Installing from stock

I recently received a like-new Essential PH-1, running Android 10 with build number QP1A.191005.014. I want to load /e/ on it, but I’m a little uncertain about some of the steps and have questions:

  1. /e/ is still based on Nougat. Is it a bad idea to run a ROM based on Nougat in 2020? I assume it’s no longer receiving security updates.

  2. If the LineageOS build for this phone is based on Pie, why is /e/ so far behind? Would it be better to install LOS?

  3. According to the /e/ documentation, I need to flash the firmware in this NMJ88C archive in order to downgrade to Nougat, but I read in this thread that the latest firmware is in this NMK32F archive. Should I use the newer NMK32F firmware or the NMJ88C firmware, as documented?

  4. I found a bug report pertaining to the official TWRP, which apparently requires a custom version to workaround. Why would some custom version of TWRP work better than the official one? And how can I tell if it’s safe or legitimate?

  5. The instructions in the LineageOS documentation and the TWRP documentation differ from those on the /e/ website. Which instructions should I follow?

  6. I also read in this thread that I should use this version of adb/fastboot over the official distribution from Google. Why? As with TWRP, how can I tell if it’s safe or legitimate?

  7. I read on this page that I need to use a cable that wasn’t included with the phone. I’m not sure if this cable I received is the original one or not. How can I tell if it will work or lead to a brick?

I know that’s a lot, and I also asked on the XDA forum, but I’m hoping someone here will know some of the answers at least.

HI @Quaternium we are planning to test the Pie build of /e/ for the essential this week.
The official build of /e/ till date is on nougat. Since you are on Android 10 you should not revert to nougat. It can brick your phone…not sure about the essential but have seen this happen on other devices especially Xiaomi when we downgraded the OS.
In the testing we want to identify which is the best way to upgrade from Nougat to Pie.

1 Like

Thanks, Manoj! I’m excited now but I’ll wait a week or however long before messing with my phone. Do you think it will be necessary to downgrade from Android 10 to 9 prior to installing /e/?

Hello @Quaternium, you’re right. The list of her questions is long for a post.To do justice to their research, the questions aren’t to be answered in short form and at once.

The most important point was raised by @Manoj. A downgrade from Android 10 to 7-Nougart has a lot of problems. It is best to be patient until the official release of version /e/ OS ROM 9-Pie.

In addition to 1)
/e/ OS ROM 7-Nougart seems antiquated in the year 2020. It is in view of the development progress also. But the /e/OS Build Team will continue to generate security updates from higher Android versions until the 9-pie migration of all devices supported by /e/ OS. The current security patches are from Feb 5, 2020 for all e-0.7-nougart builds.

To point 7).
The author of the how-to writes “can” cause issues. This also means that there must be no issues. It always comes down to the individual device and cable. Unfortunately the author doesn*t mention which foreign manufacturer’s cable he used. So we do not know more than before.

My experience is: Original USB cables of the device manufacturers are the most reliable. I also had transfer problems with other manufacturers.

If a cable doesn’t work, it will not transfer ADB and Fastboot commands for example. On the desktop PC there will probably be an fault message. More will not happen. You just have to try it to know if it works.

There are no guarantees when switching from an official manufacturer OS to a Custum ROM. It isn’t for nothing that almost every installation guide starts with “Very important: please read the following carefully before proceeding!” … or

Think positive. That’ll go off all right. ;-/


@Quaternium, this question has been asked by many /e/ users. Only the creators of /e/ know the answers. More background knowledge is provided by /e/OS and the Art of Remote Project Management.

The makers behind LOS 16.0 or LOS 17.1 are doing a great job. They should also be supported with donations on a regular basis. However, LineageOS and /e/ are quite different from each other.

/e/ isn’t just a custom ROM, /e/ is more. The /e/ philosophy will be a /e/volution and a /e/cosystem including and Read also /e/ manifesto

Whether LOS is better than the /e/cosystem for you, ultimately only you can decide.


The impression I had was that /e/ is a fork of LOS, with additional apps and a lot of patches to remove the Googley bits. Since many devices are already running the version of /e/ based on LOS 16, and LOS 16 is already released for the PH-1, I think it would just be a matter of building /e/ for the PH-1 with the same modifications as before and/or the same as for other phones like the OnePlus 6. Or is the code for the PH-1 very different from the code for the OnePlus 6? I’m sure there’s a lot of complexity I’m missing though and am still not sure how the build process works.

This requires a certain amount of know-how and experience. Those who know how it works say it’s very simple. I say it’s not as simple as they say. Otherwise everyone would do it themselves.

I maintain that the “normal” user is overwhelmed by this, right?

There are also some custom built versions of /e/ on Pie for the Ph-1. I had been running one earlier before switching back to stock.

Here’s the thread.