Install Android 5 (alias L(ollipop) on Nexus 5 with OTA-Image

Recently Google started to deploy Android 5 for Nexus-Devices – also as an OTA-Image (Over the Air). This method of updating does NOT delete your data on the phone. But it may take some time until you get the official OTA-Update. You can get it earlier ! The following How-to describes how to install it manually 🙂


The following steps describe how to install the OTA-Image having Linux as an OS on your PC. If you want to install the factory image (all data will be deleted and your Nexus is like factory-fresh)  have a look here.  If you want to do the same using a Windows oder OS/X PC, just download “adb and fastboot” for these OS.

1) Look out for the OTA-Image for your device at

To find the correct image open your phone properties (settings) and have a look at your Android-Version (About phone)

!!! Backup your phone’s data !!! (for the case something fails)

2) Install Android “adb and fastboot” on your Linux-machine – e.g. on a Ubuntu-based system:

# sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
# sudo apt-get update
# sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot

If you use Windows or OS/X just google for “adb and fastboot” and install it.

3) Define your Nexus as a trusted device (Optional)

  • Connect your Nexus to your PC (USB)
  • in command line: lsusb
  • Get Device-ID (eg. 18d1:4ee2)
  • Now that we have these data, we can create the udev rules in /etc/udev/rules.d/99-android.rules
  • with the following content:

    # Google Nexus 5 16 Gb

    SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTR{idVendor}==”18d1“, ATTR{idProduct}==”4ee2“, MODE=”0666″, OWNER=”your-login”    # MTP mode with USB debug on
  • Reboot your PC

4) Enable developer-mode (USB debugging) on your Nexus 5

  • Menu “settings” – “about phone” – scroll down to “build number” and touch multiple times on “build number” until “developer mode” is activated.
  • afterwards you have a menu “developer-settings” in settings-menu: in there activate “USB-debugging”


5) Let’s “copy” the downloaded OTA-Image on your device and start the update (do a “sideload”)

  •  switch off your Nexus 5 and switch it on pressing the “power-on button” and “volume down button” at the same time. The android-logo with the caption Start will appear.
  • Use the volume key to change to “Recovery mode”. Commit recovery mode with the power-on button. Now a little android-logo with a red “!” will appear
  • Now press “volume up” key and “power-on” keys at the same time until a menu appears on your screen
  • Use the volume keys to select the menu-entry “apply update from ADB”, connect your Nexus with your PC and have a look if it is recognized by your PC:
    in Linux Command line: adb devices


  • Let’s start the sideload of the OTA-Update in command line:
    adb sideload


  • … the Update will start !

If you want to root your Nexus 5 with Android 5 have a look here.

Using this manual OTA-Update method went very smooth on my device. With some details in Android 5 I’m not happy at all – e.g. that the new integrated GMail-App imported my existing stand-alone mailaccounts (and settings like passwords…).  It looks like that Google wants it all…

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