Previously, I made a custom ROM list. It worked kinda fine, until A10 dropped & devs started cooking up A10 builds. That, in turn, also rendered my previous list useless as it caters only to Pie users. That, in turn, gave me reason to remake the list. For those who'd like to see the mess, here's that link.
Yes, it's still nutshelled, and still invalid for those who build / compile their own ROMs.
This list is meant to document the ROMs that I've used. It's never meant to tell anyone which ROM is best, let alone to disrespect the developers & maintainers of custom ROMs.
ROMs with Vanilla-only releases (no GApps / microG whatsoever).
LineageOS with ad-blocking hosts, AVB support for some supported devices, & different prebuilt apps (Simple Gallery (F-Droid build), Vanilla Music, & GrapheneOS Camera replacing Gallery2, Eleven, & Snap; F-Droid & eSpeak is added in)
An AOSP ROM focused on security.
The spiritual successor of CyanogenMod, without all of the business cruft that brought Cyanogen down; and the most well-known custom ROM. Decent for starting out and/or not using any form of GApps.
Availability: Pie, A10 (discontinued); A11[18.1], A12.1[19.1] (Weekly, but tagged as Nightly)
Formerly named MalluOS, this started out as a Lineage fork, then took a terrible turn by making all A11 releases GApps-only. In A12.1, the project has shifted to a Vanilla-only release. A good move, even if it means SpiceOS is now on my watchlist (12/10/2022 update [regarding A13] : Miatoll seems sus for now, mojito switched to Vanilla-only from GApps-only in 21/9/2022.).
Basically it's GrapheneOS with some LineageOS UI tweaks (and other welcome changes). VoltageOS claims to offer "a simplistic, no frills pure AOSP experience that will not let you down in getting through every day uninterrupted by inconveniences, with just the right dab of customizations" (taken straight from its own summary).
Availability: A12L (discontinued)
ROMs that release both Vanilla & GApps builds, yet are consistent enough on doing so that it avoids the Limbo category.
AOSP/CAF-based ROM with tidied-up settings & enforced Vanilla/GApps distribution, aiming to keep things simple, clean, & neat.
Personal remarks : A11 is ArrowOS' golden era, with only a troublesome site holding it back. However, with A12L, ArrowOS has pretty much destroyed all the tolerance I'm willing to offer, by not re-adding essential features (or any worthwhile alternatives) & keeping the troublesome soyte.
Availability: Pie, A10, A11, A12 (discontinued); A12L, A13
A featurefest with a bit too much features, including those with clashing functionalities (one good example is support for both microG & GmsCompat, while also having a dedicated GApps build).
Availability: A11, A12 (discontinued); A12L (Spark 12.1 & further)
An AOSP fork with a nice motto - "sic parvis magna"; which is Latin for something along the lines of "great endings from small beginnings" (taken from a game called Uncharted).
Availability: A11, A12 (discontinued); A12L
ROMs with inbuilt microG by default, with no Vanilla builds whatsoever.
LineageOS with inbuilt microG & F-Droid.
Availability: Pie(discontinued & removed); A10(discontinued) ; A11, A12L (Inconsistent, monthly)
ROMs that release both Vanilla & microG builds.
A ROM focused on privacy from the big corpos, with a bit of added security from adding AVB support. Calyx OS is considered Vanilla/microG as users could set this ROM to run as either Vanilla / microG through its setup wizard.
Availability: A11, A12 (discontinued); A12.1
Limbo ROMs are ROMs with conflicting release policies. These ROMs release GApps-only for some device while leaving some others with either GApps / Vanilla or Vanilla only. Sometimes, they could release Vanilla/GApps or Vanilla-only builds, only to provide GApps-only releases on the next update. And, for clarifications, ROMs that release Vanilla-only while leaving others with Vanilla/Goolag does not count here.
My stance on these ROMs : If you really want to use this, I always recommend flashing the Vanilla variant. If there's no Vanilla build for your device, don't flash it, unless you could remove the prebuilt GApps without having issues.
Awaken OS is one of those new ROMs that debuted with A11, aiming for a good user experience. Unfortunately for them, their lack of Vanilla/GApps enforcement has destroyed that claim.
Vanilla/GApps offending list :
Simply said, a LineageOS-based Pixel ROM that masquerades as a Limbo, starting with A10. Initial A10 build for 6z did not include GApps, but included it since 12.4 & made it the default option.
