How to Install the Android L Beta Now

This guide will show you how to install the Android L Beta so that you can try out the Android L Release on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7.

Google is offering an Android L Developer Preview, which is essentially an Android L Beta that comes complete with Android L factory images for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5. You will need these Android L factory images to install the Android L Beta on your device. In addition you will need to install the Android SDK or at least ADB and Fastboot.

The Android L System Image is a download that contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Android L on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5. This is essentially everything that you would download as an OTA update for regular Android updates.

The Android L Release, which may be Android 5.0, is due to the public later this year. There is no official Android L Release date at this time, but Android Auto will require this new version of Android and the first cars are coming by the ned of 2014.

This guide shows how to install the Android L Beta using Android L Factory images.

This guide shows how to install the Android L Beta using Android L Factory images.

If you want to try the new Android L features before it arrives later this year you can try the Android L Beta on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. Android L will come to other devices, but for now it is only available as an Android L Developer Preview on two devices. Although unconfirmed, it is very likely that a Nexus 4 Android L release is in the works when the new version of Android is ready for the public.

Advertisement

It is possible that developers will adapt the Android L Beta into a version that will run on the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10, but the official Android L Developer Preview is limited.

This guide will show you how to install the Android L Beta on Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices. This is something you can do from Windows, Mac, Linux or ChromeOS.

How to Install ADB on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu & ChromeOS

Before you can install the Android L Beta to Nexus devices you will need to install ADB and Fastboot to your computer. This is a program that runs on your computer to connect to your Android through a USB cable and flash the Android L Beta to your device.

Installing ADB and Fastboot is one of the most annoying parts of installing Android factory images, but several new tools make it incredibly easy.

How to Install ADB on Windows

Use this tool to install ADB and Fastboot on Windows in seconds.

Use this tool to install ADB and Fastboot on Windows in seconds.

If you are using a Windows machine, including up to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 you can use the 15 second adb installer to streamline the process.

Download the ADB installer for Windows. Find the file, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted you need to give the app access to run as an administrator. After the app launches type a Y and enter to select yes to Install ADB & Fastboot, to intsll ADB/Fastboot systemwide and to install Drivers. When a new window pops up follow the steps to install the drivers.

After this is installed you should be ready to install the Android L Beta on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.

How to Install ADB on Mac, Linux & ChromeOS

This tool installs ADB on Mac, Linux and ChromeOS easily.

This tool installs ADB on Mac, Linux and ChromeOS easily.

Nexus Tools makes it easy to install ADB on a Mac, Linux or even ChromeOS. All you need to do is open Terminal on your computer and past in the code from xda.

This will install ADB and Fastboot on Mac, Linux and Chrome OS without the need to do anything else.

After the script completes you can type ADB or Fastboot to start running either program.

How to Install the Android L Beta

The first thing you need to do is download the Android L Preview System Images. You can find the Android L beta system images at the links below.

You will need to unzip this file to a folder you can access. After you have the Android L system image unzipped you will need to find this folder and type cmd into the address bar on Windows, or open terminal and change the folder to this folder on Mac, Linux or Chrome OS.

If your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 is not unlocked you should do that. We could not install the Android L System image with the device locked.

Open a Terminal in the adb folder and type then hit enter.

adb reboot bootloader

In Fastboot type:

fastboot oem unlock

Then hit enter. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose to erase the device. Wait a minute or so for it to unlock. This removes everything on your device.

You can install the Android L Beta using these directions.

You can install the Android L Beta using these directions.

Now open the folder containing the unzipped Android L System Image file. Type cmd in the address bar. Type the following and hit enter.

flash-all.bat

This will flash all of the needed files. If you are on a Mac or other computer you will need to type;

sudo ./flash-all.sh

This will push all of the files to your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7. The Nexus device will reboot and you will see an Android figure and then a moving Android logo. The logo screen may stay for a long time. Don’t unplug the device. This may last 15 minutes or longer. When Android prompts you to complete setup you can unplug the Nexus.

When the device finishes you can enter your information and start using Android L on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.

Comments

    • cruz allen says

      Ok Look at mine. You have to flash each item in the zip file (system, boot, recovery, cache, and user data) while rebooting the boot loader each time. works for me. of course u need adb installed. took me a few tries but I’ve found short cutting and trying to flash all wasn’t working due to partition issues?

