[Guide] Root Pixel 4a (5G) with Magisk Android 12.1

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egandt

Senior Member
Mar 25, 2008
410
133
"Open a Command Prompt in the folder you copied the patched boot.img to.
Type fastboot flash boot "name of patched boot".img without the quote marks at the Prompt and press enter.
Type fastboot reboot at the Prompt and press enter."


On Magisk 25.0 and Build bramble-sq3a.220605.009.a1, I can not boot the patched image as it shows google screen then fails then reboots tries again then fails a second time with a message try again or wipe data (which I can not do as I have no backup yet since I do not have root).

"fastboot flash boot boot.img --slot all" recovers the phone, but not root which I need to create a backup (stupid phone upgraded even though I had it disabled and lost root before I could backup using swiftbackup).

I personally use oneplus never have issues, every time I work on the pixels I have issues with rooting and with them updating when I have disabled it in developer options

ERIC
 

Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
3,271
1,802
Google Pixel XL
"Open a Command Prompt in the folder you copied the patched boot.img to.
Type fastboot flash boot "name of patched boot".img without the quote marks at the Prompt and press enter.
Type fastboot reboot at the Prompt and press enter."


On Magisk 25.0 and Build bramble-sq3a.220605.009.a1, I can not boot the patched image as it shows google screen then fails then reboots tries again then fails a second time with a message try again or wipe data (which I can not do as I have no backup yet since I do not have root).

"fastboot flash boot boot.img --slot all" recovers the phone, but not root which I need to create a backup (stupid phone upgraded even though I had it disabled and lost root before I could backup using swiftbackup).

I personally use oneplus never have issues, every time I work on the pixels I have issues with rooting and with them updating when I have disabled it in developer options

ERIC
- Do you have SDK Platform-tools 3.3.0.2 installed on your PC.?
- boot Safe Mode
- After, Safe mode is fully booted
- Reboot
- flash the bramble-sq3a.220605.009.a1 magisk_patched boot.img
 

Flagger1975

New member
Jun 30, 2022
4
0
I have a work project that required a rooted Android device and managed to get a Bramble rooted. Now a new stumbling block has arisen, I need to a copy a file to the /etc directory.. and I can't. Looks like I don't have permissions to save the file based on the ADB result. Magisk shows the device is rooted, root checker confirms, I use Root Browser and can see the System directories, just can't save to them. Is there anyway around this or a way to unlock the directory I need further? Device is on Android 12... think the December build.
 

Flagger1975

New member
Jun 30, 2022
4
0
@Homeboy76
I'm using Root Browser Classic, root access mode is enabled.. when I open the app I receive a message from Magisk that it granted Superuser rights. Is there another file manager I should use? Ive tried a few and either they didn't work properly or were so insanely ad filled they were unusable.
 

Flagger1975

New member
Jun 30, 2022
4
0
@Homeboy76
I don't get it either, I've tried multiple file browsers and they all report the file system is a read only file system. Im not sure if this is something Google did with Android 12 or what but its infuriating as this pretty much stops any work I can do.

Im guessing what is tripping me is well.. Google:

Can't edit system files

From Android 9 a lot has changed in Android, and if you can't edit system files anymore it is not because root is broken or not fully working.

On some system-as-root (SAR) devices you can no longer mount the system partition as read-write and doing systemless modifications through Magisk is an easy way of getting around that. If you do want to do actual edits of the system, and if it is even possible (from Android 10 it's actually impossible on some devices), you need to mount the root directory, /, as rw and not /system. You can also try editing the partition mirrors that Magisk keeps in /sbin/.magisk/mirror, but this should be the last resort since it might be tricky mounting them rw.

From v20.0, Magisk is also following the design laid down by Google, which is why you might suddenly start to experience this "issue" after updating from earlier Magisk versions.

Question is.. how do I mount the root directory as rw versus not /system?
 
Last edited:

Flagger1975

New member
Jun 30, 2022
4
0
@Homeboy76

I did and get plenty of responses including lots of things involving linux which have nothing to do with this particular situation. I was really hoping to get help for this particular use case versus Ubunta version whatever, or IBM operating system or whatever other results come back. Im trying not to brick this device as this was the only one we have I was able to get rooted thanks to Android OEM's. I very little linux knowledge and just as much knowledge on Android (so yeah, not much).
 

