Last Updated: June 8th, 2014

When we posted the latest "M" build for CyanogenMod 11, I wondered when the release candidate of the popular custom ROM was coming. It's going to be a while, since apparently they're now a thing of the past. According to the latest CM blog post, that doesn't indicate any real change - they're just moving things around a bit. M builds are now the top tier of CyanogenMod, with nightly builds occupying a lower and more risky level of ROM, followed by pre-alpha "experiments."

Don’t expect a build labelled ‘stable’. The ‘M’ builds have supplanted our need for such a release. This also means you will not being seeing ‘RC’ [release candidate] builds.

The idea of a "stable" build seems to be a bit of a sticker for CyanogenMod, which is understandable. Even with the generally high standards of CM, custom ROMs are offered with no warranty or service, and the "stable" label may have been creating an expectation that wasn't deliverable. That said, M builds are now on a rough monthly schedule. You might not get that vital bug fix in exactly four weeks, but at least you'll know when to expect the next major update. Those who want the bleeding-edge releases can still hop on the nightly builds, and at least in theory, upgrade regularly without any issues.


According to the post, the CyanogenMod team is trying to accelerate its release of stable-like releases to a two-week cycle. That would make for more options between the somewhat risky nightly builds (risky in the context of user-modified software, anyway) and the monthly M builds. As with all things CyanogenMod, there's no hard schedule for a change to the two-week release cycle, though the target of "by the end of this year" is mentioned in the post.

Source: CyanogenMod Blog

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Kevin

    Looks like CyanogenMod is stable now.

  • Daniel Traynor

    I am done with Cyanogenmod. Stock Android with root is more than enough! :-)

    • Gordon

      I'm with you on that, I toyed with all the bigger name roms & they ALL suck, I am also discouraging any new Android owners I know from going down that road

      • Daniel Traynor

        Well I have a Nexus 5 and 4.2.2 stock *rooted* (performance wise) is awesome! No complaints at all, plus I can keep all my favourite root apps like SD Maid,Greenify and Franko Kernel etc.
        Cyanogen is laggy, slow and the overall user experience compared to stock I would describe as stressful.
        I did use Paranoid Android for a short period and what a great job they are doing with their ROM. It was a pleasure to use. Performance was great and they deserve the great feedback to encourage them even further!
        CM NOT so much... BYE!

    • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

      Imo the only useful "feature" of Cyanogenmod is getting fairly stable stock experience on non Nexus devices. Other than that it's just bloatware really.

      • black

        What about custom LED colors for each app? What about custom button actions? What about 6x6 pattern locks? You crazy man... you crazy.

      • peatcoal

        I actually find that Cyanogenmod tend to fix annoying bugs quicker than Google, for example the huge camera-related battery drain bug which I had on my Nexus 7.

        • CommentatusMaximus

          Agreed, CM takes longer on the initial release but then updates come out faster. And they seem to support devices much longer than either the OEM or even Google (see Galaxy Nexus). So I will seriously consider a CM device for my next upgrade.

    • AOSPrevails

      Plus you could always go Xposed Framework+GravityBox for any feature you need. No need to factory reset your phone.

    • a

      "Stock Android with root is more than enough!"

      If you can get it....

  • duse

    They realized they weren't going to get stable any time soon, so they decide to rebrand pre-RC as "stable". Nice trick. If you polled users would any of them really say they felt the M builds were stable-worthy? Each one seemed to have at least a few major bugs. This only drops my confidence in them further.

    • duse

      Additionally, the blog post author writes as if users should've gotten this after his last post titled "M4 Post-Release", despite the fact the wiki clearly stated RC and stable builds were still in the mix. Quote from post:

      "With the release of M6 (and even earlier in the CM11 cycle) I began to see this sentiment of “why haven’t they hit [a build labelled] stable yet?” followed immediately after by “why are [CM] so slow now?”. I had hoped that much of this discussion was curtailed by the M4 Post-Release entry, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. So, attempt #2:"

      Image from wiki below.

      They're conflicting with their own info but acing like users should've already stopped the questions about a lack of a stable build and their slow speed. Kind of demeaning.

    • silaslenz

      The Nexus 4 builds have been stable for months.

    • AndroidUser00110001

      Well...maybe if you actually ran CM your confidence wouldn't be so low. I have been running CM on my G2 since release and has been stable. Sure a bug or two may have popped up but each nightly fixed those issues. Currently the ROM is rock solid and if any major issues would to pop up it would be resolved in the next nightly or so.

      It's no trick and if you actually understood software development along with using the product then you would understand why they are changing the build types.

      CM will only have stable release when a new Android version drops and work has stopped on previous version.

      CM is constantly changing so technically there can't be a stable release until work has stopped on a certain version.

      May I also add that I run it on a G Pad 8.3 GPE, Nexus 5 & 7 without any issues.

      Bugs usually happen wwhen CM is ported to a new device and the device maintainer works out the kinks with the different hardware and drivers.

