Open-Source Android Distributions

Android operating system is an operating system whose core distribution is developed by a consortium, whose main contributor is Google.

As AOSP (Android Open Source Project) is free and open-source (FOSS), there are some other projects that have forked its source code into new distributions that bring their own OS customization and discard some Google Android default features, like Google apps installed as default.

This post lists some FOSS distributions or versions of Android OS.

Why would you want to install a non-Google Android distribution on your device?

Some of the reasons that come to my mind:

  1. You prefer the customized version offered by any of the alternative Android project
  2. Your manufacturer has stop to maintain updates on Android for your device, but any of the existing alternatives keeps updating it
  3. You are looking for a fully free and open-source AOSP implementation, unlike proprietary Android
  4. You prefer an OS not managed by Google

List of open source AOSP-based OS

Open source AOSP-based OS featured on this post:

  • LineageOS
  • Replicant
  • /e/
  • GrapheneOS
  • CalyxOS


LineageOS is a fork of the discontinued project CyanogenMod.

It is probably the most popular non-Google AOSP-based OS.

LineageOS is mainly open-source, but not 100% as it contains some proprietary software to enhance compatibility with devices.

While the Linux kernel has a GPLv2-only license, the user space uses mainly an Apache 2 license.

Official web

LineageOS at Wikipedia


Some hackers and free and open-source (FOSS) supporters, including many represented by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), criticize LineageOS because it uses some proprietary or closed-source software, also referred as “bloats” by the FSF.

Replicant is a full free and open-source (FOSS) OS, obtained by excluding or replacing any closed-source present software in LineageOS.

As of January 2023 it the only Android OS approved by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), as it can be checked on this external link.

While the Linux kernel has a GPLv2-only license, the user space uses mainly an Apache 2 license.

Official web


/e/ project is leaded by the creator of Mandrake.

Official web


GrapheneOS is focused on privacy and security.

It was formerly known as Android Hardening or AndroidHardening.

As of 2022, it is only compatible with Google Pixel devices.

Official web

GrapheneOS at Wikipedia


CalyxOS uses MicroG instead of some Google services. It is focused on privacy and security.

Official web

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External references


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