CalyxOS (Android ROM)

I noticed that CalyxOS is no longer mentioned as a recommendation on the site and I was wondering why that’s the case. I mean it in a genuine way and not as in “why isn’t my favorite ROM not listed” kind of way.

In looking into it I did find the blog post discussing why GrapheneOS is recommended over CalyxOS. I understand that as it lines up with the general consensus - it seems like Graphene has pulled ahead of the pack in terms of security, privacy, and user experience.

But then I see that DivestOS is listed as an AOSP derivative to consider. Not to take away from DivestOS at all (I want to learn more about it), but Calyx is based on LineageOS as well if I remember correctly. It seems like Divest leans on some Graphene technology where as Calyx continues to use microG, but otherwise they seem to be similar ROMs that satisfy similar requirements. Both are likely not as good as Graphene, but they are still good alternatives to know about.

So my question, is there something about Calyx that’s preventing it from being listed as a recommendation? Is it something about microG, the way the project is run, or just the perceived difference in quality from Graphene and Divest compared to Calyx? Is it that there are a lot of small things that aren’t great that, when put together, make it not a great option to recommend? Or is it about just not offering too many options that might overwhelm people looking for a privacy respecting Android ROM?

Last things:

  1. I don’t even use Calyx, but I’ve heard about it a lot and was also curious about the general decline it seems to have had in the privacy world.
  2. I am active in another privacy forum, plz I don’t mean this as a troll post, lol

I agree with you, perhaps there could be created section/category on this website something like misfits, and provide report/explanation to why they are no longer recommended, along with articles/proves that back these claims.

UI suggestions:

  • Green (Subjective, or questionable decisions of the project)
  • Orange (Potentially compromising privacy/security in updated version of the project)
  • Red (The project contains malware, or was breached, and taken over etc…)

‘Misfits’ sounds a little too aggressive for me, lol. But if folks want to take the explanations provided and put that somewhere on the site, that could be a good idea. I also think it could be fine to just leave it to this thread to explain so that future people who are wondering can search for Calyx in the forum and find answers. I can see how the site maybe should try to stick to recommendations and not to explanations of everything they don’t recommend.

DivestOS is listed for harm reduction reasons basically.

At this time we don’t see any compelling reasons to list CalyxOS over using something like GrapheneOS anyway, that’s the main reason. It’s pretty much AOSP android, with a few bundled apps, We discussed it previously here


Thanks for the insight! I guess it really has just fallen off the wagon while Graphene has caught up. I remember microG being the main selling point for Calyx as a way to get Google Play apps, but since GOS’s sandboxed Google Play services there isn’t anything else to compete on.

Well, (I don’t mean to be mean, same thing could happen to me) but you’ve missed it, even if Daniel Gray pulled up discussion where it already was solved. So making a category of “misfits” (or other name) could be reconsidered, IF it would save moderators more time to make such articles, than reopening old discussions, over, and over again. Also it was made on GitHub, so you would have to jump over to different site, unless its copy request is present, on this forum?

Mods: It’s up to you, I’m just trying to share suggestions.

Is there a way to downvote a suggestion on here? It doesn’t appear to have that function, so please accept this -1 from me

(Related discussion for the team:

I agree (though not strongly) that we should have anti-recommendations on the site for the reasons you specified, however @dngray disagrees and has some good reasons here:

We’re not sure it’s worth the time investment. If you wish to continue discussing anti-recommendations, you can do so in that thread instead of here.

1 Like

A post was split to a new topic: Forum Voting System Improvements

Do we have a revised opinion on CalyxOS now that they have streamlined security updates via their Security Express channel?

We can give it a few months to see how it actually pans out, but in theory they would meet our current criteria: Android - Privacy Guides

They still regularly take two to five days to get the latest WebView/browser into their testing F-Droid repo:
Something I’ve done within a day for a year now.

1 Like

So they have a better track record than Google does at updating my Chromebook /s

Thanks for keeping track of that stuff, yeah that’s something to consider. I should circle back to whether they ever allowed other WebView implementations to be installed, I had asked them to whitelist more WebView apps a while ago.

Another thing to take into account:
They are currently selling the Pixel 4a 5g for $550 despite only having 6 months left of support from Google.

And are also selling the Pixel 6a for $700 despite being available at Amazon and Best Buy for $250-300.

Absurd markup aside or deranged notation that it is a “donation”: I think it is asinine they are selling a near EOL phone without ANY such note of it being so.

To go even further, their starting Internet “membership” is $500 for the first year and $400 upfront for every year after OR $600 a year if paid quarterly.

Despite it being a rebranded service from Mobile Citizen who only actually charges $180 for every year at $15 a month: Mobile Citizen Hotspot & Internet Subscription Bundle


While those margins remain breathtaking, I just want to note that the membership includes a mobile hotspot router unit (Franklin T10) available from T-Mobile for $90. So I suppose that accounts for the $100 higher price on the first year.
But yeah nevertheless this really doesn’t reflect well on Calyx.

the ConnectAll option is $105 for the same Franklin T10 and first month of service, so yes if you fully account that way it is $270 for the first year and $180 every year after.

Then again, even if they become faster at update, I wouldn’t know what calyx would bring to the table over Graphene OS atm.


Exactly CalyxOS doesn’t provide anything that GrapheneOS does not. GrapheneOS simply is a better alternative so this should be the recommendation. If people chose not to follow that, that’s fine, but why recommend things that are not simply the best. Don’t make it more complex to the vistor just focus on good and easy solutions.

I am not even recommending CalyxOS for Fairphone. MicroG is a hit or miss and will mostly just limit your experience in a bad way.

DivestOS is there only because it has support for other devices as well and provides some hardening. I happily use this on a secondary device, but given there is no play services it for most people won’t be so useful.

1 Like

Mainly support for one single non-Google phone (the Fairphone). Not sure if it’s worth mentioning that anywhere.

Also the SHIFT6mq.

@Niek-de-Wilde my perspective is that if it isn’t worse than GrapheneOS then it should be added to provide user choice.

Either that, OR we need to add the ways in which GrapheneOS is better to the Android OS criteria. We can look at Should You Use GrapheneOS or CalyxOS? - Privacy Guides but the updates were our main complaint, so if they are fixed it’s difficult to say why exactly CalyxOS shouldn’t be recommended. We shouldn’t be rejecting projects based on… gut feeling? I suppose we should do an updated in-depth look since that article is a year old.

The two extra supported devices by Calyx don’t even handle verified boot correctly, FP4 trusts test-keys and axolotl has Qualcomm secure boot disabled.

1 Like