Questions re Nexus 6 installation

Greetings! I’ve been following /e/'s progress for a while and would like to try it. I read through the instructions a couple times and searched the documentation, forum, and other resources, but I’m still unclear about a few things. I’m hoping someone here can help since I’ve never installed a new OS on a phone before and want to minimize the risk of “bricking” it.

I have a Google/Motorola Nexus 6 (Verizon branded, unlocked) running Android 7.1.1 and will be using a Windows 10 PC for the installation. I’m in the US where VoLTE is required and will be on Verizon or T-Mobile (via USMobile).

  1. Do any of the current versions of /e/-shamu support VoLTE? I didn’t see anything about VoLTE on the /e/-shamu page, but it doesn’t look like Lineage 16.0 or later supports VoLTE (Info about shamu | LineageOS Wiki). And another Nexus 6 owner had to install an old version of /e/ last year to get VoLTE support (Nexus 6, VoLTE, and what happens if I use a two year old build?). This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker–my priority is to de-Google and try /e/, even if only as a wifi device.

  2. Before I begin, do I need to update to a newer version of Android?

  3. Do I need to install TWRP?

  4. Does it matter if I use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 for the connection from my PC to the phone?

  5. Which version of /e/ should I download? (Or is there an older build I need for VoLTE?)

  6. Do I download the recovery image and zip file to my PC? Does it matter which directory?

  7. After I’ve downloaded the required files, do my PC and phone need to be connected to the internet during the rest of the process?

Thank you very much in advance for any help or advice you would like to provide!

Hi @snoozy welcome to the /e/ forum.

As you had no reply … I see two potential issues in your second paragraph, without moving further into your numbered list !

You probably already searched like this Search results for 'Volte USA' - /e/ community ? Speaking from the UK I cannot answer that point directly, but you seem to be prepared to consider “even if only as a wifi device” just to try /e/.

The next thing is

I have a Google/Motorola Nexus 6 (Verizon branded, unlocked)

To minimise your risk of bricking it can you double check … do you mean the device is SIM unlocked, or is the Bootloader unlocked? As soon as I see Verizon I am guessing locked Bootloader :red_circle: .

Significant changes happened in May 2022 with the introduction of /e/OS version 1.0, so you may find yourself in officially “unsupported territory” if you rely on older fixes.

Before starting to Install /e/OS on a Google Nexus 6 - “shamu” your device should be on the latest manufacturer update. This link Factory Images for Nexus and Pixel Devices  |  Google Play services  |  Google Developers suggests – 7.1.1 (NGI77B, Oct 2017, Verizon) – but please confirm this for yourself !

I suggest you try to find out about the possibility the Bootloader is locked by research methods, however should you try to follow manufacturer instructions only on unlocking the Bootloader you should be on safe ground. However, be aware, that a Verizon update can come with a mechanism which will install a Verizon update, but then lock the device again against a non-Verizon ROM. Also within the “manufacturer system” down-dates are likely made very difficult.

Check twice; flash once. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you for your response @aibd, and especially for pointing out the potential issue regarding bootloader unlocking. I’ve been doing a self-guided crash course in ROM flashing in recent weeks but still have a way to go before I’m ready to try it.

The device is SIM unlocked and the process I’ve seen to enable OEM unlocking also works on my Nexus 6 (Settings > About phone > tap Build number seven times to enable Developer options, then turn Developer options On, and switch Enable OEM unlock to On). I think this confirms that I should be able to unlock the bootloader, though I haven’t done that yet. I’m still in the “Check n times” phase, where in my very novice case, n > 2. =)

I hadn’t thought about earlier versions being unsupported, so I’ll plan to use the latest non-beta version of /e/.

Based on the factory image link you provided, I was able to confirm that my device has the latest manufacturer update, which is the same as the one you’ve noted (7.1.1 NGI77B Oct 2017 Verizon).

Thank you also for the search suggestion re VoLTE, which turned up some additional results I hadn’t found; I’ll read through those (been too busy with a work project until now).