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[GUIDE] System partition too small? Installing Android 12, GApps & large GSIs on Pixel 2 XL!

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Dollscythe

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2021
147
358
Disclaimer to everyone: Please do not attempt this guide without following every step to the T, otherwise you will brick your phone. I won't be responsible if you do that. Even if I was, I dont know how to fix such a brick.

If you get stuck, DO NOT REBOOT YOUR PHONE. ask for help here, or if you dont have to spare time ask in the telegram channel.

https://t.me/pixeldevelopment
 

73sydney

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2018
1,990
1,776
Sydney
Google Pixel 2 XL
Just a quick note as a possible warning

Went to flash my usual ROM today and encountered an error...really weird, in all my years of flashing never seen it...

Error 15 "error applying update 15 knew rootfs verification error"

Then tried to flash stock, as you do when flashing goes wrong, only to get this error

"boot partition is smaller than boot image"

wtf?

suspect that upsizing to 4Gb and time might have corrupted things

decided to go back to the 3Gb version in the OP for now...which fixed the issues

flashed stock again just to make sure all was well, before flashign to my usual ROM

not saying the 4Gb version doesnt work, just that for me at least thats where i was when things went a bit wrong :)

may try the 4Gb upgrade again when i have time...
 
Just a quick note as a possible warning

Went to flash my usual ROM today and encountered an error...really weird, in all my years of flashing never seen it...

Error 15 "error applying update 15 knew rootfs verification error"

Then tried to flash stock, as you do when flashing goes wrong, only to get this error

"boot partition is smaller than boot image"

wtf?

suspect that upsizing to 4Gb and time might have corrupted things

decided to go back to the 3Gb version in the OP for now...which fixed the issues

flashed stock again just to make sure all was well, before flashign to my usual ROM

not saying the 4Gb version doesnt work, just that for me at least thats where i was when things went a bit wrong :)

may try the 4Gb upgrade again when i have time...
 
it's taimen, thank you 128 gb . Thank you for your help sir .
 

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73sydney

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2018
1,990
1,776
Sydney
Google Pixel 2 XL
Keep saying boot partition is smaller than boot image. When I do flash all bat.

are you able to show me how your new partition layout looks like? so we can compare.

i reported the same issue...

my advice:

only use the original 3Gb instructions in this thread, make sure to adjust for the 128Gb version for your device, redo them if you did do this as it may have corrupted the partition table

and optionally flash the last stock A11 ROM and start over...its the way i fixed it
 

Dollscythe

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2021
147
358
i reported the same issue...

my advice:

only use the original 3Gb instructions in this thread, make sure to adjust for the 128Gb version for your device, redo them if you did do this as it may have corrupted the partition table

and optionally flash the last stock A11 ROM and start over...its the way i fixed it
I agree
 
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PablosCorner

Member
Aug 26, 2018
22
11
pabloscorner.akawah.net
If I wanted to flash the Pixel Experience 12 Alpha GSI (which the .img is apparently 3.22 GB), would that be too big for the partition that the guide tells us to set up? I wanted to at least figure that out before I move forward with trying it out.

Also, I wonder if this will also apply when proper Android 12 ROMs come out for the Pixel 2 XL. 🤔
(Edit: I realize that proper ROMs probably resize the partitions automatically, so probably an irrelevant question)
 
Last edited:

Dollscythe

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2021
147
358
If I wanted to flash the Pixel Experience 12 Alpha GSI (which the .img is apparently 3.22 GB), would that be too big for the partition that the guide tells us to set up? I wanted to at least figure that out before I move forward with trying it out.

Also, I wonder if this will also apply when proper Android 12 ROMs come out for the Pixel 2 XL. 🤔
(Edit: I realize that proper ROMs probably resize the partitions automatically, so probably an irrelevant question)
The guide can be modified to set any size you want. Just follow the principles and rules I've set in the main thread (for example, each partition has to start exactly where the last one ends, etc)

This doesn't apply to ROMs because they are created to fit the stock partition sizes. No, ROMs don't resize partitions to fit.. instead ROM maintainers just remove certain apps that you can get from the playstore anyway and debloat the builds.