Vanilla/GApps offending list (for late 2021 / A11):
A featurefest ROM based off the well-known Dirty Unicorns.
18/1/2021 update : Corvus is similar to Cygnus, but at least it could go from Vanilla > Goolag > Vanilla/Goolag. Currently, I see no reason to think Corvus as a recommendable Limbo ROM, considering their past transgressions.
Vanilla/Gapps offending list :
LineageOS-based custom ROM designed to increase performance and reliability over stock Android for your device while also attempting to bring many of the best features existing today, according to their intro & how I think its grammar should be.
Personal remarks: A very good heavyweight ROM (and the best & least worst Limbo ROM at the moment), burdened with a soydev website (at least there's no BlockAdBlock unlike Arrow) & lack of Vanilla/GApps enforcement in a way similar to Bootleggers - no Vanilla/GApps branding.
Availability: Pie, A10, A11, A12(discontinued); A12L
A Dirty Unicorn-based ROM built by Indonesians proud of their Indonesian background. This is the 1st Limbo ROM to ever provide microG / Vanilla / Goolag builds. This sounds great on paper, but keep in mind that since it isn't enforced, this puts them in the Limbo category.
List proving the lack of enforcement (for the (likely to be) constant ones that is - the rest are either abandoned, not noticed, or otherwise chaotically switching between Vanilla, GApps, or Vanilla/GApps) :
A Limbo ROM sharing the same concept as Dot & Awaken in which it takes AOSP & modifies its UI. Once had compelely stopped development in late 2021, returned to life on July 2022 after a series of teasing on Telegram.
A custom ROM that "feels like spring". More like "feels like spring deep inside a burning forest", since it shares plenty of similarities with a certain Pixel ROM masquerading as a Limbo.
Example of offending devices (since I don't want to investigate this one any more than absolutely necessary) :
A not-so-promising CAF ROM, its biggest (depending on your opinion of custom kernels) redeeming factor is that it's made by Yuki Kernel's developer, which may guarantee a good performance out of your device at the cost of severe feature losses (mostly atributed to the ROM tho). However, just because the ROM is made by a person recognized for per's work on per's kernel doesn't make it any better if perse were completely random on making Vanilla/GApps builds.
Vanilla/GApps offending list example :
ROMs with inbuilt GApps by default, without any Vanilla builds (which otherwise makes them a Limbo). Avoid them like the plague, unless you're too dependent on Goolag, in which case you should just stay on stock & also be spied by Facebook & a myriad of other corpos as well. There will be no testing for these ROMs, as I refuse to recommend them.
A straight-up no-frills Pixel ROM that could fool any normies (particularly anyone who got a Pixel from their parents) into thinking it's the "stock Android" found on a Pixel. It's also available in a "plus" variant for more features.
Pixel Experience Plus with even more features.... is what I'd want to call it. However, it is a pickfest with issues. Those issues can be seen on the thread links below.
Personal remarks: Let's be honest here - this ROM is a cancer anyone shouldn't use - even their worst enemies. Pixel ROM (auto not recommend) with stuff kanged from others, random dev kicking for reasons, a lead dev randomly quitting to gather attention, & a project manager that could impress & disgust people at the same time.
Basically Pixel Experience for Nexus & Pixel devices, which is redundant.
One of the OG custom ROMs, using CAF as their base. Starting with A10, they decided to flood all of their official builds with GApps.
A Pixel ROM with pro-grade UI changes on top of Android. So, conceptually kinda like OxygenOS, but not a port from other cellphones. Also known for soliciting donations for better downloads & attacking anyone mirroring official builds (archive.org); and including an useless scamdemic tracker.
The first A12 ROM I've officially used (and documented), it does not give off a good impression, because A12 (and A12.1 by extension) sucks (and Elixir's implementation weren't any better) & Project Elixir doesn't have any Vanilla releases (who knows if it'll change in the future?).
These are the ROMs I haven't tested, but heard about. I might try them out if (and ONLY IF) I get a supported device. Below is a list of such ROMs.
These are the ROMs I once tested, but will need to re-test as I cannot test their current versions.
A custom ROM with "just a bit of everything", according to their site. Currently still serving up A10/A11, with no sight of A12 (and/or any official builds for my devices).
A former featurefest ROM in the Pie era & the first microG-compatible ROM I've ever used. Current A12L releases are GApps only, with plans on returning on Vanilla/GApps. Retest required for A12L builds when they come.
