Upgrading Galaxy S from Android 2.1 to 2.3.3 under Linux

After some time lost by trying in vain to have Kies (of Death) from Samsung oder Odin working under Virtualbox, I’ve found about the exitence of Heimdall. This software has been developped to flash firmware onto Samsung Galaxy S devices.

It did work quiet easily. Upgrade procedure only requires some files download and in my case some usage of the tar command.

The command line was long but simple:
[bash]heimdall flash -pit s1_odin_20100512.pit –factoryfs factoryfs.rfs \
–cache cache.rfs –dbdata dbdata.rfs –param param.lfs \
–kernel zImage –modem modem.bin \
–primary-boot boot.bin –secondary-boot Sbl.bin \

A GUI named heimdall-frontend is available for people who do not like command line.

Here’s a list of problems I’ve encountered during this update :

  • Going to download mode was not possible on the phone: I had to use adb
  • adb is 32 bit and I had to install 32 bit libs: aptitude install ia32-libs
  • heimdall uses a device /dev/ttyACM0 which is read/write for dialout (and I was not in the group)
  • I had to chain command adp reboot download with heimdall command to have the upgrade starting
  • The first restart was blocked at “Galaxy S” display, I’ve run an adb reboot recover to return to normal behaviour
  • I had no data connection (3G) after upgrade: Restoring default APN configuration fixed the issue

If we omit this little points, the upgrade procedure was fine. Heimdall was very efficient compare to every crap I’ve tried to use on the Windows. Thanks a lot for their work !

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