      • duse

        I'm glad your experiences have been better, but it doesn't take much to find many users who feel differently. The CAF kernels have caused lots of issues and many people have been complaining about the stability compared to the past in general. It is a trick when you consider that their wiki specifically says that RC and stable builds are more stable than M. So this isn't really a "replacement" for stable more than it is simply admitting to not expect stable any time soon or ever. If they want to change the wiki and claim that M is 95% stable, great. I hope the quality of the builds will prove that true.

        • AndroidUser00110001

          I do agree with you about the kernel stuff and why they changed it up a bit but it does not make it less stable. Most of the complaints were coming from people who use different kernels and kernel devs having to change certain things for their kernels to work on CM.

          It's not admitting anything about a stable build or not. I explained why they do not use stable. It does not mean ROM is not stable. The term stable is for when current ROM version is about finished and if any bugs pop up they will fix. CM is always adding features so this is why there are not many "stable builds".

          PS...I cook my own CM ROMs withore of an AOSPish kerenel and there is no noticeable difference in stability...

      • Scott Busche

        You must have a GSM G2, as the CDMA ones are buggy as all hell, which is probably why they've skipped the last two M releases for them. The best part is there has been zero communication about it from anyone on the CM team. Stock with Xposed is a more stable and thus satisfying experience than I ever had on CM, which I had until 4.4 was leaked for Verizon.

        • kg2128

          +1, CM for the vs980 was too unstable and dropped CM from the list of top tier roms for me, only 2 are left (omnirom and paranoid android).

      • kg2128

        That surprises me because the LG G2 is what made me lose confidence in CM, much like duse. There were daily (sometimes multiple times a day) random reboots on every build, clean flash or dirty flash it didn't matter. And the "stable" builds as well as snapshots were just as bad as nightlies. Seemed like they just chose a nightlie at random and called it snapshot or stable. Switched to Paranoid Android and the random reboots were gone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominicmondello Dominic Mondello

    Latest Nigtlies (d2lte / Galaxy S III) have been very stable for me.

  • Luke. S

    Nexus 5 nightlies from the first day til now are the buggiest CM nightlies I have ever used.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    If that is the case they should feature a known bugs list proeminently with every M release so we know what we're getting into - unless they decide that in order to make the first M build there should be no major bugs for a device... Or maybe that's already the case and I don't know it.

  • Gary Wilkinson

    I agree with this decision because a lot of the time through no fault of their own CM builds for many devices (even those labelled "Stable") have features broken and certain instabilities due to lack of access to essential source code or documentation that they need to fix them. Labelling these builds "Stable" simply set an expectation that they could not meet.


    Had CM 11 on a galaxy s3 .. while on a small road trip and using waze as my gps my phone decided to crash over and over again. Thank goodness for a backup gps I have. But never again will CM go on my phone.

    • Rami

      which S3 you have? international or US?
      International S3 (i9300) isn't very stable with CM, I always had problems with custom ROM's, but I have been on CM11 M5 and it is stable enough, I get a random hot reboot once every 2-3 days, but it is ok. I will try tonight the new M6.

      • TONY ALDO

        T-mobile S3, now I have a nexus 5 and I love it :)

    • shadowx360

      Reminds me of the old CM 9 on the Vibrant. 911 calling did not work. By the time you found out, it was a little late.

  • BoFiS

    Been totally loving CM11 on my Droid 4 for months now, and really feel like the nightlies have been stable enough for daily use. This M6 build seems quite nice and I can't think of any features (besides swapping of internal/external SD cards) that are missing anymore either.

  • http://www.thinkingbrian.com/ ThinkingBrian

    I believe its a good move by Cyangenmod to make it simpler. I've been using Cyangenmod for a while now on all three of my devices via the installer app and all three devices have been running pretty well. As a matter of fact if it wasn't for Cyangenmod CM 11, my Samsung Galaxy Nexus wouldn't have KitKat, nor be running well at all. On stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, my GNex was terrible, nothing would run after a bit. Now its great. Even my Samsung Galaxy S2 is running CM10.2 and that one is running very smooth which would have never been updated from Samsung again. My Nexus 7 (2012) is the only device that might benefit from just rooting it and running just stock Android and NO custom roms.

  • Cuvis

    So, are they going to do something about CMUpdater, then? Because the way it's set up now, it only lets you choose between "stable" releases and "nightly" releases, with milestone releases being lumped in with nightlies. Personally, I'd rather stick to the M builds, so if they're considered the new stable builds, then I would like to see CMUpdater treat them as such.

  • Timothy Bennett

    The way I read the announcement was "We are too busy working on our new phone that we can't be bothered with bug fixes for other devices" the last 20 or so nighties have been super buggy on my Nexus 5 and my Note 3 has had an echo bug since the first nightly. They just don't care about other devices since they went corporate (using other people's work).

  • emir

    CyanogenMod 11 note 2 gapps 4.4.3 share

  • emir

    CyanogenMod 11 note 2 gapps 4.4.3