How To install CalyxOS (Alternative to Android)

CalyxOS is an Android ROM that allows you to completely de-google your phone.

March 23rd, 2021

How To install CalyxOS (Alternative to Android)

CalyxOS is an Android ROM that allows you to completely de-google your phone.

Many people spend time choosing internet browsers and other tools that are very privacy-focused. However, not only does your phone contain more privacy-invading tools and services than your computer but you also carry it around with you all day. There are ways to harden your Android phone but the best thing to do is install a custom ROM that is open-source and doesn't contain any of the spyware that Android does.

What is CalyxOS?

The most popular custom ROM out there at the moment is LineageOS. Not only can it be installed on nearly any android phone but it can also use the Google play service if you choose to enable it. However, there are a number of security issues with LineageOS such as being able to exploit the ADB tool and not having verify-boot enabled. Another well known ROM is GrapheneOS which is very security focused but doesn't allow the play service which just isn't a viable option for many people that need to use certain apps for everyday life. The best alternative is CalyxOS. It has all security benefits of GrapheneOS (well nearly all of them) but it also allows the play service if you choose to enable it. It is important to note though that this isn't actually much of a benefit. MicroG (the service that allows you to access your google account) is considered by many (including myself) as just malware. You can still use your typical apps you might have on your phone such as snapchat, tinder etc... by downloading from the Aurora store. There is no need to use MicroG for the vast majority of use cases. The only downside to Calyx and Graphene is that it can only be installed on certain phones (primarily the google pixel ironically enough). Look through this page to see if your phone is supported.


So once you've confirmed that you can install CalyxOS on your phone download the image next to your phone in the link above. Do not unzip this file when you've downloaded it.

The next thing you'll need to do is enable developer mode on your device. Simply go onto the settings > about phone and click on the build number 7 times. Next go into advanced settings and enable USB debugging so you can debug the phone when you plug it into the computer.

Next thing to do is to download the flasher from this page. The page provides a flasher for whatever OS you're using (Windows, Linux, Mac etc..). Make sure you save this file in the same folder that you saved the previous zip file. If you're doing this on Windows you'll also need to install the Google USB driver that's mentioned on the page under step 2.

The last thing you need to do is just run the script in the terminal. Go into the directory and run the following (You may need to use chmod +x for the file).


Simply follow the steps on the screen in the terminal and the image will be flashed onto your phone. You can take pride in the fact that your phone is now completely google-free and rest a bit easier.

Stay happy and stay private.