Very few know about ADB sideload, which is why today I am going to explain what is ADB sideload and how to install a custom ROM, magisk mod, or any other mod using ADB Sideload.
What is ADB sideload?
ADB Sideload is a feature of ADB interface on Android which allows to install files on an Android phone directly from a PC which is in zip file and in an installable format. There are many files such as a custom ROM, a LineageOS zip file, a mod file, a system modification script such as a Camera2 API enabler etc. are usually installed using the ADB sideload feature.
What all files can be installed using ADB Sideload?
An Android OTA or an update package has a updater binary script typically located in META-INF/com/google/android/update-binary location which is used to interpret and execute an updater-script to decide what to install.
A recovery is designed to interpret this script and execute accordingly.
Almost all custom ROMs such as LineageOS or rooting mods mods such as Magisk module etc. are designed to be installed using a custom recovery such as TWRP recovery.
How to Install using ADB Sideload on TWRP?
I am using the example of TWRP to install through ADB sideload. As of writing this article that is the only recovery widely used.
- Boot into TWRP recovery.
- Go to Advanced
- On the next screen click on ADB sideload
- On the next screen that appears, check the Wipe Dalvik Cache and Wipe Cahce and then swipe towards right to start the ADB sideload interface.
- The TWRP screen will show something like: Starting ADB sideload feature…
- Now on the PC, open a command prompt and change the directory to where the zip file is present.
- Then execute the following command to install the file using ADB sideload:
adb sideload lineage-17.1-withMTG-20200108-UNOFFICIAL-sailfish.zip
In the above example I am installing LineageOS 17.1 on Google Pixel phone. The above command has to be modified with appropriate filename to be installed.
- Once started, the command prompt as well as the TWRP screen will show the progress.
- Once the installation is completed, on the TWRP screen click on the Back or Reboot system as per the need.
Once the ADB sideload is done executing on TWRP, the process is complete. You can reboot the phone to see the installation.