Sunday, August 02, 2020

Essential Lineage

Previously I shared that Essential had shut down effective February 2020. And that I was using an iPhone X. I don't give up that easily.

Finally, Lineage has published an Android 10 release of their ROM for the Essential PH-1. They are dropping nightlies that are stable enough for a daily driver.

I followed the Lineage instructions for Essential (mata) here. The phone I was using already had an unlocked bootloader and an old system image, i.e. before February 2020.

The whole process went well but there are a couple of tips I want to share.

While the instructions are accurate, there are subtleties here and there that even a non-noobie like me needs help on.

For example, there are a couple of times where the instructions say to hold down a specific key combination. Then the next step is "Once the device is in..."

Uh, when do I release the keys and in what sequence? How do I know that the device is in the desired mode?

Here's the detail for Fastboot from Essential Support:
  1. Press and hold the Power and Volume-Down buttons.
  2. When you see the Essential logo on the screen, or you feel the phone vibrate, release the Power button (but keep holding the Volume-Down button).
  3. Release the Volume-Down button when Fastboot Mode appears.
Another place is "Once the device is in fastboot mode, verify your PC finds it by typing: fastboot devices".

And THEN what should I see?

Well, I didn't get ANY response from adb which I figured wasn't good.

It turns out that I had to update the Essential device drivers AGAIN while the phone was in Fastboot mode. The instructions are here.
  • Open device manager
  • Find Unknown "Android" device (likely listed under Other devices with an exclamation mark)
  • Update driver
  • Browse my computer for driver software
  • Let me pick from a list of devices, select List All Devices
  • Under "Android device" or "Google Inc", you will find "Android Bootloader Interface"
  • Choose "Android Bootloader Interface"
  • Click "yes" when it says that driver might not be compatible
After flashing the Lineage ROM, I flashed Open GApps micro for ARM64. As it was flashing I got messages on the phone about "zip signature verification failed".

What did that mean? Was it bad?

The answer to that is here.

TWRP (LOS recovery in my case) would need to incorporate a copy of LineageOS's public keys in order for its signature verification feature to work properly.

So, not to worry.

Whew! I'm glad I had done this before so when I stumbled I at least knew to go looking for answers.

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