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I am trying to work out whether it would be possible to use a custom rom such as LineageOS without flashing Gapps rather than using the LineageOS+MicroG as an option. The basic requirement is to be able move away from the Big Brother.

I have read that LineageOS+MicroG option is a good one but it creates security risks because of the need to do signature spoofing.

I am just a newbie here and wondering whether it would be possible to install a downloaded apk directly on LineageOS? If yes, would like to find more details on this process. If no, are there any solutions to this problem or we just have to put up with the Big Brother until Linux phones make inroads into this space?

Many thanks

EDIT: Thanks for all those who provided valuable comments/suggestions. I decided to try out LineageOS for MicroG and found it quite a painless process. The phone works great without the Big Brother tracking me. I also run DNS66 (from F-Droid Store) which stops ads on some apps. Overall, pretty much impressed with the outcome.

Thanks again.

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  • As mentioned I am a newbie in this space and trying to get my head around this issue. Would appreciate if you can point me to a good source explaining this. So far, I have only found out that there is a security issue using MicroG but haven't seen anything that refutes this. Thanks.
    – gdesilva
    Aug 24 '20 at 7:56
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    I feel like there's a different concern: 1) yes, it's possible to install and run apps without any Google dependency (custom ROM cannot include Google apps by default), but 2) apps that relies on Google services might not work well, and thus needs Google replacement, like OpenGApps, MicroG, etc... otherwise, download alternative apps that don't rely on Google services at all.
    – Andrew T.
    Aug 24 '20 at 8:29
  • @AndrewT., thanks very much for the clarification. Is signature spoofing a requirement with OpenGApps as well?
    – gdesilva
    Aug 24 '20 at 10:05
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    @gdesilva no. OpenGapps is a bundle of Google Play Services, its dependencies, and other Google apps, originally developed by Google. So they don't need spoofing. microG is an alternative, hacked, open source, partial implementation of Play Services. The microG package com.google.android.gms claiming to be Play Services (Google Mobile Suite) is not developed by Google, so needs to spoof its signatures. // All of this has nothing to do with app installation, which always works. But apps dependent on Google APIs may not work without GMS/GSF etc. Or may work with limited functionality. Aug 24 '20 at 17:37
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Many people are going Google-free and gapps-free now.

Do it like this:

Install F-Droid store, then install Aurora store from F-Droid. Aurora store is to install apps from Google Play store. Most Play store apps will run fine... some won't. For those, look for alternatives.

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