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Question PIXEL 5a Stable Build Available

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Senior Member
Jun 30, 2013
Google Pixel 5a
I noticed the difference and was going to ask about it, so thanks for that. Still needing a good block of time to take this on, as I expect problems.

The November security update is out so perhaps a good time to do it. I am a bit confused about which Magisk version to use: is the stable 23000 not compatible? A new canary build just dropped (23012) so perhaps that is the one to use to patch boot.img.

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    If you read this thread you will see how to do it, as done on beta releases. https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/guide-flash-magisk-on-android-12.4242959/ It is possible to achieve permanent root on 12 without wiping the personal data but it is a delicate dance. I have not tried it yet but as I understand it the process is to unroot 11 and at least remove Magisk modules, take the 12 update, boot into bootloader and use fastboot to remove boot verification and replace vbmeta.img, then flash patched boot.img, reboot and reinstall magisk. It seems there is a problem with just flashing the new factory image with the wipe option (-w) removed. Instead of fastboot flashing the patched boot.img it is also possible to directly patch the boot.img from Magisk while temporarily booted from the patched boot.img (via fastboot), again after removing the verification checks. It may be critical as to when the 5a is rebooted or not; it needs to have a normal reboot after the OTA upgrade in order to complete the upgrade, then boot to bootloader for fastboot operations. I am going to go back and make instructions for myself before proceeding, and will do a Titanium backup before doing anything else.

    Edit: it appears that some have achieved permanent root and still passed the SafetyNet check. IIRC it was done through the OTA upgrade path but I need to check that. If you are willing to wipe your data then just installing the factory image and then doing the fastboot commands it might work but that is not clear. Too many attempts at root and SafetyNet failed while flailing so hard to know right now if there are good alternatives to OTA.
    As I said before, I have not had time to try the upgrade. Also, that thread has multiple conflicting posts which is why I know it will take time to go through and parse out what works and what doesn't. There are posts IIRC where root was achieved with data retained - but exactly how that was accomplished is not clear (or even if that really did happen). Since we have not had our phones for long there shouldn't be too much in data to lose, and there is always Titanium, so I will give it a go when I have time.

    One of the things that I would like cleared up is if the way to 12 and root is to stop the OTA upgrade process at some point and remove verification and/or root before continuing, or possibly root fails because it is attempted before the upgrade is complete. IIRC the OTA has at least one reboot involved, with some processing after the reboot (probably fixing the data to be 12-compatible). Clearly if the upgrade can be done while retaining data and then successfully rooted then it must be done in a precise way; the lack of precise explanations of successful roots is very disappointing.

    Edit: If it does turn out that data must be wiped every time 12 is rooted then that means backing up and restoring will be needed for each update, as well as unroot/root, and possibly removing verification each time. That would be a huge PITA. Let's hope that isn't so.
    The factory images are up on Google's developer site, and when I tickled the system update found the 12 upgrade. I'm downloading the factory image now (for rooting with Magisk) then will upgrade to 12. Then more to learn...
    The factory images are up on Google's developer site, and when I tickled the system update found the 12 upgrade. I'm downloading the factory image now (for rooting with Magisk) then will upgrade to 12. Then more to learn...
    Attempted the upgrade last night, seems there's some new things required if you want to flash the modified boot image and successfully boot. I believe you need to wipe the data partition and also pass along a few flags during install. However, temp root is an option if you want to avoid that for now (I did) by simply booting the image in fastboot vs flashing it. Just FYI!

    Edit. Sounds like SafetyNet won't pass yet if you do end up going the permanent route? I could be wrong but I believe that's what's I've read. I just checked on mine and the temporary boot image does seem to so that's good.
    Barbet SP1A.210812.015
    Magisk 23001

    Be aware that you have to perform a complete uninstall of Magisk from within the app; you cannot simply uninstall it from Android and reinstall the older version, as it will not detect root.

    For everyone looking for information on rooting your Barbet, please check the Pixel 5 discussions. The 5a has the same partition configuration as the 5, all the commands are exactly the same, the only difference is you need the 5a specific files.

    As has been noted, we currently do not know of a way to retain data post upgrade and re root. It currently seems, for reasons yet unknown, that root on Android 12 can only be accomplished with a clean install or a data wipe.

    If you are running the 12 Beta and previously wiped, you should be able to upgrade to the 12 stable release via ADB sideload and reroot without a wipe. However, if you are on Android 11, you currently have two options:

    - Take the upgrade, retain data, use temporary root by keeping your /vbmeta and /boot stock, and boot the patched image via fastboot - meaning you lose root if you reboot
    - Take the upgrade, wipe data (or perform a clean factory install), gain permanent root.
    Thanks for the clarification 🤝