LineageOS: Overview of the most popular custom firmware for Android

LineageOS is the largest custom ROM for Android. It's secure, private, and doesn't require the use of Google services. In this article, we have collected everything you need to know about LineageOS.

Many people think that Google and other members of the Big Four (Amazon, Facebook and Apple) can no longer be thrown off their pedestal, but we should not forget that the big Part of the company's success comes from grants from the NSA, CIA and DARPA under the MDDS (Massive Digital Data Systems) initiative.

In addition to extensive holdings, Google also owns the Android ecosystem, which accounts for 73% of the mobile OS market.

However, many users question the privacy and security of the system, which is why custom Android-based operating systems (also called ROMs) have appeared.

Some people install them to get rid of annoying "bloated software" on their phone, while others seek better security and privacy protection.

LineageOS is renowned for its stability, broad device support, and unique features while retaining the Android experience.

What is LineageOS?

Today, LineageOS is the most popular ROM. It is an open source firmware that has over 2.6 million active users.

The first version was called Cyanogen and was released in 2009 for HTC Dream and Magic. Then the main developer of Cyanogen was a man under the nickname JesusFreke, and then Steve Kondik took over the development.

It was Kondik who modified Cyanogen, and the system became known as CyanogenMod.

In December 2016, Cyanogen Inc. announced that it was ending development and shutting down the infrastructure behind the project. LineageOS was also born at the same time, and since then there have been six versions of the system, each based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP):

  • LineageOS 13.0 (Marshmallow)
  • LineageOS 14.1 (Nougat)
  • LineageOS 15.1 (Oreo)
  • LineageOS 16.0 (Pie)
  • LineageOS 17.1 (Android 10)
  • LineageOS 18.1 (Android 11)

devices. What's more, LineageOS is even compatible with some older smartphones. For example, the OS still supports the Nexus 6 released in 2016 (as does LineageOS itself).

The operating system integrates and enhances Android features, and offers:

  • Full tethering support, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Support for FLAC audio codec
  • List of extended names of access points (APN), which is the phone settings for connecting a SIM card to Internet
  • OpenVPN Client
  • Improved performance including CPU overclocking
  • Interface and application access control

More importantly, LineageOS does not contain the spyware and bloatware found on many Android smartphones.

Overall, users report better performance, reliability and stability compared to stock Android.

Which phones support LineageOS?

LineageOS supports almost 200 devices, according to the official website. To quickly check if your phone supports LineageOS, press CTRL + F and enter the model name in the search bar.

Note that the list includes all major manufacturers, including Samsung, Google, Motorola and OnePlus.

Privacy protection

LineageOS does not come with built-in Google services. This already prevents the background flow of information from the phone to Google's servers.

In terms of built-in privacy protection, prior to version 17.1, the firmware had an impressive feature called Android Privacy Guard (APG). It provided strong encryption compatible with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) cryptographic protocols.

However, after the release of Android 10, this feature was no longer needed, as the new version of the system offered nearly identical encryption.

In June 2018, starting with version 15.1, LineageOS introduced TRUST - a centralized interface to ensure safety and privacy protection. It provides opportunities for full control over access to system resources and user data.

In addition, the trust is possible not only to block access, but also generate warnings with abnormal activity (for example, a notification output is supported in the case of sending an excessive number of messages).

The Trust icon is displayed in the status bar, which informs users about whether the action performed is safe.


Default on LineageOS enabled Linux with enhanced security (Selinux). This is a system that was developed by the US National Security Agency to enhance the Linux kernel.

If this option is enabled, SELinux limits access to applications and services operating in background. Thus, the probability of the penetration of malicious programs into the device is significantly reduced.

Like Selinux, LineageOS also prevents "Signature Spoofing" (literally - signature). This is a process, during which one program is masked for another to obtain data.

Although "Signature Spoofing" makes installing any application more convenient, LineageOS does not allow it to start by default.

In short, LineageOS provides the user with full control over access to applications and services, and key security features are included or disconnected by default.

How to install LineageOS on the phone?

You can download LineageOS from the official website, and then flash the phone, following the instructions shown in section of the installation instructions or here. Of course, when you go to ROM, all data from the phone will be automatically deleted, so to start backup.

What applications are compatible with LineageOS?

As we have already mentioned earlier, Google applications are not included in LineageOS. However, you still can set them using Open Gapps.

To install Open Gapps, just download the installer on

If you do not need Google services, you can download and install applications from F-Droid, Aptoide or Aurora Store.

How to update LineageOS?

The LineageOS updates work in the same way as the usual Android updates available from the Settings menu (thanks to OTA).

Why is it worth downloading LineageOS?

Prices for electronics grow year after year (this applies to both computers and smartphones). Therefore, instead of buying a new phone, the price of which can be much higher than the average market, it makes sense to go to LineageOS, which will help extend the life cycle of the phone.

After installing this operating system, you will not only get access to the latest features of Android OS, but also get rid of unnecessary software that you have never even used!

In addition, ROM provides users with full control over each application. And finally, this is the most popular custom firmware - it supports more than 200 devices!