One of the most famous open-source Android software, CyanogenMod, was shut down on December 31, 2016, and rebranded as LineageOS.
Initially released on July 1, 2009, CyanogenMod was fast turning into a threat for the official Android by Google, but the race ended once CyanogenMod confirmed shut down after its final release came out on December 20, 2016.
A company statement from the time it was closed reads: “As part of the ongoing consolidation of Cyanogen, all services and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds will be discontinued. The open source project and source code will remain available for anyone who wants to build CyanogenMod personally.”
Another one from LineageOS reads: “LineageOS will be a continuation of what CyanogenMod was. To quote Andy Rubin, this is the definition of open. A company pulling their support out of an open source project does not mean it has to die.”
Also read: Top 5 custom ROMs for Android (2018)
Why did CyanogenMod shut down?
In 2013, Cyanogen Inc — a VC-funded company — was set up to open up the possibilities of commercialisation of the CyanogenMod. This marks the beginning of the end of CyanogenMod as the community behind the open-source project didn’t receive this news very well and were confused as to what lies in the future.
In 2015, Cyanogen collaborated with Microsoft to integrate its apps into the Cyanogen OS. This change was implemented by early 2016.
Even though CyanogenMod was one of the most popular custom ROMs for Android, smartphone brands — except OnePlus — were still not ready to give it a go. In 2016, a chunk of Cyanogen’s staff was fired, the CEO stepped down, and CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik also left soon after.
The main reason for Kondik’s departure was a rift between him, the top level management and investors. Kondik’s departure was the end of CyanogenMod. A month after his departure, Cyanogen Inc. announced that it’d be shutting down the infrastructure supporting CyanogenMod.
“Yesterday, Cyanogen Inc (Cyngn) announced that they were shutting down the infrastructure behind CyanogenMod (CM). This is an action that was not unpredictable given the public departure of Kondik (cyanogen himself) from the company, and with him, our last remaining advocate inside Cyngn’s leadership,” reads a statement from the company’s last post.
Why was CyanogenMod’s name changed to LineageOS?
A group of developers, including Steve Kondik, decided to change the name of the project to LineageOS as Cyanogen Inc. still owned the rights to the name CyanogenMod and to restart the company under that name would mean ‘to operate with the threat of sale of the brand looming over our (their) heads’.
“Many of you reading this have been champions of clarifying that the CM product and CyngnOS were distinct, yet the stain of many PR actions from Cyngn is a hard one to remove from CM. Given CM’s reliance on Cyngn for monetary support and the shared source base, it’s not hard to understand why the confusion remains.”
“However, 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 – back when it was Kondik in his home, to the now thousands of contributors past and present.”
To proceed with supporting the project, a number of the developers, designers, device maintainers and translators produced a fork of the CyanogenMod source code and pending patches and transferred all of the attributes to LineageOS.
Basically, LineageOS is just a new name for CyanogenMod as the same set of people that brought you CM are now working hard to get you Lineage.
“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.”
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