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[Guide] Root Pixel XL Android 11 (R)

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Homeboy76

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2012
2,582
1,276
[Guide] Root Pixel XL Android 11 (R) Unlock/Lock Bootloader + Install Custom ROMS + Update Magisk/Systemless Root
Security Bulletin—July 2021

Introduction
This Guide is for Google Pixel XL owners that want to Root their phone, enjoy the benefits of rooting it and installing a Custom ROM.

New

Updates
  1. Magisk Stable App - Magisk-23.0 05/12
  2. Magisk Beta App - Magisk-23.0 05/12
  3. Magisk Canary App - Magisk-23001
  4. TWRP - Waiting for T.R.W.P. for Android 10 (Q)
  5. SDK Platform-tools - r31.0.2 April
  6. Custom Kernels
    • None...
  7. Custom ROM(s) - Android 11 (R)
    • [UNOFFICIAL] LineageOS 18.1 07/14
    • PixelExperience 07/16
  8. Custom ROM(s) - Android 10 (Q)
    • lineage-17.1 Nightly

Disclaimers


  1. I assume no responsibility for the malfunctioning/bricking of your phone.
  2. 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.

Prerequisites
  1. A Pixel XL phone with an unlocked bootloader.
  2. Android 11 (Q) Custom ROM (Index #6 below).
  3. Computer - With the latest SDK Platform-Tools: r31.0.2installed.

Credits/Thanks/Recognitions
  1. @topjohnwu - Magisk
  2. Those I may have, inadvertently, forgotten.

Index
(NOTE: Numbers 1-8 are not steps, they are individual sets of instructions).
  1. Open a Command Prompt/Boot Bootloader/Boot Recovery

    • Open Command Prompt on Computer
      1. Option 1 - Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder, press shift, right click, and select open command prompt here.
      2. Option 2 - Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder, highlight the directory information in the address bar or click the folder (left side of address bar) to highlight it type cmd and press enter.
      3. Notes:
    • Boot fastboot mode:
      • 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.
  2. Test ADB (Android Debug Bridge)/fastboot

    • ADB
      1. Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Developer Options. Enable USB Debugging.
      2. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
      3. Type this at the prompt to test ADB.
        adb version
        It should return a version number for ADB.
    • fastboot
      1. Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Developer Options. Enable USB Debugging.
      2. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
      3. Boot Bootloader
      4. Connect the phone to the Computer with USB cord.
      5. Type this at the prompt and press enter to test fastboot.
        Code:
        fastboot devices
        It should return your device serial number.
  3. Unlock Bootloader/Return Phone to Stock/Lock Bootloader

    • Unlock Bootloader

      1. Backup your data/Internal storage
      2. Activate Developer Options: Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Tap Build Number 7 times or until you see you're a Developer.
      3. Tap back > Developer Options and toogle OEM Unlock on and, toggle USB Debugging on.
      4. Boot Bootloader
      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.
        This will erase all user data from the device!
      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.
        Note: After unlocking your bootloader, you'll see a warning: Your device software can't be checked for corruption. Please lock the bootloader. You will see this warning until, you relock the bootloader.

        Important: 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. Important: Do not relock your bootloader until you have returned the device to Stock..
      2. Boot bootloader
      3. Open a Command Prompt and type this at the Prompt: fastboot flashing lock
      4. You should see a request for confirmation on your phone, use the volume keys to scroll and the power key to select.
      5. Allow the process to complete, then type this at the Command Prompt: fastboot reboot
      6. Set up your phone.
      7. Enable Developer Options: Settings > System > About phone > Tap Build number 7 times or until you see'You are a Developer. Tap Back > Developer options and toggle OEM Unlock off.
  4. Extract/Flash boot.img

    • Extract boot.img

      1. Download the latest Factory image to your phone.
      2. Use a File Explorer to extract the boot.img from the Factory Image.
      3. Extract the Factory Image file (10.0.0 (QP1A.191005.007.A3, Dec 2019)) to a folder.
      4. Open the folder you extracted the Factory image to and, extract the Image file (image-marlin-aaa9.999999.999.99a.zip).
    • Flash boot.img

