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How to install Android Marshmallow on your Nexus device

Nick Mediati | Oct. 6, 2015
Can’t wait to try out Google’s next sweet mobile OS treat? Just follow these instructions—as long as you have a Nexus phone or tablet.

android debugging mode
Before you install the Android M preview, you’ll need to turn on USB debugging.

Next, find the folder containing the adb and fastboot tools that come with the Android developer tools. On OS X, these tools are tucked away in the hidden Library folder for your user account: To get to it, select Go to Folder... from the Finder’s Go menu, type ~/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools/ into the text field, then press Go.

On Windows, you’ll find the folder on your C drive. The filename path will look something like C:\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20131030\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20131030\sdk\platform-tools, though the names may vary slightly depending on which version of the developer tools you have installed. Your best bet may be to go to your C drive and poke around a bit.

Track down the image files you unzipped earlier, and move them to the folder containing adb and fastboot (it streamlines the process some by reducing the number of terminal commands you need to execute).

android m move image files
Move (or copy) the files you downloaded into the same folder as the adb and fastboot tools. You can delete them later.

Now, we’ll make sure your computer can find your phone. Go ahead and plug your phone into your computer using a USB cable, and confirm the connection on your phone if prompted. To check for devices, open a Terminal or Command Prompt window (if you don’t know where to look, use your operating system’s search function to find the Terminal or Command Prompt).

Type cd followed by the filename path listed earlier into terminal then press enter—for example: cd ~/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools/. The cd command is the same on both OS X and Windows; only the filename path format is different. Once you do that, type “adb devices” and press enter. You’ll see something like “0ae33abd02ba3467     device.” If you see that (the big string of letters and numbers will vary), you’re good to go. If not, go back and make sure you have USB debugging enabled on your Android device.

android m preview adb devices
If you see something like this after running the adb devices command, you’re on the right track. Click on image to enlarge.

(Note: If you’re using OS X and you get an adb command not found message, try adding “./” in front of the commands you type—for example, ./adb devices. This tells the Terminal to look in the current folder for the adb tool. This applies to all commands mentioned in this article.)

Once your setup passes the adb devices test, type adb reboot bootloader and press enter: Your phone will now reboot into fasboot mode.


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