GrapheneOS Install

To install GrapheneOS, start with the Web Installer. A Chromium-based browser needs to be installed on the Windows, macOS, or Linux computer. Chrome is suitable if available. If Chrome is not installed due to concerns about Google's privacy practices, Brave Browser can be downloaded and installed. It offers the stability of Chromium but without most of the invasive software that comes with Chrome. Brave Browser can be uninstalled after the process if desired.

Next, visit the official GrapheneOS website and read the entire installation page. After understanding the installation process, the outlined steps should be followed. Always refer to the official GrapheneOS page for any updates since the publication of these instructions. The steps required at the time of writing this chapter are listed below. Ensure that only one browser is open and only one browser tab is available.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Hold the power and volume down buttons simultaneously.
  • When you see the "Bootloader" menu, release the buttons.
  • Connect the device to computer via USB cable.
  • Click the "Unlock Bootloader" button on the GrapheneOS page.
  • Select your device from the popup menu.
  • Click "Connect".
  • Press the volume down button on the device to change options and highlight "Unlock Bootloader".
  • Press the power button to confirm the choice.
  • Click the "Download Release" button on the GrapheneOS page.
  • Allow the appropriate version of GrapheneOS to completely download.
  • Click the "Flash Release" button.
  • Allow the process to complete.
  • Click "Lock Bootloader" on the GrapheneOS page.
  • Press the volume button on the device to select "Lock Bootloader".
  • Press the power button to confirm the choice.
  • Make sure "Start" appears next to the power button and press it.
  • Allow the phone to boot.

*** If you want to do it on Linux its assumed you know what you are doing. ***

Once GrapheneOS is installed, booting it for the first time will trigger a warning stating "Your device is loading a different operating system". This is completely normal and is a method employed by Google to lure users back to their system. This warning is safe to ignore. On the first boot of GrapheneOS, proceed with "Start" and "Next" until the Wi-Fi connection screen appears. Connect to Wi-Fi and complete the subsequent tasks, with appropriate consideration for each.

  • Click "Next" if prompted about the SIM card missing.
  • Disable location services for now, this can be set up later if needed.
  • Skip the fingerprint setup for now.
  • Assign a secure PIN for the screen lock.
  • Skip any restore options.
  • Click "Start".

Installation is now complete. The device is fully encrypted and does not send data to Google. The next step is to harden a few settings. Once in the new operating system, it's necessary to confirm that OEM unlocking and developer options are disabled. This may be redundant, but it ensures protection.

  • Swipe the menu up to launch "Settings" and click "About phone".
  • Tap "Build number" at the bottom until "Developer mode" is enabled.
  • Enter your PIN if required.
  • Click the back arrow and click "System" then "Developer options".
  • Disable "OEM Unlocking" and confirm the choice.
  • Disable "Developer options" and reboot the device.

GrapheneOS is not only considered the most private and secure mobile device option available, but also the most elegant and minimalistic. It's free of bloatware or unwanted apps. However, it's worth noting that a significant portion of users still prefer iOS over GrapheneOS. Successful switches are often observed in extreme situations. After reading these instructions, the process of fully configuring an optimal private and secure mobile device should be achievable.

Configuration Phase 2:

  1. Initial Home Screen Interaction:

- Swipe up from the bottom to view the default applications in the app drawer.

  1. Enter Settings:

- Open the "Settings" application to explore and configure various options.

  1. Connect to Wi-Fi (Optional Behind a VPN or Firewall):

- Navigate to "Settings" > "Network & internet".
- Connect to your preferred Wi-Fi network. Optionally, do this behind a VPN-enabled firewall or via public Wi-Fi for enhanced privacy.

  1. Configure Network Preferences:

- In "Settings" > "Network & internet" > "Internet connection", click on "Network preferences".
- Change "Turn off Wi-Fi automatically" to "disabled" by default. Modify this to "1 minute" to have Wi-Fi disable one minute after disconnecting from a network.
- Disable "Turn on Wi-Fi automatically" and "Notify for public networks".

  1. Security Enhancements:

- Navigate to "Settings" > "Security".
- Add a fingerprint for device unlocking (this stores a calculated series of identifiers, not the actual fingerprint).
- Disable "Native code debugging" and "Allow camera access".

  1. Disable Wireless Emergency Alerts:

- Go to "Settings" > "Safety & emergency" > "Wireless emergency alerts" and disable all alerts.

  1. Color Correction Settings for Accessibility:

- Navigate to "Settings" > "Accessibility" > "Color and motion" > "Color Correction".
- Enable "Use color correction" and select "Grayscale".
- Enable the "Color correction shortcut" to add a floating shortcut on the device, allowing quick toggling of monochrome mode.

  1. System Navigation Configuration:

- Change to "3-button navigation" under "Settings" > "System" > "Gestures" > "System navigation".

  1. Accessibility Shortcuts Configuration:

- Navigate to "Settings" > "Accessibility" > "Accessibility shortcuts" > "Accessibility button".
- Set the "Location" to "Navigation bar" to minimize screen impact.

These steps outline a thorough setup of GrapheneOS focusing on privacy and minimized distractions.

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

More from SparkForge
All posts