community project.[citation needed]

CyanogenMod offered a number of features and options not available in the official firmware distributed by most mobile device vendors. Features supported by CyanogenMod included native theme support,[19] FLAC audio codec support, a large Access Point Name list, Privacy Guard (per-application permission management application), support for tethering over common interfaces, CPU overclocking, root access, soft buttons and other "tablet tweaks," toggles in the notification pull-down (such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and satellite navigation), and other interface and performance enhancements.[citation needed] Many of the features from CyanogenMod were later integrated into the official Android code base.[citation needed] CyanogenMod's developers said that it did not contain spyware or bloatware.[20][21]

Development

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Like CyanogenMod, the LineageOS project is developed by many device-specific maintainers and uses Gerrit for its code review process. It also retained the old versioning format (for example, Android 7.1 is LineageOS 14.1). Prior to the official launch of LineageOS, many developers from XDA had already developed unofficial versions of LineageOS from the source code. All the released builds are signed with LineageOS' private keys.[22]

Builds were released on a weekly basis until 12 November 2018, when the release cycle for devices has changed: the latest LineageOS branch is built daily, with devices receiving a "nightly" OTA update, while devices on the older branch were moved to a weekly release cycle.[23]

Starting on 5 June 2020, the latest LineageOS branch is also moved to a weekly release cycle, as the server couldn't build all available supported devices in just one day, with some devices receiving updates later on the next day.[24]

Version history

See also: Android version history and CyanogenMod § History and development

Version AOSP version First build release date Last build release date Support Ref.
Old version, no longer maintained: 9.0 4.0.4
(Ice Cream Sandwich)
? ? Unsupported
Old version, no longer maintained: 10.0 4.1.2
(Jelly Bean)
? ? Unsupported
Old version, no longer maintained: 11.0 4.4.4
(KitKat)
? ? Unsupported
Old version, no longer maintained: 12.0 5.0
(Lollipop)
? ? Unsupported
Old version, no longer maintained: 12.1 5.1
(Lollipop)
? ? Unsupported
Old version, no longer maintained: 13.0 6.0.1
(Marshmallow)
20 December 2016 as CM
22 January 2017 as LOS
11 February 2018 Unsupported [22][25]
Old version, no longer maintained: 14.1 7.1.2
(Nougat)
9 November 2016 as CM
22 January 2017 as LOS
24 February 2019 Unsupported [22][27]
Old version, no longer maintained: 15.1 8.1.0
(Oreo)
26 February 2018 28 February 2020 Unsupported [26][29]
Old version, no longer maintained: 16.0 9.0.0
(Pie)
1 March 2019 16 February 2021 Unsupported [28][31]
Old version, no longer maintained: 17.1 10
(Quince Tart)
1 April 2020 16 February 2022 Unsupported [30][33]
Older version, yet still maintained: 18.1 11
(Red Velvet Cake)
1 April 2021 (Current) Supported [32]
Older version, yet still maintained: 19.1 12.1
(Snow Cone)
26 April 2022 (Current) Supported [34]
Current stable version: 20 13
(Tiramisu)
31 December 2022 (Current) Supported [2]
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Features

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Like its predecessor, CyanogenMod, LineageOS is perceived as free from unnecessary software often pre-installed by a phone's manufacturer or carrier that is considered to be bloatware.[36][20]

Community

LineageOS allows the community to get involved with development in various ways. Gerrit is used for the code review process for both the operating system and the infrastructure.

The wiki, containing information regarding installation, support, and development of LineageOS, is also open to contributions through Gerrit. Other Lineage platforms include Crowdin for managing translations, Gitlab Issues for bug tracking, and a stats page, which displays the number of active installations from users who opt in to report this statistic. There is also an IRC channel hosted on Libera.chat (#lineageos) and subreddit (r/lineageos).[37]

The XDA Developers forums have been used by members of the Lineage community since the software's inception. Many devices are left unsupported by official releases so community members develop their own unofficial ROMs allowing older phones to use Lineage. These unofficial releases are often bundled with software intended to aid the user's experience that would otherwise be unseen in an official release. They also come with known bugs and security issues that may not be seen in official releases.[citation needed]

During August 2017 the LineageOS team held a Summer Survey[38] in which they asked users for feedback to improve the development of the operating system. The results were published[39] in October and, according to the team, they used the gathered data to improve the upcoming LineageOS 15 release. A second Summer Survey was conducted in August 2018.[40]

As a response to one of the main suggestions received during their first public survey, LineageOS launched a section on their blog titled "LineageOS Engineering Blog" where Lineage maintainers and developers can contribute articles discussing advanced technical information pertaining to Android development.[41]

LineageOS is also known for posting a "regularly irregular review"[42] on its blog in which the active development of the work is discussed.

