Update: LineageOS on Moto edge FAIL

Google now wants to (overtly) tell you what to think:

Apparently, it is easier to get data from Google than cell service providers. One would assume tower triangulation data from providers would also be more robust, but fuck you, because Gurgle:


iOS feels like the best of times and the worst of times:


Time to Upgrade the Phone

Picked up a Moto Edge 2020 for about $200:


Notes to self:

  • Go through initial setup, go to Settings > About
  • Scroll all the way down to Build Number. Tap Build Number 7 times. This unlocks Developer Options.
  • Go to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options
  • Turn On USB Debugging You must be connected to Wi-Fi for this to work!!: Turn on OEM unlocking.

I’m not sure that all of the above options were present on my old Moto. Just check all of these settings and save some headaches. The last step of OEM unlocking tripped me up because of the way it is hidden and greyed out.

>fastboot oem unlock xxx
(bootloader) Bootloader is unlocked!
OKAY [ 16.875s]
Finished. Total time: 16.875s

Since the device resets completely, you will need to re-enable USB debugging to continue.

>fastboot flash recovery L19-
Sending 'recovery_b' (102400 KB)                   OKAY [  2.703s]
Writing 'recovery_b'                               OKAY [  1.344s]
Finished. Total time: 4.063s

adb sideload was failing. Found that simply unplugging and reconnecting the device caused it to suddenly work…

>adb sideload copy-partitions
Total xfer: 1.00x

>adb sideload L19-signed.zip
Total xfer: 1.00x

UPDATE: I tried to transfer my cell service to the new device, but alas, phone calls could not be made. Long story short, this same problem had suddenly occurred in 2022 on my old Moto and, after some testing, I chalked it up to faulty hardware.

After some searching and digging, I arrived at the conclusion that LineageOS is itself partly to blame. By stripping out all of the microG code, they’ve essentially neutered devices that rely on VoLTE, like Moto.

Well thanks to the microG Project, I can still get my phone to work: https://microg.org/

Even then, there was still some cudgeling to get everything working. The microG version comes with F-Droid already installed. Which is great, until F-Droid is totally broken; it was unable to access any repos. Even worse, you can’t uninstall F-Droid because it is baked in.

So now I’m thinking I have to choose between a phone that can’t make calls, or a phone that will have to side load and manually update apps. Oh noes.

To test LineageOS vanilla again, I switched to a T-mobile SIM and loaded LOS on top of microG. Still no workey.

As a last ditch effort, I completely wiped the phone and loaded the latest microG version again. Still no working F-Droid. Even worse, phone calls no longer worked again!

I came back to the phone a few days later, thinking about just moving on and re-selling it. I noticed that the carrier indicator had removed the “!” that would always appear after the first attempted phone call. I performed a test phone call and was about to hang up after 10-15 seconds of dead air, but it actually connected the call! I then opened F-Droid and sure enough, everything functioning properly.

I’m concluding that the ultimate issue was the lack of microG code. I thought that the T-mobile SIM might also be a factor, but it didn’t seem to coincide with the phone completing calls. I’m going to move my main SIM to the edge and make it the primary driver. If it turns out that the service provider does indeed matter, I’ll update again.

UPDATE: It does indeed require a T-Mobile SIM to make phone calls. Text and data only with AT&T. So let’s review:

Any Moto phone
+ LineageOS requires
+ microG packages
+ T-Mobile network (due to VoLTE? I'm still not sure)
= GrapheneOS looks pretty good next time around...


App notes:

View the previous post about LineageOS 17 on Moto G7 here.

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