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6 min read 23 comments

Lineage OS 15: Get Android Oreo on older smartphones

Update: Unofficial builds have arrived

Lineage OS 15 is the newest version of the popular custom ROM, and it's based on Android 8 Oreo. The community has provided preliminary builds to the public, so you can download and install Oreo on older smartphones which haven't gotten an official Android Oreo update from the manufacturer yet or never will. Find out if it's available for your smartphone.



Lineage OS 15 brings Android Oreo to older smartphones

Want to try Android Oreo on the Samsung Galaxy S6 today? Or are you tired of the OnePlus 2 not receiving any more official updates? Then the members of XDA Developers have the right thing for you:

Lineage OS 15 isn't finished, but it can be downloaded in source form and compiled device-specifically. Eager members of the XDA community have created, tested, improved and made these builds available for for anyone to download at home.

These community builds are neither stable nor do they have 100 percent of the features. If you want to rely on your smartphone in everyday life, you shouldn't install this particular unofficial Oreo update. But, if you just want to experiment with your old backup smartphone, these ports are perfect, especially for app developers since it's a cheap way to test apps outside of the virtual sandbox.

Previous Oreo builds are not suitable for everyday use

Two weeks after the official release of Android Oreo's final AOSP code, you can't expect the ROMs based on it to be stable or mature. You may even have to reset your phone completely before each update. That's another reason to only put official builds on your main driver.

There is no date for the official release of Lineage OS 15 based on Android 8 Oreo yet. In the Reddit discussion, Lineage member Harry Youd has refused to name a deadline.

Lineage OS: what is the current status of the project?

Lineage OS follows in the footsteps of CyanogenMod. The first version was released with the version number Lineage OS 14.1, the term "cm" is found in many places in the source code and former CyanogenMod users will be able to get with the program relatively quickly.

Earlier versions of Android will no longer be supported by Lineage OS, as developers are concentrating on Android Nougat for the new firmware. Some older smartphones and tablets have now reached "the end of the line." For this reason, the Lineage developers have made it possible to use Nougat even on smartphones without Vulkan support.

Lineage OS: these devices are supported already

Since the dust has settled somewhat after the demise of CyanogenMod, the Lineage OS infrastructure is now under construction. In the meantime, the first regular builds of the firmware are available, and around 80 devices are already supported by the project.

AndroidPIT best smartphones 8
Lineage OS already supports more than 80 devices. / © AndroidPIT

This includes several Nexus smartphones and tablets (4, 5, 7 (2013), 6, 5X and 6P), LG's G2, G3 and G4, HTC One M7 and One M8, some Motorola smartphones (including Moto G3, Moto G4, G4 Plus and second generation Moto X) and the OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X.

CyanogenMod experts will find their way around quickly. As usual, there's official support for various smartphones, and firmware is generated for them on a regular basis. Experimental builds are used to enable the transition from CyanogenMod to Lineage OS. A real fresh start can be found with nightly builds, a wipe and Gapps. The download servers are already switched on, and you can download the firmware for your smartphones and tablets at a reasonable speed. Once you have installed Lineage the OTA update function also becomes available.

The statistics page shows that Lineage OS already has more than 200,000 active installations, so it's already making good progress. From all appearances it certainly looks like we're dealing with a worthy successor to CyanogenMod.

Lineage OS: track updates for the project

At present the social web channels are not very active. Whether you look at Twitter, Facebook or Google+, the conversation on the rollout for Lineage OS is not taking place there. All is not lost, as Lineage OS have released an extensive blog article, summarizing all the important details. Among other things of note, there's an indication that the Lineage firmware does not allow root access by default. This must first be enabled with additional flashable data, which can be found on a separate download page.

If you would like to see what the developers are currently up to, the LineageOS Changelog app provides all the details:

LineageOS Changelog Install on Google Play

Lineage OS: no root, but that's a feature

If you can do without a rooted smartphone, you had better not install it as an extra. Google has recently implemented even stricter measures against device tampering and expanded the Android SafetyNet, which performs a comprehensive integrity check. The SafetyNet check was successful with an LG G3 we tested which still had the factory settings. After the extra was installed the SafetyNet authentication failed, even if the root was uninstalled. Only a complete factory reset allowed us to conduct a successful test. It's still unclear whether an OTA update will interfere with the SafetyNet check.

