Pixel 3a XL experience
I too installed successfully Ubuntu Touch with UBports-installer on my Google Pixel 3a XL from a Mac OSx system
I bought a refurbished Google Pixel 3a XL for 140£ (UK) and and should I need it, replacment batteries are available for 10-15£.
It's been very difficult for, specially in the understanding of the very composition of the boot loader, the screens, lock/unlock, and tools available.
I manage to install only by selecting manually the device on ubports and by flagging "erase user data
Zlamalp summary of steps is great and is a reassurance.
The final result is impressive, yet still lacking a lot of features.
Usable, 100% usable, but something that has great potential.
The more people (and developers) get on the platform, the more it will evolve.
My contribution to the installation is this.
Abandon any hope on data while installing: sounds like a dire warning, but is just the basic. You are installing something new. Until you are familiar with it, like a good old PC, chances are you will "format and reinstall" many times. So, you are expected to lose all data on the device.
Fastboot: is a screen that appears before the operating systems are loaded - you can get stuck there, but it's fine, you can always reinstall either Ubuntu Touch or any version of the firmware of your device
Recovery Mode: is a special option you can get into after the fastboot. Best, is to get to it from android, with
./adb reboot recovery
Developer Mode: this an android setting - you tap 7 times on the android version (google it)
OTA images and flashing: these are usually zip files of the Android version you want to install. You will have to revert your android to an old "firmware" version. But if you use the crome installer, you will never need these. Here their location anyway (you might have to agree with Google T&Cs) https://developers.google.com/android/ota#bonito
Preparation - IMPORTANT!!!
Chrome - it uses an integrated tool for reinsalling the OS (it's fantastic and works like a charme)
This url https://flash.android.com/back-to-public - or more specific https://flash.android.com/build/5674421?target=bonito-user&signed=true for the specific version to install - should you crash the device, you can always recover it - this toole will allow you to reinstall the base public installation
ubports (mine was 0.8.8-beta)
OTA image - if you use Chrome's tool, you really won't need this
Android SDK platform tools https://developer.android.com/studio/releases/platform-tools - download and unzip it - cd into the folder and you can run scripts straigthaway
Good to know commands
./adb devicesrun when you are logged in android, in developer mode, and usb debug is enabled - response is instantaneous - you don't need to wait for devices. Either works or something's amiss
./fastboot devices- same as above, but only should you be stuck inside the fastboot
./fastboot flashing unlock- to manually unlock the device
Unlocking boot loader
As zlamalp wrote (plus a bit of mine):
- on android enable developer mode - on android enable USB debug - on android allow OEM unlock - ensure device is connected and adb works with `./adb devices` - `./adb reboot bootloader` - will reboot android to the boot loader - `./fastboot flashing unlock` - this, once you are inside the bootloader, and then **follow on screen instructions to confirm**
- With Chrome, flash your Pixel 3a XL device to PQ3B.190801.002 - Chrome will tell you to confirm unlocking/locking the boot loader - use volume keys to switch options and power button to confirm
- Once in Android older firmware PQ3B.190801.002, a. enable developer mode b. enable usb debug
- Open up ubports, choose manually your device, and begin installation with both 2 options flagged: wipe user data AND bootstrap
- ubports will tell you what to do next
In theory, once the device reboots, and gets past the recovery mode, as instructions on ubports will tell, you should get a blank screen with Google logo, and then you should see the Ubuntu Touch boot loader - do not touch anything and let it run.
So, great achievements.
Next will be choosing on what of the many options to contribute with
For the short read, go to the solution.
Another new member here. I went through some difficulty with a Pixel 3a XL I got from eBay on Monday but it turned into a success. I had tried to flash it roughly 20 times and to no avail, I could only get to the “Google” screen after flashing firmware and would loose connection to the phone, it would not boot into recovery mode. I would then have to flash PQ3B.190801.002 again and start over as the phone would be stuck in a boot loop at fastboot. I was using the recent 0.9.1 installer.
I tried three different linux computers and a Windows virtual machine. Tried USB-C to USB-C, USB-A to C and changed everything I could. I tried the .deb install of the installer and the Snap, and of course the Windows installer. I searched all of the forums and internet that I could and tried everything I could come up with. Locked the bootloader, unlocked it several times and ran all kinds of combinations. Flashed from the Google site in Vivaldi browser and Google browser, and flashed it manually. The ./flash-all.sh script would not work and would only return “Fastboot is to old, Download a new one” so I just ran the commands in the script and that worked for Android 9...yet nothing seemed to get me to recovery mode.
This morning I decided to download an older installer, 0.8.8, this time an appimage, just to try it but I had to flash PQ3B.190801.002 again before doing so. This time I ticked the boxes on the Google site for “Disable verity” and “Disable verify vbmeta”, at least I think that is what they were called, I also ticked the boxes for “Force flash” and “Wipe data” which I had done several times already. I don’t think it really had anything to do with the old installer but the disabling of verifying things that got it to work, and it worked fast.
Very happy with the results. The phone flies, waydroid works well and even installed Futify which also works well. I’m happy with all functions of the phone I need so far. It’s gone much better than expected after figuring out the install.
I had seen in my internet searches that others were getting stuck on the same spot that I did, so I thought I would throw my two pennies in the hat.
Thanks for all the direction, it all helped!
