[Tutorial] Install Android 4.4 KitKat on a GSM Galaxy Nexus


Halloween was a wonderful day for every Android-fanboy this time round as it was when Google released the Nexus 5 and along with it Android 4.4 KitKat. Although, for some (Galaxy Nexus owners), it wasn’t as good a day. Google officially announced that it’s Galaxy Nexus (both GSM and Verizon variants) would not receive any Android 4.4 KitKat goodness. To put it in another way, the Galaxy Nexuses will be stuck on Android 4.3 for eternity; ..and then the good Lord said, “let there be XDA”.

According to XDA Developers, the  following AOSP ROM is quite stable (it is!) with the exception of a few isolated issues like animation and graphical glitches (did not bother us much) which will be fixed in the upcoming releases.

Pre-requisites to flashing this ROM 

  • Back up data and settings using a recommended custom recovery tool, like ClockworkMod (CWM) or TWRP, as it creates a complete image of the existing phone setup.
  • Ensure USB debugging mode is enabled on the phone, by navigating to Settings > Developer Options (if you don’t see Developer Options, follow this pastie -> http://bit.ly/1h0xTLg)
  • You must be rooted on your current firmware before updating and have a custom recovery installed. We suggest using ClockworkMod recovery.

Downloads Required

Steps involved in updating the phone

  • Connect your Galaxy Nexus to your computer and transfer the files you downloaded onto it’s storage.
  • Power off the phone and disconnect its USB cable from computer.
  • Boot the phone into Fastboot mode by pressing and holding Volume UpVolume Down and Power buttons together.
  • Once the device reboots, you should see something like this —Fastboot_gnex
  • Use the Volume up and Volume down buttons to navigate to the red banner above the opened up Android to say “Recovery mode” and then press the Power button.
  • In ClockworkMod recovery, perform a full data wipe task by choosing Wipe Data/Factory Reset (use volume buttons to navigate and power button to select the desired option in recovery).
  • Wait until the wipe process completes and then perform Wipe Cache Partition. Let the process complete and then select Wipe Dalvik Cache from advance option. This will prevent ROM related errors or boot loop issues.
  • Once the wipe process is done, return to main recovery menu and select Install Zip from SD card.
  • Then select Choose zip from SD card. Now, locate the Android 4.4 ROM zip file you copied earlier to the phone and select it by tapping Power button. Confirm the ROM installation on next screen and let the installation begin.
  • Then, repeat the previous step for installing Google Apps as well.
  • After Google apps is also installed, go back and tap on reboot system now in the recovery menu. The phone will now reboot automatically. The first boot might take about five minutes to complete. So, don’t worry!
  • Once rebooted, you will be greeted with the Android setup wizard. Set your phone up and enjoy!

Steps involved to get get root access on the 4.4 ROM

  • Install the Nexus Root Toolkit you downloaded earlier. It will extract certain files so make sure you install in within a folder.
  • Once installed, you will be asked to select your device. Select Galaxy Nexus GSM/HSPA+  and the select you ROM as Custom ROM – KK. Then, let the toolkit do it’s thing until you’re greeted with the following dialog box.


  • Under the Root section  tick Custom Recovery if it’s un-ticked and then press Root.
  • From here on, just follow the instructions the pop up on your computer and you’ll be fine.
  • Once, the process ends, you will an up and running KitKat ROM with root access.

Source: XDA Developers

Update1 : Cyanogenmod 11 is now available for the Galaxy Nexus and it installs Kitkat!

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[Tutorial] How to Root a Samsung Stratosphere 4G

The recently released Samsung Stratosphere 4G has been rooted by the guys over at Rootzwizi. The device, which is similar to the original Galaxy S, was released on the 13th and is the first device in Verizon’s lineup of 4G capable devices to feature a QWERTY keypad.This guide will provide a step-by-step method to root your device, however ifyou’re unfamiliar with rooting, it’s advised that you read up on the subject first (check out the Rootzwiki link above) as we can’t be held responsible for any problems you may encounter. Following the advice of the developer we’ll be using Heimdall rather than ODIN due to compatibility,  however if you’re familiar with ODIN you’re free to use that.

Before we begin, this DOES void your warranty, so you need to be aware of that. However, if you take a look on the link above, one of the comments suggests how to unroot, which would (in theory) remove all traces that you ever rooted, and therefore bring your warranty back.

Step 1. First things first, make sure you have the Android SDK installed along with the Android Debug Bridge prior to installation. If you haven’t you can grab the installer from here.

Step 2. Download Heimdall from their website and extract the downloaded .zip. I recommend you get the latest version (which was 1.3.1 as of this post).

Step 3. Okay, so now we can get going; put your Samsung Stratosphere into what’s known as Download Mode.If you’re unfamiliar with how to do this, simply turn your device off, then then hold the Volume Down key and turn it back on. Make sure to keep holding the key until you see “Download Mode Do Not Turn Off Target”.

Step 4. At this point, you need to connect your phone to your computer via USB. Windows users will have to install the drivers (you can do this by going into the extracted folder from Step 2 and going into/Drivers/zagig.exe. Using this, just click on “Install Driver” when asked and then disconnect + reconnect your device. Note that you may be required to do a PC reboot.

Step 5. You now need to download these two files: Stratosphere Root.zip and Stock Kernel.zip. You then need to extract their contents to the same folder you extracted Heimdall to earlier.

Step 6. Depending on your system, open either Command Prompt or Terminal and navigate to the folder you extracted earlier and type:

heimdall detect

If your device is connected, type the following:

heimdall flash –kernel root-zImage

This will flash a custom kernel to your device, and upon reboot you should see a yellow warning symbol. Don’t worry about that at the moment. (Make sure to read on after the end of the post in reference to this)

Step 7. Now on your device you need to enable USB Debugging, which you can do by going to Settings > Applications > Development.

Step 8. Make sure that your device is still connected to your computer by typing:

adb devices

and you should hopefully see something along the lines of:

List of devices attached
3235A3CA0D8400EC                device

And afterwards you need to remount the file system by typing:

adb remount

and again, you should see the following:

remount succeeded

Step 9. The required files now need to be transferred to the device and their permissions set accordingly, so enter the following:

adb push su /system/bin
adb push busybox /system/bin
adb push Superuser.apk /system/app
adb shell chmod 4755 /system/bin/su
adb shell chmod 4755 /system/bin/busybox

Step 10. And now your device should be perfectly rooted; you may want to download something like ROM manager from the Market to check.

For those of you who want to get rid of the yellow triangle, my proposed suggestion is that you just reflash the Stock Kernel you downloaded earlier using the same method as above. I haven’t tried this, but if my other Android devices are anything to go by, it should work just fine.

Via [Soul Dev Team]