AndroidPIT lineage os safetynet
SafetyNet check without root (left) and with root (right). / © AndroidPIT

Tested with:

SafetyNet Helper Sample Install on Google Play

Overall, the launch of Lineage OS appear to be successful. The development doesn't stand out much from CyanogenMod, but this was to be expected at first. New features will be added over time. Abandoning the root appears to be manageable for most users, especially as the reasons why you actually need it disappear. If you still need rooting, you can easily install it.

In the foreseeable future, Lineage OS will become a good option for those smartphones whose manufacturers have discontinued support for new firmware versions and security patches. Whether this will continue to be the case, only time will tell. However, the foundation has been laid and we strongly hope that we'll have a lot of fun with Lineage OS.

Have you tried Lineage OS? What are your impressions? Let us know in the comments below.



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  • Krijn kok 5 months ago Link to comment

    Got the lineage os on my Samsung s5, great software for replacing stock os. Kernel isnt perfect, but works. I lost "find my device" from google, butt Android vind still does the trick.

  • Basil R. Mar 20, 2017 Link to comment

    Thanks to Lineage OS, I now have Nougat 7.1.1 on my older Note 4 which no longer receives Android updates past Marshmallow 6.0

  • My primary device is a Samsung Galaxy J7-I just recently, (within 72 hrs) outted the 6.0.1 & installed Lineage 14.1 & may I say, "HOLY SH@*!", am I ever impressed even as a Beta build! I was expecting to encounter the posted bugs, but have only seen 1 that was easily fixed by disabling it, then installing a 3rd party app for the accessory (camera), Battery life, speed, ease of access & Holding a WIFI signal are FAR SUPERIOR in my opinion, so far......

  • Hermione Feb 18, 2017 Link to comment

    If you would like to see changelog by web browser, try

  • Greg1100 Feb 15, 2017 Link to comment

    I have Lineage working really well on my old Galaxy S3. Brilliant.

    • I have an AT&T GS3 running stock Android 4.2.2 and TW. I've never rooted before but this sounds great if it enables me to remove bloat, speed up my phone and enable Marshmallow or Nougat features. Can you direct me to somewhere that shows how to install it? Is there danger of bricking the phone? And does Lineage work with most Playstore apps like Swiftkey, Aquamail and others? Thanks

  • When can I try it on Galaxy S6??

  • Hai I am lineage is14.1 in my Moto G3...I can't set my user picture...And when will the official build will come??

    • Try using the 'Contacts' app. The first entry in the list should be called "ME", open the entry and edit it to add your preferred picture and then save. You should find that this will automatically update your User profile picture.

  • Why not use a year name version (17.XX) roman or (38.XX) arabic or (15.XX) chinese or even some other not so much used? And why there are not still a version for the Pixel and Qualcomm 820 SoC terminals when RR and DU have some?

  • My conversion from CM 14.1 to LineageOS 14.1 on my Moto G(falcon, xt1032) was flawless and easy. Also rooted. I am impressed.

    • Addendum:

      This Moto G(falcon, xt1032) was issued 2013, and no more updates from Moto since Android 5.1, as I remember.

  • brodie .y Feb 13, 2017 Link to comment

    Won't be using it again untill they fix all the bugs, so many of them from broken gestures to broken folders and icons. Poor mobile modem implementation and they are labelling some phones incorrect for example they have said the moto G4 plus XT1642 is solely European this is false it's a two zone model it's EU and AU which have completely different modems and LTE bands. It had very poor reception and massive over heating issues.

    • I have used Linrage OS 14.1.. Everything is good bt the bug of nougat is playstore unable to downlod apps in roaming network untill connect to a Wi fi network...when it will b solved???? Otherwise this is a good ROM...

  • I'm running Lineage OS 14.1 on my Honor 5X and it's wonderful.

  • Budi™ Feb 13, 2017 Link to comment

    I've been using it since cm 14, until now become lineageOs 14.1 on my kenzo. And quite happy with it.

  • Dwarfer66 Feb 13, 2017 Link to comment

    I have tried it on my Tab S 10.5, looks and runs great, but wish there was a move app 2 sd card option instead of formatting the sd card as internal memory.

  • As you know, Google ended support for the 2013 Nexus 7 in August 2016. Lineage OS allows you to get Android Nougat for this tablet.

  • Nick Door Feb 13, 2017 Link to comment

    Lineage OS working fine, in fact it has revitalised my Nexus 4, so much so that my wife is wondering why she bought me a Pixel...

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