Google Pixel 5a factory images and kernel source code are now available
Google finally took the wraps off the Pixel 5a last week, but the Mountain View giant slacked off a bit and did not give us direct download links for OTAs and factory images right after the launch. If you have already managed to score one for yourself, we have good news for you, as Google has now released the initial set of factory images for the device that can be used to restore Android 11 to its stock form on your new toy. Apart from the stock firmware, Google has also uploaded all the tools, files, and documentation needed by third-party developers interested in running custom software.
If you want to return to the stock software on the Pixel 5a (code-name: “barbet”), you can extract and flash the latest factory image firmware from the link below. It is also possible to grab the full OTA zip from the index and sideload it using ADB through the recovery environment. The initial build carries a build number of RD2A.210605.x, corresponding to the June 2021 Android security patch level. There are two sets of factory images available: One for the Japanese carrier units (minor version number 006) and another for unlocked units (minor version number 007).
What about Android 12?
An implicit promise of the Google Pixel lineup is that device owners will receive updates, and they’ll receive them quickly. With that being said, the Pixel 5a still can’t enrolled in the Android 12 beta program. For the time being, you can unlock the bootloader and flash an official GSI build to get a taste of Android 12.
Kernel Source Code, Device Tree
The kernel source code and device tree sources are live now, so developers can soon start building TWRP and custom kernels for the device. If you want to build a fresh system image for yourself, or like to kickstart the porting job for AOSP-based custom ROMs, you don’t need to wait much, since Google has released the driver binaries for the Pixel 5a as well.