Replicant on Nexus S preview

As we already mentioned it, we have started the work to support the Nexus S on Replicant. We are now releasing preview images, the first set for the Nexus S! You can now download the preview images: replicant-2.3 for crespo.

This images includes the ipc-modemctrl tool (from libsamsung-ipc) that implements minimal telephony support. Please test this tool and give us feedback:

Here is a list of what’s not ready yet in this preview image (but may be done in the future):

  • RIL: this is the crucial library used to handle telephony and data connectivity (3G). This is being worked on very hard and will be there in some time
  • GPS: we haven’t worked at all on the GPS side: it might be possible to have it working (needs work)
  • Compass: it’s the same as in Nexus One (which works) but the kernel driver is different (needs work)
  • Full Camera: Camera works but in Black & White preview mode and isn’t very stable

Here’s a list of what doesn’t work in Replicant and is probably not going to be achieved:

  • 3D acceleration
  • Whatever needs the non-free firmwares we don’t include (NFC, MFC, WiFi, Bluetooth…)

We are indeed not including any non-free firmware (100% free is our goal) and are not going to provide any free replacement for these as we are not skilled to write such replacement. Though, the kernel we use won’t prevent loading these firmwares if in place.

We also thought of porting u-boot to the Nexus S in order to have a free bootloader replacement but it’s apparently not possible as primary bootloader (perhaps possible chainloaded).

Anyway, we made a video of Replicant 2.3 running on the Nexus S:

And also made a gallery of Screenshots showing Replicant on the Nexus S:

Replicant 2.3 preview images for Nexus One released!

We are pleased to announce that Replicant 2.3 images are now available for the Nexus One!

This new Replicant version is based on the latest CyanogenMod stable release, 7.1.0, that is based on Android 2.3.7 and contains, as usual, only free software.

You can download these new images at

Nexus One status under Replicant 2.3 should be the same as Replicant 2.2: what was working with FroYo should still work in Gingerbread.

Even though Nexus One is supported in Replicant, it doesn’t mean it’s a device we can totally recommend for freedom:

  • It has a non-free bootloader
  • The devices requires non-free firmware for making phone call and working audio
  • The modem (that runs non-free software) controls the sound (including mic), the GPS and can read/write the main CPU memory (it also handle data connectivity and can send/receive data on its own)