Install /e/ on a Google Pixel 4a - “sunfish” (beta)

Tip: Please read through the instructions at least once before actually following them, so as to avoid any problems later.
Warning: Downgrading Smartphones already on Android Q or LineageOS 17.x to Pie or other OS can cause instability or at worst brick some devices
Caution: Flash your device only if you know what you are doing and are OK taking the associated risk. All builds are provided as best effort, without any guarantee. The /e/ project and its project members deny any and all responsibility about the consequences of using /e/ software and or /e/ services.

Requirements

  • Take a backup of all important data on your phone before proceeding.
  • Ensure your phone is charged more than 50%
  • Check that adb and fastboot are enabled on your PC. If not you can find the setup instructions here
  • Download all the files and images mentioned in the download section below before starting the installation
  • Make sure you have a working data cable to connect your device to the PC. There are cables which are only for charging and do not transfer data.

  • Enable USB debugging on your device. You can find the instructions here
Caution: Before following these instructions please ensure that the device is on the latest Android Stock firmware. This can be done by checking for any OTA updates available in the Updater. If available run them before installing /e/OS
Tip: Before installing /e/OS on the Google Pixel 4a sunfish for the first time, install the latest stock OS version 11 build on the device

Downloads for the sunfish

Try the /e/ Recovery (limited functionality)

To understand the difference between /e/OS builds check this guide

Warning: Please note some of the above links can lead to external sites

Unlocking the bootloader

Tip: The steps given below only need to be run once per device.
Warning: Unlocking the bootloader will erase all data on your device! Before proceeding, ensure the data you would like to retain is backed up to your PC and/or an online drive
  1. Enable OEM unlock in the Developer options under device Settings, if present.

  2. Connect your device to your PC via USB.

  3. On the computer, open a command prompt (on Windows) or terminal (on Linux or macOS) window, and type:
     adb reboot bootloader
    

    You can also boot into fastboot mode via a key combination:

    • With the device powered off
    • hold Volume Down + Power
  4. Once the device is in fastboot mode, verify your PC finds it by typing:
     fastboot devices
    
    Tip: If you see no permissions fastboot while on Linux or macOS, try running fastboot as root.
  5. Now type the following command to unlock the bootloader:

     fastboot flashing unlock
    
  6. If the device doesn’t automatically reboot, reboot it. It should now be unlocked.

  7. Since the device resets completely, you will need to re-enable USB debugging to continue.

Booting a custom recovery using fastboot

  1. Before proceeding ensure you have downloaded the custom recovery from the link given in the Download section above

  2. Connect your device to your PC via USB.

  3. On the computer, open a command prompt (on Windows) or terminal (on Linux or macOS) window, and type:

     adb reboot bootloader
    

    You can also boot into fastboot mode via a key combination:

    • With the device powered off
    • hold Volume Down + Power

4. Once the device is in fastboot mode, verify your PC finds it by typing:

fastboot devices
Tip: If you see no permissions fastboot while on Linux or macOS, try running fastboot as root
Tip: Some devices have buggy USB support while in bootloader mode. If fastboot hangs with no output when using commands such as fastboot getvar .. , fastboot boot …, fastboot flash … try a different USB port (preferably a USB Type-A 2.0 one) or a USB hub

5. Flash a recovery image onto your device by typing

fastboot flash boot recoveryfilename.img

Replace the recoveryfilename with the name of the recovery image you downloaded in the previous section

6. Now reboot into recovery to verify the installation.

Steps to install /e/OS using /e/ recovery

Tip: Use the volume keys to navigate and power key to select
Tip: If your PC is unable to detect your device in adb ..in the /e/ recovery main screen tap Advanced » Enable adb

On /e/ Recovery Main Screen:

  1. Select Factory reset
  2. Select Format data / Factory reset option
  3. Next screen will display a warning that this action cannot be undone
  4. Select Format data to proceed or Cancel if you want to go back
  5. If you selected Format data ..the format process will complete

    Tip: You will see text in small font on the lower left side of the screen mentioning format progress

    The small font text would be similar to this

     Wiping data
     Formatting/data
     Formatting/cache
     Data wipe complete
    
  6. Display will now return to the Factory Reset screen

    Tip: Use the volume up key to choose the arrow at the top to go back to main screen

    In /e/ Recovery main screen:

  7. Select Apply Update and in next screen Apply update from adb
  8. In the next screen, the device is now in sideload mode

    Note at this point the Cancel option is highlighted that does not mean you have canceled the action. The device is in adb sideload mode.

  9. On your PC type begin adb sideload. Type the below command in a console

    adb sideload downloaded_file_name.zip

    Replace downloaded_file_name.zip with the name of the /e/ OS file you downloaded in the previous section

  10. Press enter key on the keyboard to start the sideloading The screen will show the progress percentage…This might pause at 47%
  11. Give it some time
  12. The PC console will now display Total xfer: 1.00x
  13. The phone screen will now display some text with a message similar to

    Script succeeded result was [1.000000]

    This means that the install was successful

  14. Use the volume key to select the back arrow on the top left of the phone screen
  15. Go back to the main screen and select Reboot system now

    The reboot process may take 5 - 10 minutes

Success: Congratulations !! Your phone should now be booting into /e/OS !!
To find some troubleshooting tips… click here

adb

  • Getting a Total xFer ':' 0.01x message - Try to upload the /e/OS to internal storage and retry to install
  • adb ':' sideload connection failed ':' insufficient permissions for device error - Try to execute the commands adb kill-server and adb start-server and retry
  • Running adb shell twrp install /sdcard/</e/ zip package> raise non-existent directory error - Try to check solution here
  • Getting an insufficient permissions error - Try the solution given here
  • When running "adb devices" in bash a device is shown as "unauthorized" - Try the solution given here

TWRP

  • Errors while running TWRP version 3.4.x.x or above - Try downloading and using a previous TWRP version.. below 3.4.x.x
  • In TWRP if this error shows up failed to mount /preload - Try in TWRP wipe screen in advanced menu select preload and swipe to wipe
  • /cache/recovery/xxx -> no such file or directory error while flashing a ROM - On PC run adb shell in the console now create a folder called recovery for e.g. here the devicecode name is violet "violet :/cache# mkdir recovery"

Connectivity

  • Trying to troubleshoot mobile connectivity issues - Read this guide



Tip: To suggest changes to this install guide documentation, please visit the Pixel 4a specific topic on our community forum. To report issues in the build please refer this guide

This documentation “Install /e/ on a Google Pixel 4a - “sunfish”” is a derivative of “install LineageOS on sunfish” by The LineageOS Project, used under CC BY.