RogerBW's Blog

Fixing "Vendor Image Mismatch" on LineageOS 17 August 2018

Every so often, after a LineageOS upgrade, the device starts to complain on reboot about a "Vendor Image Mismatch": the underlying Android code has become outdated. LineageOS doesn't fix this itself; this is firmware which the operating system can't change. Less forgivably, the LineageOS documentation doesn't appear to mention the problem. Here's a step-by-step guide to dealing with it, using the Linux command line.

You will need a USB cable to link computer and device, and fastboot installed on the computer; you probably used both of these to get LineageOS onto the device in the first place.

Check the Google Android Factory Images page, and find the images for your device. (These will have the same short name as the LineageOS build, e.g. "angler" for a Nexus 6P.) Download to the computer the file that matches the version number that LineageOS has been asking for, probably the latest one; as I write, having just done such an update, this is "8.1.0 (OPM6.171019.030.H1, Aug 2018)", and "OPM6.171019.030.H1" is what the warning message on the device specified.

Extract from that zip file three files (where "(something)" is more version information, that will change with each update):

bootloader-(something).img
radio-(something).img
image-(something).zip

From the image-(something).zip you just extracted, extract vendor.img. Those three img files are all you'll need.

Next, on your Android device, select Settings, System and Developer Options. You've probably already enabled Developer Options to get LineageOS onto the device, but if you don't already have it, find the device's build number (Settings, System, About device, though this varies between devices) and tap on it seven times.

In Developer Options, make sure Advanced Restart is turned on, then under Debugging turn on "Android debugging".

Reboot the device to the bootloader (on mine, that's a matter of holding down the power button then selecting "Restart" and "Bootloader" from the menus). Wait until you see the bootloader screen (an image of the Android logo with an open hatch).

Connect the USB cable from computer to device.

On the computer, run fastboot devices. The device may ask you to authorise the debugging connection if you haven't done it with this computer before. Make sure that you see a serial number in response; that tells you that the connection is working.

Now for the actual flashing process (in no particular order), using the img files you extracted earlier:

fastboot flash radio radio-(something).img
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-(something).img
fastboot flash vendor vendor.img

Disconnect the USB cable, and allow the bootloader to start the device. No more vendor image mismatch warning.

ADB may have been disabled automatically, but check anyway: Settings, System, Developer Options, Debugging, Android Debugging should now be off.

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