How to install Cyanogen Mod 11 on Sony Xperia ZR

Most of us just use the Android Operating System supplied by our OEM (like Sony) and are happy with it, till we get fed up of using it or want to try something different. No one is responsible for whatever you do with below instructions. Everything is at your own risk.

If you own a Sony Xperia ZR android phone, you have a choice – Cyanogen Mod 11. However, do note that installing Cyanogen Mod on the phone voids warranty and deletes keys that enable the phone’s Bravia and Sound engines. Sony is famed for it’s display & sound and losing it is a pity, but what the heck… the explorer within us takes over. Using Cyanogen Mod has it’s advantages especially on more control over privacy, security features and ability to install a firewall to stop network traffic.

Below I have explained how you can over write the Sony Android Lollipop 5.0.2 firmware.


  1. A Linux desktop. You can use Windows also, but the instructions below are tailored for Linux computers, specifically Ubuntu based distributions.
  2. Make sure you do not want to go back to the OEM stock firmware before you go ahead. If you do, google around on how to backup your DRM keys before you unlock the bootloader. I missed this step.
  3. Android SDK – Google for it and install it.
  4. Willingness to forgo the phone warranty if your manufacturer says so.
  5. Good internet connection.

Preparatory Steps:

1 Install the Android SDK to get 2 key utilities – fastboot and adb.
Download Android SDK from here or refer the instructions on
You can also install fastboot and adb in Ubuntu Linux using:
$ sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot
2 Down load the CM11 build from
md5sum: 7c017193dc28f4a982ebe34ff946143b
Check the md5sum by following the instructions here.
3 Download Small Google Apps from here
md5sum: ea0894b45481c4f56e7ea43a650150c9
Download Full Gapps
if you want Chrome, Wallet and more, from here
md5sum: d840e20fba6f0e2b85d1aebe493a88fa
4 2066Unlock the Sony Xperia ZR bootloader. For Sony Xperia ZR you need to go to here to Unlock the bootloader first and follow the instructions on the CM 11 installation page


While the phone reboots, press the volume rocker up and down a few times to enter recovery mode. The phone goes into the ClockworkMod recovery mode.
Use volume buttons to move up and down and the home button to select the options displayed in the ClockworkMod menu

1 Extract boot.img from the Cyanogen Mod zip file you downloaded on your computer. The file boot.img is the one.
2 Flash the boot.img file onto the phone

$ sudo ./fastboot flash boot boot.img <enter>
$ sudo ./fastboot reboot <enter>

3 Backup your current device ROM

    1. Make sure your memory card is inserted.
    2. Format the memory card choosing “mount and storage” then select “format /storage/sdcard1” then select the “default file system format” to use.
    3. Backup the current ROM to the memory card by “backup and restore” then “backup to /storage/sdcard1” and wait till it returns to the menu.
    4. Unmount choosing “mount and storage” then select “unmount /storage/sdcard1”.

Now switch off the phone and remove the sdcard from the memory card slot.

4 Save the backup on a computer
Copy the backup from sdcard you removed onto your computer. This folder is named clockworkmod.
Copy the file to the sdcard.
Unmount sdcard from Ubuntu system and insert into the phone.
5 Install the Cyanogen Mod 11 zip file
Now get back into recovery mod by restart of phone pressing power button. Once pressed, press the volume rockers a few times and the clockworkmod menu will appear

  1. Select “wipe data/factory reset”. From “mounts and storage” also “format /data”
  2. Select “wipe cache”.
  3. After that select “install zip”, “install zip” and then choose “zip from /storage/sdcard1”.

This is the cm11 file you just copied there.

6 Wait for the install to complete.

Go back and click reboot system now. You are done. Hopefully you now get the Cyanogen Mod logo.