Disclaimer : havoc-os.com is cuckflared.
LineageOS microG, but with /e/ ecosystem integration. No A12 builds available yet.
Yet another "ye olde custom ROM" since the days of CyanogenMod, created in reaction to its commercialisation. When I last encountered it in 2020, it lacked features I've grown used to, such as per-app data restriction, applock, & navbar button customizations.
The "sauciest & tastiest" fork of AOSP, whatever that means. Sank to Limbo with GApps-only releases with plans for Vanilla/GApps (I haven't fully checked them out yet, but so far GApps-only), now into retest for not having any official A12L build I can test.
Another AOSP ROM with "minimal" features to fulfill user demands.
Yet another AOSP/CAF ROM made to enhance the stock Android experience.
Similar to the untested ROMs above (if not tested), but ones that you should never use under any circumstances due to various issues (troubled maintainership & user-hostile footguns are some of the good examples here). If you're planning to use this, please seek saner ROMs above (preferably ones that aren't a Limbo).
A customization-oriented ROM hailing back from 2012 with inbuilt footguns (SELinux switcher, adblock toggle) for root users.
AOSP-based custom ROM claiming to be "made by a user, for a user", just like Razer's "For Gamers. By Gamers" motto. However, their permissive update policy (if there's any - for example, a maintainer could release a build on April & not update it all the way to July (if at all)), combined with the end-user-hostile experience (SELinux switcher & self-enabling USB debugging in Poco F1, for example) destroys this claim, just as much as Razer Phone's lack of a headphone jack (unless the easily lost dongle counts) ruins Razer's motto (compare Razer Phone 2 with the X3P, for example.).
GZOSP / AICP - based ROM with an added focus on power saving. Held back by the fact that it kept AICP's footguns.
A security-focused ROM. Paid & source-available (not open source).
A ROM built by 'the biggest non-profit Android Open Source development team' in China, with members from "all parts of the world". Getting the official ROM requires enabling Go-ogle ads, which unfortunately denies some users (particularly the privacy-aware users) from using this ROM.
A non-descript AOSP ROM (GApps-only A12/A12.1 for the X3N, from what I heard) with questionable issues (self-enabling USB debugging on boot for the X3N, Permissive SELinux on literally every A11 build I had tested).
A ROM that claims to be a "butter smooth Android firmware". However, since most ROMs nowadays tend to be smooth enough IMO (except for some cases that I unfortunately forgot), I don't really care about this claim - especially if you need to enable Google scripts on the official site just to get the ROM.
Stock ROM that gets ported like OxygenOS & MIUI - for example, MIUI.eu, EliteROM. I don't know why anyone would ever bother using them, since they're infested with Go-ogle spyware (and other forms of spyware present in stock ROMs). Not only they may require a custom vendor firmware, they could also not work with custom kernels by design (most custom kernels are meant to run on AOSP ROMs).
For disclosure, I am never a fan of stock ROMs, unless it's /e/, Lineage, Divest, or Calyx.
Custom ROMs that has either stopped all developments and/or haven't released any new builds. Either way, these ROMs can be considered dead & shouldn't be used for any other purposes save for a custom ROM base (if necessary).
Another featurefest build based off LineageOS. Development seemingly stopped at November 2020.
Yet another featurefest trying to feature an unique user interface, with anime-loaded versions that are limited to GApps-only builds.
AOSP-based custom ROM with the most badass boot-animation (on Pie & A10). On Pie, there's a fatal lack of font engine to improve the badassery, but it got fixed on A10. Development seems winded down on A11 leading me to ignore it (among other things such as the more generic boot-animation), and currently AOSiP can be considered dead as there is no updates at the moment.
A Limbo GZOSP-based ROM, with so much features to make the user feel at home (the word home gets translated to Chinese / Japanese). Development seems stopped & there are no official A11 builds, so it's probably dead (even if there's any git commits).
Basically AOSPExtended, but using CAF as the base (instead of AOSP). First impressions are terrible - with lack of certain essentials (navbar layout customization & per-app data restriction) & the added presence of user-hostile footguns (USB debugging on boot & SELinux switcher). However, in A12, it became a Pixel ROM, but drops the footguns in the process.
Another one of these featurefest ROMs... as if there's not enough of these around. For my rant that once appeared here, it has been moved to its own page. No news regarding development and/or new releases, considered dead.