      1. Note: Flashing this file removes root.
      2. Open the folder you extracted the 'image file' to and copy the boot.img file to the platform-tools or to the folder that has fastboot in it.
      3. Boot Bootloader
      4. Connect the phone to the Computer
      5. Open a Command Prompt and type the following command at the prompt:
        fastboot flash boot boot.img --slot all
      6. Reboot
  5. Set Magisk App Update Channel/Update Magisk

    • Set Magisk App Update Channel

      • Open Magisk App > Tap menu icon > Settings > 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/MagiskManager/logs/install_log_...
      7. Tap, Reboot
      8. Done!
  6. Custom ROMs for Pixel XL

  7. Mods
  8. Other: TWRP Backup

 
Last edited:

Therev86

Senior Member
Mar 14, 2011
240
47
I don't think those steps for rooting with canary give us full root, I was able to install adaway, but if i try to use a root uninstaller to remove Chrome (system app) it shows "Rooted, but cannot grant RW permissions on /system"

It seems no app can obtain root access to /System, i tested it with Root Explorer and the "mount /R/W" button does nothing when trying to mount the /System folder.
 
Last edited:

Trylr

Member
Dec 18, 2016
14
1
OnePlus 7 Pro
I don't think those steps for rooting with canary give us full root, I was able to install adaway, but if i try to use a root uninstaller to remove Chrome (system app) it shows "Rooted, but cannot grant RW permissions on /system"

It seems no app can obtain root access to /System, i tested it with Root Explorer and the "mount /R/W" button does nothing when trying to mount the /System folder.

I have the same problem with AdAway too. I'm guessing that we don't have write access.
 

jonpjingleheimler

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2016
171
51
47
Nashville
I have 10 on my phone. I just took the OTA a few hours ago. This may be a bit off topic but I can't get picture to play on Amazon video or Google movies only audio and captions. Hulu YouTube and Netflix work fine.
EDIT: AFTER A RESTART ALL VIDEO APPS WORK FINE. I'M THE dumbass ?
 
Last edited:

salpsuc

Member
Sep 24, 2013
12
8
There is an installer for TWRP, "twrp-installer-3.3.1-0-marlin.zip" but because it doesn't follow the naming convention for all the previous releases "twrp-pixel-installer-marlin X.X.X" it appears at the bottom of the list of installers instead of the top.
 
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AP2FTW

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2013
416
114
Mia
There is an installer for TWRP, "twrp-installer-3.3.1-0-marlin.zip" but because it doesn't follow the naming convention for all the previous releases "twrp-pixel-installer-marlin X.X.X" it appears at the bottom of the list of installers instead of the top.
Wait, so that newest version of twrp does work with 10 on pixel XL?

Sent from my Pixel XL using XDA Labs
 

masri1987

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2010
5,911
805
Honolulu, Hawaii
so i did the magisk patched method but i still don't have root in magisk? i took the boot.img out of the factory image and did it as i was told to...
anything i'm missing?

it's flashing it to boot_a, is it supposed to do something else?
 
Last edited:

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  • 17
    [Guide] Root Pixel XL Android 11 (R) Unlock/Lock Bootloader + Install Custom ROMS + Update Magisk/Systemless Root
    Security Bulletin—July 2021

    Introduction
    This Guide is for Google Pixel XL owners that want to Root their phone, enjoy the benefits of rooting it and installing a Custom ROM.

    New

    Updates
    1. Magisk Stable App - Magisk-23.0 05/12
    2. Magisk Beta App - Magisk-23.0 05/12
    3. Magisk Canary App - Magisk-23001
    4. TWRP - Waiting for T.R.W.P. for Android 10 (Q)
    5. SDK Platform-tools - r31.0.2 April
    6. Custom Kernels
      • None...
    7. Custom ROM(s) - Android 11 (R)
      • [UNOFFICIAL] LineageOS 18.1 07/14
      • PixelExperience 07/16
    8. Custom ROM(s) - Android 10 (Q)
      • lineage-17.1 Nightly

    Disclaimers


    1. I assume no responsibility for the malfunctioning/bricking of your phone.
    2. 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.

