How To Upgrade To LineageOS From CyanogenMod On Your Android Device

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 25 Jan 2017


The first batch of official LineageOS nightly builds are now finally available for download. If you have been a long time CyanogenMod user, now is the time for you to jump ship to LineageOS.

After all, CyanogenMod will no longer be updated, with its website and services being completely shut down thanks to Steve Kondik’s tiff with Cyanogen Inc’s co-founder Kirt McMaster. The team behind CyanogenMod has now also moved on to LineageOS to continue development work on the ROM. LineageOS is essentially CyanogenMod, with just a new name, moniker and logo.

If you are wondering how to upgrade to LineageOS from CyanogenMod but are confused with the steps, simply follow the steps down below. But before that, here are a few things that you need to know about LineageOS:

  • Unlike CyanogenMod nightlies which were released on a daily basis, LineageOS builds for supported devices will be rolled out once per week. This is because the LineageOS team currently does not have enough resources to churn out builds on a daily basis.
  • Similar to CyanogenMod, LineageOS will not ship with root access. Instead, post installation, you will have to manually flash a SuperSu zip file for root access.
  • Just like with plenty of other custom ROMs, LineageOS does not ship with Google Apps pre-installed. Instead, you will have to separately flash a compatible Google Apps zip package of your choice.
  • It goes without saying that your Android device must already be running a relatively new build of CyanogenMod 13 or CyanogenMod 14.1, with a custom recovery like TWRP installed.
  • A list of devices for which official LineageOS builds are currently available can be found here.

You can download official LineageOS builds from here. Make sure to download the correct build type i.e. experimental or nightly depending on the method you are following from below.

How To Upgrade To LineageOS From CyanogenMod

Without Wiping:

Ideally, it is highly recommended that you wipe clean your Android device and then install LineageOS on it. However, if you don’t want to get into the hassle of downloading and setting everything up again, the LineageOS team has released an experimental build to make the upgrade process easier for you.

Installing the experimental build will not require you to format your Android device running CyanogenMod, but as a reminder of the build’s nature, it will show an ‘experimental’ banner throughout the OS. It is also not guaranteed that the experimental build will be able to successfully migrate your data from CyanogenMod to LineageOS properly, and you might run into stability and performance issues down the line. Nonetheless, if you are still willing to take the risk, follow the steps below.

Remember that you can only use the experimental build to migrate data from same versions of Android. This means that you cannot use LineageOS 14.1 experimental build to transfer data from your existing CM13 installation.

Step 1: Download the experimental LineageOS build for your Android device and transfer the zip file to its internal storage. Also, download a compatible Google Apps zip file.

Step 2: Reboot your Android device into TWRP recovery. If you don’t know how or just want a more convenient method, use the Quick Reboot application. After your device boots into recovery, head over to Install and select the LineageOS experimental ZIP file. Once installed, proceed to reboot your handset.

TWRP 2.8

Step 3: The reboot process will take a fair bit of time since the data migration process occurs at first boot.

Step 4: After your device has booted into Android, make sure to check that all your data has migrated successfully. Now, download the LineageOS weekly build for your device and transfer it to the internal storage of your device. You now need to reboot your device again into TWRP recovery and install the weekly LineageOS build.

Step 5: Before you reboot your device this time around, install the Google Apps zip package as well. Proceed to reboot your device back into Android now.

Step 6: Since you have re-installed the Google Apps package, you will now have to re-setup the application permissions for all Google Apps.

Congrats! You have successfully managed to update your Android device running CyanogenMod to LineageOS without having to format it. Do make sure to use all your apps and check the core features of the handset to ensure they are working completely fine.

If you decide to do a factory reset:

If you are fine with having to wipe your Android device to install LineageOS, the whole process then becomes very simple.

Step 1: Transfer the weekly LineageOS build and a compatible Google Apps zip file to the internal storage of your Android device. Proceed to boot your device into recovery mode.

Step 2: Head over to Wipe and then swipe the bar at the bottom to do a factory reset.

Do not use the format data or any other option as it will wipe the internal storage of the device. To format the system partition, tap on ‘Advanced Wipe’, select ‘System’ from the list of partitions and then swipe the bottom bar to the right to confirm your selection. Press the back button to back to the main menu of TWRP.

Step 3: Proceed to install LineageOS on your device by tapping on Install and then selecting the weekly build file. If you are unable to find the ZIP file, make sure to check that you are inside /sdcard sub-directory.

With the ROM installed, proceed to tap Install again and this time select the Google Apps zip file.

Step 4: After the package is installed, tap Reboot system to reboot your device back into LineageOS. The first boot will take some time and you will likely spend a fair bit of time looking at the boot screen. If your device does not boot into Android even after 5 minutes, boot it back into TWRP recovery and repeat the steps above.

Once your device boots into LineageOS, make sure to check that all the core functionality of the device is working.

It is recommended that you keep updating to the latest build of LineageOS for your device periodically. While upgrading, you only need to directly flash the LineageOS zip file and the Google Apps package, and there is no need to wipe the device during this process.

Do drop a comment below and let us know how the upgrade process from CyanogenMod to LineageOS went for you.