How to Root and Unlock Bootloader Nexus 6 macOS/OS X

I got a new Nexus 6 yesterday and the first thing I wanted to do was root it. It's been a while since I last rooted anything on my Mac but I remembered it being a rather time consuming exercise; I tried Heimdall with no success and then had to install Virtual Box and get Windows, install that, install Odin and then start the process.

A quick search this time I found that @ChainfireXDA had created CF Auto Root for OS X/Linux and the process of rooting and unlocking the bootloader on my Nexus 6 took minutes. So I thought I'd share the method.

In this guide we are going to:

  • Install ADB
  • Install FastBoot
  • Unlock Nexus 6 Bootloader
  • Root Nexus 6


This will delete all your data so you really need to backup your contacts, photos and anything else you need iff your phone.


I am not responsible if you mess up your phone by doing something wrong. Please read the instructions and watch the video twice if this is your first time rooting.

It may seem like a lot of text beneath but it will take you only a few minutes to go through it all. The longest part is waiting for the data to be erased after the final step.


Install ADB & FastBoot

  • Open Terminal and paste/type the following

<code display: inline-block; margin: 0 .4em; padding: 1px 6px; background: #fff; border: 1px solid #DDD; box-shadow: 1px 1px 0 #fff, 2px 2px 0 #ddd; width: 250px; overflow: auto; height: 100%;>bash <(curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/corbindavenport/nexus-tools/master/install.sh)

  • Enter Mac password when prompted (your password will not appear as you type but the input is recognised)
  • Wait for download to complete (probably take a minute)

That is the installation of ADB & FastBoot complete.

Here is the video by DroidModderX ROOT Master that I followed for rooting and unlocking. I have added my text guide below so you can follow the guide visually or use my description; thought I would add both as people prefer to follow guides in different ways.

Root/Unlock Bootloader OS X

For the following steps to work you need to have opened Developer options and enabled USB debugging. If you haven't then use this guide from How to Geek then proceed to the steps below.

  • Download CF Auto Root for Nexus 6 on OS X
  • Turn off Nexus 6
  • Boot into Bootloader Mode - Hold Power and Volume Down buttons
  • Connect USB to your Mac
  • Connect USB to your Nexus 6
  • Unzip the CF-Auto-Root-shamu-shamu-nexus6.zip that was downloaded in the first step
  • Place unzipped directory on desktop for easy access

We will now have to copy and paste commands ourselves into Terminal as we are on OS X and we cannot just run the .bat file like Windows users.

  • Open Terminal
  • We need to cd (change directory) into the unzipped directory. If you have put it on your desktop then you will enter the following into Terminal

cd ~/Desktop/CF-Auto-Root-shamu-shamu-nexus6

  • Now paste/type the following into Terminal and press Enter

chmod +x tools/fastboot-mac

  • Now paste/type the following into Terminal and press Enter. Here you will see a prompt saying all your data will be erased, press the Vol up button on your Nexus if you wish to continue

tools/fastboot-mac oem unlock

  • Now paste/type the following into Terminal and press Enter

tools/fastboot-mac boot image/CF-Auto-Root-shamu-shamu-nexus6.img

And that is your device rooted and your bootloader unlocked. The phone will now reboot and you will see the green Android with his antenna wiggling and the words Erasing underneath (or whatever Google have changed the animation to when you are doing this). This can take a while, but don't worry. It took 20 minutes for this to complete for me but I read that for others it has taken longer to complete.

When you have booted and setup your phone check in your App Drawer and you should see the SuperSU app installed.

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