CyanogenMod is no more, but its legacy will be carried over by a new community-driven custom ROM project called LineageOS.
Cyanogen Inc., the corporate counterpart to the CyanogenMod community project, recently announced it would shut down its services by the end of the year. Despite initial hopes that the shutdown would not cripple CyanogenMod, the OS project’s website and infrastructure have been taken offline over the Christmas weekend. The abrupt and unceremonious closure appears to be the end of the CyanogenMod project as we know it.
UPDATE: As of this morning we have lost DNS and Gerrit is now offline – with little doubt as a reaction to our blog post yesterday. Goodbye
— CyanogenMod (@CyanogenMod) December 25, 2016
While CyanogenMod appears to be dead for all intents and purposes, there’s a silver lining: some of the developers behind the project are rallying behind LineageOS, a “fork” of CyanogenMod. That includes the father of CyanogenMod, Steve Kondik, who recently left Cyanogen Inc.
According to a final post on the CyanogenMod blog (now taken offline), LineageOS is more than a rebranding of CyanogenMod. “This fork will return to the grassroots community effort that used to define CM while maintaining the professional quality and reliability you have come to expect more recently,” said the CyanogenMod team.
The post also clarifies why a fork was necessary. Cyanogen Inc holds on to the “CyanogenMod” brand and, in theory, it could prevent the community from using the name or even sell the brand to a third-party. “Even if we were to regroup and rebuild our own infrastructure, continuing development of CM would mean to operate with the threat of sale of the brand looming over our heads.”
Some crucial details about LineageOS are missing. We don’t know who is working on the new project, what their development plans are, or how they plan to raise the significant funds needed for the venture. For now, the LineageOS website only contains a blog post that confirms the transition and promises more information for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the sole, pithy tweet on LineageOS’ account reads:
Your Lineage will finish what you started, Cid
— Lineage Android (@LineageAndroid) December 24, 2016
And this is how an era ends, and – hopefully – another one begins. Let us know your thoughts!