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How to upgrade Fairphone 2 to LineageOS 18.1 (Android 11)

Fairphone 2 Lineage OS

I bought a Fairphone 2 few years ago, and directly installed Fairphone Open. The main reason is I didn't want to be polluted by the Google echosystem. I know that Fairphone Open is based on Android but it does not have Google services pre-installed and it is full open source.

Years has passed and it seems that Fairphone doesn't really support it anymore. Updates comes to be more than rare (stuck with Android 7), another sign is that it's not even available on Fairphone 3 phones... So as I didn't have the intention to replace it I decided to install LineageOS in order to be up to date. (security and applications compatibility).

We will see how to process.

Backup your data

First you have to know that every datas will be erased so it's a good thing to make a backup.

I've used this two softwares to backup my datas.

SMS Backup & Restore

  • To save SMS and MMS
Android SMS Backup and Restore Logo

Super Backup

  • To save sms, softwares, contacts, calendars, call logs.
Android Super Backup Logo

Manual Backup

Off course I've manually saved my own pictures and videos.

Download Tools

  • Android Debug Bridge (adb) are needed for the upgrade

Download adb tools, to your Download folder, unzip and open a Windows Command Prompt. Go inside the unzipped folder.

C:\>cd %HOMEPATH%\Downloads\platform-tools_r30.0.3-windows\platform-tools
Windows command prompt with the cd command

For GNU/Linux, here with Debian :

user@host:~$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot

Enable USB debugging

  • From your Fairphone 2 go to Settings > About and tap on Built Number 7 times till the message you are a developer now appears.
  • Then go to Settings > System > Developer options and enable USB debugging.
  • From the Windows Command Prompt check that the devices is correctly detected
C:\Users\std\Downloads\platform-tools_r30.0.3-windows\platform-tools>adb devices
* daemon not running; starting now at tcp:5037
* daemon started successfully
List of devices attached
f9f7d41f        device
Windows command prompt with the adb devices command

Download and Install TWRP (Custom Recovery)

In order to install LineageOS we need to replace the default recovery by TWRP.

Download latest TWRP for fairphone 2

  • Reboot to bootloader
adb reboot bootloader
  • Check device connectivity
fastboot devices
  • Install TWRP
fastboot flash recovery twrp-x.x.x-x-FP2.img
  • Reboot
fastboot reboot

Download and Install LineageOS (Android 11)

Download latest build for FP2 here:

Optionally, if needed (I personnaly don't), you can download Google apps here:

adb reboot recovery
  • Swipe to Allow Modifications
TWRP Unmodified System Partition
  • tap Wipe
  • tap Format Data ( ⚠️ This will erase all files stored in the internal storage).
TWRP Format Data
  • go back and tap Advanced Wipe
TWRP Advanced Wipe
  • Select System and Cache, then Swipe to Wipe
TWRP System Cache Advanced Wipe
  • go back and tap Advanced
TWRP Advanced
  • tap ADB Sideload
TWRP ADB Sideload
  • Swipe to Start Sideload
TWRP Swipe to Start Sideload
  • From Windows Command Prompt
adb sideload
  • Only if you want Google Apps on the device :
adb sideload
  • Reboot
adb reboot


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