Ramblings of a Tampa developer
OnePlus One, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 5T

I was cleaning up my desk area and noticed a small collection of OnePlus devices accumulating. In that pile was:

  • OnePlus One
  • OnePlus 3T
  • OnePlus 5

With a bunch of way older and less interesting devices. I should have sold these way earlier, but they continue to be used for development related debugging while working on Apktool.

So I did some research on what the best use for older Android devices were and stumbled upon the Kali NetHunter project. A vague memory of it, since when you are running Kali Linux, does the mobile NetHunter fill any voids?

I'm not sure, but this is the journey of getting NetHunter running on 3 1 device.


So NetHunter works by laying on top of existing open ROMs, then using their own kernel and a few extra special system changes to facilitate easier use with tools.

So time to grab some recoveries (TWRP) so we can flash some interesting firmware.

➜  kali ls | grep 'twrp' 
twrp-3.3.1-0-bacon.img
twrp-3.3.1-0-cheeseburger.img
twrp-3.3.1-0-oneplus3.img
➜  kali 

The TWRP project is a great open project primarily ran by someone known as Dees_Troy who I met a few times in Kansas. If you often use these recoveries, toss the guy and team some donations for working in the open source space allowing thousands upon thousands to free their devices.

It had been awhile since I've been in the ROM space, generally for the past few years just running whatever stock Pixel/OnePlus firmware was running on my device. So the process of getting 3 devices rooted and unlockable.

First up was my OnePlus One, which arguably the oldest was the easiest. Unlocking and recovery went like this.

adb reboot bootloader
fastboot oem unlock
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.3.1-0-dumpling.img

Which basically was just wiping the device as a by-product of making it unlocked and then flashing TWRP. Now once loaded into TWRP recovery, I wiped everything again to be safe then loaded a side-load of both NetHunter and SuperSU.

adb sideload nethunter-oneplus1-marshmallow-kalifs-full-2019.3.zip
adb sideload UPDATE-SuperSU-v2.82-20170528234214.zip

This worked great and the device booted straight into Kali NetHunter.


Next up was the OnePlus 3T, which had a bit of newer software so made this process a bit more difficult, as flashes for NetHunter kept failing.

So I obtained the latest ROM for the since outdated Nougat and waited for that to apply. Once patched, I went back into recovery mode to re-flash my recovery that I presume was wiped by a full ZIP patch.

After this, I was lead to a boot loop. I tried again with a lower version, but at this point with 1 already working device. I decided to enjoy the rest of my Sunday and restored that 3T back to stock and rebooted.


Finally after 50/50 success was the OnePlus 5T which also experienced its own issues. First off the 3.3.1.0 version of TWRP didn't load, just showed a pink blinking light and stopped. I kept downgrading recovery until running onto 3.3.1.0 which worked great.

At this point though, I didn't want to wait to download a stock full ROM and this and that. So I just ended this fun as you don't really need 3 Android devices running NetHunter.