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    1. Riru - Play Integrity Fix
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    Use this app to check the status of Play Integrity on your phone: Play Integrity API Checker
  • 23
    [Guide] Root Pixel 4a (5G) with Magisk Android 12.1
    Android Security Bulletin—August 2022
    Pixel Update Bulletin—August 2022

    Introduction
    This Guide is for Pixel 4a 5(G) owners that want to Root their phone, and enjoy the benefits of rooting it. The Guide is divided into three parts: Information, Instructions, and Other.

    ~ ~ ~ Part I - INFORMATION ~ ~ ~
    1. Disclaimer

      • I assume no responsibility for the malfunctioning/bricking of your phone.
      • The order of listed items i.e., Custom Kernels, Custom ROMS, etc. Does not indicate my preference for them. It is your responsibility to do the research before selecting an item.
    2. Prerequisites

    3. Update(s)

    4. NEW

      • SafetyNet Fix 2.3.1 - 27Jun
    5. My Other Guides
    6. Credits/Thanks/Recognitions

      • @creezalird- Flash Android 12 factory image.
      • Those I may have, inadvertently, forgotten.
    ~ ~ ~ Part II - INSTRUCTIONS ~ ~ ~
    (The Instructions listed below are not steps, they are individual sets of instructions.)

    1. Unlock Bootloader/Return Phone to Stock/Lock Bootloader

      • Unlock Bootloader

        1. This will erase all user data from the device!
        2. Backup your data
        3. Activate Developer Options: Tap Settings > About Phone > Tap Build Number 7 times or until you see you are a Developer. Tap back > System > Advanced > Developer Options. Enable OEM Unlock and, USB Debugging.
        4. Boot fastboot mode
        5. Connect the phone to the Computer with USB cord.
        6. Open a Command Prompt on your computer and type fastboot flashing unlock and press enter.
        7. You should see a request for confirmation on your phone, use the volume keys to scroll and the power key to select.
        8. Allow the process to complete and then type fastboot reboot at the Command Prompt and press enter.
        9. When your phone reboots disconnect your usb cable.
        10. Notes:
          • After unlocking your bootloader, you'll see a warning: The bootloader is unlocked and... You will see this warning until, you relock the bootloader.
          • Do not relock your bootloader until you have returned the device to Stock.
      • Return Phone to Stock

        1. Backup your data/Internal storage
        2. Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options > Erase all data (factory reset)
        3. Log in
        4. Set up phone
      • Lock Bootloader

        1. Return the phone to Stock before locking the bootloader, failure to do so could brick your phone
        2. This will erase all user data from the device!
        3. Boot fastboot mode
        4. Open a Command Prompt and type this at the Prompt: fastboot flashing lock
        5. You should see a request for confirmation on your phone, use the volume keys to scroll and the power key to select.
        6. Allow the process to complete, then type this at the Command Prompt: fastboot reboot
        7. Enable Developer Options: Settings > About phone > Tap Build number 7 times or until you see 'you are a developer'.
        8. Tap Back > Developer options and toggle OEM Unlock off.
    2. Install/Update Factory Image keep data, wipe data, or use @badabing2003 PixelFlasher

      • Important Note(s):
        1. When doing a Major Upgrade Android 12 (12.0.0) to Android 12.1 (12.1.0), I recommend doing a Clean Install: Do Flash Factory Image Wipe Data (below).
        2. Always verify you have the latest version of SDK Platform-Tools installed on your computer before installing the Factory Image: Pixel 4a 5(G) - bramble.
        3. If you get an error: while flashing, try one of these options:
          • Change the USB port to a non charging USB port.
          • Change the USB cord.
          • Change Computers.
        4. If you phone bootloops
          • force Safe Mode by continually pressing volume down button during boot animation.
          • After the system boots into safe mode you can reboot your device to boot up normally (since all modules will be disabled).
          • Thanks @Typhus_ for the instructions to force Safe Mode.
        5. Backup your data
        6. Download the latest Factory Image: Pixel 4a 5(G) - bramble to your Computer.
        7. Go to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 4. Extract Files from the FactoryImage/Flash boot.img and extract the flash-all.bat file.
      • Flash Factory Image Keep Data

