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Cyanogen Inc. kills off CyanogenMod, but the fork lives on

Shaoor Munir Written by Shaoor Munir · 1 min read>

Cyanogen Inc. has ceased all support and development for the open source CyanogenMod project. The news comes as a result of the discontinuation of Cyanogen OS and all related services.

Why the sudden amicicide?

It had just been about a week since CyanogenMod released the final version of version 13 and nightly builds of version 14 were starting to roll out. This sudden move came as a surprise to millions of users of the popular Android fork.

However, when looking at the performance of Cyanogen Inc. and some controversies it stirred around the tech community, this move was inevitable. Cyanogen Inc., which declined an acquisition offer by Google in 2014, tried to fly too close to the sun and in the end suffered the consequences. Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen, was once reported as saying: “We’re putting a bullet through Google’s head.”

Inevitable downfall

This overconfidence was probably a downfall of Cyanogen, with the company now ceasing all operations and services related to Cyanogen. This end is expected for most open source projects. With no continuous and trustworthy stream of income, lack of investors and no profitable business model, such projects usually have an expiration date.

What is to become of CyanogenMod?

On December 23, a Cyanogen Inc. spokesperson posted a notice on the company’s blog which sealed the fate of CyanogenMod:

“As part of the ongoing consolidation of Cyanogen, all services, and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds will be discontinued no later than 12/31/16. The open source project and source code will remain available for anyone who wants to build CyanogenMod personally.”

As a result of this announcement, there will be no further builds of CyanogenMod and the devices which have the ROM installed will need to shift to another one which is in active development.

Meet Lineage OS

One good thing about open source projects is that it is really hard to kill them completely. A few CyanogenMod contributors announced on the CyanogenMod blog that they will “fork” the OS and continue its development under a new name — Lineage OS. Although the CyanogenMod’s blog, along with its community website, is now taken down by Cyanogen Inc., a cached version of the post resides here in Google’s cache. The post reads:

“CM has always been more than the name and more than the infrastructure. CM has been a success based on the spirit, ingenuity, and effort of its individual contributors…Embracing that spirit, we the community of developers, designers, device maintainers and translators have taken the steps necessary to produce a fork of the CM source code and pending patches. This is more than just a ‘rebrand’. 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. We will take pride in our Lineage as we move forward and continue to build on its legacy.”

Steve Kondik, co-founder of Cyanogen Inc. and the founder of the open source CyanogenMod is said to be one of the backers of the new Lineage OS.

A GitHub repository for the project has already been setup and a placeholder website is also functional at Development of new builds is underway and more news about the release is expected in coming weeks.

Written by Shaoor Munir
I am passionate about technology, hardware and the future of both of them together.Email: Profile