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OnePlus One OxygenOS: An installation guide

by Brandon Russell | April 7, 2015April 7, 2015 5:15 pm PST

We’re still busy testing out OnePlus’s new OxygenOS, so we haven’t yet had the opportunity to formulate a final opinion. But after one day of solid use, we’re really pleased with the direction the OS is headed; we love the stock Android look, and so far it performs about as well, if not better than CyanogenMod 11S. All good things for version 1.0.0 of the Chinese startup’s first ROM.

OnePlus makes it seem like it’s a cakewalk to install its software, and it mostly is. But for anyone confused about how to get Oxygen up and running on their One, we thought a tutorial video might be helpful. Interested in trying it out? You just have to follow a few easy steps, and you’ll be up and running in 30 minutes or less.

The appeal of OxygenOS is that it’s pretty much stock Android with some smart tweaks thrown in. Following the company’s unceremonious split from Cyanogen, OnePlus said the development of Oxygen wasn’t for the “sake of differentiation,” but to offer One owners solid software that received timely and smart updates with a focus on performance and battery. Battery life has yet to be determined, but our very early testing suggests it’s on a par with CM11S (though I’ve seen people complain Oxygen battery life is not great).

Oxygen is essentially Lollipop with a few tweaks on top. The big thing are gestures and the ability to set onscreen or software buttons; pretty much the very same features found in CM11S. You can also rearrange your quick settings, customizing it to look exactly how you want. There are a few other things, like a “Clear All” button in the multitasking window, a file manager, and some OnePlus wallpapers.

Beyond that, there isn’t too much here. As we said in our hands-on, it definitely looks like the early focus is on laying a groundwork, and then building out based on user feedback. If you enjoy the look and feel of stock Lollipop, Oxygen is definitely something to check out if you’re a OnePlus One user. My inclination is that there will be a lot of good things to come, and so far we like what we see.

The full installation instructions are provided below; if you prefer more visuals, check out the video above to see how it’s all done. For the purposes of this guide, we used a Mac, though you can follow this link for how to get up and running on Windows.

ADB/SDK/Drivers
Windows
Windows alt #1
Windows alt #2
Mac

OxygenOS File

TWRP Custom Recovery File

Step 1

  • Install ADB Fastboot files via terminal

Step 2

  • Download the Oxygen OS zip file and TWRP custom recovery image file
  • Place the custom recovery image file along with the fastboot and adb files inside the Mac folder
  • Transfer the Oxygen OS zip file onto your OnePlus One

Step 3

  • Enable USB Debugging and uncheck Update CM Recovery
  • To access this on your OnePlus One
  • Go to: Settings -> About Phone -> Click the build number until the developer option is enabled
  • Go into developer options and turn on USB Debugging and uncheck Update CM Recovery

Step 4

  • Unlocking the boot loader— Turn off the device and boot it up into fastboot mode by holding the volume up and power button
  • Plug in your device and go back to the terminal window and type in ./fastboot oem unlock
  • This will reboot your OnePlus One automatically and you’ll need to setup the device again

Step 5

  • Re-enable USB debugging and uncheck Update CM Recovery

Step 6

  • Turn off the device and boot it up into fastboot mode again
  • Plug in your device and install the TWRP custom recovery image file.
  • Go into your terminal window and type in cd desktop/android/mac
  • Once you’re inside the Mac folder type in: ./fastboot flash recover tw and press tab. It should automatically fill the file name for you, but in case it doesn’t make sure the file names are the exact same.
  • Once you’ve done that, reboot the device by typing in ./fastboot reboot
  • You should now have a custom recovery installed on your OnePlus One.

Step 7

  • Boot into recovery by holding down both the volume down key and the power button
  • Once you’re inside the custom recovery, the first thing you want do is a factory reset. Again, you’ll lose all your data so make sure you’ve backed up everything

Step 8

  • Find and install the Oxygen OS zip file and flash it.
  • After it flashes, reboot your device and you now have Oxygen OS on your OnePlus One.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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