Many Android 12 GSI's work out of the box on the pixel 2xl. Right now i'm running official Android 12 pixel 5 port GSI on my taimen with some bugs related to calling. As for bugless, official android 12 ROMs, those arent out yet, but there's private test builds on Telegram (join the telegram group, there's ArrowOS 12 with google apps preloaded)
 
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PablosCorner

Member
Aug 26, 2018
22
11
pabloscorner.akawah.net
The guide can be modified to set any size you want. Just follow the principles and rules I've set in the main thread (for example, each partition has to start exactly where the last one ends, etc)

This doesn't apply to ROMs because they are created to fit the stock partition sizes. No, ROMs don't resize partitions to fit.. instead ROM maintainers just remove certain apps that you can get from the playstore anyway and debloat the builds.


Many Android 12 GSI's work out of the box on the pixel 2xl. Right now i'm running official Android 12 pixel 5 port GSI on my taimen with some bugs related to calling. As for bugless, official android 12 ROMs, those arent out yet, but there's private test builds on Telegram (join the telegram group, there's ArrowOS 12 with google apps preloaded)
Ahhh alright, that's good to know. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense, lol. I'll look into the Arrow OS 12 builds. I just wanna jump on the Android 12 train on the Pixel 2 XL early, lol. Just gotta make sure I don't screw up the partitioning.
 
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PablosCorner

Member
Aug 26, 2018
22
11
pabloscorner.akawah.net
I noticed that when the partition is modified with these steps, I can't use the web installer of ProtonAOSP anymore cause of some overflow error or something. (The manual install still works though).

The regular Android Flash Tool seems to still work with it though.
 

73sydney

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2018
1,990
1,776
Sydney
Google Pixel 2 XL
Ahhh alright, that's good to know. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense, lol. I'll look into the Arrow OS 12 builds. I just wanna jump on the Android 12 train on the Pixel 2 XL early, lol. Just gotta make sure I don't screw up the partitioning.

Worth mentioning that even official A12 has bugs...im actually about to downgrade the 4XL i have back to A11...

Random system process feezes are the main reason
 

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  • 9
    SPECIAL THANKS TO
    @Lunarixus on XDA
    https://t.me/lunarixus_work on Telegram Posts
    I wouldn't have figured out how to maneuver the pixel 2 XL partition table without him.


    WARNING!
    This tutorial only applies to Taimen (2XL). There's already another tutorial for Walleye, click here for link. I need Walleye testers so please join the telegram group if you can! Google Pixel Development Group.
    REQUIREMENTS:
    STEPS:

    1. Enable USB Debugging

    2. Reboot into fastboot mode
    adb reboot bootloader

    3. Boot into the recovery
    fastboot boot path/to/recovery.img
    (optional) you can flash TWRP permanently if you wish. fastboot flash boot_a path/to/recovery.img and fastboot flash boot_b path/to/recovery.img DO NOT FLASH TWRP. JUST BOOT TO IT.

    4. In TWRP...
    • If it asks you to decrypt your data, do it.
    • If it asks you to swipe for RW permissions on system partition, do it.
    • Unmount all partitions. Click on Mount, then un-tick everything.

