If you are planning on using LineageOS 14 for this guide, you can bypass all of this except configuring location backends and battery optimization by heading to https://lineage.microg.org and downloading their ROM.
All download links as well as a link to a list of Open-Source applications to replace commonly used Play Store apps are in the third post.
*This will NOT work with MIUI Global, as the Play Store is already included in the ROM by default.*
I will be continuously updating this guide for everyone as I stumble upon more supported ROMs, more MicroG flashable zips, and other misc. edits. This is made with Android Marshmallow and Nougat in mind as it is all I have tested on, however this may work on older releases of Android with Xposed support or ROMs with Signature Spoofing. This has also only been personally tested on the XT1607 variant.
In order to sync calendars and contacts from your Google account, you must flash the Google Sync Addon by ale5000. If you want swipe gesture typing on the AOSP keyboard, you must flash Shadow53's swipelib.zip. Shadow53 also has a No-Gapps zip package that includes F-Droid, Firefox, and several other apps.
One final thing: This is not for everyone. There was a point in time I didn’t ever think I could go without the Play Store, but ever since I have I don't want to go back. There are numerous pros to switching to a Google-free android setup such as much better battery life, more privacy on your device, a world of open-source alternatives to popular applications, and more. If you have any questions, or if any of this seems daunting if you are newer to things of this nature, please do not hesitate to ask for help. I will try the best I can in my free time to help. Thank you for taking the time to read this, let’s go ahead and start.
*Disclaimer* Your warranty is now void if you modify your phone. I'm not responsible for bricked devices, dead SD cards, thermonuclear war, or you getting fired because the alarm app failed.
What You'll Need:
1. Your Phone with at least 80% battery, preferably 100%.
2. A computer to transfer files to phone
3. You must have Root Access. This can be native root or Magisk root.
4. Your ROM of choice
5. Download the correct Xposed SDK and Xposed APK for your version of Android. The Xposed SDK version may differ for your device.
6. MicroG Unofficial Installer ZIP and Google Sync Addon (optional) by ale5000 or any of Shadow53's MicroG flashable files (download links in third post)
7. Your favorite backup method if you wish to back up such as Titanium Backup, MyBackup Root/Pro, etc.
8. Third Party App Store/APK downloader such as Yalp Store if not wishing to use all open source apps
9. A working Google account
1. Make sure you have downloaded the requirements.
2. If you wish, backup the data you want. This should not erase any files stored on an SD card, but I cannot guarantee.
3. Boot into a custom recovery, I am using TWRP
4. Use the standard wipe data options
5. Flash the files in the following order:
- Your ROM of choice
- MicroG Unofficial installer
- Xposed SDK
- Custom kernel if using one
7. In recovery, wipe Dalvik/ART cache only (Not really required, I always recommend it though just to be safe)
8. Go into Settings —> Security —> Turn Unknown Sources on to allow for APK installs.
9. Install the Xposed Installer APK
10. Open Xposed, grant any permissions/root permissions if it asks for any. Go to download, and search for FakeGApps. Download and install. Next go into the Modules tab of Xposed, and check the box next to the module. Reboot to activate (A soft reboot may work, but I recommend a full reboot.) Installing this allows MicroG to bind to the system and spoof the required signatures.
11. Open MicroG in the app drawer, and allow all permissions it asks for. While in here, turn on Google Device Registration
12. After allowing all permissions, go into Settings. Go to Accounts —> Add Account —> Google Account. Sign into your Google Account. This is necessary to allow certain applications that require Google Play Services to work properly.
13. After signing in, head back into MicroG, go under Google Cloud Messaging and enable.
14. In MicroG settings, head to the UnifiedNLP settings. Under the Configure location backends section, open WiFi Location Service and select Mozilla Location Service and grant any permissions asked. Under Configure address lookup backends, select Nominatim.
15. Finally, in Settings, go to Location and change the mode to High accuracy.
16. Check MicroG's Self-Check to see if everything has been set up properly, and if so, you are good to go!