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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There's a version of Android called Replicant

"There's a version of Android called Replicant that can run on the HTC Dream phone without proprietary software, except in the U.S. In the U.S., as of a few weeks ago there was still a problem in some dialing library, although it worked in Europe. By now, maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't. I don't know."

Richard Stallman: "iPhones and Androids are 'Big Brother' tracking devices"


Replicant is a distribution of Android that is 100% Free Software.

Most of Android is licensed freely under the Apache License 2.0. The Linux core is mostly Free Software under the GPLv2. However, there are numerous components of the default software stack on the HTC phones that are proprietary software. Most notably, nearly any component that touches the hardware directly is proprietary software.

We are not experts in embedded devices; we are just enthusiastic hackers that are giving a try.

Currently we have this blog and a Trac instance, both graciously donated by OSU-OSL.

We will get some git repositories of what we’re doing up shortly, and also improve this blog to document what we are up to.

Replicant is brought to you by activists of the Software Freedom Conservancy and LibrePlanet Italia.

Go there...

new Replicant test images available

Hello Replicants!

We have new Replicant test images.
We would like to know if phone calls work in the USA on the Nexus One and the HTC Dream. Help us testing!

Use the fastboot utility to install but remember: it will erase all the installed data and applications in order to prevent proprietary libraries from being used.

We are please to remind you that, as usual, Replicant is fully free software and doesn’t include  any proprietary firmwares.

The Nexus One mobile phone needs some audio database files (located at /system/etc/firmware/*.acdb) to make sound and phone calls work which are not included either.

We need your help also to write some documentation about how to install Replicant.



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FDroid: a free software alternative to Google Market

Finally we have an alternative to Google Market, the proprietary application that comes preinstalled in many Android phones to download and manage applications.

Now, thanks to CiaranG, everyone with an Android or Replicant phone can install a fully free software gpl client called Fdroid.

It comes preconfigured to connect to the FDroid repository that contains ONLY applications released under a free software licenses.

In the future we hope to have a system that will allow everyone to upload their favourite free software application.

Help us!

Volunteers are key to the success of Replicant. This is a community effort — we do not have the support of corporations behind us like many other projects do, and so it depends on YOU to make things happen.

Join the Replicant mailing list.

Join our microblogging group on

Join us on IRC:

Channel: #replicant
Posted in FDroid | 1 Comment

Introducing Replicant

Welcome to the website of the Replicant Project!

Replicant is a mobile operating system based upon Android that aims to be 100% free software.

It is developed in collaboration between activist from LibrePlanet Italia and the Software Freedom Conservancy.

Go there...

Replicant Wiki

News about the project is available in the  Replicant website. You are currently in the Wiki section, which is the user edited section - feel free to contribute by creating an account and editing pages now!

When making edits, please bear in mind that we are a  free software project.

Current Phones

We are currently focusing on HTC Dream (G1) and the Android Developer Phone (ADP1):

  • These phones permit the user to become root or superuser: only a few devices offer root access, or a mechanism that permits the user to become root. (If you know of another android device that allows root access by default please let us know on irc or the mailing list.)
  • They are well supported in the AOSP(android open source project), that is to say, part of the hardware libraries are released under a Free Software license
  • The current replicant developers have an HTC Dream(also known as G1) or ADP1

Note that the  T-Mobile G1 is no longer for sale so our default device will become the Nexus One.

Also note that if you have a device that is not a Nexus One or an HTC Dream, adding support for it may be possible, especially if your phone is very similar to a supported one or if you have source code for the hardware libraries.

Current Status By Phone

  • HTC Dream
  • Nexus One status: preliminary evaluation of the port has been done, The initial sources need to be published and then the real work will start
  • HTC Wildfire status: preliminary evaluation of the port has been done, The initial sources need to be published and then the real work will start

Replicant Source Code

Go there...

Replicant is a distribution of Android that is 100% Free Software
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