Note: Check out post #2 for additional information starting with firmware 1.5.1 (Nov 2017)
Let's start with an index:
- Boot modes
- Set up the PC / Get all files
- Start from scratch
- Update to newest firmware
Recently got me the BQ Aquaris X Pro 128GB and wrote this because of the lack of any documentation on xda regarding unlocking/flashing/rooting/...
In this post you will find a collection of information i found spread over various sources.
I don't know if everything is right, so please report any wrong parts or missing information.
Just a sidenote: At the moment i will be using the stock rom, because it is really clean and slim and i don't want to continuously keep on track with all updates some custom roms have (and get along with possible restrictions in functionality). Because of this, an important advantage for the stock rom is that is 'just works'™ and there are regular updates which are (hopefully ) tested by BQ before release.
So here is a screenshot what the default app launcher looks like and which apps are preinstalled
The following parts will include:
- unlocking the bootloader
- installing TWRP recovery and Magisk (low level system access, root, ...)
- update BQ firmware
- re-installing TWRP/Magisk/root
Alternatively, one could easier update first and then do all the Recovery- and rootstuff, but I wanted to verify that a system update will be possible without data loss at any time later on. As i read in other forums, it is a bad idea to use the OTA functionality (over-the-air = regular/stock way for system updates) when running a rooted system with unlocked bootloader. (I didn't test this, but i didn't want to find out either..)
Warning: If you used the phone before - backup your files! The phones data will get wiped in the process (at least while unlocking the bootloader)!
Note: I took out my SIM card for the whole process and never set up WLAN, so the phone never got internet access until i disabled the search for software updates. This may prevent the update notifications.
- everyone at the android-hilfe.de forum, especially syscrh and blur for their threads (see ,)
- Kra1o5, the TWRP maintainer for the Aquaris X Pro
- the BQ team for their firmware and of course for packaging and hosting the firmware
2 Boot modes
Precondition for both modes: phone off, no usb connection
Fastboot mode: vol_down + pwr
(if entered accidentally, long press pwr for >12sec, screen switches off, then phone will reboot (to system) after 10-20secs)
Recovery: vol_up + pwr
(navigate with vol_up and vol_down buttons, select/confirm with power button)
In detail (for new users): while phone is off, press and hold the volume-up/down button and directly after this (still holding vol_up/down) press and hold the power button as well. Hold both buttons until you see the logo and hold for approx. 1 more second. then release both buttons.
For further information or other BQ phones, take a look here: 
3 Set up the PC / Get all files
Get Android Debug Bridge (adb) drivers and newest firmware from BQ (DE) / (EN)
- Install drivers
- extract the firmware zip
If you already got adb on your computer, check the version - some commands may not be availlable.
For adb sideload via TWRP recovery, you should have at least adb version 1.0.32 
You can get the SDK Platform Tools from Google.  At the time of writing (2017-09-14), they are on version 1.0.39.
A good choice may be to use the adb tools packaged in the firmware update .zip from BQ.
For the Aquaris X Pro firmware 1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW.zip, the tools are on version 1.0.36.
Get the TWRP image file for the Aquaris X Pro .
(Take a look at  if you own the Aquaris X.)
Get Magisk flashable .zip 
To be sure get the uninstaller and the Magisk Manager .apk as well.
4 Start from scratch
- New phone with unmodified stock rom
- Versions as reference:
- using windows 10 here, so some of the following parts may be windows specific. Linux users (ok, debian based linux users) should take a look at the packages 'android-tools-adb' and 'android-tools-fastboot'.
4.1 Prepare phone
Activate developer mode and, from the developer options:
- allow unlocking of the bootloader
- enable USB debugging mode.
Disable software update search:
- Settings -> About phone -> System updates -> untick the checkbox 'Auto-check'
Detail regarding activation of developer options:
cite from 
On your device, go into Settings -> About and find the Build Number and tap on it 7 times to enable developer settings. Press back and go into Developer Options and enable USB debugging.
4.2 Unlock the bootloader
Go to fastboot mode (Power off, then hold vol_down + pwr).
Connect to PC via USB.
After allowing unlocking in the developer options, you should see:
We will be using the following fastboot commands: (from 'fastboot --help')
Queries bootloader to see if the device is unlocked.