      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot flash system /Users/cruz_allen96/Downloads/hammerhead-lpv79/image-hammerhead-lpv79/system.img
      erasing ‘system’…
      OKAY [ 0.958s]
      sending ‘system’ (683564 KB)…
      OKAY [ 24.983s]
      writing ‘system’…
      OKAY [ 46.414s]
      finished. total time: 72.355s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot reboot-bootloader
      rebooting into bootloader…
      OKAY [ 0.001s]
      finished. total time: 0.001s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot flash boot /Users/cruz_allen96/Downloads/hammerhead-lpv79/image-hammerhead-lpv79/boot.img
      sending ‘boot’ (8754 KB)…
      OKAY [ 0.489s]
      writing ‘boot’…
      OKAY [ 0.751s]
      finished. total time: 1.239s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot reboot-bootloader
      rebooting into bootloader…
      OKAY [ 0.001s]
      finished. total time: 0.001s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot flash recovery /Users/cruz_allen96/Downloads/hammerhead-lpv79/image-hammerhead-lpv79/recovery.img
      sending ‘recovery’ (9412 KB)…
      OKAY [ 0.505s]
      writing ‘recovery’…
      OKAY [ 0.786s]
      finished. total time: 1.292s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot reboot-bootloader
      rebooting into bootloader…
      OKAY [ 0.001s]
      finished. total time: 0.001s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot flash cache /Users/cruz_allen96/Downloads/hammerhead-lpv79/image-hammerhead-lpv79/cache.img
      erasing ‘cache’…
      OKAY [ 0.610s]
      sending ‘cache’ (13348 KB)…
      OKAY [ 0.690s]
      writing ‘cache’…
      OKAY [ 1.082s]
      finished. total time: 2.382s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot reboot-bootloader
      rebooting into bootloader…
      OKAY [ 0.001s]
      finished. total time: 0.001s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot flash userdata /Users/cruz_allen96/Downloads/hammerhead-lpv79/image-hammerhead-lpv79/userdata.img
      erasing ‘userdata’…
      OKAY [ 8.611s]
      sending ‘userdata’ (137318 KB)…
      OKAY [ 5.211s]
      writing ‘userdata’…
      OKAY [ 9.134s]
      finished. total time: 22.956s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot reboot-bootloader
      rebooting into bootloader…
      OKAY [ 0.001s]
      finished. total time: 0.001s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$ fastboot reboot
      rebooting…

      finished. total time: 0.001s
      cruz-allens-mbp:~ cruz_allen96$

    • John Svawef says

      Try running ‘sudo flash-all.sh’ if you still get permission denied you might have to run ‘chmod +x flash-all.sh’ and then ‘sudo flash-all.sh’.

    • Josh Zerella says

      Sorry ,not currently because Google hasn’t released the Image for the Nexus 4, then Nexus 7(2012) and the Nexus 10(it’s only out on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2014))

  1. Mike Dye says

    so I got this message
    No boot.sig
    No recovery.sig
    after a while I went to close the terminal window and it started writing just as I did…. :(
    Now it says writing… on the device. am I screwed?

    • Devon Fielding says

      Devons-MacBook-Pro:razor-lpv79 Devon$ sudo ./flash-all.sh
      ./flash-all.sh: line 17: fastboot: command not found
      ./flash-all.sh: line 18: fastboot: command not found
      ./flash-all.sh: line 20: fastboot: command not found

      • Devon Fielding says

        I just manually flashed everything. for those who have the same problem as me, this is what you type in terminal.

        You will have to extract all files zip the you download from google in the platform-tools folder.

        In this order copy and paste these into terminal.

        ./fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-flo-flo-04.02.img

        ./fastboot -w update image-razor-lpv79.zip

  2. xanatak says

    If I install this preview , do I need to wipe it when the final version comes out or it’ll get update Ota ?

    • Justin says

      Nobody really knows. If you have the most updated preview when the actual version comes out it may take the OTA. Google hasn’t announced that yet though.

  3. tgerring says

    Im stuck on the part:

    “Now open the folder containing the unzipped Android L System Image file. Type cmd in the address bar. Type the following and hit enter.”

    Keep getting not found errors. The path to my unzipped folder is: /Users/gerringt?desktop/android/hammerhead-lpv790

    What would I actually type in Terminal to flash everything over? Thanks for the help. Sorry I’m a noob. A YouTube video would be great.

  4. Dylan Tindall says

    When I type flash-all.bat on windows cmd it says it isn’t recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. What do I do?

        • Dylan says

          When you extract the file, make sure you do it again so that it is a folder now and not a tar. Then open the folder and there should be a few things in there. Then type cmd in the address bar and hit enter. Then try it again. I didn’t realize I had to extract it twice and open the folder.

        • Optamizm says

          Jordan, what you need to do is rename the file extension to .tar and then extract again… That was my problem…

          Thanks Dylan, you helped me!

  5. Justin says

    Thank you so much! I spent about an hour trying to figure this out. For anyone as dumb as me, open up platform tools and drag all of that into the hammerhead folder :).

      • Adjel says

        I kept getting this ‘fastboot.exe has stopped working’, no matter what I did. The only thing I could find is that it must be related to not running as an administrator. I was running the flash-all.bat from an elevated cmd.exe prompt (start menu, search for cmd.exe, right click that and choose ‘Run as administrator’). Turns out that doesn’t work… It should, but it didn’t.

        Finally, I managed to come up with a solution. I edited flash-all.bat to include the full path where I installed the preview image. Notably these two lines:

        fastboot flash bootloader “X:\preview\razor-lpv79\bootloader-flo-flo-04.02.img”

        fastboot -w update “X:\preview\razor-lpv79\image-razor-lpv79.zip”

        Then, I used explorer to navigate to x:\preview\razor-lpv79 and right clicked the flash-all.bat file and chose ‘Run as administrator’. That did it! I can finally start exploring Android L!

        Great tip on the ADB installer for Windows, by the way! Saves a huge amount of time and disk space.

        • Rob says

          Ran into this same issue so after reading this I fired up a command prompt as administrator, but I also moved the image directory from C:\users\me\downloads\some\deep\nested\path to just C:\image-folder before trying to add the full path … one of those resolved the issue for me and the batch file flashed with no problems after that!

  6. Trey Guadarrama says

    yes. when I type “flash-all.bat” it starts the process and actually finishes writing the “radio” but then as soon as that finishes, It stops and gives me that message.

  7. Andrew Guerguis says

    I keep getting Permission Denied…I’m using Terminal on an iMac…I tried everything listed in the comments, I also tried what Devon said. Can someone please assist me? Thank you I greatly appreciate it!

Leave a Reply