Heimdall: the alternative to Odin for Linux, how to use it.

19 / 04 UPDATE: Heimdall 1.4.0 (compatible with Trusty) has been released and is available directly from the official Ubuntu repositories: therefore uninstall the 1.3.1 installed previously and install the 1.4.0 thanks to these commands: (it seems that the 1.3.1 / 1.3.2 does not play with Ubuntu Trusty)

Uninstall Heimdall 1.3.1 - heimdall-frontend 1.3.1

$ sudo apt-get remove heimdall

and if Heimdall frontend is not found:

$ sudo apt-get remove heimdall-frontend

Install Heimdall 1.4.0-2 - heimdall-frontend 1.4.0-2

$ sudo apt-get install heimdall-flash

$ sudo apt-get install heimdall-flash-frontend

Heimdall is a very useful tool to flash devices Samsung Galaxy Android (S Series) is multi-platform and Open Source, this uses the same Odin protocol to communicate / upload / download with the Galaxy so it is particularly useful for those who switched to Linux or MacOS. I also tried flashing from VirtualBox but with no results (Windows Update does not find drivers).

Read also JOdin3: Odin for Linux, Windows and Mac!

**I state that I have tested the tool and it WORKS at 100% with Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 firmware I9300XXGNB6 **

Developer Benjamin Dobell tested Heimdall on the following devices:

  • GT-I9000 Galaxy S *
  • GT-I9100 Galaxy S II *
  • GT-I9300 Galaxy S III *
  • GT-I9505 Galaxy S 4 LTE SNAPDRAGON (NO EXYNOS) *

* device available on our market

We proceed

I assume that you have already downloaded and installed Heimdall Command Line and Heimdall Frontend correctly

then run it from the terminal with the following command:

sudo heimdall-frontend

we proceed:

1) Download and Extract the PIT file from the Mapping Terminal

(we connect the terminal in download mode)

a) Let's go to Utilities

b) Now click on Detect

* if the terminal is correctly detected in the output, Device Detected will exit

c) now we download the PIT for the mapping

click on Save As and choose a path

I would choose for convenience / home / username / desk / galaxys3_pit

finally click on Download ... the output screen to ensure the success of the operation is this:

(when the output will be Re-Attaching Kernel we have to disconnect the battery of the device and send it back to download mode ... then click on Detect)

 so in the desktop we will be able to see a file called galaxys3_pit.pit (which is a binary file)


2) How to extract the firmware in case of extension .tar.md5

a) the easiest thing in the world: just right click on the file> Rename remove .md5

b) extract it from the file manager or terminal by writing

cd (file path)

sudo tar -zxvf (filename) .tar

c) Create a new folder (eg heimdall_xxxxxxxx) and move the extracted files in there

3) Setup of flash elements

I state that this part must be read carefully, you need to be very careful in this case and be sure you are not wrong NOTHING.

So be careful (neither I nor InTheBit we assume responsibility for any damage to the terminal)

a) let's move to the Flash entry

b) we see the part called PIT and click on Browse: we will then look for where we put the PIT file (in my case /home/stefano/Scrivania/galaxys3_pit.pit)

c) click on Add

d) the Partition Name drop-down menu will be enabled and you will be able to select the phone partition and its file

e) in the file entry we click on Browse and select the path we used to extract the parts of the firmware

What is this particular and difficult to explain phase?

For each partition (for example SYSTEM) your file must be connected so if I select the SYSTEM entry in partition name the selected file must be system.img


                                            CORRESPONDENTS FOR GALAXY S3 I9300


Terminal partitions Corresponding Files
BOOTLOADER sboot.bin
TZSW tz.img
BOOT boot.img
FREE modem.bin
CACHE cache.img
SYSTEM system.img
HIDDEN hidden.img
RECOVERY recovery.img


then there are other items like EFS / MD5HASH / OTA that will be of little use.

You can find other lists of other devices on the Internet

If you haven't learned the concept well, write it in the comments

4) Let's move on to flashing

a) everything ready? We press start ... so for each item there will be an Upload and the coffin near start will be colored but as progress proceeds


b) 3-5 minutes and you're done!

it will reboot by itself… check in Settings> About device if it has updated correctly

Well, what to say, if you get carried away it's very easy to use and in some cases even safer than Odin

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