When both my wife and daughter got newer devices one day, one of the first mobile phones I kind of “inherited” from them was the Google Nexus 5 – a truly wonderful device in my opinion, with a just right 4.95 inch screen size. When it came out it had Android 4.4 codenamed “KitKat”, and Google officially supported it until their version 6.0.1 “Marshmallow”.
Today I changed it to the newer and of course also unofficial version 20 of LineageOS which equals Android 13, so its operating system is now newer and more recent than even that of the Google Pixel 3a which we gave to my brother (tho an image of LOS20 for that exists as well, it’s also still not an official one). Here’s how mine looked after the first reboot, with a check on the version number:
The standard and unaltered start screen of the “Trebuchet” launcher of LineageOS20 looks like this:
This time I haven’t installed any of the more or less free Google services, so no push notifications, no location or “Play Store” services, and so on – I can do without. This device hasn’t even a SIM card, and I use it over WLAN and for development/testing purposes only.
Anyhow, this is also a proof of concept that you don’t really have to throw or give away older hardware even if you want to or have to stay current because of security considerations. All you need is a computer and a bit of time to restore your devices to newer and still updated versions of a truly free (as in freedom) operating system. Only works with Android or Linux tho, Apple users sadly can’t do this.
My Pixel 4a will officially be supported until August of this year, after that I can decide about the right time to upgrade it to a free version of Android 14 or whatever is to come.
Like always, thanks for reading.
Update: like always, first things first – I installed F-Droid and after that (and from it) also the Aurora “store” (which is only a proxy to the Google Play Store, you need it for apps like Firefox et al), and then the Zapp app (also in F-Droid) which lets you view German live and “Mediathek” (streamed) TV from our public (“Öffentlich-rechtlich“) TV stations. Plus I copied over some music from my computer to which the device is still connected. So the list of apps now looks like this:
while the screen in the integrated Music app looks like this now:
That’s hardly different from what my Pixel 4a has – which shows that this is truly a usable device still. I can listen to music both on- and offline, watch TV, I could also send email if I wanted to, so that was my point…
News, category good: LineageOS 20 which is equivalent to Android 13 is out. When I looked yesterday, the download images weren’t online yet, but they seem to appear right now – I saw the one for my Pixel 4a, so I can prolong its life when Google will drop the support for it in August. Maybe until then there’s even the version with microG available so that I won’t have to install the original Google services. Please do this if you own older phones, instead of throwing them away.
And that question is which Linux distribution is the most recent *and* is still stable and secure. The first thing of course is to check what is meant by stable and secure, so let’s have a look and listen to the assessment of Debian Testing vs OpenSuSe Tumbleweed vs Arch Linux (Stability and Security Challenge):
Be sure to visit djware’s rumble website for the further links which were mentioned – or do it like Debian would recommend for normal users: run Debian stable, and if you *must* have some newer packages, then use their backports repository to update these. This is what I’m doing since years, just because their ‘testing’ branch is *not* meant for normal users, it’s meant for developers getting the next stable version ready for you.
Thanks to djware for your tests, and for the great explanations. And thanks to you for reading, and for watching.
Very nice. I’ll start using it, keeping the 6.9 version because of older tracks, and the 6.5 one because it came with the OS. I also have the Windows version just in case Zuleikha would like to use my XLN Audio grand piano which came as a Windows VST plugin only (and yes, I know how to load these into Linux, but won’t do it).
Oh, and in case you want to hear the song I have in my DAW here (minus my tweaks to it), it’s this one. Please give Shi and Tom a thumbs up in case you like it.
In case that maybe you have no idea what Ardour is, it’s one of the best free and open source digital audio workstations available. Please have a look at its homepage in case that sounds interesting for you.
This is a very cool video about what you can achieve using “only” open source software when creating music and videos for the tubes. The gentleman calls himself “Bransby“, and his explanation of things is about the best I’ve seen, so thanks for that, sir! Here we go:
I’ll use this for friends in Wikiloops in case they’ll ask about a howto, so thanks again for your good work and for the nice explanation, Bransby. Oh, and your song is great as well 🙂
At the moment, all three neighbours’ cats are here, and all are sleeping. Two (Wilma and Crunchy) on my bed, and one (Cookie) on the sofa. Earlier, I caught Wilma on my lap with the phone in my hands:
I had been trying different versions of LineageOS on an older Google Nexus 10 tablet device which we had laying around unused, and after trying some unofficial ones I decided to try the latest official build which you can get from Lineageosroms.com, which is LineageOS 13.0 – [ Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) ] as you can see here:
That is some years old already as well (the tablet is about 10, this image more than 4 years old), but it is still a nice compromise between speed, stability, and features. Being the equivalent of Android 6 under its hood, I could even install the Zapp app from the F-Droid store, and so now we can watch Live and/or streamed TV on it, like so:
I had to interrupt my activities to send Mitchie to work with the car, and when we came down to the garage I saw that some neighbour had parked a nice new Honda motorcycle right in front of their partly covered Fiat 500 and beside our car. After coming back, I took a quick pic of that as well:
Oh, and when looking into my blog software today I saw that I’ve got a new version of that as well:
So I’ll have to see what’s new, and whether any of the also new templates (2022 and 2023) are looking good…
So all photos in this article came from my Pixel 4a phone, and the screenshots from my computer. As always, thanks for reading and for viewing.