        • Open the folder you extracted the Factory Image to and Edit the flash-all.bat file with a file editor i.e., DroidEdit app.
          1. Change this line: fastboot -w update image-bramble-aa9a.999999.999.zip
          2. to this: fastboot update image-bramble-sp1a.999999.999.zip
          3. Note: If you do not remove the -w your internal storage will be wiped.
        • After, you have edited the flash-all.bat file. Copy/Move these files to the Platform-tools folder:
          1. bootloader-bramble-....img
          2. flash-all.bat
          3. image-bramble-....zip
          4. radio-bramble-....img
        • On your phone: Boot the bootloader (Power off the phone => Press the Power and Down buttons until you see Start)
        • Connect your phone to the computer.
        • Open a Command Prompt on your computer in the Platform-tools folder and type: flash-all at the Command Prompt and press enter.
        • The phone will reboot when flashing is complete.
        • Go-to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 5. Root/Reroot with Magisk and Pass SafetyNet, • Patching the boot.img - to root/reroot.
      • Flash Factory Image Wipe Data

        • This will wipe your phone's Internal Storage.
        • Open the folder you extracted the Factory Image to and Copy/Move these files to the Platform-tools folder:
          1. bootloader-bramble-....img
          2. flash-all.bat
          3. image-bramble-....zip
          4. radio-bramble-....img
        • On your phone: Boot the bootloader (Power off the phone => Press the Power and Down buttons until you see Start)
        • Connect your phone to the computer.
        • Open a Command Prompt on your computer in the Platform-tools folder and type: flash-all at the Command Prompt and press enter.
        • The phone will reboot when flashing is complete.
        • Setup phone
        • Enable Developer Mode and USB Debugging
          1. Setup => About phone => Tap Build number 7 times or untill you see you are a 'Developer'.
          2. Setup => System => Developer options => Enable Developer options => enable USB Debugging
        • Go-to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 5. Root/Reroot with Magisk and Pass SafetyNet, • Patching the boot.img - to root/reroot.
      • badabing2003 PixelFlasher
    3. Take the OTA Update and Maintain Root

      • All the credit for this set of instructions goes to @topjohnwu for writing the instructions: Install Magisk to Inactive Slot , use Magisk Beta, Stable 24.3.
      • NOTE: If you had a Custom Kernel installed, after you Open Magisk and Restore Images. Do the following to return your phone to Stock:
        • fastboot flash dtbo dtbo.img
        • fastboot flash vendor_boot vendor_boot.img
        • There may be more .img files you need to flash. Please check the OP of the Custom Kernel thread you install for instruction to remove the Custom Kernel and return your phone to Stock. Additionally, if you installed Mods Please check the OP of the Mod thread you installed for instruction to remove the Mod and return your phone to Stock before you download the OTA.
      • If you phone bootloops
        • force Safe Mode by continually pressing volume down button during boot animation.
        • After the system boots into safe mode you can reboot your device to boot up normally (since all modules will be disabled).
        • Thanks @Typhus_ for the instructions to force Safe Mode.
    4. Extract Files from Factory Image/Flash boot.img

      • Extract Files from Factory Image

        1. Extract flash-all.bat and boot.img file
        2. Download the latest Factory image to your phone.
        3. Extract the Factory Image file (bramble-r2d1a.999999.999-factory-99a9a99a.zip) to a folder. The, stock, flash-all.bat file should be in this folder.
        4. Open the folder you extracted the Factory image to and, extract the Image file (image-bramble-aa9a.999999.999.zip) into the folder. The, stock, boot.img file should be in this folder.
      • Flash boot.img

        1. Flashing the boot.img removes root.
        2. Open the folder you extracted the 'image...zip' file to and copy the boot.img file to your computer's platform-tools folder or to the folder that has fastboot.exe in it.
        3. Boot fastboot mode
        4. Connect the phone to the Computer
        5. Open a Command Prompt and type the following command at the prompt:
          fastboot flash boot --slot all boot.img
        6. Reboot
    5. Root/Reroot with Magisk and Pass SafetyNet.

      • Android 12

        • Upgrade to Android 12: OP, Part II - INSTRUCTIONS, 2. Install/Update Factory Image keep data or wipe data, Keep data
      • Patching the boot.img - to root/reroot.

