How To install GrapheneOS (The Most Secure Custom ROM)
More people these are concerned with Google and other tech companies invasive practices when it comes to your data. However, your phone is on your person for 90% of the time and allows for even more of your behaviour to be tracked. I wrote an article before about how to de-google with CalyxOS but in this article I'll explain how to install GrapheneOS, the most secure and private custom ROM out there. The best thing is it can be done by simply pushing a few buttons on a webpage.
What is GrapheneOS?
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. CalyxOS is another good alternative but unlike Graphene it allows for microG and google play services to be used which is just another way for your activity to be tracked. Graphene is arguably the most secure mobile OS (besides Apple IOS) and allows you to rest easy knowing your phone isn't being used to monitor your behaviour online. Unfortunetely Graphene can only be installed on a Google Pixel phone (ironically enough these google phones are very good for installing these custom ROMs on).
First thing you're going to need to do is go over to the web installer page on Graphene's website which can be found here. This is what we'll be using to install Graphene from your web browser. You'll need a Chromium-based browser such as google-chrome, Brave or Chromium. Firefox or Internet Explorer won't work.
Next thing you'll need to do is unlock OEM bootloader in the settings in your phone. After that you can go into the boot menu by restarting your phone and holding down the volume button. Most of these steps are explained further in the video above.
If you're on Linux you'll need to install a simple package. If you're on Windows or Mac you can skip over this. Just run the below command if you're on Arch or Debian/Ubuntu.
For Arch Linux
sudo pacman -Syu android-udev
sudo apt-get install android-sdk-platform-tools-common
Next all you need to do is connect your phone to your computer and press the various buttons on the web page. No seriously that it. From time to time you'll need to press an option on your phone but besides that the web-installer will flash GrapheneOS onto your Pixel in under 10 minutes.
After you've installed the Operating system it's a good practice to verify the boot. This is absolutely optional but it's good to do as your computer or internet connection could be compromised. This can be done by installing the auditor app on another android phone and verifying the QR code on that second android phone using the auditor app on your newly-flashed GrapheneOS phone. Just scan a QR code on a second Android phone using the Auditor App and you'll have verified that the GrapheneOS you installed it the real deal. Check out the details on their website here.
After that you'll probably want to install the f-droid installer. This is like the google playstore but it only has free and open-source apps. Just go to the f-droid website on your phone and click download. If there's some traditional apps you want to download that you would normally have on your phone (snapchat, email etc..) then you can download the Aurora app in f-droid. This will allow you to install these apps without using the google services.
There you have it your phone is now completely spyware free (that we know about). You can take pride in the fact that your phone is now only running free software and rest a bit easier.
Stay happy and stay private.