    5. Back to your PC. Copy parted to /sbin.
    adb push path/to/parted /sbin

    6. Enter shell mode.
    adb shell

    7. Change permissions of parted.
    chmod 777 /sbin/parted

    8. It's time to use parted!
    We mainly use 3 commands. Here's how they work.
    rm x - Removes partition number x. For example: rm 13
    mkpart name fstype startUNIT finishUNIT - Makes a partition where fstype is the type of filesystem (like ext4), start is the beginning of the partition, and finish is the end of the partition. UNIT is the unit for the start and finish arguments (like KB, MB, B, or s) For example: mkpart system_a ext4 32KB 1000KB
    name x part_name - Names partition number x and gives it part_name as a label. For example: name 14 userdata
    • In your terminal (still in shell mode), type parted /dev/block/sda
    • It should greet you with a welcome screen. Type p free, and save what you get in a screenshot or text file (on windows you can copy and paste in notepad, or use Snipping Tool, since it's installed by default). THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU GET STUCK!!!!
    photo_2021-07-22_22-45-58.jpg
    • We have to delete all partitions starting from the bottom until system_a. Make sure to keep the screenshot or text file you saved earlier from p free, because we are gonna need it to recreate the deleted partitions later. YOUR PARTITION SCHEME MIGHT BE DIFFERENT THAN THIS. Make sure to STOP after system_a is removed.
      • rm 13
      • rm 12
      • rm 11
      • rm 10
      • rm 9
      • rm 8
      • rm 7
    • Once you are done, it's time to recreate those partitions. We do it in the proper order now, starting from system_a. Refer to the screenshot or text file you saved earlier. We will increase the partition size to 3GB to be able to boot most GSIs, including Android 12. If it says that the partition isn't aligned, type Ignore.
      • mkpart system_a ext4 169MB 4269MB
      • mkpart system_b ext4 4269MB 8369MB
      • mkpart pstore 8369MB 8379MB
      • mkpart aes_a 8379MB 8380MB
      • mkpart aes_b 8380MB 8381MB
      • mkpart align_parti 8381MB 8391MB
      • mkpart userdata ext4 8391MB 62400MB (if you have 128GB Taimen, do mkpart userdata ext4 8391MB 126300MB)
    • Check your partitioning with p free and compare with your screenshot/text file. It should be similar, with some extra free spaces.
    • Time to name the partitions.
      • name 7 system_a
      • name 8 system_b
      • name 9 pstore
      • name 10 aes_a
      • name 11 aes_b
      • name 12 align_parti
      • name 13 userdata
    • Check your partitioning again with p free. It should show the named partitions. If everything looks good to you, leave parted.
      • quit

    9. Exit shell mode.

    exit

    10. Reboot into fastboot mode

    adb reboot bootloader

    11. Format all the partitions we made

    fastboot --disable-verity --disable-verification flash vbmeta vbmeta.img (that you downloaded earlier)
    fastboot erase system_a
    fastboot erase system_b
    fastboot erase pstore
    fastboot erase aes_a
    fastboot erase aes_b
    fastboot erase align_parti
    fastboot erase userdata
    fastboot format:ext4 system_a
    fastboot format:ext4 system_b
    fastboot format:ext4 userdata
    And that's all!

    NOTICE: At this point, the partitions should repopulate themselves on the next boot. If they don't, flash latest Android 11 stock ROM (And flash it using flash-all.bat for windows/flash-all.sh for linux) OR flash dotOS (it has a better vendor, so FP works).
    Flashing the stock ROM won't undo your partitioning. You will keep your 3GB system partition!

    You can start immediately flashing GSIs/Android 12. If you're stuck on splash screen, that means the partitions didn't repopulate correctly. Follow the advice above!

    If you need Android 12 GSI, here.

    If you have any questions, or accidentally brick your device, join the telegram group for direct support.
    2
    True, and i sure do (thats where i pulled it from), but for this users sake i was trying to be generous, maybe just once :)
    I agree with you, thank you for helping!
    2
    Or find one from the last taimen (Pixel 2XL) factory image attached to this post...saves downloading 1.6gb
    It's always better to have the full stock image in hand especially when dealing with repartitioning. You never know :)
    2
    Or find one from the last taimen (Pixel 2XL) factory image attached to this post...saves downloading 1.6gb
    2
    A lot of us managed to flash android 12 by the way. At this point 90% of bugs are fixed.

    you can try it already, if you can live with a non-working sound in calls.