Free Your Android workshops
Phone liberation involves various steps that can be challenging for daily users that lack a strong technical background. However, it is no contradiction that they often would love to be in full control of their devices. Running Free Software that is not tied to any manufacturer or provider is something that everybody should be able to do - despite your technical background. That is why we organise phone liberation workshops. On this page you will find all information about FSFE's workhops, how to organise your own workshop or how to ask FSFE to organise a workshop in your town. To help them, the FSFE organises workshops to help people liberating their devices. These workshops are open for everyone to attend. You are welcome to organise similar workshops on your own!
Have you ever tried to convince your friends or someone else to use Free Software in general or that specific program you enjoy so much? Many users are interested in Free Software, they sometimes just do not know how to install or use it. But they will be happy for any help on their path to freedom. If you think about these workshops, think about GNU/Linux installation parties. But not on Desktops but on phones.
What is a workshop like?
In phone liberation workshops everything is about putting users in full control of their devices and the software they run. This involves three major steps:
- unlock the bootloader
- flash a custom ROM on the device
- get to know the new system and f-droid
Please keep in mind, that every phone is different and can end in an individual hack. To get things right,sometimes you need patience on both sides: the owners as well as the hackers. (Be prepared to spend some time on your way to freedom. But ) Vice versa, this time can be a good time to get to know other people that share the same spirit and spent some time together to improve your device.
Who can attend such a workshop
In principal FreeYourAndroid worksohps are open for everyone. The only voraussetzung to take part in a FYA-workshop is your device. Your device is crucial to the success of liberating your phone or not. Depending on the manufacturer, deviceses are able to unlock their bootloader or not. Also, some operating systems are not available for every phone. FSFE's workshops concentrate on android-based alternatives that are Replicant and CyanogenMod . We concentrate on these systems as they are fully android based alternatives. That means, that users can switch easily from their Android system they are used to to these free systems without loosing anything. All applications and user-interfaces they are used to will or can be the same with these android alternatives. this is in favour of the user and helps to reach new audiences: the mobile world. hence, you should check if your device is compatible with one of these two systems. you can find information about official support on replicants pages and in the cyanogenmod wiki. If you are not sure if your device is supported you should ask your organiser. It is also possible that your device is not officially supported but the systems will run on them. but this could include a special hack and you should ask your organiser if he is up for this. The FSFE is aware that these systems are not 100% Free Software or that they use third-party software that is non-free. But they are technically Free Software and they also put users in freedom of not being locked into manufacturers or providers systems.
I am a user, how should I prepare for a workshop?
If you are attending a FreeYourAndroid workshop, you can make your organiser very happy if you prepare yourself and your device for its liberation. First, you should do a backup of all relevant data that you like to keep. You need this backup, because during the workshop you will install another operating system, During its installation process, all data on your device will be erased! That is why you should do a backup at home to not lose important data during the workshop. We have instructions on how to backup your data. Second, bring all relevant IT infrastructure with you. Relevant in this case is of course the device you would like to liberate and a laptop to access and control your device externally. You will also need all relevant cable like the data cable to connect your device and your laptop as well as a power plug. finally, bring some time and good mood. phone liberation sometimes takes time - see previous point about "what's happening"
I am a hacker, how should I prepare for a workshop?
You are looking forward to help people liberating their phones? Welcome! Phone liberation can be a challenge but is always some fun. Each phone is different and instead of installing the same operating system again and again, you can hack devices. Unlock the bootloader and give yourself root access is fun. Flashing an alternative operating system, too. help users to get in full control! You should have some experience in unlocking bootloader and flashing devices. you find a lot of help in CyanogenMods wiki.
We would like to organise a workshop. how do we do?
If you would like to organise a workshop you should first gather some freedom fighters that help you in organising and giving the workshop. The number of experts involved correlates also with the number of possible participants. As far as we have experience, we recommend to have one expert per four or better one per three attendees. Once you have managed date, location and people involved, you should promote your event. You find templates for promotion that you can use or remix - or just set up your own invitation. You should be aware about the pros and cons of using a registration system for the workshop or not. the good thing about doing a registration system is that you can chech if the attendees have a device that works for liberation and you can remind them about doing a backup and bringing a laptop. But, the need for registration often erschreckt people or they don't receive the information early enough to attend. This is the good thing about a public workshop, eg. a public workshop in the university in the first week of your semester: people pass by randomly, and maybe take part in spontaneous will that would have never participated with a registration. still you can get in trouble with the laptop issue and the backup. The other thing is the time you need. id you plan to do your workshop, let's say from 12 to 18 hours, than you should not begin with any phone liberation after 15 hours as time might be to short. By now, for a most public event we recommend both: promote your workshop pulicly and state that, eg. users should make a backup, bring a laptop and come latest at 14 hours. Or - if they want to be sure that everything works out with their device - they should register here and recieve a feeedback. To promote your event effectively, you can ask for our promotion material and use it for your event.
Are FSFE's workshops different or better?
No, of course not. our workshops are also basde on the work of volunteers and there is no concurrency between any workshops. The only difference is that you can book us. If you are an organisation, a company or whatever that likes to liberate its communacation infrastructure and get rid of data leeches as well as being tied to manufacturers willl, please send us a request by email to android@ and ask for a workshop. We will than call you to speak about all the details. We do not charge you for this service but we are happy about a donation for our work. At least you have to cover our travel costs (from Berlin) and some verpflegungspauschale for the experts, coming. We will send one expert per 4 attendees.