    Prerequisites
    1. A Pixel XL phone with an unlocked bootloader.
    2. Android 11 (Q) Custom ROM (Index #6 below).
    3. Computer - With the latest SDK Platform-Tools: r31.0.2installed.

    Credits/Thanks/Recognitions
    1. @topjohnwu - Magisk
    2. Those I may have, inadvertently, forgotten.

    Index
    (NOTE: Numbers 1-8 are not steps, they are individual sets of instructions).
    1. Open a Command Prompt/Boot Bootloader/Boot Recovery

      • Open Command Prompt on Computer
        1. Option 1 - Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder, press shift, right click, and select open command prompt here.
        2. Option 2 - Open File Explorer, click the platform-tools folder, highlight the directory information in the address bar or click the folder (left side of address bar) to highlight it type cmd and press enter.
        3. Notes:
      • Boot fastboot mode:
        • 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.
    2. Test ADB (Android Debug Bridge)/fastboot

      • ADB
        1. Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Developer Options. Enable USB Debugging.
        2. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
        3. Type this at the prompt to test ADB.
          adb version
          It should return a version number for ADB.
      • fastboot
        1. Enable USB Debugging - Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Developer Options. Enable USB Debugging.
        2. Open a Command Prompt on your computer.
        3. Boot Bootloader
        4. Connect the phone to the Computer with USB cord.
        5. Type this at the prompt and press enter to test fastboot.
          Code:
          fastboot devices
          It should return your device serial number.
    3. Unlock Bootloader/Return Phone to Stock/Lock Bootloader

      • Unlock Bootloader

        1. Backup your data/Internal storage
        2. Activate Developer Options: Tap Settings > System > About Phone > Tap Build Number 7 times or until you see you're a Developer.
        3. Tap back > Developer Options and toogle OEM Unlock on and, toggle USB Debugging on.
        4. Boot Bootloader
        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.
          This will erase all user data from the device!
        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.
          Note: After unlocking your bootloader, you'll see a warning: Your device software can't be checked for corruption. Please lock the bootloader. You will see this warning until, you relock the bootloader.

          Important: 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. Important: Do not relock your bootloader until you have returned the device to Stock..
        2. Boot bootloader
        3. Open a Command Prompt and type this at the Prompt: fastboot flashing lock
        4. You should see a request for confirmation on your phone, use the volume keys to scroll and the power key to select.
        5. Allow the process to complete, then type this at the Command Prompt: fastboot reboot
        6. Set up your phone.
        7. Enable Developer Options: Settings > System > About phone > Tap Build number 7 times or until you see'You are a Developer. Tap Back > Developer options and toggle OEM Unlock off.
    4. Extract/Flash boot.img

      • Extract boot.img

        1. Download the latest Factory image to your phone.
        2. Use a File Explorer to extract the boot.img from the Factory Image.
        3. Extract the Factory Image file (10.0.0 (QP1A.191005.007.A3, Dec 2019)) to a folder.
        4. Open the folder you extracted the Factory image to and, extract the Image file (image-marlin-aaa9.999999.999.99a.zip).
      • Flash boot.img

        1. Note: Flashing this file removes root.
        2. Open the folder you extracted the 'image file' to and copy the boot.img file to the platform-tools or to the folder that has fastboot in it.
        3. Boot Bootloader
        4. Connect the phone to the Computer
        5. Open a Command Prompt and type the following command at the prompt:
          fastboot flash boot boot.img --slot all
        6. Reboot
    5. Set Magisk App Update Channel/Update Magisk

      • Set Magisk App Update Channel

        • Open Magisk App > Tap menu icon > Settings > 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/MagiskManager/logs/install_log_...
        7. Tap, Reboot
        8. Done!
    6. Custom ROMs for Pixel XL