        1. Go to Part II - INSTRUCTIONS => 4. Extract Files from the FactoryImage/Flash boot.img and extract the boot.img file.
        2. Install Magisk Canary - Download app-release.apk
          or
          Magisk Beta 25.0/Stable 24.3 App
        3. Open Magisk Beta/Canary/Stable App
        4. The Update Channel should be set to Beta/Canary/Stable, depending on the version you Installed.
        5. Tap Install (next to Magisk)
        6. Tap, Select and Patch a File
        7. Select the boot.img file you extracted from the latest factory image.
        8. Tap the ✓ (Check Mark)
        9. Tap Let's Go
        10. When you see done, the boot.img has been patched (magisk_patched_xxxxxx.img), and stored in the download folder.
        11. Reboot
        12. Copy/Move the patched boot.img file to your computer's Platform-tools folder or the folder that has fastboot.exe in it:
          • Copy it to a USB drive and transfer it to your computer.
          • Move it to your computer using adb push
        13. Boot fastboot mode
        14. Connect the phone to the Computer with USB cord.
        15. Open a Command Prompt in the folder you copied the patched boot.img to.
        16. Type fastboot flash boot "name of patched boot".img without the quote marks at the Prompt and press enter.
        17. Type fastboot reboot at the Prompt and press enter.
        18. Important Notes: If your phone boot loops try one of the following options:
          • Flash the 'stock' boot.img to both slots: fastboot flash boot boot.img --slot all
          • Boot Safe Mode - Press Power Off button ==> Press Power Off until you see boot Safe Mode ==> Press Ok.
      • Pass Safety Net with SafetyNet Fix

        1. Download File(s)
        2. Install SafetyNet Fix
          • Open Magisk
          • Tap Modules icon
          • Tap Install from storage
          • Navigate to the SafetyNet Fix file you downloaded
          • Tap the SafetyNet Fix file
          • Tap the check mark (✓ at the bottom) to start the installation.
          • After it installs tap the Save icon to save the log
          • Tap Reboot.
        3. Settings for Magisk Canary
          • Open Magisk App
          • Tap the Setup icon.
          • Scroll down to App and set the Update Channel to Canary.
          • Scroll down to Check Updates and enable it.
          • Scroll down to Magisk and enable Zygisk and Enforce DenyList.
          • Tap Configure DenyList => Tap 3 Dot Menu => Check ✓ Show system apps => Check ✓ Google Play Store, Google Pay, etc.
          • Scroll down to Superuser and enable Enable Biometric Authentication.
        4. Get Device Certified Clear Google Play Services, Google Play Store, Google Pay, etc. data
          • Turn Airplane mode on
          • Open Settings
          • Tap Apps & notifications
          • Tap see all...
          • Tap three dot menu
          • Tap Show system
          • Scroll down to Google Play Store
          • Tap Storage and Cache
          • Tap Clear storage
            Note: Repeat the 3 steps above for Google Play Services, Google Pay, etc.
          • reboot
          • Turn Airplane mode off
        5. Check Device Certification
          • Open Google Play Store app
          • Tap Menu - Circle top right
          • Tap Settings
          • Tap About
          • Check Play protect certification.
    6. Set Magisk App Update Channel/Update Magisk

      • Set Magisk App Update Channel

        • Open Magisk App > Tap Settings icon > Update Channel > Select Stable, Beta, Canary or Custom.
      • Update Magisk

        1. When Magisk App notifies you of an update:
        2. Tap install.
        3. Select, Direct Install (Recommended)
        4. When it finishes installing
        5. Tap, Save Log
        6. Log location: /storage/emulated/0/Download
        7. Tap, Reboot
        8. Done!
    7. Install/Update Magisk Modules

      • Download Modules
      • Install Modules

        1. Open Magisk
        2. Tap the Modules icon
        3. Tap Install from storage
        4. Navigate to the folder with the Module you want to install.
        5. Tap the Module to highlite it and tap Select.
        6. After it installs, tap the Disc Icon to save the install log.
        7. Tap Reboot
      • Update Modules

        1. Open Magisk
        2. Tap the Modules icon
        3. You, will see the Modules that have Updates.
        4. Tap the Module you want to update.
        5. Tap install.
        6. After it installs, tap the Disc Icon to save the install log.
        7. Tap Reboot
    8. Open a Command Prompt/Boot Fastboot Mode/Boot Recovery

