How to install Android L Developer Preview on Nexus 5?

Android is currently the most popular OS on the planet, for mobile devices. We have seen some really great things coming up to Android. Just a few hours ago, as we expected, Google announced the new Android L Developer preview and surely you’d like to try it once. So, here’s the simplest guide on how to install Android L Developer Preview on your Nexus 5.

The “L” Developer Preview release comes with an updated system (of course), a new radio and a new boot loader. So, basically, everything is new with this release.

L Developer Preview

L Developer Preview

Basically, there are two ways to flash the new L Preview on your device. I’ll be explaining both the ways.

UPDATE: Method 2 now works with MultiROM v25

**MAKE SURE TO BACKUP YOUR DEVICE FIRST**

Method 1

This is flashing the system image on your Nexus 5, which will erase all data on your device. This can be done by flashing individual files from the images available on Android developer site or by running flash-all from the archive, which does the same thing but automatically. To download the system image for Nexus 5, check bottom of the post.

Step 1: Extract the downloaded archive anywhere, preferably at the location of  fastboot.

Step 2: Open command promt where fastboot resides.

Step 3: Execute these commands in order. (Output is also shown – italic)

C:\adb>fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-hhz11k.img
sending ‘bootloader’ (2508 KB)…
OKAY [ 0.262s]
writing ‘bootloader’…
OKAY [ 0.460s]
finished. total time: 0.722s

C:\adb>fastboot reboot-bootloader
rebooting into bootloader…
OKAY [ 0.001s]
finished. total time: 0.001s

C:\adb>fastboot flash boot boot.img
sending ‘boot’ (8754 KB)…
OKAY [ 0.412s]
writing ‘boot’…
OKAY [ 0.726s]
finished. total time: 1.138s

C:\adb>fastboot flash radio radio-hammerhead-m8974a-2.0.50.2.08.img
sending ‘radio’ (45505 KB)…
OKAY [ 1.623s]
writing ‘radio’…
OKAY [ 3.318s]
finished. total time: 4.941s

C:\adb>fastboot flash system system.img
erasing ‘system’…
OKAY [ 0.608s]
sending ‘system’ (683564 KB)…
OKAY [ 21.334s]
writing ‘system’…
OKAY [ 45.224s]
finished. total time: 69.458s

C:\adb>fastboot erase cache
******** Did you mean to fastboot format this partition?
erasing ‘cache’…
OKAY [ 0.517s]
finished. total time: 0.517s

Step 4: Now, reboot to recovery and wipe data / factory reset.

Step 5: That’s all. First boot takes time, enjoy!

Method 2

This is actually easier, because all you have to do is to flash the ZIP using TWRP or CWM. I’ll be using TWRP. All the files which we’ll need in this guide can be downloaded from the bottom of the post.

Step 1: Download the flashable ZIP from the bottom of this post.

Step 2: Place the downloaded ZIP in the root of your SD Card.

Step 3: Boot into recovery, I’ll be using TWRP.

Step 4: BACKUP. Yes, this step is important. Make of backup of current system by whatever method your recovery supports.

Step 5: Wipe data.

Step 6: Select Flash ZIP and choose the ZIP you copied to the root of your SD Card.

Step 7: Exit and reboot.

Step 8: The first boot takes time, quite some time. Let it load, and enjoy after that!

Downloads

Nexus 5 Flashable ZIP (Works with MultiROM v25)

Alternative Flashable ZIP (DOES NOT WORK WITH MultiROM)

System Image for Nexus 5

Final Comments

This build is buggy and is expected to be since it’s a developer preview. I don’t recommend it to use it as a daily driver in any case.

Disclaimer: I or Virtuaniz is not resposible for any damage on your device, if caused. (Side note, totally unexpected)

Akshat loves to code, which is why he's a web developer. He founded Virtuaniz to serve his passion for tech, and currently serves as the Editor. You can follow him on the web: Website, Facebook, Twitter

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