Unlocks the device. Allows flashing any partition except bootloader-related partitions.
Enables flashing bootloader-related partitions.
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability ... (bootloader) get_unlock_ability: 1 OKAY [ 0.018s] finished. total time: 0.020s
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability ... (bootloader) get_unlock_ability: 0 OKAY [ 0.013s] finished. total time: 0.013s
FYI, additional information:
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot oem device-info ... (bootloader) Device tampered: false (bootloader) Device unlocked: false (bootloader) Device critical unlocked: false (bootloader) Charger screen enabled: true (bootloader) Display panel: OKAY [ 0.053s] finished. total time: 0.053s
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot flashing unlock ... OKAY [ 0.074s] finished. total time: 0.076s
wait a couple of minutes, there will be this screen:
After that, you will get to the welcome screen.
Disconnect USB and switch off the phone.
Enter fastbook mode again, connect usb
Now the first lock should be gone:
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot oem device-info ... (bootloader) Device tampered: false (bootloader) Device unlocked: true (bootloader) Device critical unlocked: false (bootloader) Charger screen enabled: true (bootloader) Display panel: OKAY [ 0.054s] finished. total time: 0.058s
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot flashing unlock_critical ... OKAY [ 0.075s] finished. total time: 0.076s
You will get the encrypting screen again:
Followed by the screen with the 'Aquaris X' animation and finally the welcome screen.
Disconnect USB, switch off.
Enter fastbook mode again, connect usb and check if both unlocks went fine:
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot oem device-info ... (bootloader) Device tampered: false (bootloader) Device unlocked: true (bootloader) Device critical unlocked: true (bootloader) Charger screen enabled: true (bootloader) Display panel: OKAY [ 0.058s] finished. total time: 0.060s
Stay in fastboot mode for the next step.
4.3 Install TWRP and Magisk
Now we only need one command to flash the TWRP recovery (adjust to your filepaths)
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot flash recovery ..\..\03_TWRP_Magisk\twrp-3.1.1-0-bardock_pro.img target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes sending 'recovery' (28078 KB)... OKAY [ 0.635s] writing 'recovery'... OKAY [ 0.180s] finished. total time: 0.817s
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>fastboot reboot rebooting... finished. total time: 0.006s
After pressing volume_up, you'll see an options menu
Select 'Recovery' with vol_up/down and chose the option with the power button.
You'll see the options screen again, but this time just wait 5 seconds or press the power button and TWRP recovey will start.
TWRP will ask if it should modify the system partition. Don't apply the modifications, instead choose 'Keep Read Only'.
Note: If you chose 'yes', then take a look at section '6.1 troubleshooting'.
Now we flash Magisk from TWRP with the adb sideload function.
In TWRP choose 'Advanced' and there 'ADB sideload'. Just swipe and start the sideload mode.
From the PC, we initiate the transfer and installation of the Magisk .zip:
E:\backups\android\BQ-Aquaris-X-Pro\04_firmware\1.4.3_20170809-1111-bardock-user-983-Fastboot-FW>adb sideload ..\..\03_TWRP_Magisk\Magisk-v14.0.zip loading: '..\..\03_TWRP_Magisk\Magisk-v14.0.zip'* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 * * daemon started successfully * Total xfer: 1.69x
Now we can reboot to system. TWRP will be kept (although we only selected the temporary variant before).
This should be the first system bootup after the wipe from the bootloader unlocking process, so you will get to the welcome wizard. At this point I chose to skip the SIM card step (because i did not insert any SIM) and leave the WLAN unconfigured.
In the settings menu, go to 'About Phone' and 'Software Update' and disable the automatic updates
This should prevent any notifications regarding OTA updates as we will update via PC with the .zip firmware downloaded from BQ.
In the system you will notice the Magisk Manager App. Through this App, you can allow and deny root access for any app (a notification will pop up if any app requests root permission).
Enable developer options (see step '4.1 prepare phone') and enable USB debugging mode again.
Allow your PC in the popup notification and check the option to always allow this PC.
5 Update to newest firmware
- some older stock firmware
- unlocked bootloader (both options 'unlock' and 'unlock_critical')
- TWRP recovery
(these should be met if you went through all steps above...)
