[Replicant] Replicant 6.0 0004 RC1
Kurtis at riseup.net
Sun Jan 12 05:11:00 UTC 2020
Here's the link to the Replicant 6.0 0004 rc1 images:
Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli:
> I've just pushed the 0004 RC1 images.
> The most important thing to know (copied from the release notes draft)
> is the following:
>> It will also not be possible to keep the data partition and a full re-
>> installation will be necessary. Users are advised to backup the
>> important data from the applications (contacts, SMS, etc) before
>> migrating to a this release. There are already [some tips] on how
>> to backup some applications. We didn’t have enough time to investigate
>> the precise cause of the issue.
> Since we use WordPress for the blog system, it's not easy to share
> - By default users need an account to see the drafts. The result of it
> is that none of the drafts end up being public.
> - When the drafts are published they are not draft anymore.
> In addition to that the default web interface forces people wanting to
> While the code is probably fully free software it's still an issue to
> force people to run specific code.
> So we will probably have to find another way to work on announcements in
> the future.
> In the meantime I've written a script to semi-manually extract the
> release notes from WordPress. The script has already been sent as a
> patch to the mailing list, and the result has been pasted at the end of
> this mail.
> I've also found a bug between after tagging the release, and a
> patch (modem: workaround silence not finding the SIM card when it is
> "launched") has already been sent for it.
> == Release notes ==
> # Replicant 6.0 0004 release and Replicant 9 status.
> Posted on [January 9, 2020] by [GNUtoo]
> Replicant is in the [list of distributions that are recommended by the
> FSF.] As such, Replicant needs to follow [strict criteria] that
> ensure that the distribution does its best not to violates its users’
> However fixing the issues and making new releases can sometime take a
> long time. The last Replicant 6.0 release was from December 2017.
> This new release fixes some very serious freedom and privacy issues:
> * We found an issue within the phone application: it was leaking the
> phone numbers of both inbound and outbound calls to third parties
> as part of a feature called phone lookup providers. More details
> are available in the [bug report]. Even if it was not trivial to
> reproduce and find the bug it’s now fixed as the feature has been
> completely disabled with 3 patches ([], [], []).
> * F-Droid has been removed as many applications shipped in it are not
> compliant with the [guidelines] for distributions recommended by
> the FSF. It was kept so long because we expected to get it fixed
> upstream fast enough, but that didn’t happen for various reasons.
> We have setup a [wiki page] and a [forum section] for more
> information about the issue and how to deal with it.
> * Several nonfree firmwares related to the back and home “touch”
> buttons were found and removed with 4 patches ([],
> [], [],[ ]). The firmwares seem to have only
> been used for factory testing, so the buttons should still work on
> the devices that have them.
> * On all the currently supported devices with a modem, when users set
> the device in flight mode, the modem is only asked to go in low
> power mode. Because of that the modem is probably still on and its
> OS is probably still running. Because of that we fixed the wiki and
> added [the scripts to disable (and enable back) the modem] to
> the new Replicant images. They work by preventing Replicant to load
> the modem OS.
> This release may also fix [several bug(s) which made some SIM cards not
> recognizable by Replicant 6.0]: we have now merged a fix for one of
> the bug ([#1909]) but as we don’t know if all the “SIM card not
> recognized” bugs are related. We would highly appreciate if those that
> opened the original bug report could confirm if it also fixes their
> issues as well.
> Several issues still need to be fixed, but we didn’t want to delay even
> more this release, as that would prevent users from getting the fixes
> mentioned above:
> * It’s still not possible to build Replicant 6.0 from a [distribution
> that is recommended by the FSF] (bug [#1861])
> * While investigating if it was possible to upgrade WebView, the
> Android builtin web browser component (bug [#1786]) we also
> discovered that, because Android build system doesn’t use a package
> manager, finding the license of each repository wasn’t trivial (bug
> * More investigations are needed as well to replace WebView with a
> free software and up to date implementation (bug [#1786]).
> * The bug related to a bad sound quality during calls in some
> circumstances (bug [#1773]) is not fixed yet, but there is a
> workaround that works for some use cases.
> It will also not be possible to keep the data partition and a full re-
> installation will be necessary. Users are advised to backup the
> important data from the applications (contacts, SMS, etc) before
> migrating to a this release. There are already [some tips] on how
> to backup some applications. We didn’t have enough time to investigate
> the precise cause of the issue.
> As the internal WiFi doesn’t work with free software, some new network
> related features improving usability were merged :
> * RepWiFi has been removed as it’s now possible to use the stock
> Android menus to handle the WiFi. This was done by patching Android
> to also accept external dongles. It is less reliable than with
> RepWiFi because in some cases reboots are needed for the WiFi to be
> recognized, and enabling the WiFi most probably also powers on the
> Internal WiFi chip as well, increasing the power consumption.
> However it should reduce the probability of applications like
> F-Droid being broken in the future, as it’s better integrated in
> Android. In the event that Replicant 6.0 stops being maintained and
> that Replicant 9.0 doesn’t get support for all the Replicant 6.0
> devices, this patch should increase the lifetime of the affected
> * Ethernet support has been added but it doesn’t work on all the
> * The USB networking scripts has also been added to the devices.
