FAQ - General
Some frequently asked questions.
Where should I ask questions?
We welcome all questions and have a few places to reach out to the F-Droid community:
- the IRC chat room: #fdroid IRC chatroom on Freenode (click here to join the webchat)
- the web forum
- issue tracker for the Android app itself (aka client)
- issue tracker for the developer tools (aka server)
Why isn't <some app> included?
Some common reasons:
- It's not Free Software;
- We're trying to include it, but there's a problem with it that we're trying to resolve. Check the Submissions Held section of the Forum;
- It's on our radar, but we haven't got to it yet. Search the Forum;
- We don't know about it. See the Inclusion Policy.
Otherwise it you think that an app respect the Inclusion Policy and actually nobody is talking about it in the forum, you can try to be the first to do it: See the Inclusion How-To.
How can I keep track of new apps?
There are several ways of keeping up with new apps that are added:
- In the sidebar on the web site, the 10 most recent apps are shown
- In the client, the "What's New" category shows all apps added in the last 14 days (the number can be changed in settings)
- If you don't mind a detailed and potentially noisy stream of information that also includes updates and other changes, you could subscribe to this feed
What's the difference between source and binary builds?
In the client, each package for an app is labelled either 'source' or 'bin'. These correspond to two different messages you'll see for the same package when browsing the repository on the web site, either "This version is built and signed by F-Droid, and guaranteed to correspond to the source tarball below" or "This version is built and signed by the original developer."
Most packages are source builds. Those that are binaries are usually that way for technical or historical reasons. Ideally everything in the F-Droid repo would be a source build.
Source builds are built and signed securely by F-Droid, and are accompanied on the web site by a complete and corresponding copy of the exact source code we built it with. It may include some prebuilt libraries and you may need to download some external libraries, but as long as those libraries are still on the internet, you should be able to build an exact copy.
Binary packages are built and signed by the developer. We get them from public sources that the developer makes available directly, and never from third party sources.
Is your building and signing process secure?
The building and signing is done in an secure offline (i.e. inaccessible from the internet) environment. Every package is built in a completely fresh isolated virtual machine environment which is discarded once the build is complete. Additionally, that build environment is completely separated from the signing environment.
So yes, as far as we know, it's secure. However, as with everything else on the site, bear in mind this is a small community project which you are warned to use at your own risk. As with apps you get from elsewhere, including Google Play, you should exercise caution regarding the permissions they request when you install them. If in doubt, don't install.
Why isn't F-Droid on Google Play?
Pick your favourite reason (both are true and valid):
- We don't use proprietary software: Google Play is proprietary software;
- F-Droid, as an app that "competes" with Google Play, is against their Terms of Service.