LineageOS apps

LineageOS includes free and open-source apps:

Current

Former

Although they are not included in LineageOS as such due to legal issues,[45] users can flash the normal Google apps, including the Google Play Store and Play Apps, with a Zip package, usually referred to as gapps, while installing LineageOS. A side effect of using LineageOS and other custom roms is the impact on SafetyNet API.[46] App developers can choose to enable a toggle in the app developer console to hide their app on the Play Store if a device doesn't pass SafetyNet tests, or can choose to check the SafetyNet status of a device to disable certain functionality. Notable examples would be Netflix, which is hidden on the Play Store, and Google Pay, which checks SafetyNet each time the app is used. Devices running LineageOS may have a smaller selection of usable apps in the Play Store as a result of these checks. LineageOS can be made to work with apps such as Netflix and Google Pay by installing Magisk and certain modules designed to hide the bootloader status.[47]

Customization features

LineageOS offers several features that Android Open Source Project (AOSP) does not include. Some of these features are:

Security & privacy features

Developers & power user features

Trust interface

As LineageOS evolved through development, the Trust interface was introduced for all the LineageOS 15.1 builds released since 12 June 2018.[51] The interface can be found on supported devices under Security and Privacy tab under the Settings option, and enables the user to "get an overview of the status of core security features and explanations on how to act to make sure the device is secure and the data is private".

Additionally, while carrying out any action on the device, the trust icon is displayed, notifying the user that the action is safe.

Supported devices

POCO X3 Pro smartphone running LineageOS
POCO X3 Pro smartphone running LineageOS

The number of devices supported by LineageOS has increased over time, with 157 for 17.1 and 18.1 as of April 1, 2021.[52][53] Official builds on currently supported development branches are labeled as "nightly". For the first two months of the project, parallel experimental builds were also produced, allowing in-place upgrades from previous CyanogenMod installations and easing migration to LineageOS.[53][54][55][56]

In 2019, LineageOS development builds were available for 109 phone models[52] with over 2.8 million active installs.[57] As of 26 April 2022, 41 devices are receiving official 19 builds and 136 devices are receiving official 18.1 builds.

Criticism and reception

2018 April Fools' prank

LineageOS was criticized for a deceptive April Fool's prank included with some April 2018 builds.[58]

During the first week of April 2018 LineageOS released new builds with the "LOSGenuine" prank that informed unaware users of the software possibly being counterfeit via a persistent notification (which could not be disabled unless the user ran the following command in a root shell):

setprop persist.lineage.nofool true

When the notification was tapped, the software claimed that the device was "uncertified" and needed to mine "LOSCoins", which were a virtual currency and could not actually be spent. Affected builds also had a preinstalled "Wallet" app that showed the current balance of LOSCoins.[58]

Many users mistook the prank for actual malware, and others reportedly found it to be in "poor taste". It was especially criticized for being too "late" for an April Fool's joke, since many users didn't receive the update until days later, making the jest less obvious. On 10 April 2018, LineageOS team director ciwrl issued an official apology for the deceptive prank.[59][60]

Forks

LineageOS has a number of notable forks:

