Runedrune, XDA member and developer, has launched an unofficial CM 11 Nightly build for Galaxy S4. Use this post if you want to learn how to successfully install it on your device.

Learn more about this custom CM build by checking the XDA thread here. If you want to learn how to successfully update your device with the new custom ROM, you should first take a look at the preparation guide below:

  • use this article only with the Galaxy S4 model number I9500 -- the Exynos variant.
    - don't use this post with the I9505 Snapdragon model, as you will brick it.
    - don't try to flash the files that you find in this post on any other Android device.
  • the Galaxy S4 that you're about to update has to be rooted and running the latest CWM Recovery build.
    - make sure that the Custom Recovery image is updated to its latest version before starting the installation process of Unofficial CM 11.
  • a NANDROID Backup of the installed ROM is required.
    - this step is listed in the tutorial and you shouldn't skip it, as it will set a restore point for your device.
    - the NANDROID ROM Backup can be used in case the new Unofficial CM 11 ROM doesn't boot.
  • a Factory Reset is also needed, this will wipe all data from system partition, while leaving the internal / external storage unaffected.
    - Factory Reset has to be applied, so that the new ROM will boot correctly.
  • Backup data from installed applications using the Helium tool for Android -- link here.
  • Sync all your Contacts info with your Gmail account.
    - guide here.
  • Enable USB Debugging from Developer Option menu.
  • Check the phone's battery charge level and make sure that there is at least 40% power left before the device switches off completely.
  • This is a guide for advanced users, so you shouldn't try to update your device in case you don't know what you're doing or you don't want to tinker with your phone's OS.
  • Do not blame us in case you brick the phone or lose any data in the process.
  • Read the entire post and don't skip any steps that are listed in the tutorial.

Now that you know all of the above you can continue to the next part of this post. Learn how to successfully install this brand new custom ROM on your phone using all the info below.

Remember that this is not an official CyanogenMod 11 Nightly release, but a small build that you can use for testing purposes.

How to flash Unofficial CM 11 KitKat 4.4.2 for Galaxy S4 I9500:

  1. Download the custom ROM zip from here.
  2. Download Gapps for Android 4.4.2 custom ROMs from here.
  3. Connect your device with your smartphone now.
    - transfer the downloaded zip files to your phone's internal storage.
    > do not unzip the contents of the files.
  4. Power off your device now.
  5. Boot the phone now in CWM Recovery Mode.
    - info here for those that don't know how to boot recovery mode for Galaxy S4.
  6. First thing that you need to do is to create a full NANDROID ROM Backup.
    - select 'backup and restore', give a name for the file and save it on your phone.
  7. Apply the Factory Reset for your phone now.
    - select 'wipe data/ factory reset' and confirm process.
  8. Next, install the new custom ROM:
    - select 'install zip from sdcard', then 'choose zip from sdcard' , find the ROM zip file and confirm its installation.
  9. After the ROM is flashed you need to select once again the 'choose zip from sdcard' option. Install the Gapps file now.
  10. When both files are installed you should get back to the main custom Recovery screen.
  11. Reboot your smartphone now in normal mode.
    > note that the first boot process will take at least five minutes to load which is why you shouldn't press any buttons until it is complete.
  12. Enter your Google Account info after the boot is complete.
    > take control over your device and start testing all of its new KitKat features.

I hope that you did manage to complete installation of Unofficial CM 11 KitKat for your Galaxy S4 I9500. If you have problems with the installation you can choose to ask for more help in comments. Also, if the tutorial fails at your first attempt, then you can try to repeat the entire post once again and make sure not to skip any steps that I've listed above.

In case you decide to repeat the guide, then it would be best for you to apply the 'Factory Reset' step after which you should also apply 'Format /system'.

If you don't like this new ROM, then you can use the NANDROID ROM Backup file in step 6 and restore your device to its previous ROM.

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