How to flash Android 8.1 on Nexus 5X / 6P

Android 8.1 is the next version of Android operating system that is still currently in developer preview stage. Right now it  can be flashed only for phones that made by Google such as Nexus 5X / 6P, Pixel C / XL, and Pixel 2 / 2 XL. The latest version is Android 8.1 DP2 which was released on Nov 27th, 2017 come with several features, improvements, and bugs fixed such as fixed audio issue on Nexus 5X, Pixel Visual Core activated, Bluetooth indicator,  hamburger imoji issue fixed, updated Pixel C launcher, and more. This post will walk through the guide on how to flash Android 8.1 on Nexus 5X / 6P.

Lets surf to the guide

Unlock the Bootloader

Since it is not an official release / beta version, you need to unlock the bootloader to be able to flash an Android image. Follow the very detail guide on how to unlock phone’s bootloader from this website.

Install Android Tools (ADB & Fastboot)

For those of you who uses Apple macOS operating system like me, to install Android ADB & Fastboot we can use ‘Homebrew aka brew‘. Make sure that you have the latest version of Android tools otherwire the flashing will fail.

brew tap caskroom/cask
brew cask install android-platform-tools

Download the latest Android 8.1 image file

You can download the Android 8.1 developer preview image from official Android webpage here. Scroll down to near the bottom of the page to get the download links.

Unzip the image and start flashing

Once the image file is downloaded, unzip it and run ‘’ script. For example I flashed my Nexus 5X (code-named with Bullhead).

$ unzip
$ cd bullhead-opp6.171019.012
$ ./ 
target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes
sending 'bootloader' (4620 KB)...
OKAY [ 0.179s]
writing 'bootloader'...
OKAY [ 0.136s]

finished. total time: 335.385s

It takes around 10 minutes to completely flash the image though the script says 335 seconds which is around 5 minutes and a half. Once the flashing process finished, the phone will automatically reboot into the new system.

Below is screenshot of Nexus 5X running Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2