Samsung Galaxy Camera Gets Open Source Bootloader

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When you buy a product, you count on being the one in control so you can do whatever you want to: dress it up, throw it on the ground, or hang it from the ceiling. Mobile carriers, and some manufacturers for that matter, have a very different idea. Since you bought the device at a discount (read: subsidy) they feel they own the device, at least until the contract term is up—and they do have a point. Often, the manufacturer and mobile carrier have come to an agreement that a device must have its bootloader locked during the life of a contract, or until a specified date in time. Only then, can the consumer be allowed to unlock their bootloader via means given to them by the manufacturer. All would seem lost, if it weren’t for some of the amazing developers here at XDA.

XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler has a history of hacking devices and getting around the restrictions placed on devices, most recently with the bootloader on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III. Unlocking the bootloader can present all sorts of options, from installing Ubuntu to dumping full partitions to installing custom ROMs, and yet it is no small feat to do so. AdamOutler eats locked bootloaders for breakfast, so when he got ahold of a Samsung Galaxy Camera he had to be salivating. With the bootloader successfully unlocked and UnBrickable Mod created, and with Samsung’s Exynos 4 sources being less than complete (much less working and usable), he knew he needed a good development board to work on to remove dependency on Samsung’s closed-source bootloaders. So the Galaxy Camera was put to good use, and has become just that.

After the initial R&D work with porting SD Recovery to Exynos4412 devices, AdamOutler set out with XDA Recognized Developers Rebellos and ralekdev to get U-Boot running. For those unfamiliar with U-Boot, it is a open source bootloader that allows you to tailor it to your needs. In the case of the Galaxy Camera, it provides the user with total control over the device as well as fastboot capability. After some painstaking work, ralekdev was able to reverse engineer the bootloader, and Rebellos was able to get U-Boot running via SD Card. For more information on the process, you can visit AdamOutler’s Google+ post.


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