      • Open a Command Prompt on Computer
        1. Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder ==> click the folder icon (left side of address bar) to highlight it type cmd and press enter.
        2. Open a Powershell Command Prompt on Computer: Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder ==> click the folder icon (left side of address bar) to highlight it type powershell and press enter.
        3. Notes:
          • Enable USB Debugging, on your phone: Settings ==> System ==> Advanced ==> Developer options ==> Scroll down to USB debugging and enable it.
          • When using the Powershell Command Prompt Commands must be preceeded with ./: i.e, ./fastboot devices
          • If you do not want to open a Command Prompt every time you want to use the fastboot command, add the path to the Platform-tools folder to Windows environment variables.
      • Boot fastboot mode (bootloader):
        • Power off phone, press and hold the power and volume down buttons until you see Start.
      • Boot Recovery
        • Power off phone, press and hold the power and volume down buttons until you see Start. Use volume up/down button until you see Recovery mode. Press power button.
    9. Test fastboot

      • Enable Developer Options - Tap Settings > About phone > Build number 7 times or until you should see 'you are a Developer'.
      • Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options >
        Enable USB Debugging.
      • Open a Command Prompt on your computer in the Platform-tools folder.
      • Boot fastboot mode on your phone
      • Connect the phone to the Computer.
      • At the prompt type: fastboot devices to verify communication with phone. It should return your phone's serial number.
    10. ADB Sideload

    ~ ~ ~ Part III - Other ~ ~ ~
    1. Custom ROMs

    2. Mods
    3. T.W.R.P. Backup/Restore

      • Waiting for Android 12 T.W.R.P.
    3
    Provided you are not on Verizon:
    Try reinstalling the stock boot.img from the update, flash the OTA, or perform another clean install. After first boot and performing any necessary setup (if clean install), power off phone, remove sim card, reboot. Creat a new patched boot.img, install it and reboot. Turn phone off, reinstall sim card, reboot as normal. Should fix the issue. Make sure you are using the latest magisk (I prefer stable of canary personally but it's your call).
    If you are on verizon, do not install the April update in this thread, as it is stated "All carriers EXCEPT Verizon."

    However, there is an OTA update on the official frimware website that does work on Verizon. I just flashed it myself. Maybe Homeboy76 could update thread?
    :( Do not repeat do not follow these instructions. The information is only partially correct. :(

    I just checked the Factory image and the OTA image pages the only change was the All carriers EXCEPT Verizon has been removed from the images description.

    The OP has been updated to reflect the change.

    These images work on Verizon Pixel 4a 5g phones.
    3
    Thanks for the write-up. Just got one of these as I dropped my old phone, and I was due anyways. So question regarding Safetynet. I went ahead and went with the latest Feb factory image, patched the boot and rooted with Magisk, then tried the safety net and attestation fails. Anybody have the feb patch and passing safetynet? if so what was the sequence you used? thanks
    - Root with Magisk patched img
    - Open Magisk Manager install SafetyNet module
    - Reboot
    - Open Magisk Manager Enable Magisk hide
    - Hide Google Play store, Google pay, etc
    - Clear cache and storage for the above apps
    - Reboot
    3
    hi @Homeboy76 ,
    maybe i'm wrong, but in your
    Prerequisites

    1. A Pixel 4a 5(G) phone with an unlocked bootloader.
    2. The latest Android 11 (R) Factory or OTA Image: "bramble" for Pixel 4a 5(G)
    3. Factory Image
    also at:
    4. Install/Update Factory Image keep or wipe data
    Just checked
    It is pointing to the Pixel 4a 5(G) bramble factory image.

    Download the latest Factory Image: Pixel 5 - bramble to your Computer. --> pixel 5 (only text)? Fixed!
    2
    Thanks for the write-up. Just got one of these as I dropped my old phone, and I was due anyways. So question regarding Safetynet. I went ahead and went with the latest Feb factory image, patched the boot and rooted with Magisk, then tried the safety net and attestation fails. Anybody have the feb patch and passing safetynet? if so what was the sequence you used? thanks

    You need Universal Safetynet fix v 1.1.1 Magisk module.