How to Update the Nexus 5 with official CyanogenMod 12 Nightlies

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The Google Nexus 5 or the Hammerhead as it is lovingly called, has been one of the most sold Nexus devices among it’s Nexus brethren. Highly popular among the Romming and Developer community, the Nexus 5 has a plethora of ROMs available for it. This is partly due to the fact that the Nexus 5 is touted by Google as a developer’s device and also due to it’s amazing hardware specification at a relatively low price point. The Nexus devices, including the Hammerhead were among the first to receive Lollipop, but many find AOSP lacking, both in design and software add ons. This is where Cyanogen Mod comes to the rescue. It is the Android purist’s dream where stock Google design meets well thought out nifty tricks that makes the daily use of the devices that much easier. Piqued to try this one out? Let’s find out how after this little break


Pre requisites

  • Your Nexus 5 must be rooted with it’s boot loader unlocked. To know how to root your phone on Android L click here.
  • You must have a custom recovery installed, like TWRP or CWM.
  • Your phone must be charged over 80%.
  • Some common sense and ability to follow instructions.


  • Download the latest nightly from here.
  • Download the GAPPs from here or here.

With that done, let’s get this show on the road.

Step 1

Boot into recovery mode. To do so, power off your phone. Press and hold Volume Down, Volume Up and Power, all at the same time. Release the buttons only when the Fastboot / Bootloader Mode menu appears. Use one of the Volume buttons to change the START text to Recovery Mode. When Recovery Mode option is listed in the above part of the Fastboot Mode menu you can press Power. The custom TWRP / CWM Recovery menu should now appear.

Step 2

Backup your current ROM from your custom recovery.

Step 3

Do a complete wipe, data and cache.

Step 4

Navigate to your SD Card and select the ROM zip file. Flash the ROM. (For your convenience we advise that you keep the zip file at the root of your SD card)

Step 5

If you’re so inclined, flash the GAPPs package.

Step 6

Reboot. The first boot will take longer than others so don’t panic.

Root : From CM 12 root permissions can be enable by going into settings>developer settings.

Congratulations you have CM 12 nightlies running on your Hammerhead. If you are the sort who updates daily, please remember to take a backup before flashing the latest nightly either from recovery or via OTA. If you have any questions, comments or insights about the Official CM 12 nightlies that have been rolling out, leave them in the comments below. We are always looking for a riveting discussion.


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