- newest BQ firmware from step '3 Set up the PC / Get all files'
On the PC go to the folder with the extracted BQ firmware .zip
Create a copy of 8953_fastboot_all_images.bat
Comment out or delete the following lines:
fastboot flash userdata userdata.img fastboot flash recovery recovery.img fastboot reboot
--- 8953_fastboot_all_images.bat 2017-08-09 12:27:24.000000000 +0200 +++ 8953_fastboot_all_images_nuv.bat 2017-09-10 22:07:54.794986400 +0200 @@ -37,8 +37,11 @@ fastboot flash modem NON-HLOS.bin fastboot flash system system.img fastboot flash cache cache.img -fastboot flash userdata userdata.img -fastboot flash recovery recovery.img + +rem nuv: omit userdata and recovery to keep data and TWRP +rem fastboot flash userdata userdata.img +rem fastboot flash recovery recovery.img + rem fastboot flash sec sec.dat fastboot flash dsp adspso.bin fastboot flash mdtp mdtp.img @@ -47,7 +50,9 @@ fastboot erase DDR fastboot flash boot boot.img -fastboot reboot +rem nuv: omit reboot to allow a manual reboot and start of TWRP before first boot of new image +rem fastboot reboot + pause exit
[...] erasing 'DDR'... OKAY [ 0.020s] finished. total time: 0.023s target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes sending 'boot' (22485 KB)... OKAY [ 0.502s] writing 'boot'... OKAY [ 0.132s] finished. total time: 0.636s Drücken Sie eine beliebige Taste . . .
Now we flash Magisk from TWRP with the adb sideload function. (again , see step 4.3 Install TWRP and Magisk'
adb sideload ..\..\03_TWRP_Magisk\Magisk-v14.0.zip
6.1 System update notifications
As written in step '1 Intro' and '4.3 Install TWRP and Magisk' i did not let the phone get an internet connection after the wipe (bootloader unlock) and disabled the software update feature.
I don't know if this will reliably prevent the update notifications.
As a further note, user Schubbie stated on android-hilfe.de , that the OTA updates get saved to the path /data/data/com.bqreaders.ota/files/bq_update_ota.zip so maybe you can delete the file if an unwanted update notification pops up.
As an additional information to step '4.3 Install TWRP and Magisk'
At the point after flashing TWRP and starting it the first time, I let TWRP apply the system modifications.
After that i rebooted to check if the TWRP installation was successful...
I got "device is corrupt" when I wanted to boot into system. I continued the boot process with the power button and after that, the phone got stuck at the screen with the BQ logo and the text 'Powered by Android' (waited >10min).
To revive the phone from that state, you can flash the recovery and system images from the BQ firmware .zip
Important: Use the 'old' firmware which is still on your phone - the images have to match your current installation!
Bring the phone into fastboot mode and use the commands:
1.3.5_20170620-0532-bardock-user-594-Fastboot-FW\fastboot flash recovery recovery.img 1.3.5_20170620-0532-bardock-user-594-Fastboot-FW\fastboot flash system system.img
Now the phone is back to the state unlocked bootloader with stock rom and stock recovery.
Continue with step '4.3 Install TWRP and Magisk'.
Official BQ website - Downloads Aquaris X Pro
Firmware 1.4.3 | MD5: 16ff81c74642189a5d09f6b73feb06d5 | https://storage.googleapis.com/otas/...astboot-FW.zip
Drivers | https://shenron.bq.com/otas/2014/Sma...0%2B%20adb.rar
TWRP - ADB sideload information
SDK Platform Tools
Section 'Download Links'
TWRP - BQ devices
[2017.9.6] Magisk v14.0 - Root & Universal Systemless Interface [Android 5.0+]
TWRP maintainer for Aquaris X (Kra1o5) mentions SuperSU in a forum about flashing TWRP and rooting
[info] recovery menu on BQ devices
[Anleitung] Aquaris X/X Pro Bootloader entsperren/unlock
Aquaris X/X Pro - Firmwareupdate mit Root
2017-09-23: initial post, work in progress
2017-09-23: added pictures, codeblocks, formating...
2017-11-11: fixed typos, little cosmetics, little text changes in '4.1 Prepare phone', corrected section references
2017-11-11: Added links to the [<number>] References - wow!
2017-11-18: Added info at top of post, moved changelog to post #1