> * Support for some rt2500-usb dongles that don’t need the OS to load a
> firmware [has been added to the Galaxy SIII 4G (i9305)], which
> is an uncompleted device. Unfortunately it couldn’t be ported to
> other devices in due time for this release.
> Other improvements were also made:
> * llvmpipe is now the default OpenGL renderer. This allows running
> many applications that weren’t working before. Unfortunately
> llvmpipe significantly slows down some system components used in
> the graphical interface. This has been catered for by patching
> Android to use the old libagl renderer for those system components.
> * [Scripts to switch between OpenGL implementations globally]
> have been added to the image as well. Thus, if you want to revert
> back to the old behaviour, just run androidsw.sh in a root
> terminal. To switch back to the new behavior you can instead use
> llvmpipe.sh. Note that llvmpipe.sh will still keep the old OpenGL
> implementation for the system components mentioned above, so there
> is little risk in trying the scripts.
> * It’s now easier to build Replicant as there is a new script that
> wraps part of the building process. It’s also more convenient as it
> stores build logs. The script has been used to build the release,
> and the build instructions also use it now.
> * It has became easier to modify the installation instructions as
> they now apply to all devices, and were split into parts that are
> reusable. This way a modification needs to be done only once and
> not 10 or 30 times like before.
> * [Instructions to backup the modem data partition] have been
> added. The modem partition can [become corrupted] in some
> conditions. As it can be very difficult or impossible to recreate
> that partition, and that it’s required for the modem to work, we
> strongly advise users to do a backup.
> Work on Replicant 9 has also been ongoing in parallel. As it will use a
> kernel closely based on upstream Linux, it has some implications:
> * The work on Replicant 9 is made with the Galaxy SIII (i9300), so it
> should be supported.
> * The Galaxy Note II (N7100) is very similar to the Galaxy SIII but
> requires a bit more work to be supported.
> * The Galaxy SIII 4G (I9305) and Galaxy Note II 4G (N7105) could also
> be added if work is done to add support for their modem in
> * We don’t know yet how much work is needed to add support for the
> other devices that are currently supported by Replicant 6.0, so we
> don’t know yet if they will be compatible with Replicant 9 or not.
> We would need to find or get more information on the upstream
> status of theses devices before having a rough idea.
> * It will be easier to add support for devices using a mainline
> We also take advantage of this release to announce some policies
> * As Replicant 6 only supports devices with isolated modems,
> Replicant 9 and upward will also only support devices with isolated
> * Support for devices with non-isolated modems and upstream kernel
> will need to be added in other Android distributions instead.
> * We are welcoming collaboration with various upstream projects and
> other Android distributions to co-maintain the ability to run
> Android with upstream kernels.
> As Replicant 9 requires more work and working to upstream devices
> support in Linux takes more time than adding devices in Replicant 6, we
> also decided against supporting devices with batteries that cannot be
> replaced by users and developers.
> The issue is a very practical one: if we start adding support for a
> device, we want to be able to spend the time required to do it right
> and to work with upstream projects like Linux to add support for it in
> theses projects as well. The advantage is that it makes Replicant and
> the device being added more sustainable. However if the device has a
> battery that is not replaceable by experienced users, developers,
> repair shops, or [repair café], the device would have a very short
> lifetime which is incompatible with making Replicant sustainable:
> * Users would need to buy the device new in order to make sure that
> the battery lasts enough for a daily use. Buying the device second
> hand would be way more complicated as users would need to make sure
> that the battery last enough time.
> * Developers would still be able to work on the device for a very
> long time, assuming that they are not users as well that want to
> use the device. But their work would not be very useful without
> usable devices.
> If we look at the smartphones currently supported by Replicant 6.0:
> * They all have removable batteries, so they are very easy to
> * Compatible batteries are easy enough to find in several countries.
> And for the tablets supported by Replicant 6.0:
> * They all have batteries that are not removable in the usual
> meaning, but they can still be replaced by opening the device.
> * It is easy enough for experienced users, developers, repair shops,
> and repair café to open the device and remove the battery, so it is
> probably possible to replace it as well.
> * It would be interesting to know more about the availability of
> compatible batteries.
> * It might also be possible to use tablets with batteries that last
> way less than when the device is new, as many people have them off
> most of the time. But even in that case it still shortens a lot the
> lifetime of the device, as they probably still needs a working
> battery to boot.
> This entry was posted in [Replicant news] by [GNUtoo]. Bookmark
> the [permalink]. [Edit]
> : <https://blog.replicant.us/?p=4515> (4:30 pm)
> : <https://blog.replicant.us/author/gnutoo/> (View all posts by
> : <https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-non-gnu-distros.html>
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1827>
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/boards/40>
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1909>
> : <https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html>
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1861>
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1786>
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1973>
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1773>
> : <https://git.replicant.us/replicant/vendor_replicant-
> : <https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1869>
> : <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repair_caf%C3%A9>
> : <https://blog.replicant.us/category/replicant-news/>
> : <https://blog.replicant.us/author/gnutoo/>
> : <https://blog.replicant.us/?p=4515> (Permalink to Replicant
> 6.0 0004 release and Replicant 9 status.)
> This body part will be downloaded on demand.
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