Google Pixel (google-pixel)

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Google Pixel
Google Pixel
Google Pixel
Manufacturer Google
Name Pixel
Codename google-pixel
Released 2016
Category testing
Original software Android 7.1 - 10
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821
CPU Quad-core (2x 2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x 1.6 GHz Kryo)
GPU Adreno 530
Display 1080×1920 AMOLED
Storage 32/128 GB
Memory 4 GB Dual Channel LPDDR4
Architecture aarch64
USB Networking
3D Acceleration
Mobile data




Pixel / Pixel XL

The Pixel (sailfish) and Pixel XL (marlin) share identical kernel architectures. This port should work for both devices.

Device Owners

  • DrGit (Notes: 32GB, unlocked, fresh battery)
  • Ky0ko
  • NoriTech (Notes: Broken, also locked bootloader and Verizon phone)
  • Ojbr

What works

  • Kernel compilation
  • Flashing
  • Booting kernel (partial boot with serial logging - panics / halts)

What does not work

  • SSH over USB
  • Touch
  • Screen
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Camera
  • GPS
  • Modem

Development Notes

Partition Layout

Out of the box, the Google Pixel uses an A/B partition layout. Both slots are known working. Should you need to change slots, this can be done with:

#fastboot set_active a
#fastboot reboot bootloader
~#: fdisk -l /dev/block/sda

bootlocker_a    bootlocker_b
keymaster_a     keymaster_b
tz_a            tz_b
rpm_a           rpm_b
pmic_a          pmic_b
hyp_a           hyp_b
cmnlib32_a      cmnlib32_b
cmnlib64_a      cmnlib64_b
aboot_a         aboot_b
hosd_a          hosd_b
devcfg_a        devcfg_b
modem_a         modem_b
msadp_a         msadp_b
apdp_a          apdp_b
vendor_a        vendor_b
system_a        system_b

Bootloader Unlocking

The bootloader can be unlocked once the device has been unlocked by the cell carrier. An unlock code is usually obtained from your network provider directly, or from a third party. Be aware, a bootloader unlock will erase all userdata. Make sure to keep a backup of any important data.

  • Enter fastboot by shutting down the device, and hold volume down + power until you see the fastboot screen.
  • Depending on the phone's previous sleep state, you may be alerted that a RAM dump is in progress. Ignore these, keep holding the buttons until you end up in fastboot.

The standard OEM unlock command can then be be used:

#fastboot oem unlock

At this point, you should be ready to test pmOS deployments.

Backup with TWRP

Take precaution, and keep backups if this is your primary device.

  • Download the latest TWRP (both img and zip)
  • From the TWRP directory, run the fastboot command:
    #fastboot boot <your-twrp.img>
  • At this point, TWRP will load
  • Take your backup, note this does not include the user data directory. You need to copy that over with MTP as well.


Boot Only

The device is capable of sideloading a boot.img over USB with fastboot. The standard command in pmOS works:

# pmbootstrap flasher boot


# fastboot set_active a
# fastboot reboot bootloader
# pmbootstrap flasher flash_rootfs
# pmbootstrap flasher flash_kernel
# fastboot reboot


Kernel Logging via Serial

It is possible to debug the Pixel/Pixel XL with a standard Nexus Serial debug cable. This must be enabled in fastboot first:

# fastboot oem uart enable

The baud rate is 115200.


Unable to mount rootfs

When running from a vendor kernel, Android is configured to skip loading with an initramfs. For postmarketOS to boot, the offending change would have to be removed with a patch.

Without the patch, the rootfs will fail to mount:

[   14.025620] No filesystem could mount root, tried:  ext3 ext2 ext4 vfat msdos fuseblk
[   14.033436] c2      1 Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(253,0)

Firmware image not available

Proprietary vendor drivers are missing, and will need to be built into the resulting boot image.

[TP]: [ERR]:fwu_start_reflash: Firmware image synaptics_bl71.img not available

See also

  • TBC