Running Android Lollipop 5.0 on Galaxy Nexus i9250

Everybody kind of forgot about the best Android phone ever to be produced, the Galaxy Nexus, after Google abandoned it with Android 4.4 OTA update. There will not be another update from Google for Galaxy Nexus in the future due to some driver portability issues for its TI OMAP core. But recently someone from the community managed to build AOSP Android 5.0 for Galaxy Nexus bringing it back from the grave. I was kind of happy to see this as I’m still a proud owner of one of them, and didn’t have a budget to spend on new gadgets every other week. So, I decided to flash my Nexus with Lollipop and this is just a brief post about it. The following steps just worked for me pretty well.

Please note that the entire process was not 100% successful. So, if you are planning to do this on your primary phone, rather look out for something else like Cyanogenmod 11. And please note that, this ROM works only for Galaxy Nexus GSM International with baseband version I9250XXLJ1.

Step 1 : Installing Android Debug Bridge (ADB) and Fastboot

Both adb and fastboot are small and quite useful tools which comes bundled with the Android SDK. If you are an Android developer or something you will already have this on your machine. If not, goto SDK Download Website and download the appropriate version for your PC. On some operating systems, you will also need a USB driver to enable debugging on your device to be able to use with ADB. Once adb is setup correctly, enable USB debugging on your device. You can find more details about adb and enabled debugging on your device here. Both adb and fastboot comes in the same package. You can verify adb and fastboot are correctly setup by trying out the following commands.

$adb version
$fastboot

Step 2 : Flashing a custom recovery software

You cannot flash anything other than the stock android ROMs on your phones with the stock recovery software. You need to first flash a custom recovery software on your phone to do this. There are two major recovery tools available publicly. One is ClockWorkMod and the other is TWRP. Even though ClockWorkMod is quite popular, I would suggest you to use TWRP. It has a better interface and it is less buggy as I learned from XDA. Download the recovery software image from the TWRP website for Galaxy Nexus i9250. Now reboot into bootloader mode and execute the following commands to flash the TWRP recovery image.

$adb reboot bootloader # This will reboot your device into bootloader
$fastboot flash recovery <path_to_recovery.img>

Now press the volume up & down keys to navigate to Recovery and then press the power button to enter the recovery mode, which is now the TWRP. If TWRP is not correctly installed, you will enter into the stock recovery or may be have soft bricked the device. Soft bricking unlike hardware bricking, is not something to be panicked about. Try flashing the TWRP recovery again.

Step 3 : Wiping the device clean using TWRP

You can navigate using the touch screen with TWRP. Thats a nice touch anyway. Navigate to Wipe > Advance Wipe and then select every folder except System and Data. I have tried to wipe these two, and eventually run into problems soft bricking the device again. You might not be able to flash this particular ROM if you wipe these two folders. Once you have wiped the device properly proceed to the next step.

Step 4 : Download and flash the FML AOSP 5.0 ROM for Nexus

You can download the ROM image from here. Its about 162MBs. Now move the ROM image to the device’s SD card root folder. Use the following command. {% highlight sh %} $adb push <path_to_rom_file.zip> /sdcard/ {% endhighlight %} It takes a moment or so. After successfully moving the image file, press the home button on the device running TWRP. Click Install and then select the zip file from the sdcard folder. Confirm flash, and wait for about 5 minutes while the flash is in progress. If you are planning to install Google apps, proceed to step 5 or otherwise just reboot your device into Android 5.0.

Step 5 : (Optional) Installing Google Apps

Download the Google Apps bundle from here. Push the zip file using add into /sdcard/ just like we did in Step 4. Again, click Install and select the Google apps zip file from the /sdcard folder. Once completed, simply reboot the device from TWRP.

Results & Notes

Thanks for reading the post. Hope you would find it useful if you own a Nexus too. Good luck in not bricking your phone. Happy hacking.