What are CyanogenMod ROMs

Cyanogenmod - This is how the installation of the custom ROM works

Cyanogenmod (CM) can already look back on a long history and has been offering an alternative operating system for Android smartphones and tablets based on the latest software since 2008. This is particularly interesting for devices for which the manufacturer has already discontinued official support. Since January 2015, the developers have been working on the current stable version CM12, which is based on Android 5.0. The work was completed at the end of June, development on CM12 has been discontinued. Since then, the developers' energy has been focused on the upcoming version CM12.1, which is based on Android 5.1.1. For the current stable version CM12, there are currently almost 70 end devices that are supported. The number for CM12.1 is also quite impressive with around 60 different smartphone and tablet types. By far the largest number of supported devices can be found with CM11 and the Kitkat version below. At this point there are around 130 pieces.

In this workshop you will learn all the important details about the installation of CM12 and CM12.1 as well as the Cyanogenmod Installer. Finally, we have summarized the most important tips and tricks for you so that you can get the most out of the CM12.1.

Snapshots and Nightly Builds

If you search the CM website, you will find numerous versions for your mobile device. Since CM11, however, the snapshots and nightly versions are still relevant. The snapshots were used especially with version CM11 and were generated once a month. These versions are largely free of errors and suitable for daily use.

The nightly versions are usually generated every 24 hours and contain the latest new features. Since version 12, you will almost only find this variant for most of them. In our tests for this workshop, the respective builds run without problems and stably.

The installation of CM

In order for you to be able to install CM on your end device, it must have two properties: It must be rooted and contain a recovery image such as TWRP. Alternatively, you can also use the popular Clockworkmod Recovery. With its help, the steps work just as successfully.

Starting from the download area and your device, you can easily find suitable step-by-step instructions for every smartphone and tablet.

First of all, download the appropriate custom ROM for your device. Most of you will probably not want to do without the Google Play Store under CM either. This is not included with the custom ROMs, but it can be installed using an additional “Google Apps” package. Cyanogenmod offers the right zip file for every release. You can find this on the CM Wiki. Then connect your smartphone or tablet to the computer and copy the two files to it. Use "Download" as the target folder, for example. Then start your device in recovery mode. We recommend that you make a backup of your current ROM. This is done via the menu "Backup" at TWRP or "Backup and Restore" at CWM.

In the following step, clean up your device using the wipe function and delete Dalvik Cache, System, Data and Cache. Next, install the two files you transferred earlier. You can do that in one step. To do this, first select the CM image and then the Google apps. Start the installation and finally reboot your system. During the boot process you will see the new CM12 boot animation directly.

Note: Despite all caution, it happens that a custom ROM flash can go wrong due to unpredictable problems.