The default LineageOS 15.1 home screen, based on Android Oreo
|Developer||LineageOS open-source community|
|Written in||C (core), C++ (some third party libraries), Java (UI)|
|Source model||Open source|
|Latest preview||15.1 (February 26, 2018[±])|
|Marketing target||Firmware replacement for Android mobile devices|
|Update method||Over-the-air (OTA), ROM flashing|
|Package manager||APK based (optional Repositories like F-Droid, Amazon Appstore or Google Play Store) (if installed)|
|Platforms||ARM, ARM64, x86, x86-64|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux)|
|License||Under multiple licenses; these can be viewed per repo on GitHub under NOTICE/LICENSE files|
LineageOS is a free and open-source operating system for 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. Since Cyanogen Inc. retained the rights to the Cyanogen name, the project rebranded its fork as LineageOS.
LineageOS was officially launched on December 24, 2016, with the source code available on GitHub. Since that time LineageOS development builds now cover more than 185 phone models with over 1.9 million active installs, having doubled its user base in the month February–March 2017.
CyanogenMod (often abbreviated "CM") was a highly popular 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, as of 23 March 2015, some reports indicated over 50 million people running CyanogenMod on their phones. It was also frequently used as a starting point by developers of other ROMs.
In 2013, the founder, Steve Kondik, obtained venture funding under the name Cyanogen Inc. to allow commercialization of the project. In his view, the company did not capitalize on the project's success, and in 2016 he either left, or was forced out as part of a corporate restructure which involved a change of CEO, closure of offices and projects, and cessation of services. The code itself, being both open source and popular, was quickly forked under the new name LineageOS and community 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, 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. CyanogenMod was also said to increase performance and reliability compared with official firmware releases.
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). Builds are released on a weekly basis and are signed with LineageOS' private keys.
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.
On February 11, 2018, the 13.0 builds release have been stopped, 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. The 14.1 versions of Lineage OS will be in active development without feature advancements.
LineageOS allows the community to get involved with the development in various ways. Gerrit is used for the code review process of either 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, Jira for bug tracking, a CVE tracker page for checking out what kernel vulnerabilities have been addressed in a specific kernel (note that this page does not always reflect the real status of the kernel because it has to be updated manually by the maintainer). There is also an official subreddit, r/lineageos, and two IRC channels, hosted on Freenode (#lineageos and #lineageos-dev).
During the month of August, in 2017, LineageOS team held a Summer Survey in which they asked users some feedback to improve the development of the operating system. The results were later published in the month of October, and according to the team, they'll use the gathered data to improve the upcoming LineageOS 15 release.
|LineageOS main version||Android version||Last or major release||First build release date||Last build release date||Changelog|
|Old version, no longer supported: 13||Android 6.0.1
|Old version, no longer supported: 13.0||22 January 2017||11 February 2018||LineageOS 13|
|Older version, yet still supported: 14||Android 7.1.2
|Older version, yet still supported: 14.1||22 January 2017||LineageOS 14.1|
|Current stable version: 15||Android 8.1.0
|Current stable version: 15.1||26 February 2018||LineageOS 15.1|
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[update]. Many devices, which will not receive a patch for the manufacturers' stock ROM, can be protected against KRACK by installing a LineageOS ROM.
Although they are not included by default due to legal issues, users can flash the normal Google apps, including the Google Play Store and Play Apps with a gapps zip package.
LineageOS offers several unique features that AOSP doesn't include. Some of these features are:
As of 9 February 2018[update], LineageOS officially builds for 185 devices, including Nexus and Google-released devices. Official builds on the current development branch are labeled as "nightly," although they are generally released once per week with builds for various devices staggered throughout the week to ease the load on the automated build infrastructure. 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.
The refusal of support for signature spoofing in official builds for several reasons resulted in the creation of a LineageOS fork with microG 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. In other respects it follows upstream, shipping OTA updates every seven days. It supports all devices officially supported by LineageOS.
Kondik was removed from the company's board, allegedly
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.
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