[HOWTO] Install /e/ on OnePlus 6 running Andoroid 10

As many have found out (I did, the hard way), the documented installation procedure for /e/ on OnePlus 6 is not very verbose and does not work if you start from a device running Android 10.

Since now I have a correctly working device and I took note of the steps, I am sharing them here.

RELEVANT SOFTWARE AND DOCUMENTATION SOURCES

  • /e/ install guide for OnePlus 6: https_://doc.e.foundation/devices/enchilada/install
  • Latest adb/fastboot: https_://dl.google.com/android/repository/platform-tools-latest-windows.zip
  • Most up-to-date TWRP for OnePlus 6 (unofficial): https_://forum.xda-developers.com/oneplus-6/development/recovery-unofficial-twrp-touch-recovery-t3860815
  • OnePlus’ MSM Download Tool, a.k.a. factory recovery tool (just in case): https_://forum.xda-developers.com/oneplus-6/how-to/tool-msmdownloadtool-v4-0-international-t3798892

DISCLAIMER
Use these instructions AT YOUR OWN RIKS: they worked for me but cannot guarantee they will work for you.
You will have to wipe the device a couple of time, so YOU WILL LOSE ALL YOUR DATA. Make your backups as necessary.
I am not responsible if you lose your precious data or if you brick your device.

PREPARATIONS
It is assumed you installed the latest adb/fastboot tools from Google (link above) and these are in the $PATH of your shell. Here below I used a CygWin shell on a Windows 10 machine, but the same commands are applicable to Linux, Mac OS etc.

You should also install the USB drivers for OnePlus 6, as described in official /e/ installation guide.

If you have any data to backup before wiping the phone, do it now because you WILL lose them.

ENABLE USB DEBUGGING
Enable USB debugging on device:

  1. Enable Developer mode: Settings -> About Phone -> Build number -> tap 7 times
  2. Settings -> System -> Developer Options -> USB debugging = on

Confirm authorization from device (“Allow USB debugging”) when asked while running ‘adb devices’ from PC

[user@cygwin:~] adb devices
List of devices attached
a92743xx        device

UNLOCK BOOTLOADER
Enable bootloader to be unlocked from Android Settings:

  1. [If not already done] Enable Developer mode: Settings -> About -> Build number -> tap 7 times
  2. Settings -> System -> Developer Options -> OEM unlocking = on

From PC:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus/SW] adb devices
List of devices attached
a92743xx device

Restart device into bootloader mode:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6] adb reboot bootloader

Once rebooted to bootloader, ensure fastboot (not adb!) can connect:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6] fastboot devices
a92743xx fastboot

Unlock bootloader:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6] fastboot oem unlock
OKAY [ 0.031s]

Now, on the device, use the volume keys on device to select “UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER” and then press Power button to confirm.

Device will be wiped at next restart (takes 15 sec).
Device will do a second, complete reboot and show a warning about bootloader being unlocked.
This second, complete boot process will take a while as the device data was completely reset (takes about 90 sec).

TEMPORARILY BOOT FROM TWRP RECOVERY
Since the device has been completely reset after bootloader was unlocked, it is necessary to re-enable USB debugging to continue:

  1. Enable Developer mode: Settings -> About Phone -> Build number -> tap 7 times
  2. Settings -> System -> Developer Options -> USB debugging = on

NOTE: this guide assumes installed Android is version 10 (Q), hence installs twrp-3.3.1-16-enchilada-Q-mauronofrio.img, which is more up-to-date than currenlty available “official” TWRP for the device (3.3.1.2 at the time of writing) and supports Android 10.

