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LineageOS is a free and open-source operating system for set-top boxes, smartphones and tablet computers, based on the Android mobile platform. It is the successor to the custom ROM 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 Wordmark.svg
LineageOS Screenshot.png
LineageOS 14.1 home screen
DeveloperLineageOS open-source community
Written inC (core), C++ (some third party libraries), Java (UI)
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateActive
Source modelOpen source
Latest release
Latest preview16.0 (March 1, 2019; 5 months ago (2019-03-01)) [±]
Marketing targetFirmware replacement for Android mobile devices
Available in
Update methodOver-the-air (OTA), ROM flashing
Package managerAPK based (optional Repositories like F-Droid, Amazon Appstore or Google Play Store) (if installed)
PlatformsARM, ARM64, x86, x86-64
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
LicenseApache 2,[2] MIT,[3] and other licenses[4]
Preceded byCyanogenMod CyanogenOS

LineageOS was officially launched on December 24, 2016, with the source code available on GitHub.[8] Since that time, LineageOS development builds now cover more than 185 phone models[9] with over 1.7 million active installs,[10] having doubled its user base in the months February–March 2017.[11]



CyanogenMod (often abbreviated "CM") was a popular[12] open-source operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, based on the Android mobile platform. Although only a subset of total CyanogenMod users elected to report their use of the firmware,[13] as of 23 March 2015, some reports indicated over 50 million people running CyanogenMod on their phones.[12][14] It was also frequently used as a starting point by developers of other ROMs.[citation needed]

In 2013, the founder, Steve Kondik, obtained venture funding under the name Cyanogen Inc. to allow commercialization of the project.[15][16] In his view, the company did not capitalize on the project's success and in 2016 he either left or was forced out[17][18] as part of a corporate restructure which involved a change of CEO, closure of offices and projects, and cessation of services.[19] The code itself, being both open source and popular, was quickly forked under the new name LineageOS and efforts began to resume development as a community project.

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,[20] 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 and other performance enhancements, root access, soft buttons and other "tablet tweaks," toggles in the notification pull-down (such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS), and other interface enhancements. Many of the features from CyanogenMod would later be integrated into the official Android code base. CyanogenMod did not contain spyware or bloatware, according to its developers.[21][22] CyanogenMod was also said to increase performance and reliability compared with official firmware releases.[23]


Similar to CyanogenMod, the project is developed by numerous 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.

On January 22, 2017, the first 14.1 and 13.0 official builds start being rolled out, following the official announcement in a blog post.[24]

On February 11, 2018, the 13.0 builds release have been stopped,[25] while the source code remains available and security fixes are still accepted on Gerrit.

On February 26, 2018, the first 15.1 official builds started being rolled out, on select devices, following official announcement in a blog post.[26] The 14.1 versions of Lineage OS will be in active development without feature advancements.

All the released builds are signed with LineageOS' private keys.[24]

Builds were released on a weekly basis until November 12, 2018, when the release cycle for devices on LineageOS 15.1 (running Android 8.1 Oreo) has been moved to daily with devices receiving a "nightly" OTA update. Devices on older version of LineageOS, which is 14.1 (running Android 7.1 Nougat), have been moved to a monthly release cycle.[27]


LineageOS allows the community to get involved with the development in various ways. Gerrit is used for the code review process of 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 which opt-in to report this statistic. There is also an official subreddit, r/lineageos, and two IRC channels hosted on Freenode (#lineageos and #lineageos-dev).

During the month of August 2017, the LineageOS team held a Summer Survey[28] in which they asked users for some feedback to improve the development of the operating system. The results were later published[29] in the month of October and according to the team, they used the gathered data to improve the then-upcoming LineageOS 15 release. The second instalment of the Summer Survey was conducted the following year in August 2018.[30]

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.[31]

LineageOS is also known for posting a "regularly irregular review"[32] on its blog in which the active development of the work is discussed.

Version historyEdit

Version AOSP version First build release date Last build release date
Old version, no longer supported: 13.0 6.0.1
December 20, 2016 as CM
January 22, 2017 as LOS
February 11, 2018
Old version, no longer supported: 14.1 7.1.2
November 9, 2016 as CM
January 22, 2017 as LOS
February 24, 2019[33]
Older version, yet still supported: 15.1 8.1.0
February 26, 2018 (Current)
Current stable version: 16.0 9.0.0
March 1, 2019[34] (Current)

The severe vulnerability of Android (and other) devices to the WiFi KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) was addressed in the Lineage ROM as of 16 October 2017.[35] Many devices which will not receive a patch for the manufacturers' stock ROMs can be protected against KRACK by installing a LineageOS ROM.[36]