@wsanford I cannot believe I literally have just been going through the same thing. Fresh ebay second hand 3XL... latest deb beta 0.9.1 and stuck at google screen. Thankfully I found this and the 0.8.8 version worked FIRST time. Definitely something wonky with install on the later versions. Thanks mate, one happy fellow enthusiast here (Even made an account just to post this)
@joshndroid Glad to be of any help. Things have been going much better than expected for me. I'm very impressed with the efforts to bring this to be. Last night I tried to swap the SIM card over to test drive it but the Verizon guy online couldn't get my SIM card free from my old phone, so Monday I'll have to go into the store. But, if that's the worst problem I have, I'll be happy with that. LOL
rik last edited by rik
Last night I tried to swap the SIM card over to test drive it but the Verizon guy online couldn't get my SIM card free from my old phone, so Monday I'll have to go into the store
Unfortunately I don't think you are going to be able to get calls working on Verizon Their older network is CDMA and the newer one is VoLTE, both of which don't work as of this moment. Data should work (??) but calls and sms are probably of interest Sorry for this discouragement, could you consider a GSM-based SIM? For example, US Mobile (T-Mobile reseller) works well and is $12 / mo for unlimited calls, SMS, and 1GB data. But of course I understand if coverage may not be good for you. VoLTE work has been identified but it will be a while before it is usable.
@rik I appreciate the heads up. I'm not picky on the carrier at this point. I'll look into T-Mobile in my area. Thanks a bunch.
@wsanford Im on the other side of the planet...
I've just been tinkering around as yet to get it to some sort of daily ready device.
It reminds me a lot of early android tinkering... a bit of fun to it
@joshndroid Hey it was good info though. I stopped by t-mobile yesterday and got a plan that is better than my Verizon one. It ran me 50 bucks a month but I have unlimited everything and no annual restrictions, even hot spot is working. Coverage for Eastern North Carolina seems to be great. Still no MMS but I can send and receive pictures on telegram, which my friends and I use. So, I'm daily driving, it connects to my truck just fine for calls and using futify to play music over the stereo. All is good.
@wsanford with the amount that you pay, I feel blessed that I pay less ($7.22). It might be that is not a plan. It's like a . . refill? I just pay for 28 days of service when I can. I'm not sticked to a plan.
rik last edited by
Still no MMS but I can send and receive pictures on telegram, which my friends and I use
I am sure we can get MMS to work with "fiddling" with your APN settings. Make sure you have DIFFERENT APN entries for "Data" and "MMS" entries. If they are the same APN for 2 entries then UT gets confused. Also, MMS group messages don't work, but photos do. Finally, you need to have wifi disabled to receive / send MMS (yet another shortcoming for now, hopefully we can work this out in the future to always prefer cellular data for MMS so it works with wifi on or off).
If you are stuck / confused on APN settings, please post what they currently are and we can get it sorted.
@rik Thank you for all the help! I've been a Linux Admin for a number of years now but I'm new to learning phones and all the information is very much appreciated, I'm sure it will be of help to others as well.Downsizing pic's didn't work well so here are a couple links to the settings.
T-Mobile MMS Internet/web
@thousandtopics Yeah, I wish I could have gotten out cheaper but I need hot spot and unlimited data for work and kids for On-Call work and kids doing remote schooling sometimes. It's working out very well.
rik last edited by rik
@wsanford here are the T-Mobile APN settings that were reported to the UBPorts "North America Carrier Issues" group that seem to work:
Used For: MMS Name: T-Mobile MMS APN: pwg MMSC: http://pwg.mmsmvno.com/mms/wapenc <Proxy, Proxy Port, User Name, Password ALL BLANK>
NOTE: the above APN and MMSC are identical to the US Mobile settings (T-Mobile re-seller)
Used For: Internet Name: T-Mobile Internet APN: epc.tmobile.com <User Name and Password BLANK>
So, can you try those and then possibly reboot to see if it works? There were some bugs around changing settings "not sticking" so let us know if that is a problem for you. Again, to test MMS you need wifi OFF, cellular data ON. Good Luck!
@rik Success!!! Thank you so much. It was odd though. It didn't work at first, so I drove into town and tried where I knew I would have the best signal, and still nothing. I came home and deleted the failed attempts and then tried again and it sent and received pictures just fine.
The settings are holding just fine after reboots.
rik last edited by
@wsanford great news! There is a bug in there that prevents using the "internet and mms" option for a single APN setting. But good to hear you have it working even though a bit kludgy
Looking ahead, I would like to dig into making MMS work while on wifi (by effectively "forcing" cellular data for all MMS activities regardless of if wifi is on or off), then look at group mms (now the messages are actually received to your phone but no app knows what to do with them, so that is why no error message even is created, they just are not handled), etc.
Getting "full features of MMS" working well would be a big win for the North America market I suspect.
@wsanford your needs are way different than mine.
I have to say that this last update in the dev channel make the batery last for the most time since I got the phone. Whatever you have done. Don't change it, maintain it. This is highly appreciated.
@rik North América also Includes Canda and Mexico carriers?
@rik It's been working great all day today, and it's getting pictures just as fast as my S9 on Verizon. Thank you again! Turning off the WIFI is a bit of an inconvenience but at this point, I really don't mind it as I don't want it connecting to any insecure WIFI along the way, so I was already turning it off when leaving the house. If there is ever anything I can be of help with testing on a Pixel 3a XL, shoot it my way, I'd be happy to help.