Adam Outler · Oct 1, 2012 at 09:00 pm

Heimdall, the Bringer of Illumiation, Enters a New Age

Heimdall 1.4.0 RC1 was released in source form today by XDA Recognized Developer Benjamin Dobell.  In Norse mythology, Heimdall battled Loke, brought Illimination, and introduced the idea of social classes. In the realm of XDA, the parallels to Norse Mythology are astounding.

For the uninitiated, Heimdall is an open source project that brings the same capabilities of Samsung’s Odin tool to Linux, Mac, and Windows, allowing kernel developers and end-users to use their preferred operating system.  This is important because kernel developers utilize the power of Linux for development and end-users tend to use Windows or Mac.  While Odin only works on Windows, Heimdall works on all major OSes. This makes Heimdall the perfect companion for kernel developers.

Heimdall’s tar.gz format compresses your Samsung ROM distributions past the limits of the antiquated zip format and also provides an easy way to distribute packages safely, with metadata displaying the use of the package. Heimdall’s PIT libraries provide a way to generate PIT files from a running device, allowing re-partitioning without a release from Samsung. One of the most useful functions is Heimdall’s command-line operation, which allows for scripting, enabling the possiblity of make-build-install-test with a single command for kernel developers.

In the words of the developer:

This is a fairly large update for numerous reasons. However, probably most important is that Qualcomm chipset based Samsung devices should now be supported! If you don’t know whether your device has a Qualcomm chipset, if you’ve got one of those crazy U.S. telco specific variants, then chances are your phone is using a Qualcomm chipset.  The code-base itself has been extensively refactored. There are also a bunch of new features; such as the ability to print the contents of a PIT file stored on your computer. In addition, there are also some nice ease-of-use improvements. For instance Heimdall Frontend now suggests the likely name of files that correspond to a particular partition. e.g. When you add the “KERNEL” partition to a flash, just above where you click to browse for the corresponding file, you will see the text “(zImage)”.This build also fixes the pretty horrible regression that was present in 1.3.2 that causes the “ERROR: Failed to confirm end of file transfer sequence!” to pop-up on devices that worked with version 1.3.1. In fact, the changes made for Heimdall 1.4 should vastly improve both the number of supported devices, and the quality of support for previously supported devices.

With Heimdall’s new support for interpretation of PIT files, all Samsung devices to-date should be supported but verification is required before official 1.4 release. Some of the targeted devices for this build are: Galaxy S3 ( AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon),  Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 10.1, and the Galaxy Nexus.  Upon verification, Benjamin Dobell will release the full 1.4 Heimdall Suite in end-user format.  Also, this writer will be updating the open source Heimdall One-Click project allowing for packaging and distribution of Heimdall tar.gz’s in a lightweight, special-purpose format.

Heimdall 1.4 RC1 is currently available, and you can build this powerful tool yourself. If  you encounter a problem for any device with Odin support, please report it on the issues page.

[Source: githubRelease Announcement]
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Adam Outler

AdamOutler is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Electronics Tech/ Developer View AdamOutler's posts and articles here.
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