Preinstalled appsEdit

LineageOS includes many essential and useful apps, yet, like its predecessor CyanogenMod, it is free from the bloatware often pre-installed by a phone's manufacturer or carrier.[37][21]

  • AudioFX – Audio optimizer with presets to alter the listening experience.
  • Browser – A lightweight browser that relies on the System Webview, for low-end devices, also known as Jelly.
  • Calculator – which resembles a four-function calculator and offers some more advanced functions.
  • Calendar – Calendar functionality with Day, Week, Month, Year or Agenda views.
  • Camera – Dependent on device specification will take video or photos, including panoramic. It can also be used to read QR codes. This app is also known as Snap.
  • Clock – World clock, countdown timer, stopwatch and alarms.
  • Contacts – Phonebook for numbers and email addresses.
  • Email – Email client that handles POP3, IMAP and Exchange.
  • Files – A simple file manager to move, copy and rename files on internal storage or SD card.
  • FlipFlap – An app for smart flip covers, only included on select devices.
  • FM Radio - An app for listening to FM radio broadcasts, included on devices with an FM tuner.
  • Gallery – Organize photos and videos into a timeline or albums for easy viewing.
  • Messaging – SMS messaging.
  • Music – A simple music player, also known as Eleven.
  • Phone – for making calls: includes speed dial, phone number lookups and call blocking.
  • Recorder – A screen and/or sound recorder.
  • Trebuchet – A customizable launcher.

Although they are not included by default due to legal issues,[38] users can flash the normal Google apps, including the Google Play Store and Play Apps with a gapps zip package.

Unique featuresEdit

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

  • Custom button placement – Set custom location for buttons on the navigation bar, or enable on-screen buttons for devices with hardware buttons.
  • System Profiles – Enable or disable common settings based on the selected profile (For example, a "Home" profile and a "Work" profile). The profile can be selected either manually or through the use of a "trigger", such as upon connecting to a specific WiFi access point, connecting to a bluetooth device or tapping an NFC tag.
  • Custom Quick-Setting tiles – Quick Setting Tiles such as "Caffeine" preventing the device from sleeping, enabling/disabling Heads Up notifications, "Ambient Display" and "ADB over network" are present to easily toggle frequently accessed settings.
  • Expanded Desktop – Force "immersive mode" in apps that do not enable it initially.
  • LiveDisplay – Adjust color temperature for the time of day.
  • Trust - helps you keep your device secure and protects your privacy.
  • Protected Apps – Hide specific apps behind a secure lock. This works hand-in-hand with Trebuchet; the respective app's icon is removed from the launcher, and "secure folders" can be created to easily access these applications. A pattern is used to lock these apps.
  • PIN scramble – For users securing their device with a pin, the layout can be scrambled each time the device locks to make it difficult for people to figure out your lock by looking over your shoulder.
  • Custom pattern sizes – In addition to Android's 3x3 pattern size, a 4x4, 5x5 or 6x6 size can be used.
  • Lock screen customization – The lock screen allows all sorts of customizations, including media cover art, a music visualizer, displaying the weather (if a weather provider is installed), and double-tap to sleep.
  • Weather providers – Display the weather in widgets or on the lock screen with a weather provider. This functionality is not included by default; a weather provider must be downloaded from the LineageOS Downloads website.
  • Styles – Set a global dark or light theme mode and customize accent colors. This functionality can also be managed automatically by the system based on wallpaper or time of day (in line with LiveDisplay).
  • (Optional) Root -- Permit apps to function with root access to perform advanced tasks. This requires either LineageOS's root add-on or a third-party implementation such as Magisk, both which must be flashed from Recovery.
  • Call recorder, not available in all countries, due to legal restrictions.
  • Some "sensitive numbers" (like women and children support numbers) won't appear in the call log.[39]

Trust InterfaceEdit

As LineageOS evolved through development, the Trust interface was introduced for all the LineageOS 15.1 builds released Wed 12 June 2018.[40] 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 action is safe.

Supported devicesEdit

As of 25 February 2019, LineageOS officially builds for 89 devices and counting.[41][42] Official builds on currently supported development branches are labeled as either "nightly", "weekly", or "monthly". For the first two months of the project, they also produced parallel experimental builds to allow in-place upgrades from previous CyanogenMod installations and ease migration to LineageOS.[43][44][45][46]

Criticism and receptionEdit

Overall, LineageOS is a very popular custom Android firmware, and is often the go-to of newcomers to phone modding.[citation needed]

Even though LineageOS has received positive reviews, LineageOS has received some criticism for a deceptive April Fool's prank included with some April 2018 builds.[47]

2018 April Fools' prankEdit

During the first week of April 2018, in observance of April Fools' Day, 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.[47]

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 April 10, 2018, LineageOS team director ciwrl issued an official apology for the deceptive prank.[48][49]


Replicant is a completely free software variant of LineageOS, with all kernel blobs and non-free drivers removed.