Verify you can connect to the device:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6/SW] adb devices
List of devices attached
a92743xx device

Restart device to bootloader mode:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6/SW] adb reboot bootloader

Once in bootloader mode, check you can connect using fastboot (not adb!):

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6/SW] fastboot devices
a92743xx fastboot

Check you have the correct TWRP at disposal:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus/SW] ll *.img | grep Q
-rwxrwxr-x+ 1 user None 29061120 Dec 27 17:22 twrp-3.3.1-16-enchilada-Q-mauronofrio.img

Send TWRP to device for temporary boot with that recovery (no writing yet):

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus/SW] fastboot boot twrp-3.3.1-16-enchilada-Q-mauronofrio.img
Sending ‘boot.img’ (28380 KB) OKAY [ 0.844s]
Booting OKAY [ 0.078s]
Finished. Total time: 1.031s

Phone should reboot automatically into TWRP, otherwise use volume buttons to choose “Recovery mode” and press Power to confirm.

INSTALL TWRP RECOVERY SO THAT IT IS PERSISTENT ACROSS REBOOTS
As described in the install guide here: https://forum.xda-developers.com/oneplus-6/development/recovery-unofficial-twrp-touch-recovery-t3860815

  1. TWRP -> Swipe to allow modifications
  2. Using Windows Explorer on PC, upload TWRP image (*.img) for Android 10 (Q)
    • file: e.g. twrp-3.3.1-16-enchilada-Q-mauronofrio.img
    • location: e.g. “This PC\OnePlus A6000\Internal Storage\TWRP”
  3. TWRP -> Advanced -> Install Recovery Ramdisk -> (select *.img from chosen directory) -> Swipe to install

Reboot to installed TWRP: TWRP -> Reboot -> Recovery (confirm)

Now TWRP should be persistently installed in both slots, A and B.

INSTALL CHOSEN CUSTOM ANDROID OS
Reference: https://doc.e.foundation/devices/enchilada/install

Check OS package is not corrupted (check mdsum is correct as per /e/ download page):

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6/SW] md5sum.exe e-0.7-p-2019121434061-dev-enchilada.zip
a96d0aa78125c797f0aeb4d5c1dd66a3 *e-0.7-p-2019121434061-dev-enchilada.zip

Note: “md5sum” is part of CygWin set of commands, might not be available in default Windows 10 shell (DOS) or PowerShell.

Upload OS package to device:

  1. TWRP -> Advanced -> ADB sideload -> Swipe to start sideload
  2. From PC, send OS file (in zip format):

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus6/SW] adb sideload e-0.7-p-2019121434061-dev-enchilada.zip
serving: ‘e-0.7-p-2019121434061-dev-enchilada.zip’ (~47%)
Total xfer: 1.00x

Note: it does not reach 100%.

Once installation has finished, return to the TWRP main menu, tap Reboot, and then System.

First boot will launch the Lineage OS recovery (that has replace TWRP) and it will say something like “Can’t load Android system (etc.). You may need factory data reset.”. Don’t panic.

This is probably because previous stock OnePlus OS was Android 10 while the newly installed OS (/e/) is Android 9.

Choose “Factory data reset” to delete user data. Phone will reboot once done.

RESTORE TWRP AFTER INSTALLING /e/ OS
Lineage (or /e/) OS will overwrite TWRP with its own recovery. If necessary, re-flash TWRP *.zip via ADB sideload.

Lineage Recovery -> Apply update -> Apply from ADB

From PC:

[user@cygwin:~/OnePlus/SW] adb sideload twrp-3.3.1-16-enchilada-installer-mauronofrio.zip
serving: ‘twrp-3.3.1-16-enchilada-installer-mauronofrio.zip’ (~0%)

Reboot and enjoy.

IF THINGS GO (VERY) WRONG AND THE PHONE DOES NOT BOOT
Your best friend is OnePlus’ factory recovery tool, a.k.a. MsmDownloadTool.

Download link at the beginning of this post.

Usage:

  1. Switch off phone
  2. Disconnect USB cable from PC
  3. Click VolumeUP button for 5 or more seconds and then connect USB cable to PC
  4. Launch MsmDownloadTool: the phone should appear as “connected” under one of the COM ports. If it does not, repeat steps from #1 to #4.
  5. Click “Start” button to restore the phone (takes approx 220 sec).

Now the device is restored to stock Android 8.1.0 image from 2018.05.17, with locked bootloader and with USB debug disabled.

Disconnect USB and close MsmDownloadTool.

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