Samsung Galaxy S – ROM flashing from linux

Samsung Galaxy S (front view) - 2
Image by karlaredor via Flickr

I am now an owner of a new Samsung Galaxy S (aka SGS) i9000. And its also my first Android experience, and let me start by saying how disappointing that is – from a linux hacker point of view.

Android users are known to be tech-fans who like to play with their OS, roms, firmware, etc, and i am no exception. alas, the rom flash utility for SGS (odin) is a windows-only application, and although there is an alternative emerging named Heimdall – it is windows only atm. so much for alternative. linux users are forced to use Windows in order to flash their devices, and this is very disappointing.

The only solution which might provide workable is redbend_ua – a built-in flashing utility resided in the SGS system, which currently being used to flash only the kernel partition. i have no idea how to convert the odin zip packages (consists of a .pit file and PDA/CSC/Modem tar files) and use them with redbend_ua. obviously the zImage file from the PDA file is the kernel which needs to be flashed to bml7, and according to the list here we know the rest of the partitions and what they contain, but apart for that – its a guessing game. for example, we have 2 cache.rfs files – one in the PDA file, and one in the CSC file. which one needs to go to bml11 ? and if only bml11 contains cache.rfs, why are there two of them (each with different size btw)? same goes for dbdata.rfs.

So as a linux developer, im forced to use Windows if i wish to update my rom. which basically means i can’t update my rom since i dont have (nor don’t want to) a Windows machine. not even in a virtual machine. this is not a valid solution.

I hope to be able to gather more information regarding flashing SGS using redbend_ua alone, since it saves users from using odin (which has unreliable usb communication as it is) and simplifies the rom update procedure (using an update.zip which contains the entire rom update, repartition the partition table, and flash the device).

to be continued…

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2 Comments

  1. F***** yea! finally someone sharing my pain, a week straight I’m messing with my galaxy and windows VMs and wine and going out of my mind LOL

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