Manually installing an OTA update for the Nexus 5x

In theory, your device should automatically check for an OTA (over-the-air) update, download it in the background, and then prompt you to install the update. No matter how much I manually checked, my device kept insisting it was up to date (I know Google likes to do staggered automatic rollouts, but it's just annoying when I manually initiate a check and Google still insists on not giving me the update).

These are just slightly more detailed step-by-step instructions based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OTA Links for Sideloading. This GitHub page has a list of OTA updates for Nexus devices. Find the download for your device. I'm using my device (Nexus 5x) as an example. In theory, the instructions should be very similar for other Nexus devices.

Find your device's build number

There are two different 6.0 builds for the Nexus 5x (MDB08L and MDB08M). To find out which one was mine, I had to go to Settings > About phone > Build number to find out my build was MDB08L.

For the U.S. version of the Nexus 5x, the upgrade is MHC19J from MMB29Q.

Enable USB debugging

While you're in the About phone section, tap the Build number and keep tapping it until you get a notification that developer options are now enabled. Then go to Settings > Developer options and scroll down until you get to USB debugging and tap the toggle next to it to enable it.

Get the Android SDK

Google used to have an easy-to-find SDK download link. Now it points you to Android Studio instead, which you can use to install the SDK using SDK Manager if you go to Tools > Android > SDK Manager. You may, somewhere on the Android developer website be able to track down a standalone SDK download if you dig around enough.

It took me a while to find exactly where the SDK installed to. Eventually, I found it it was installed to /Users/username/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools (I'm using a Mac—it's probably a similar path for Windows, maybe in /Users/username/AppData?).

Do the actual flashing of the OTA

Disclaimer: Uh, these instructions worked for me, but absolutely this is at your own risk. I'm not at all responsible (nor is the person who wrote the tutorial on which this is based) for any damage you might do to your device.

Open up a terminal (again, I'm using a Mac, so it's in /Applications/Utilities/; if you're using Windows, find cmd.exe and launch that up instead).

At this point, plug your device into your computer using a USB cable. You may have to switch to PTP mode to get it to work.

Change directories to where adb is:

cd /Users/username/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools
Substitute in your actual username for username. And don't forget you can use the Tab key to autocomplete directory names instead of manually typing out the full path.

Make sure your device shows up in the list of devices:

./adb devices

Reboot to the bootloader:

./adb reboot bootloader
Use the volume down key to focus on Recovery. Once that's in focus, press the power button to select it.

You'll see what looks like an error and a dead Android lying on its back. Press the volume up key and power buttons at the same time until you get to a list of menu options.

Use the volume down key until you get Apply update from ADB into focus. Then press the power button to select it.

You should then see a message that says Now send the package you want to apply to the device with "adb sideload ."

Back on your computer, enter a command similar to this one (again, Tab completion is your friend—you don't want to manually retype the full filename of the OTA update you downloaded:

./adb sideload ~/Downloads/

You'll then see output similar to this in the terminal on your computer:

''/Users/username/Downloads/f67821b18f5a3bc6552039f0997fc9511f05c2c3.signed-Total xfer: 2.12x
with little progress percentages going up along the way.

Meanwhile, on your phone/Android device, you'll see output similar to this:

Finding update package...
Opening update package...
Verifying update package...
Installing update...
Source: google/bullhead/bullhead:6.0/MMB29Q/#######:user/release-keys
Target: google/bullhead/bullhead:6.0.1/MHC19J/#######:user/release-keys
Verifying current system...
Verified system image...
Verified vendor image...
Patching system image after verification.
Verifying the updated system image...
Verified the updated system image.
Patching vendor image after verification.
Verifying the updated vendor image...
Verified the updated vendor image.
Patching the boot image...
Writing bootloader...
Patching radio...
script succeeded: result was [1.000000]

Install from ADB complete.

When that's done, use the volume up key to highlight Reboot system now and then press the power button to select it.

After your device reboots, you should see something like Android is upgrading...
Optimising app # of 66

That's it! Your update should now be installed.

