Cyanogen Inc., the company built around the CyanogenMod open source Android OS ROM project, declined a acquisition offer by Google two years ago as it sought a $1 billion valuation. Now, the company has shut down its namesake open source development project and all its related services. Defiant CyanogenMod developers have now seized the project and relaunched it under the name LineageOS.
On December 23, a Cyanogen Inc. spokesperson posted a notice on the company’s blog:
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.
The move came just a week after the CyanogenMod development community released the final versions of CyanogenMod 13.0 and on the heels of the departure of Cyanogen Inc. co-founder and the founder of the development project itself, Steve “cyanogen” Kondik. The shutdown is essentially a death sentence for the CyanogenMod project, since the project’s infrastructure was supported by the services being shut down.
But CyanogenMod isn’t going to just vanish. On December 24, a group of CyanogenMod contributors announced in a joint post on the CyanogenMod blog that they would be “forking” the OS and continuing its development. Shortly after the post was published, Cyanogen Inc.’s management had the DNS for cyanogenmod.org shut down, but the contributors’ blog post (for now) remains in Google’s cache:
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.
The LineageOS project has been set up on GitHub, and members of the team have created a placeholder project website at lineageos.org. As soon as it was clear that the fork had been launched, Cyanogen Inc. shut down all of CyanogenMod’s infrastructure.