CalyxOS

Install on Pixel 6a

From a Windows computer

Install / Pixel 6a / Windows

IMPORTANT

Warning The Android 13 update for Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the Pixel 6a contains a bootloader update that increments the anti-roll back version. After flashing an Android 13 build on these devices you will not be able to install CalyxOS until our Android 13 update is released.

Please keep this in mind if you have a Pixel 6, 6 Pro or 6a. If you update to 13 at all, either on the stock OS or a custom ROM you should stick to it and avoid trying to downgrade. Doing so will brick your device, rendering it non functional.

Terminology

Prepare your Android device

There are a few things you must do to prepare your device to accept a new operating system:

Enable Developer Options

SettingsAbout Phone → tap Build number 7 times

Enable USB debugging

SettingsSystemAdvancedDeveloper OptionsUSB Debugging

Enable OEM Unlocking

SettingsSystemAdvancedDeveloper OptionsOEM unlocking

This step might fail if there is no internet connection. In that case, connect to a WiFi network and remove SIM card, then try again.

Prepare your host computer

Install USB drivers for Windows

Windows requires specific USB drivers in order for device-flasher to work.

Download Google USB Driver

Open that page, click Click here to download Google USB Driver ZIP file, then accept the terms and conditions. Save the ZIP file to your host computer.

  1. Put your Android device in Fastboot mode.
  2. Connect your Android device to your computer’s USB port.
  3. On the Windows computer, extract the downloaded Google USB Driver ZIP file.
  4. Right-click on the Android_winusb.inf file and hit install. Note: Install may show under “Show more options”.

For more information, see Android developer site.

Download device-flasher

Download device-flasher.exe

Save this executable to a new directory, where you will also later save the CalyxOS image.

Verify Digest

This is an optional step, useful for ensuring you have the correct device-flasher executable. Open a terminal on your host computer, change to the directory where you saved device-flasher, and then run:

CertUtil -hashfile device-flasher.exe SHA256

And ensure the result says 87b719cb217b3dba69f061da0c3e5ce6ebabea81e15394ca4c36b584b5b3f19d. This is the unique digest of the device-flasher. If it doesn’t match, then you have a corrupted or incorrect file.

Download factory image

Download CalyxOS Image

Save this image in the same directory as device-flasher. This image will only work for Pixel 6a (bluejay). Any attempt to install this image on a different device model may brick (destroy) the Android device.

Do not extract or rename the zip, simply copy it as-is.

Once downloaded, the next step is to verify the image. This step is optional, but verification helps ensure that you downloaded the image correctly, and that you got the correct image.

Verify Digest

To verify the image, open a terminal window on the host computer where you saved the image and run the command:

CertUtil -hashfile bluejay-factory-22309000.zip SHA256

And ensure the result says 44e87fc927868f9db6126db87a5623d6276a984f4db4ea9c3ba5b19e903825b3. This is the unique digest of the image file. If it doesn’t match, then you have a corrupted or incorrect file.

Verify Signature

For the highest level of confidence, you can optionally download the signature file and then verify image signature.

Install CalyxOS

Run device-flasher

Now you are ready to install. Ensure that both the CalyxOS image and device-flasher are in the same directory.

Step 1. Connect the USB cable between the computer and the Android device.

Step 2. Run device-flasher

Double-click device-flasher to run it.

Your anti-virus may falsely flag device-flasher as infected. This is because the program is written in the Go programming language, see the Go FAQ for more information.

Unlock the bootloader

At some point in the installation process, it will ask you to unlock the bootloader.

NOTE: if the bootloader is already unlocked, you will not see the unlock bootloader menu and installation will proceed automatically without you needing to touch anything.

The bootloader unlock menu looks like this:

Press a volume key to select UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER option. Then press the power key to activate that option.

Success?

Once device-flasher is finished, you should now have a fully functional CalyxOS device. If not, please see our Community page for where you can post your questions.

Troubleshooting

Error running device-flasher

If you get a mysterious error when running device-flasher, or if device-flasher hangs, it may be a USB problem. Try connecting to a different USB port on your computer (yes, not all USB ports are created equal) or a different USB cable.

How do I tell if the bootloader is locked?

In Fastboot “Device State: locked” means the bootloader is locked.

On the initial boot screen, you may also see this if the bootloader is unlocked:

The bootloader is unlocked and software integrity cannot be guaranteed. Any data stored on the device may be available to attackers. Do not store sensitive data on the device.

Back to Stock

If you would like to return to the default operating system, please see Back to Stock Android.

Security Notes

  • Over-the-air Updates: CalyxOS updates are delivered over-the-air (OTA) automatically, without any manual intervention needed. However, if you'd like to manually update your CalyxOS install, see OTA.
  • Security Updates: The Pixels 6 Pro, 6, 5a (5G), 4a (5G), 5, 4a, 4 XL, 4, 3a XL, 3a contain the full security patch, as they are still being updated by Google.
  • End-of-life: The Pixels 3 XL, 3, 2 XL, 2 are no longer being updated by Google, so the CalyxOS releases for these devices only contain the fixes to the open source components, such as the OS code and the Linux kernel. Proprietary components such as the bootloader, modem firmware, and other firmware no longer get updates.
  • End-of-life: The Xiaomi Mi A2 is no longer being updated by Xiaomi, so the CalyxOS releases for it only contain the fixes to the open source components, such as the OS code and the Linux kernel. Proprietary components such as the bootloader, modem firmware, and other firmware no longer get updates. Additionally, due to a Xiaomi bug wherein updating causes the device to get wiped, we have to ship the September 2020 firmware.