The refusal of support for signature spoofing in official builds for several reasons[50] resulted in the creation of a LineageOS fork with microG[51] services included, known as "LineageOS for microG". The project ships custom builds of LineageOS with the required patch and native F-Droid support, bundled with the MicroG project's free re-implementation of proprietary Gapps.[52][53] In other respects it follows upstream, shipping OTA updates every seven days.[54] It supports all devices officially supported by LineageOS.

/e/ is a fork of LineageOS created by Gaël Duval that is intended to be "free from Google". It replaces Google Play Services with MicroG, a free and open-source implementation of Google APIs.[55][56]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ LineageOS. "Changelog 22 - Pushing Pie, Bracing Builds and Careful Calculator".
  2. ^ "android_vendor_lineage_LICENSE". LineageOS. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  3. ^ "www_LICENSE at master · LineageOS/www". 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 Gallagher (27 December 2016). "Cyanogen Inc. shuts down CyanogenMod in Christmas bloodbath". Ars Technica. Ars Technica.
  9. ^ "LineageOS/hudson". GitHub. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  10. ^ "LineageOS Statistics". 17 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  11. ^ "LineageOS now has one million users, OnePlus One is the most popular device". 20 March 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b Helft, Miguel. "Meet Cyanogen, The Startup That Wants To Steal Android From Google". Forbes. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  13. ^ Soyars, Chris (21 March 2011). "CM Stats explanation". Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  14. ^ CyanogenMod [@CyanogenMod] (12 January 2012). "CyanogenMod just passed 1 million active users" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 December 2016 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Lineage Android Distribution". LineageOS. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  16. ^ Reed, Brad (18 September 2013). "With $7 million in funding, Cyanogen aims to take on Windows Phone". Boy Genius Report. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  17. ^ Tal, Lior (30 November 2016). "Update on Cyanogen". Cyanogen Inc. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Themes Support". CyanogenMod. 19 February 2011. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Cyanogenmod promises to never include apps like Carrier IQ". Computer-Howto. 5 December 2011. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Video: CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik talks Android". 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  23. ^ "About". Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  24. ^ a b OS, Lineage. "Update & Build Prep". Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Gerrit Code Review". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  26. ^ LineageOS. "Changelog 16 - Smart Styles, Treble is trouble and Omfg Oreo". Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Changelog 21 - Nightlies Now, Improved Infrastructure and Precious Pie".
  28. ^ LineageOS. "Summer Survey". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  29. ^ LineageOS. "Summer Survey - Results". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  30. ^ LineageOS. "Summer Survey 2 - Attack of the feedbacks". Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Trust me, I'm an engineer". LineageOS. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  32. ^ LineageOS. "Changelog 13 - Wonderful Webviews, Pedantic Permissions and Disappearing Dates". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  33. ^ "Prepare for 16.0 · LineageOS/hudson@b8cf202". GitHub. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  34. ^ "Changelog 22".
  35. ^ "All official 14.1 builds built after this tweet have been patched for KRACK". Twitter. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  36. ^ @LineageOS (16 October 2017). "LineageOS' tweet". Twitter. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  37. ^ Siddharth Chauhan (7 February 2017). "How to: Install Lineage OS on your smartphone". 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.
  38. ^ "Google hits Android ROM modder with a cease-and-desist letter". Engadget. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  39. ^ LineageOS. "Changelog 10 - Sensitive numbers and our CVE Tracker".
  40. ^ LineageOS. "Trust me, I'm an engineer".
  41. ^ "LineageOS build targets". GitHub. 24 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  42. ^ "LineageOS Wiki: Devices". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  43. ^ "Devices | LineageOS Wiki". 8 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  44. ^ "LineageOS Downloads". Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  45. ^ "Update & Build Prep". LineageOS. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  46. ^ Rigg, Jamie (24 January 2017). "The first builds of CyanogenMod successor LineageOS are out". Engadget. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ LineageOS. "An April Apology". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  49. ^ "LineageOS apologizes for late and 'bad taste' April Fools' joke". Android Police. 10 April 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  50. ^ "Gerrit Code Review". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  51. ^ microG provides a free version of the set of APIs equivalent to Google’s proprietary core libraries and applications.
  52. ^ online, heise. "LineageOS-Ableger vermeidet Google-Code". heise online.
  53. ^ "What is MicroG? How to Install MicroG?". 26 November 2017.
  54. ^ "LineageOS for microG, FAQ".
  55. ^ Duval, Gaël (12 September 2018). "Leaving Apple & Google: /e/ first beta is here!". Hacker Noon.
  56. ^ "Homepage of /e/" Check |url= value (help).

External linksEdit