Nexus5 Stock Lollipop Root How-To

Danny Wahl's picture Danny Wahl  •   •  Android

I just got my new Nexus 5, upgrading from my now almost 3 year old Galaxy Nexus. I got a good deal on the Galaxy Nexus because I bought it well after the Nexus 4 was released and the price had dropped significantly. Unfortunately because of Google’s marketing strategy with the Nexus 6 that didn’t happen this time; the prices for the Nexus 5 have remained pretty steady. But I needed (wanted) a new phone, so I bought it.

Unfortunately the Nexus 5 I received shipped with Android 4.4.x and I knew that 5.0 was available. I didn’t really want to do an upgrade immediately after setting up the phone, so I decided it would be best to flash the factory image since I have no data to lose. When I went to the Nexus 5 section of XDA-Developers I was a little disappointed. I just wanted a rooted, stock Lollipop ROM, but didn’t find one. In addition a lot of the toolkits etc… seemed a little dated. The last thing I wanted to do was download toolkits and then be manually updating components (roms, recoveries, root, etc…) so I decided to just do it myself. It was all pretty easy, so here’s the process I used, getting all the files directly from the sources, you can copy and paste these commands into your terminal and have your phone up and running pretty quickly- depending on your internet connection speed.

brew install wget
brew install android-platform-tools
cd ~/Desktop
mkdir nexus5
cd nexus5
wget -O
wget -O recovery.img
wget -O lollipop.tgz 
tar zxvf lollipop.tgz
cd hammerhead-lrx21o
adb reboot-bootloader
fastboot oem unlock
# if it reboots, go back to bootloader #
adb reboot-bootloader
cd ..
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot reboot
adb push /sdcard/0/
adb reboot-bootloader
# now boot recovery and install superSU zip, done!

The process is pretty simple: download root, TWRP, and the stock lollipop ROM. Flash the ROM, flash recovery, reboot the device, push the root zip, and reboot to fastboot. You’ll still need to manually flash SuperSU zip in TWRP, but that’s it. No messing with broken rapidshare links, no messing with outdated toolkits, just a nice rooted ROM.

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