Installing Graphene OS on the Pixel 6 Pro

· 713 words · 4 minutes

Introduction

After using iOS for a couple years, I finally took the plunge and purchased a Pixel 6 Pro in order to test and use GrapheneOS.

The installation process was rather quick once you have the tools and files you need. Overall, it can be done in just a few minutes.

Gathering Tools & Files

Android Tools

First, in order to interact with the device, we will need the Android platform tools. Find the Linux download and save the ZIP folder to your preferred location.

Once we've downloaded the the files, we will need to unzip them, enter the directory, and move the necessary executables to a central location, such as /usr/bin/. For this installation, we only need the fastboot and adb executables.

cd ~/Downloads
unzip platform-tools_r33.0.3-linux.zip
cd platform-tools
sudo mv fastboot /usr/bin/
sudo mv adb /usr/bin

GrapheneOS Files

Next, we need the GrapheneOS files for our device and model. For example, the Pixel 6 Pro is codenamed raven on the releases page.

Once we have the links, let's download them to our working directory:

curl -O https://releases.grapheneos.org/factory.pub
curl -0 https://releases.grapheneos.org/raven-factory-2022091400.zip
curl -0 https://releases.grapheneos.org/raven-factory-2022091400.zip.sig

Validate Integrity

In order to validate the integrity of the downloaded files, we will need the signify package and Graphene's factory.pub file.

sudo dnf install signify
curl -O https://releases.grapheneos.org/factory.pub

Then we can validate the files and ensure that no data was corrupted or modified before it was saved to our device.

signify -Cqp factory.pub -x raven-factory-2022091400.zip.sig && echo verified

Unzip Files

Once the files are verified, we can unzip the Graphene image and enter the directory:

unzip raven-factory-2022091400.zip && cd raven-factory-2022091400

Installation Process

Enable Developer Debugging & OEM Unlock

Before we can actually flash anything to the phone, we will need to enable OEM Unlocking, as well as either USB Debugging or Wireless Debugging, depending on which method we will be using.

To start, enable developer mode by going to Settings > About and tapping Build Number seven (7) times. You may need to enter your PIN to enable this mode.

Once developer mode is enabled, go to Settings > System > Devloper Options and enable OEM Unlocking, as well as USB or Wireless Debugging. In my case, I chose USB Debugging and performed all actions via USB cable.

Once these options are enabled, plug the phone into the computer and execute the following command:

adb devices

If an unauthorized error occurs, make sure the USB mode on the phone is changedfrom charging to something like "File Transfer" or "PTP". You can find the USB mode in the notification tray.

Reboot Device

Once we have found the device via adb, we can either boot into the bootloader interface by holding the volume down button while the phone reboots or by executing the following command:

adb reboot bootloader

Unlock the Bootloader

The phone will reboot and load the bootloader screen upon startup. At this point, we are ready to start the actual flashing of GrapheneOS onto the device.

NOTE: In my situation, I needed to use sudo with every fastboot command, but not with adb commands. I am not sure if this is standard or a Fedora quirk, but I'm documenting my commands verbatim in this post.

First, we start by unlocking the bootloader so that we can load other ROMs:

sudo fastboot flashing unlock

Flashing Factory Images

Once the phone is unlocked, we can flash it with the flash-all.sh script found inside the raven-factory-2022091400 folder we entered earlier:

sudo ./flash-all.sh

This process should take a few minutes and will print informational messages as things progress. Avoid doing anything on the phone while this process is operating.

Lock the Bootloader

If everything was successful, the phone should reboot a few times and finally land back on the bootloader screen. At this point, we can re-lock the bootloader to enable full verified boot and protect the device from unwanted flashing or erasure of data.

sudo fastboot flashing lock

Once done, the device will be wiped and ready for a fresh set-up!