Flavors

In normal usage, the user needs to select a robotnix "flavor" in their configuration file by setting the flavor option. Flavors may change the default settings of some other modules, which might not match the default setting shown on the Options reference page. As an example, the GrapheneOS flavor enables apps.vanadium.enable by default.

Currently, the vanilla and GrapheneOS flavors are based on Android 11, while the LineageOS flavor uses either Android 10 or Android 11, depending on the device. If a robotnix flavor supports multiple Android versions (either older or experimental newer versions), this can be overridden by setting (for example) androidVersion = 10.

Vanilla

The vanilla flavor is meant to represent a (mostly) unaltered version of the AOSP code published by Google. Vanilla AOSP support may be enabled by setting flavor = "vanilla";. It does, however, include some small fixes and usability improvements. Enabling the vanilla flavor also enables the chromium webview/app by default as well.

The vanilla flavor in robotnix currently supports only Pixel phones (>= Pixel 3). Older Pixel phones (e.g. marlin / Pixel 1 XL) may be still be built by overriding androidVersion = 10;. However, these might be removed in the future as they are no longer receiving device updates from Google.

Like GrapheneOS described below, the vanilla flavor retains working support for Android Verified Boot, and allows a user to re-lock the bootloader using the user's own generated root of trust.

GrapheneOS

GrapheneOS is a privacy and security focused mobile OS with Android app compatibility developed as a non-profit open source project. GrapheneOS support may be enabled by setting flavor = "grapheneos";. Enabling the GrapheneOS flavor will also enable the Vanadium app/webview and Seedvault robotnix modules. Additionally, the upstream GrapheneOS updater is disabled, but the robotnix updater app (based on the GrapheneOS updater app) can be enabled by setting apps.updater.enable = true; and apps.updater.url = "...";.

The user should understand that enabling certain robotnix modules may have security implications as they produce a may produce a larger attack surface than is intended by the GrapheneOS project. Some modules, such as the MicroG and the F-Droid privileged extension, have been explicitly rejected by upstream GrapheneOS. If the user wishes to enable these modules, they should understand and be willing to accept the usability/security tradeoffs.

GrapheneOS releases are tagged in robotnix, but before 2021.05.16.04, the date suffix (YY.MM.DD.HH) did not match the one used in the upstream release. Only the latest GrapheneOS release is included with robotnix, even if that release is only a "beta" release upstream. If you would prefer to stick to only stable releases, wait until the release is marked "stable" upstream.

Before reporting bugs to upstream GrapheneOS, please ensure that you can reproduce your issue using the official GrapheneOS images. Alternatively, feel free to ask about your issue on the #robotnix:nixos.org channel on Matrix.

LineageOS

LineageOS is a free and open-source operating system for various devices, based on the Android mobile platform. LineageOS support may be enabled by setting flavor = "lineageos";. At the time of writing, this includes support for ~160 devices.

Robotnix includes support for both LineageOS 17.1 as well as LineageOS 18.1. By default, robotnix will select the latest supported version for the device specified in the configuration. This can be overridden by setting androidVersion to either 10 or 11, for LineageOS 17.1 and 18.1, respectively.

Since LineageOS does not produce tagged releases like vanilla AOSP or GrapheneOS, we periodically take snapshots of the upstream repositories and include metadata in robotnix which pins the source repositories to particular revisions. This metadata can be found under flavors/lineageos/*/*.json.

LineageOS support in robotnix should be considered "experimental," as it does yet have the same level of support provided for vanilla and grapheneos flavors. LineageOS source metadata may be updated irregularly in robotnix, and certain modules (such as the updater) are not guaranteed to work. Moreover, LineageOS does not appear to provide the same level of security as even the vanilla flavor, with dm-verity/AVB, userdebug as the default variant, and vendor files with unclear origin. LineageOS support is still valuable to include as it extends support to a much wider variety of devices, and provides the base that many other Android ROMs use to customize. Contributions and fixes from LineageOS users are especially welcome!

For devices with "boot-as-recovery", the typical LineageOS flashing process involves first producing a boot.img and ota, flashing boot.img with fastboot, and then sideloading the ota in recovery mode. The boot.img and ota targets can be built using nix-build ... -A bootImg or nix-build ... -A ota, respectively. Check the upstream documentation for your particular device before following the above instructions.

Anbox

Anbox is a Free and open-source container-based approach at running Android on Linux systems. Anbox support may be enabled by setting flavor = "anbox";.

At the time of writing, support is experimental. Given that Anbox is based on an older Android release (7), support for Robotnix options is not guaranteed.