    7. Mods
    8. Other: TWRP Backup

    2
    Well I'm kind of making progress. Let me tell you what I did... I flashed a factory image of the latest one Android 10...after the flash it began to bootloop once again... I button combo into fastboot and went ahead and locked the bootloader... Chose reboot and every time it boots it boots right back into stock recovery...I factory reset it 3 to 5 times, reboot and once again reboots right back to stock recovery.. I took some pictures of the recovery logs in recovery...I am really adamant about fixing this issue as I have heard that a lot of people are experiencing it.. take a look at my pictures homeboy. to my surprise I am able to go back into fastboot and lock and unlock the bootloader at will. After looking at the pictures what do you think that the issue is?
    I admire your tenacity to get your Google Pixel fixed.

    I am not a Google Pixel technician, so I cannot help you fix your Google Pixel. My guide is for a Google Pixel XL operation not maintenance.

    Maybe your best resource is Google search.
    1. Google Pixel - XDA Developers Forums
    2. Welcome to the Google Pixel Help Community
    3. Fix a Pixel phone that's restarting or crashing
    4. Google Pixel Forum

    Have a nice day! :)
    2
    hi guys I am not new to modding phones. However it has been a long time for me. I did have my 6p running on lineage for a while. But then I got the pixel xl and have had pixels ever since. I have not had a need to root or modd them. I currently have the 4xl and my wife has the 3a xl so I have this pixel xl sitting around. I want to get back into modding a little bit. I just need some guidance.
    Currently I have downloaded the latest sdk for windows I will need a little assistance with that for example how do I put adb and fastboot into the root directory so I dont have to go through typing all the file paths in. I also downloaded the latest stock .img so I have a clean install if anything goes crazy.
    Now I need to know where to start. I assume unlocking the bootloader is the same as the 6p. But after that do I install twrp then use that for magisk to get root? Once I have those questions answered I can probably take it from there. I would like to try out different roms and kernels and other mods. Sorry for the noob questions I just want to get it right. I always learn stuff on this fourm and thats why I love it.
    Start by reading the guide: Introduction, Disclaimers, Update(s), Prerequisites, and Index (Numbers 1 to 11).
    Why?
    ...how do I put adb and fastboot into the root directory so I dont have to go through typing all the file paths in.
    - There is a link in Prequisites c. (Need help installing or using SDK Platform-tools) that describes editing your Path Variable.

    "Now I need to know where to start. I assume unlocking the bootloader is the same as the 6p."
    - Assume nothing, several people have bricked their phone(s) assuming. Read #3 in the guide.

    "But after that do I install twrp then use that for magisk to get root?"
    - T.W.R.P. does not work with Android 10 to root: Read #9 to root.

    There is no need to apologize for the "noob questions". Everyone on XDA was a "noob" at some point in their life.
    2
    Hey, first off thanks for the guide. I have been experiencing the same boot issue that a few others have. I am on the latest version of everything, android sdk, latest factory image, latest magisk (tried both stable and canary). I can patch the boot.img with magisk and after i flash the magisk_patched.img, i reboot the phone and it sticks on the google "G" with the progress bar underneath it. I am on the same build number as the one I downloaded ending in 007.A1, using the same boot.img from it. When it hangs up, I can flash the same boot.img that I used magisk to patch and reboot the phone and it is back to normal and goes right to the lock screen. I could be wrong, but it appears that my issue is with the boot.img being patched with magisk somehow. Any advice or help is appreciated, thanks.

    edit: When it sticks on bootloop, i can still use a command prompt to "adb reboot fastboot" and then flash the stock boot.img and it boots normal.

    Were you rooted on the September factory image?
    Did you fastboot flash boot --slot all magisk_patched.img?
    SDK Platform-tools r29.0.5?
    Read this it might help.
    1
    Has anyone tried using the current TWRP and Magisk?

    Yes. Didn't work, just rebooted twice (I think) then booted directly into android.