LineageOS is the natural heir of the mythical CyanogenMod, and one of the best custom ROM for Android of today. That being the case, you may want to try it on your mobile. It has some exciting features -especially if your smartphone is not too powerful. The truth is that it is all a candy for fans of customization and Android in general, no doubt.
How to install LineageOS
We will go more in detail. Here, we explain the process of installing LineageOS on Android. Let’s go there!
1. Check that your phone is compatible with LineageOS
Before starting, the first step will be to make sure that our smartphone is compatible with LineageOS. For this, we must enter the download section of LineageOS and see if they have a specific ROM for our brand and phone model.
Part of the installation will be done from a PC, so it is also important that we make sure that we have everything on the computer. That is, we have the ADB and Fastboot packages correctly installed. For this, we can take a look at the following tutorial of download and installation of ADB and Fastboot.
Another indispensable requirement to install LineageOS is that our phone allows unlocking the bootloader. If this is not the case (as is the case with many Samsung phones), then we will have to do a specific Google search to inform us about how to unblock the bootloader in our exact terminal model.
2. Download all the necessary tools and components
To carry out the installation of the LineageOS custom ROM on our Android device, we will need the following tools.
- A custom recovery: We can use TWRP or any other compatible with our phone.
- LineageOS: The operating system as such.
- GApps: The package with all Google applications (Google Apps).
- SU file: Required if we want to have root permissions once we have installed the operating system.
Both the Google Apps installation and the root permissions are completely optional, and are not mandatory to carry out the installation of LineageOS.
Both ClockWorkMod Recovery and TWRP are compatible with a large number of Android phones. To find out if your terminal is compatible with TWRP you can have a look at its compatible phone list HERE.
Note: It is important to make sure that the exact make and model match. If so, download the corresponding.IMG file and save it in the same folder where you installed ADB on the PC.
Now, download the LineageOS ROM compatible with our phone model. For this we will return to the download section of the Lineage website that we visited a moment ago and download the ZIP file with the most recent ” Build ” . If then we are going to install the GApp it is important that we point somewhere the version of LineageOS that we are downloading. It is a fact that we will need later.
As we said a little above, this is an optional tool. Although essential if we want to access the Play Store, use our Gmail account, Google Photos, Drive and all those things that make Android so useful and practical.
We go to the GApps download page. Here we will have to select the version of LineageOS that we have downloaded, and then choose the correct platform. The platform refers to the type of -ARM, or x86- ARM46 processor having our phone (we can see at the Wiki HERE ). Once the package is downloaded, we will store it in the ADB folder on the PC.
If we want the new custom ROM to have root rights, then we must download the corresponding SU file. It is the link that we have placed a little higher, where we will have to choose the SU that corresponds to us, depending on the type of processor and our version of LineageOS. There are versions available for LineageOS 14.1 and LineageOS 15.1.
Once the file is downloaded in ZIP format, we will save it together with the rest of the files in the ADB folder of our computer.
3. Enable developer mode and enable debugging by USB
Now that we have all files, take to the phone and activate debugging by USB. This option appears in the hidden ” Developer options “menu.
To enable the developer mode we only have to go to ” Settings -> System -> Phone information ” and make repeated presses on the number of the compilation of the phone until we get a message on the screen.
If our phone is quite recent, we will also have to activate the “Unlock OEM” tab. This option is within the ” Developer options ” menu and is what will allow us to unlock the bootloader.
4. Unlock the Bootloader
Having the bootloader unlocked is what will allow us to install the custom recovery (necessary to install the Lineage ROM). It is important, then, that we make a backup of Android, since during the process we will have to format the device.
To unlock the bootloader, we connect the mobile to the PC via USB. We open the folder where we have all the ADB files and the files that we just downloaded. After that open a command window in that path.
The quickest way to do this is by pressing the Shift key, right-clicking with the mouse and selecting “Open Powershell window here”.
The first command that we will introduce will be “adb devices”, with which we will check if the PC has detected our Android device. If it detects it, it will show the message “devices” and the device number.
If this is the first time you use ADB commands on your mobile, you will see a message appear on your phone’s screen. Make sure you give the requested permission (otherwise the commands will not have any effect).
Now we will launch the command “adb reboot bootloader,” which will restart the phone and load in “bootloader” mode.
Restart ANdroid in bootloader mode
From here we can launch the Fastboot command that unlocks the bootloader, ” fastboot OEM unlock.” Attentive! When this command is issued, a factory reset will be performed. Make sure you have saved a copy of everything important. To complete the unlock and the factory deletion we will have to accept a confirmation message from the phone. Once this is done, install custom recovery.
5. Install a custom recovery
With the bootloader unlocked we can proceed to install or flash the custom recovery. To do this we open the command window again and execute the following command:
fastboot flash recovery <nameofrecovery.img>
Note: “nombredelrecovery.img” corresponds to the TWRP installation package or whatever recovery we are going to install. That is the name of the file in question.
6. Wipe cache partition android
Once we have the recovery installed, we can access it using the command ” adb reboot-recovery ” or, with the mobile off and pressing the power buttons + volume up or down.
Now what we are going to do is an erasure of the system partitions, data, and cache. If we are working with TWRP, this can be done from ” Wipe -> Advanced Wipe ” and ticking the boxes “System,” “Data” and “Cache.” This process may take a while. Once finished, reboot the device and enter the recovery again.
7. Flash LineageOS, Google Apps and root permissions
Reopen a Power Shell window as on previous occasions and launch the following command.
adb push <fileinstallationLineage.zip> / sdcard
Note: <file installationLineage.zip> corresponds to the compressed installation file of LineageOS that we have previously downloaded.
With this command, we will be copying the installation file of LineageOS into the internal memory of the phone (it is not necessary to have an SD card).
If we are also going to install Google Apps and root permissions, we will repeat this same process with these 2 additional installation packages.
adb push <googleapps.zip> / sdcard
adb push <su.zip> / sdcard
Next, we will proceed to install the copied packages in the phone’s memory. From TWRP, click on “Install” and select the LineageOS installation file that we just copied.
After this, we will click on “Add more Zips” and select the Google Apps installation files and the SU file.
It is important that we make sure that we have selected the 3 installation zips and that the first one on the list is the LineageOS package.
Once we have everything in order and ready to be flashed, we will move the ” Swipe to Confirm Flash ” bar to start the installation.
This is a process that can last several minutes. If everything went well, we would have our Android with the perfectly functional LineageOS ROM. The Google applications installed, and all with superuser root rights, ready for our enjoyment.