Installing a ROM on Motorola Milestone from Linux

We always want to take advantage of our cell phones, and one way is by installing software that grants us more power. I was curious about Android, the operating system, so I changed my Nokia E63 for a Motorola Milestone (here in Venezuela, Movilnet is the authorized carrier to sell it). Because I was told there were many variations of the system know as ROMs, which are modifications of the base system made by third-party, I did a research on how to install  a ROM on this phone, so here is the procedure in Linux:


A bootloader is something that allows to load the operating system or any other program at boot time. My Motorola Milestone’s bootloader came with version 90.78, but it must be replaced with a modified bootloader that lets load a program called OpenRecovery, which among many things lets you make and restore ROM backups, apply ROM update, I mean, replace a ROM for another one. Thus, in order to install the modified bootloader you must follow these steps:

    1. Download and extract the modified botloader for 90.78 . If you have a version other than 90.78, then download this other modified bootloader.
    2. Reboot the phone in bootloader mode. In order to do so you must turn it on while pressing the up key on the D-Pad and the power button at the same time. Wait few secs and release both buttons.
    3. Download this program sb_flash for flashing .sbf files on Linux
    4. In a terminal and being root add execution permissions:
chmod +x ./sbf_flash
    1. Now run  sb_flash using the path to the modified bootlaoder:
./sbf_flash ../Root/bugeada\ 90.78/bugeada90_78.sbf

What ROM should I install?

There are several ROMs available out there. I installed a couple of them to try them out (Chronos and a mod by AndroidVe) but in the end I chose MIUI (highly recommended). The right thing is to check the ROM’s features and specially be sure is for your phone.

Installing the ROM with OpenRecovery

OpenRecovery is the program you will use to install the ROM, but it also does lets you make backup of the current ROMs, or change system parameters. So, let’s see how to install a ROM with OpenRecovery:

  1. Download OpenRecovery by Androidiani, and extract its content.
  2. Copy the directory /OpenRecovery and the file to the phone’s SD.
  3. Make a directory and name it nandroid (it will be used for storing backups). Also make a directory called updates. In the SD card there must be a folder /media/disk/OpenRecovery/nandroid and /media/disk/OpenRecovery/updates.
  4. Copy the chosen ROM to folder /media/disk/OpenRecovery/updates/.
  5. Put the phone on recovery mode. To do so you must turn the phone on while pressing x key on the physical keyboard and the power button at the same time. Once the Motorola’s logo appeasers you must release the power button until a warning image appears ( a yellow triangle).
  6. When the warning image has appeared, you must press the volume up button, and the the camera button. This will enable the phone’s default recovery mode.
  7. On the recovery menu select apply sdcard: This will launch OpenRecovery.
  8. Wipe all cache by choosing Wipe Dalvik Cache, Wipe Data / Factory Reset and Wipe Cache Partition.
  9. On the OpenRecovery options select Apply Update. The copied ROM must be listed there. Select that ROM. This procedure can last several minutes.
  10. Finally, go back to the main menu and reboot the phone by choosing Reboot System.

After these steps your phone should load the new ROM. If you have some doubts you can watch the procedure on the videos explained here.

Got no 3G signal

If you phone is unlocked and can be used with other carrier than Movilnet, for instance Movistar, you must change the phone’s band:

  1. Go to the recovery mode and load OpenRecovery one more time.
  2. Choose Change baseband.
  3. Select “Telius” option.
  4. Reboot the phone
  5. Enjoy 3G.


  • Its a good idea to backup the current ROM with OpenRecovery (nandroid). Thus, you can restore it in case of update failures.
  • Do it at your own risk. I don’t assume any responsibility if your phone is bricked with this procedure.



  1. #1 by Luis Gallardo on 02/05/2014 - 2:51 pm

    @david las carpetas son las indicadas en el artículos. Saludos!

