[Replicant] review repwifi

Fil fil.bergamo at riseup.net
Wed Feb 27 23:17:33 UTC 2019


On 02/27/2019 06:18 PM, ni nhar wrote:
> settings -> about phone
>
> build date 10 dez 2017
> build number i9100 userdebug 6.0.1 

So it seems you're running the latest Replicant release. That's good.

> I followed the instructions in the link and
> uninstalled replicant.

I guess you mean you uninstalled RepWifi...
Judging by the situation you described below, something was not done
properly, as the old RepWifi seems to be still installed on your system.

> fdroid version is 1.5.1
> If I search for repwifi it only finds repwifi
> version 0.5, the version I
> uninstalled, it is greyed out and cannot get
> installed. No
> install or download button.

I think I need to explain the situation in detail, so that you get a
better understanding of what you're required to do, and why.

LONG READ AHEAD.

So what happens, essentially, is:
APKs (android application installers) are signed, and whenever you
update an application, the system's package manager checks for the
signing key of the update to be the same of the previously installed
version; if the new APK is signed with a different key, it won't let you
install it on top of the previous one. This is part of the Android's
security model (one may argue about its sensibleness, but that's how it
works and we ought to stick with it for the moment).

In our scenario, RepWifi was installed on your device when you first
flashed Replicant, and it was signed with the key used for that specific
Replicant release; this means that the Android package manager will only
let you install updates that are signed with the same key (which is
owned by Wolfgang Wiedmeyer).
Newer versions of RepWifi, instead, are released through F-Droid and
they are built and signed by the F-Droid's build server, using their own
key.
To prevent misunderstandings and confusion, the F-Droid client hides
away versions that are "incompatible with your device" and that's why
you're not seeing any version other than 0.5.
Newer versions of RepWifi are considered to be "incompatible" with the
one that's currently installed on your phone because they're signed with
a different key.
Sooooo.. before being able to install the latest RepWifi through
F-Droid, you first need to remove the version that's currently installed.

Here comes another peculiarity of the scenario we're dealing with: since
RepWifi came pre-installed with Replicant, it's considered to be a
"system app" which means it has higher privileges than regular apps and
cannot be uninstalled using the regular methods, because it resides in
the /system partition, which is mounted "read-only" by default (this
means that while the system is running, nothing can be written to- or
deleted from that partition).

This is where the instructions [1] come into place. Let's analyze what
they do:
(All commands must be run from a terminal on a host computer while the
phone is connected to it via a USB cable)

> adb root
restart the "adb" server on your device with root privileges

> adb shell stop
stop the "SystemService" and all other apps and services running in the
"upper" android layer.
This is done to prevent regular apps from writing to the /system
partition while it is mounted read-write.

> adb shell
enter into a shell "inside" your device. The following commands are run
inside the device's shell.

> mount -o remount,rw /system
remount the /system partition in "read-write" mode so that we can delete
the APK we want to remove.

> rm /system/app/RepWifi/RepWifi.apk
delete the original RepWifi APK. This uninstalls the old RepWifi.
If you get any error while issuing this command, then we will need to
figure out what's happening.

> mount -o ro,remount /system
remount the /system partition in "read-only" mode, like it deserves to be.

> exit
exit the device's shell

> adb shell start
restart the android system.

After you do this, you should see the newest version of RepWifi listed
in F-Droid
You need to have mobile data enabled to download it, as you won't be
able to connect to WiFi until you install it.

Please, retry the instructions above and write back reporting the outcomes.

Cheers,

Fil.



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