A CAF-based Limbo ROM, going off the Pixel side, like BlissROM.
AOSiP fork with added features & Pixel GApps. With A11, they cleaned up all traces of them being a Limbo ROM, only to become a Pixel ROM (worse, but at least consistent). It seems to have returned back to life, but I will not be testing any Pixel ROMs, so it could remain here indefinitely.
A well-known ROM back from the early days of Android modding; back from at least the Marshmallow era. However, with their A10 builds (DU 14), this marked their fall to the Pixel category, as they have preloaded GApps without any information whatsoever. Cool themes though; however, said cool themes can also be obtained in many other ROMs, such as AOSiP. They have shut themselves down in 15/3/2021.
Dot OS, or short for Droid On Time, is yet another custom ROM focused on performance & stability (and also looking & feeling great without compromising the previous points). Once died in the Pie era, they have returned in A11 (with an interface reminiscent of A12), with a bad start that improves itself over time. However, as there is no official A12 releases, Dot OS is considered dead.
LineageOS with various additional security patches & signature spoofing to top them all off. No longer maintained, as developer doubles down on being a GrapheneOS contributor.
A custom ROM originally meant to be an alternative ROM base to LineageOS, it has died off as its main developer martinusbe died.
Basically CorvusOS (which is based off Dirty Unicorns), but closer to its Android Open Kang Project roots by literally naming it "Kang OS".
A Limbo ROM (formerly Pixel ROM) with a goal to provide the best experience in using a "low" Android with basic customizations. I don't understand what "low" Android means here, so I'll just assume "low on features". Usability wise, it feels mostly like LineageOS, but with AOSP's crap-ass gesture/button nav (the 2-button ones) enabled by default & Trust not working.
LineageOS with signature spoofing & customized icons, I guess?
A pseudo-Lineage based ROM. Meaning; it lacks some Lineage-exclusive parts such as the Setup Wizard & Trust; despite claiming to be Lineage-based.
A cheapo ROM reborn out of PearlOS, complete with a default flashing guide that matches its toylike feel.
The HavocOS equivalent for GZOSP ROMs, with a slogan claiming "Custom ROM Redefined". So far, the only thing it actually did was make it a slog to set up the ROM to my preferences. Also, starting with A11, some maintainers began releasing Goolag-only builds & aren't forced to also release the Vanilla variant, dragging it to Limbo & signaling the start of its downfall. And, with the 6.0 release, all hopes for Project Xtended are crushed as the devs included a SELinux switcher. Development is stopped in 14/4/2022 (archive).
Previously known as ReloadedCAF. As of A11 beta, it has switched to AOSP. However, it's fine to assume Reloaded is dead as there are no further up-to-date official and/or stable builds.
A former CAF ROM focused on minimalism. On Pie, it's basically a Pixel-based CAF ROM. However, they have removed the Goolag infestation on A10, allowing them to enter the CAF section. With A11, they have rebased to AOSP, & made a "new" UI for the OS called RevengeUI, which isn't that far off the common AOSP looks at all. In 12/11/2021, the project was shut down.
Back in the Pie era, it is LineageOS with added features (except signature spoofing). In the A10 era, they brought in signature spoofing support, perhaps in addition of making a non-enforced Vanilla/GApps distribution. However, as there are no further news about its development (it's stuck at A10), it can be considered dead.
A custom ROM with OxygenOS-inspired UI, claiming to add user experience improving features instead of bloating it with unwanted cruft that could cause stability issues. Initially, they made Goolag-only releases (with a special Setup Wizard that demands internet access), which explains why WaveOS was in the GApps-only category. However, starting with August 2021 releases, the devs (at least the one who remained after a long hiatus before August) released Vanilla/GApps builds (but the Setup Wizard issue remains), granting them a very cautious entry to the AOSP category. Development seems dead, so dropping them here.
GZOSP with clown theme (A10 only AFAIK) & added features, maintained by the GZOSP team. Last spark of development seen in 23/8/2020, as it dies off with the main developer.
A featurefest ROM built out of Havoc, made in response of the developer getting kicked out of Havoc's development team. Considered dead due to lack of new builds (as far as I can see in SF).
Flashable system images that supposedly runs on any devices with Treble support. I haven't tried them out and probably won't bother, at least for now (as dedicated ROM zips are still abundant & available for my devices).Back to top