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ Free Software Foundation's Licensing and Compliance Lab (ed.). "Explaining Why We Don't Endorse Other Systems". GNU. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  2. ^ a b c LineageOS. "Gerrit". review.lineageos.org. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  3. ^ "android_vendor_lineage_LICENSE". LineageOS. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Other licenses can be viewed per repo on GitHub under NOTICE/LICENSE files". LineageOS. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  5. ^ Heater, Brian (24 December 2016). "After having its infrastructure shuttered, CyanogenMod will live on as Lineage". TechCrunch. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  6. ^ "A fork in the road". CyanogenMod. 24 December 2016. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  7. ^ Levy, Nat (26 December 2016). "Open-source Lineage project rises from Cyanogen's ashes as Android maker abruptly shuts down services". GeekWire. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  8. ^ Gallagher, Sean (27 December 2016). "Cyanogen Inc. shuts down CyanogenMod in Christmas bloodbath". Ars Technica. Ars Technica.
  9. ^ "LineageOS". GitLab.com. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  10. ^ "LineageOS now has one million users, OnePlus One is the most popular device". Androidauthority.com. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  11. ^ a b Helft, Miguel. "Meet Cyanogen, The Startup That Wants To Steal Android From Google". Forbes. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  12. ^ Soyars, Chris (21 March 2011). "CM Stats explanation". Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  13. ^ CyanogenMod [@CyanogenMod] (12 January 2012). "CyanogenMod just passed 1 million active users" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 December 2016 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "Lineage Android Distribution". LineageOS. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  15. ^ Reed, Brad (18 September 2013). "With $7 million in funding, Cyanogen aims to take on Windows Phone". Boy Genius Report. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  16. ^ Tal, Lior (30 November 2016). "Update on Cyanogen". Cyanogen Inc. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  17. ^ Ruddock, David (28 November 2016). "Cyanogen Inc. will shutter Seattle office by end of year, more layoffs happening, Kondik could be out". Android Police. Retrieved 24 January 2017. Kondik was removed from the company's board, allegedly
  18. ^ CyanogenMod [@CyanogenMod] (25 December 2016). "UPDATE: As of this morning we have lost DNS and Gerrit is now offline — with little doubt as a reaction to our blog post yesterday. Goodbye" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 December 2016 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Themes Support". CyanogenMod. 19 February 2011. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Cyanogenmod promises to never include apps like Carrier IQ". Computer-Howto. 5 December 2011. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Video: CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik talks Android". UnleashThePhones.com. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  22. ^ a b c d OS, Lineage. "Update & Build Prep". Lineageos.org. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Changelog 21 - Nightlies Now, Improved Infrastructure and Precious Pie".
  24. ^ "[TMP] hudson: Move all versions to weeklies". GitHub.
  25. ^ a b "Deprecate 13.0: Let the rumors start flying".
  26. ^ a b LineageOS. "Changelog 16 - Smart Styles, Treble is trouble and Omfg Oreo". www.lineageos.org. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Prepare for 16.0". review.lineageos.org. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  28. ^ a b LineageOS. "Changelog 22 - Pushing Pie, Bracing Builds and Careful Calculator". lineageos.org. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  29. ^ a b "RIP Oreo".
  30. ^ a b LineageOS. "Changelog 24". lineageos.org. Retrieved 1 April 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  31. ^ a b "Drop 16.0".
  32. ^ a b c LineageOS. "Changelog 25". lineageos.org. Retrieved 1 April 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ a b "Drop 17.1".
  34. ^ a b LineageOS. "Changelog 26 - Tailored Twelve, Audacious Automotive, Neat Networking, Devoted Developers". lineageos.org. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  35. ^ LineageOS. "Changelog 27 - Thriving Thirteen, Amazing Aperture, Careful Commonization". lineageos.org. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  36. ^ Siddharth Chauhan (7 February 2017). "How to: Install Lineage OS on your smartphone". In.pcmag.com. Retrieved 20 October 2017. As far as user interface goes, Lineage OS presents a clean and bloatware free stock Vanilla Android experience but still has some tricks up its sleeve.
  37. ^ "LineageOS: Community". Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  38. ^ LineageOS. "Summer Survey". Lineageos.org. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  39. ^ LineageOS. "Summer Survey - Results". Lineageos.org. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  40. ^ jrizzoli (5 November 2018). "Summer Survey 2 - Attack of the feedbacks". LineageOS.
  41. ^ LineageOS. "Engineering Blog". lineageos.org. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  42. ^ LineageOS. "Blog". lineageos.org. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  43. ^ "lineage: Drop Email".
  44. ^ "config: Don't build Terminal".
  45. ^ "Google hits Android ROM modder with a cease-and-desist letter". Engadget. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  46. ^ SafetyNet API "SafetyNet: What it is, and how it affects you". Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  47. ^ "XDA: How to pass SafetyNet on Android after rooting or installing a custom ROM". 26 January 2022.
  48. ^ LineageOS. "Changelog 10 - Sensitive numbers and our CVE Tracker". lineageos.org.
  49. ^ LineageOS. "Introducing the LineageSDK". lineageos.org. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  50. ^ "LineageOS is dropping its own superuser implementation, making Magisk the de facto solution". XDA Developers. 11 December 2019.
  51. ^ LineageOS. "Trust me, I'm an engineer". lineageos.org.
  52. ^ a b "LineageOS/hudson build targets". GitHub. 24 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  53. ^ a b "Devices". LineageOS Wiki. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  54. ^ "LineageOS Downloads". Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  55. ^ "Update & Build Prep". LineageOS. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  56. ^ Rigg, Jamie (24 January 2017). "The first builds of CyanogenMod successor LineageOS are out". Engadget. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  57. ^ "LineageOS Statistics". Stats.lineageos.org. 4 March 2021. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  58. ^ a b "Don't freak out: LineageOS has a very bad and very late April Fools' joke in latest builds". Android Police. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  59. ^ LineageOS. "An April Apology". lineageos.org. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  60. ^ "LineageOS apologizes for late and 'bad taste' April Fools' joke". Android Police. 10 April 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  61. ^ "Gerrit Code Review". review.lineageos.org. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  62. ^ "microG provides a free version of the set of APIs equivalent to Google’s proprietary core libraries and applications."
  63. ^ online, heise. "LineageOS-Ableger vermeidet Google-Code". heise online.
  64. ^ "What is MicroG? How to Install MicroG?". 26 November 2017.
  65. ^ "LineageOS for microG, FAQ".
  66. ^ Filippone, Dominique (19 September 2018). "Eelo : l'OS mobile open source de Gaël Duval sort en bêta - Le Monde Informatique". LeMondeInformatique (in French). Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  1. ^ Includes nonfree libraries.[1]