Linux Ubuntu

Installing Adobe Flash 10 Beta in Ubuntu

Some people have found the new version of Adobe’s Flash player to offer greater stability (fewer crashes) in the Ubuntu version of Firefox. Others just like to try cutting edge software. Either way, this is how you install Flash 10 beta in Ubuntu.

Probably the easiest way to do it is to download the .deb file of it from your local mirror and then double-click it.

If you prefer to install the .tar.gz from the Adobe website, copy and paste the following commands into the terminal:

sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-nonfree

This command uninstalls the Ubuntu repositories version of Flash 9.

wget -c

This downloads the Flash 10 beta compressed file.

tar -xvzf flashplayer10_install_linux_081108.tar.gz

This extracts the files contained in the compressed file.

sudo cp install_flash_player_10_linux/ /usr/lib/xulrunner-addons/plugins/

This command copies the Flash plugin to the Firefox plugins folder.

rm -r install_flash_player_10_linux

This command removes the extracted files folder.

rm flashplayer10_install_linux_081108.tar.gz

This command removes the originally downloaded compressed file.

Below is what the whole process looks like:

username@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-nonfree
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree

Reading state information… Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B of archives.
After unpacking 160kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Y
(Reading database … 68660 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing flashplugin-nonfree …
username@ubuntu:~$ wget -c
=> `flashplayer10_install_linux_081108.tar.gz’
Connecting to||:80… connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 200 OK
Length: 4,035,433 (3.8M) [application/x-gzip]

4,035,433 624.95K/s ETA 00:00

18:23:44 (620.39 KB/s) – `flashplayer10_install_linux_081108.tar.gz’ saved

username@ubuntu:~$ tar -xvzf flashplayer10_install_linux_081108.tar.gz
username@ubuntu:~$ sudo cp install_flash_player_10_linux/ /usr/lib/xulrunner-addons/plugins/
username@ubuntu:~$ rm -r install_flash_player_10_linux
rm: remove write-protected regular file `install_flash_player_10_linux/flashplayer-installer’? Y
username@ubuntu:~$ rm flashplayer10_install_linux_081108.tar.gz

If you run into problems, post a support thread at the Ubuntu Forums.

Linux Ubuntu

Installing Flash on Kubuntu 8.04

Ubuntu’s development is mainly focused on Ubuntu and less so on Kubuntu and Xubuntu, so most of my tutorials are also Ubuntu-centric.

Nevertheless, people do actually use Kubuntu and Xubuntu, so I thought I’d create a little tutorial on enabling extra software repositories and installing Flash in Kubuntu 8.04, since someone on the Ubuntu Forums asked how to do it, and I didn’t have a simple explanation handy (the process for installing Flash in Ubuntu is much simpler).

First go to the KMenu and and select System and Adept Manager.

Adept Package Manager handles software installation and removal. It fetches installer files and their dependencies from a centralized software server repository, and then it installs them for you.

Since Adobe Flash is proprietary software, we’ll have to enable extra software repositories to have it available for installation. If you don’t get this whole free v. proprietary business, you can read more about it at the Ubuntu philosophy page.

Click on Adept and select Manage Repositories

You should see both the Universe and Multiverse repositories unchecked (or unticked).

Check (or tick) both the Universe and Multiverse repositories. You can also, if you want to be considerate, change the software download source from the main Ubuntu servers to a local mirrored server (in my case, that would be the United States). Either way, the software available will be the same.

When you’re done making those changes, click Close

Adept will then check both what software is available for installation and what you already have installed.

In the search area, type flashplugin. This will filter for any software package that has the phrase flashplugin in it (there should be only one package—flashplugin-nonfree).

Click on flashplugin-nonfree in the filtered results and Request install.

Click on Apply Changes

Wait for Adobe Flash to download and install.

Once you’ve install Flash, you can quit the package manager by going to Adept and selecting Quit

In Konqueror (Kubuntu’s web browser), go to Settings and select Configure Konqueror

Click on Plugins and then select Scan for New Plugins

Once the new Flash plugin has been found, click OK

You should now be able to view Flash content through Konqueror.

If you experience any problems or have questions about any of these steps, you can find help at the Kubuntu Forums. You can also visit the the Ubuntu Forums for help—just be sure to let people know you’re using Kubuntu (and not Ubuntu).