Each family of devices has its own way of flashing roms into them. For the most part, since the introduction of the HTC Wizard, people have been able to flash devices directly from their within their devices, avoiding the anxiety that is related to having to wait until you get to a pc to use th RUU. This is something that just rolled into Android. However, as previously stated, if you use a pc to flash, then you are likely aware that each brand has a different app to flash. For Samsung devices, this program is called Odin, which is quite possibly one of the safest ways to flash Galaxy devices as this program will allow you to bring it back to life in case of accidental bricking. For those of you using operating systems other than Windows, you will be happy to know that XDA member Benjamin Dobell has an RUU called Heimdall, which is intended for Galaxy devices. The best part is that this program is open source. It was originally released for the Samsung Galaxy S I9000, but due to the success of its successor, the SGS2, the dev has decided to make the program compatible with the device. As of yet, the dev does not own such device, so all of his work is relying upon people testing this. Please keep in mind that this is still in experimental phase and as such, you may encounter bugs. So, if you are unsure of what you are getting into, stick to Odin until this gets better.
Please leave feedback for the dev so that he can improve this wonderful flashing utility.
Heimdall is a cross-platform open-source tool suite used to flash ROMs onto Samsung Galaxy S devices.
You can find more information in the original thread.
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Editor’s Note: Please keep in mind that when I talk about Odin in this piece, I was not talking about Odin3, but the original Odin for the Galaxy S. Odin3 apparently has been known to cause bricks. Thanks Adam for pointing this out.___________________