Google Pixel, May patch: Dirty Pipe fix for 6/6 Pro, terminus for 3a / 3a XL


Google has started distributing the May security patch for its supported Pixel smartphones: which means Pixel 6, 6 Pro, 5, 5a, 4, 4 XL, 4a 4G, 4a 5G and, for the last time, 3a and 3a XL. Among the resolved vulnerabilities the one known as Dirty Pipe stands out, finally available in the stable channel after appearing in the second beta of QPR3; the total number of fixes stops at 37, which is a relatively low figure looking at the historical average, to which 11 specific ones for Pixel are added. Also few performance bugs, always specific for Pixel, fixed:

  • Display / graphics
    • Fixed an issue where the display would randomly wake up without user intervention
  • Sensors
    • Improved haptic feedback under certain conditions and in certain use cases (Pixel 6 and 6 Pro only)
  • User interface
    • Fixed a crash of the launcher after restarting the device under certain conditions

For context, it is worth mentioning that:

  • The Pixel 6’s haptic feedback had already been fixed with the March patches; the owners of the smartphones did not appreciate it, however, saying that it had become too weak.
  • Dirty Pipe is a rather dangerous Linux kernel vulnerability affecting only very recent smartphones (based on kernel version 4.9 or newer) – basically only those with latest generation top-of-the-line SoCs like Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Samsung had it already released last month on its Galaxy S22 with the April patches.

With regard to Pixel 3a and 3a XL which have come to the end of the guaranteed software support period, Google has confirmed that, as has happened before, they will get a last “extraordinary” update towards the month of July. It is unclear whether it will be the update known as QPR3 (Quarterly Platform Release 3) currently in beta testing or a simple collection of fixes and fixes from previous months.

As usual, the updates should arrive via notification in the next few days for all affected devices, but if you are in a hurry you can proceed with the manual download and installation of OTA images (same file that arrives via the internet) o Factory (full image, clean reinstall of the OS and loss of all data):

  • Pixel 6 Pro: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 6: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 5a: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 5: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 4a 5G: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 4a: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 4 XL: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 4: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 3a XL: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA
  • Pixel 3a: SP2A.220505.002 | Factory / OTA


  • Google Pixel 6 Pro is available online from Bpm power to 851 euros or from eBay to 899 euros.
  • Google Pixel 6 is available online from Bpm power to 589 euros or from eBay to 679 euros.

Available on: Pixel 6 Pro for 900 euros and Pixel 6 for 629 euros. (Update February 28, 2022, 09:22)

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