Once you have root access and a custom recovery installed, now we can pick a ROM. Today’s tutorial shows how to install a custom ROM on the Samsung Galaxy S6.
We’ve come a long way in our Galaxy S6 tutorials and today’s addition helps to complete the list. A custom ROM is essentially a new firmware that can be installed onto your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch. These ROMs are either built upon AOSP, another custom ROM available(which are generally based on AOSP), or the actual stock firmware that came with your device(TouchWiz, Sense, etc).
It can take a while before a new device like the Galaxy S6 gets some interesting custom ROMs built for it.
We generally see a few available shortly after a device is released but they are based on the stock firmware(which in this case is TouchWiz). These typically have some minor modifications that allow you a little more options or functionality that isn’t present in the stock firmware. It can take weeks to months before some of the more popular custom ROMs become available though.
In order to install a custom ROM on the Galaxy S6, you must first have a few things done to it already. You should first have root access to the Galaxy S6 before we can do anything. After that, then you’ll need to go ahead and install a custom recovery onto the Galaxy S6. Only then can you proceed with this tutorial so please be sure you have both of those tutorials completed before you think about starting with this one.
The custom ROMs based on TouchWiz can sometimes be flashed through Odin and that doesn’t require that you have root or a custom recovery so at least you have that option.
Galaxy S6 Install Custom ROM
- Download the Custom ROM of Choice(on the Galaxy S6)
- Download the Gapps Package for the Android Version of the Custom ROM(on the Galaxy S6)
- Look Down in the Explanation Section for Links to Individual Gapps Packages
- Boot the Galaxy S6 into Recovery Mode
- Create a Nandroid Backup of the Galaxy S6
- Go back to the TWRP Main Menu
- Tap On the ‘Wipe’ Option
- Make Sure the Following Partitions are Checked. . .
- Dalvik Cache, System, Data and Cache Partitions
- Then Swipe the Blue Arrow at the Bottom All the Way to the Right
- Tap on the Home Button at the Bottom
- Tap on the ‘Install’ Option
- Browse to and Tap on the Custom ROM You Downloaded
- Tap on the ‘Add More Zips’ Option
- Browse to and Tap on the Gapps Package You Downloaded
- When Ready, Swipe the Blue Arrow at the Bottom All the Way to the Right
- Wait Until the Installation is Complete
- Tap on the ‘Wipe Cache/Dalvik’ Option
- Tap on the Back Button
- Tap on the ‘Reboot System’ Button
So, once you have the root access and a custom recovery installed on the Galaxy S6, then you can start this tutorial. First though, you’ll want to download both the custom ROM and a Gapps package onto your Galaxy S6. Google applications and services aren’t technically required but I think the majority of the Android users will actually want them. Also, you want to make sure the Gapps package matches the version of Android the custom ROM is.
For example, if your custom ROM is based on Android 5.0.x then you want to use a Gapps package that is made for that specific version of Android. You can find a download link for Gapps 5.0 download here and you can also find a Gapps 5.1 download here. They’ll be in a zip format and you’re going to need those with your custom ROM downloaded to your Galaxy S6.
Once those are downloaded, go ahead and boot the Galaxy S6 into recovery mode so we can get some other things ready. Once you are in recovery mode on the Galaxy S6, I recommend that you create a new and fresh Nandroid backup. This should always be done before you start to do any major modifications to your Galaxy S6 just in case something bad goes wrong. After your Nandroid backup has been created then you’ll need to wipe some specific partitions so that our custom ROM install will be clean.
After those partitions are cleared, then you can install both the custom ROM as well as the Gapps package that you have already downloaded. Select the custom ROM first and then the Gapps package. This can be installed individually or you can install them in a queue like it is explained in the guide here. After both have been installed, go ahead and tap on the ‘Wipe Cache/Dalvik’ button and then tell the Galaxy S6 to reboot.
Android 5.0/5.1 Lollipop is notorious for taking a while to boot up for the first time. This might not be the case on the Galaxy S6 because of the incredibly fast SoC and NAND storage but still, you should be patient while Android gets things set up on the first boot. You’ll be taken through the Android set up screen and once that is done you can explore your newly installed custom ROM.
If any part of this tutorial didn’t work out for you, or if you simply have a question then please leave a comment at the bottom of this tutorial. I might not be able to recreate the bug you are experiencing but I will do my best to help out in any way that I can.