  2. #2 by david on 01/05/2014 - 6:02 pm

    no entiendo las carpetas donde las tengo que hacer no me lo explicarias por favor

  3. #3 by Luis Gallardo on 30/09/2013 - 12:35 am

    @Ramon debes usar la combinación de botones que se explica en el articulo. También puedes mirar el video. Saludos!

  4. #4 by Ramon on 29/09/2013 - 3:02 pm

    Porque no puedo entrar en modo recovery ayudame por favor!!!!1

  5. #5 by Ramon on 29/09/2013 - 3:01 pm

    Porque no puedo entrar a modo recovery ayudaa!!!!!

  6. #6 by Luis Gallardo on 02/11/2011 - 10:42 am

    @abcca primero que nada, carga el teléfono la máximo. Luego intenta colocar el teléfono en modo bootloader encendiendo el dispositivo con la tecla de arriba del D-Pad en el teclado físico y el botón de encendido al mismo tiempo, después de unos pocos segundos se deben soltar los botones. Allí intenta con el SBF nuevamente. Saludos!

  7. #7 by abvca on 02/11/2011 - 1:58 am


    Les cuento lo que paso, Yo tengo un Motorola Milestone verdad, por x o y motivo, le jodi la rom verdad y pensaba aplicarle el SBF de TELUS 2.2.1 mediante el RSD Lite(cosa que ya habia hecho anteriormente)

    Resulta que no me dije en la bateria, si tenia carga o que… El hecho es que Empiezo el proceso, todo bien hasta el 5-6% en el RSD y la pantalla del celular todo corriendo bien…

    DE REPENTE escucho que algo usb se ha desconectado del windows, voy a la pc y me sale en el RSD “Proceso Fallido, el dispositivo no se pudo actualizar, etc”

    SE HA APAGADO EL CELULAR EN MEDIO DEL PROCESO! Estupido yo, lo se. no me golpeen :'(
    Ahora el celular no enciende, lo unico que hace cuando le conecto el cargado es encender y sale:


    Code Corrupt

    Batery Low
    Cannot Program


  8. #8 by Luis Gallardo on 19/06/2011 - 6:22 pm

    @daniel qué fue lo último que hiciste? Instalaste una rom? Eso tiene pinta de problemas de inicio de la rom (por ejemplo cuando esta overclockeada la rom). Saludos!

  9. #9 by daniel graterol on 19/06/2011 - 4:29 pm

    necesito ayuda hermano por favor, mi celular motorola milestone, cuando lo enciendo solo me aparece la palabra ANDROID, y se reinicia y vuelve a aparecer la palabra ANDROID, y se reinicia, constantemente hace esto, que tengo que hacer

  10. #10 by Luis Gallardo on 04/04/2011 - 9:44 am

    @shawn I guess you’ll need RSD Lite and Motorola drivers..P.S. I don’t use Windows. Cheers!

  11. #11 by shawn on 04/04/2011 - 9:36 am

    But this is using a linux right im using windows 7
    so what to do for step 3?

  12. #12 by Luis Gallardo on 03/04/2011 - 12:56 pm

    @shawn You will need both. The bootloader lets you run OpenRecovery, and the this lets you install a ROM.

  13. #13 by shawn on 03/04/2011 - 8:24 am

    Should i use the boot loader or open recovery to install the rom. i hav a rooted motorola milestone.
    Im trying really hard to install a rom sa the stock operating system keeps giving me force close on every thing. please help :)

  14. #14 by Luis Gallardo on 05/03/2011 - 2:41 pm

    @Jonatan justamente este artículo es para explicar cómo instalar una ROM desde Linux. Si no sabes nada de nada, te recomiendo que leas muy bien todo antes de realizarlo y que te apoyes en el video. Saludos!

  15. #15 by Jonatan on 05/03/2011 - 12:26 pm

    No entiendo nada tio. Podrias ayudarme ? Tengo un milestone con android 2.1 update 1, quiero instalarme froyo, que funcione todo ( camara etc..)
    No se nada de nada de informatica y no entiendo nada

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