One of the best things about Android is that it is open to all, allowing developers to make a new version by adding their own layers of enhancements to the source code of Android Open Source Project. The revamped versions can work even on smartphones with older hardware and that too for free. One such forked version of Android is LineageOS, a close to stock version. But its features are not easily available on Google’s operating system. You can install LineageOS on devices that not received any software update from the mobile manufacturers for a long time. But installing LineageOS is not that easy. Also, the success rate of the installation process is not guaranteed.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can install Lineage OS on your smartphone.
Before starting the installation process, you need to have: a compatible Android smartphone or tablet; USB cable to connect that device; laptop or desktop running Windows, MacOS or Linux; internet connection. And lastly, a lot of time!
Install Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your PC or laptop running Windows. This software is maintained and developed by Google. You can download the ADB from Android Developers page. After installation, you can access ADB via command prompt.
First, check whether your device is compatible with the ROM by heading to LineageOS wiki. You can start downloading the LineageOS software package with the most recent upload date after finding your device in LineageOS wiki. After downloading the software package on your computer, download custom recovery package (e.g TeamWin Recovery Project) as well as the Google apps package.
Now move all files in the same location as the ADB files.
Before installing LineageOS, it is recommended to create a backup for your files.
Enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking on your device. You can find these hidden within the ‘Developer Options’ section in the settings panel. Developer Options can be enabled by tapping seven times on the build number, which is usually available from system options. After enabling the developer options, toggle on USB debugging and OEM unlock. If the OEM unlock option is not available then enable USB debugging on your smartphone. After this, connect your smartphone to a computer using the cable supplied with the device, and exit the settings menu. This would automatically start the installation of all necessary drivers required to connect the smartphone with the PC.
The steps for unlocking the bootloader can vary from device to device. So check online forums that detail the process and whether there are any issues with your device. Go to the installation guide for your device after becoming sure that the bootloader of your device can be unlocked. Connecting the device to the computer with a USB cable and running a few ADB commands should unlock the smartphone.
After unlocking the bootloader, flash a custom recovery onto your device. This needs to be done with caution.
Ensure that you have right custom recovery from the TWRP website and then fire up ADB via command prompt by running following commands:
adb devices // Ensure your device is properly connected
adb reboot bootloader // The command will get you into fastboot mode
fastboot devices // This step performs one final check before flashing the device
fastboot flash recovery TWRP.img // Initialization of flash process
After flashing ADB and fastboot, reboot the device into recovery mode. This can be usually triggered by pressing power off button and holding volume down key while powering one. This step would boot the smartphone into TWRP after you press right set ot keys defined for your model. On the scree, tap on “Swipe to Allow Modifications” button to ensure you can change the software configuration.
Aftet the device is booted into TWRP, it gets ready for flashing LineageOS. transfer file from computer to the device using ADB commands. In the main menu of TWRP, tape Wipe followed by Format Data. Accept the warning, then hit the back button until you reach the Wipe page. Tap on Advanced Wipe and you will see a series of check boxes. Select first three folders -Dalvik/ART Cache, System, and Cache – and then swipe from left using ‘Swipe to Right’ to start the wipe process.
While the device remains in TWRP mode, connect the phone to computer with the USB cable. Start the command prompt or terminal window in the ADB folder, perform a device check and then push command ((adb push LINEAGE.zip /sdcard/). This will move the lineageOS files onto the internal storage of the device. After typing the command, press enter to let the ADB push LineageOS file to the device. This may take some time. After this, go to main menu of TWRP on the device and tap install, this will show you a list of available files. Tap LineageOS filename and confirm so that the TTWRP can start flashing LineageOS on your smartphone. And, wait till it is successful.
Install apps like Google Play Store, Google Play Services, Gmail and Google Maps by flashing Google apps package downloaded in step 2.
Now you can reboot and personalise. If booting doesn’t start, once again try Step 7 and start again. On successful booting, enjoy LineageOS.