LineageOS (Android 8.1) on Retroid Pocket 2

This brand new firmware upgrade to the Retroid Pocket 2 has breathed new life into this little device. This lightweight Android build provides a 20% speed improvement when launching and navigating apps, thanks to its lower overhead. This means that the interface will feel significantly faster if you are coming from Android 8.1 (see my guide here), and quite a huge jump if you are still on the stock firmware (Android 6.0).

Check out the video below for my detailed installation instructions. Note that this firmware does NOT allow you to access the RetroidOS interface, so if that’s important to you, I recommend sticking with Android the regular 8.1 version. This update will also wipe your internal storage, but I’ll show you how to re-load your stock apps to the device. This update can be done from either Android 6.0 or 8.1 firmware.

Finally, note that this update can only be performed on a Windows computer. If you have a Mac, make friends with a Windows user, and then borrow their computer for a few minutes (bring cookies and/or beer when you do).

To get started with this update, watch the video above, and use this link to download the firmware (in the “Custom Firmwares” folder). For more info on Retroid Pocket 2 firmware, check out the firmware page on their wiki.

Note that around 09:46 into the video, I add the entire Stock Apps folder to the Android internal storage. This is incorrect; the contents of that folder are supposed to be put into the root Android internal storage, not the Stock Apps folder itself.

I recommend using a USB mouse (via OTG adapter) when first setting up LineageOS, it’ll make navigating those menus much easier and faster.

Like with most software development, this was a team effort. A developer named Turtle (check out his GitHub here) did the brunt of the programming work, and was assisted by Thor, another staple in the Retroid Pocket community. Furthermore, sreichholf created a cutsom RePoLa launcher for the platform, which is in included in this release (and is what I used in the video above).

Announcement notes

Here are the notes from the announcement:

Unofficial Lineage 15.1 Public Beta 1 for Retroid Pocket 2
After months of work, the unofficial LineageOS 15.1 release for the Retroid Pocket 2 is finally ready for everyone to try out. Originally, it was intended to have a Lineage 14.1 based build, but issues near the end of development meant I had to go back to the drawing board. After hours of trying things and testing things out between me and Thor, I finally built a booting Lineage 15.1 based build. This was near the end of last year, and since then I’ve been trying to iron out as many bugs as possible, and enhance the user experience as much as I can.

Thor created a custom partition layout that removes RetroidOS and sets everything up for this release. As such, RetroidOS is not going to be able to be used in conjunction with Lineage, and all RetroidOS things have been wiped out. As a result, LineageOS has more space available out of box than their 8.1 build with RetroidOS, while having enough space out of user reach for future versions.

Further updates will be available via OTA update by going into Settings -> System -> About Retroid Pocket 2 -> LineageOS updates.

Note: Installing this release is at your own risk, so keep that in mind when installing it. Make sure to ask questions in the #lineage channel. This firmware is only compatible with Retroid Pocket 2, and will never be compatible with Retroid Pocket 1.

– Turtle

Known issues

Here are known issues with this release:

  • Virtual internal storage in Toolbox doesn’t work. This is a result of the weird modifications that would be required to make it work, and it likely will never be supported in LineageOS.
  • In Lineage Recovery, installing things from the external sd card doesn’t work. I haven’t found the cause of this yet

If you experience any issues with the firmware process, I recommend you check out the Retroid Handhelds discord server. There is a dedicated LineageOS channel there.


Changelog

21MAR2021
– published guide

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