Not too long ago, we went hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S III. In fact, XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire, who was later kind enough to go on camera for a fun interview and unboxing, even made a brief cameo in the video as we tested USB Host functionality on the SGS3 using his popular DSLR Controller app. Needless to say, much of the Android community is eagerly anticipating the launch of Samsung’s new flagship.
However, many people won’t bother with devices that aren’t rooted. Luckily this has been quick to achieve on Samsung devices in the past, and the Galaxy S III is no different. Before the official release, Chainfire has managed to root the SGS3. While Chainfire is currently unable to release the insecure boot image because it may be traceable, this most likely won’t be the case for long. In his words:
Unfortunately, I am not able to share the “insecure” kernel with you at the moment, because of fears it is traceable to the leaker (this is said to be the last traceable firmware revision).
This root is, as expected, trivial. It was a simple matter of repacking the stock kernel, with a modified adbd binary that thinks ro.secure=0 (even if ro.secure=1). This gives access to all adb root commands (see screenshots). Then SuperSU was installed manually.
Kernel - The modification was trivial, because this time around, Samsung is using the standard boot.img format, instead of the zImage format used for SGS1, SGS2, SGNote, etc, that is much harder to repackage.
Recovery - The recovery partition is also being used this time around. And thus we can flash recoveries separately from the kernel.
Bootloaders - There was no warning triangle at boot-up after flashing the modified kernel, but download mode did show a custom kernel flash counter which increased. Whether or not flashing a custom recovery also triggers this counter is as of yet unknown.
Final note - This was all tested on a current (release candidate) SGS3 firmware. There may be a newer firmware on true retail/production devices. Though some things may change, it is unlikely to changemuch. Let’s hope nothing
Also, Triangle Away did not work. They have hidden the boot partitions again as on the latest SGNote firmwares.
(No, I don’t have an SGS3 yet, everything was done remotely)
Now if you take a closer look at that last line, you’ll see what is perhaps the most impressive aspect of Chainfire’s achievement. Not only is he the first to root the device, but he did so working remotely, sight-unseen.
What are you waiting for? If you’re lucky enough to have your hands on a pre-release SGS3, head over to the original thread to learn more. This is exciting news even if you don’t yet own the device, but wish to purchase one in the near future!
May 10, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
You may remember that we were on-site for the Samsung Galaxy S III unveiling at Unpacked 2012 in London last week. We then went hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S III and showed you its cool gestures, blazing fast performance, and USB host capabilities. Not content with simply calling it a night, what then are two self-proclaimed Android nerds to do at 3 AM after the event? Interviews, of course!
Join us in today’s episode of XDA Developer TV, where I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire in an extremely late night interview session. We start off by “unboxing” the “Samsung Galaxy S III.” We then talk about the Samsung Galaxy S III, including what we like and what we don’t like. Then, Chainfire talks about his personal life, hobbies, development history, favorite projects, and those that have made him want to demolish his computer. For those living under a rock, Chainfire is responsible for WMWiFiRouter, CF-Root, CF-Bench, Chaifire 3D, DSLR Controller, and a plethora of other development work. You can find a selection of his development work on the XDA Portal and of course in Chainfire’s signature on the XDA Forums.
In case you haven’t already started watching, this is an interview you do not want to miss. Grab some popcorn, hit play, and prepare to be amazed.
May 8, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
You may have already read through our live-blog of the Samsung Unpacked 2012 launch event for the Samsung Galaxy S III. However, a picture is worth a thousand words, and therefore a little hands-on video must surely be worth even more.
In this episode of XDA Developer TV, we get a little hands-on time with Samsung’s latest flagship, and our own Portal Administrator Will Verduzco (that’s me!) puts the SGS3 to the test. We begin by taking a look at browser performance and voice control. Then, we test for USB host functionality (hint: it works) using Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s DSLR Controller App. Finally, we examine the size compared to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and cover some notable additional features and gestures.
If you’re currently salivating at the thought of Samsung’s latest and greatest, make sure to watch the video below!
April 9, 2012 By: Conan Troutman
If you’re a Galaxy Nexus owner who hasn’t been living under a rock, you are undoubtedly aware that Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich was recently rolled out. Unfortunately, it would seem that some people have had trouble with the OTA update, including XDA Elite Recognised Developer Chainfire, who promptly came up with a solution to the problem.
Chainfire has repackaged the full stock images for the international GSM Galaxy Nexus (yakju/maguro) for use with Odin, the flashing tool for Samsung devices. This should allow anyone with similar issues to easily install the update to stock 4.0.4. While some Galaxy Nexus owners may be unfamiliar with Odin, it’s a completely viable alternative to performing the same actions via fastboot, and offers a high degree of noob friendliness. Another bonus is that these images will also work with Chainfires Mobile Odin, allowing you to flash without a PC. If you are unfamiliar with Odin, don’t despair. There are crystal clear instructions on how to flash the images provided.
There are two versions available. The first is a “No wipe, no recovery, no bootloader” version that leasves your recovery, bootloaders, and user data intact. This version should only be used if your device is already OEM unlocked—otherwise your data will be wiped. There is also a full stock image that will leave you with a complete stock installation of 4.0.4.
Whether you’ve also been experiencing problems with the OTA or just want to grab the images then check out the ROM thread.
Now is the time for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen dozens of devices receiving ICS, RUU leaks, and so on. And when we first heard news that Samsung was starting to roll out ICS for its immensely popular Galaxy S II line, we knew that it was only a matter of time before the OTA would be captured and instructions on how to root the tasty treat were released to the wild.
Now thanks to the work of XDA Forum Member Faryaab, this is a reality. Using the previously covered CF-Root for the Galaxy S II by Recognized Developer and Senior Moderator Chainfire, Faryaab has posted instructions on how to get your newly updated device rooted and ready for all the root-only action that you can find on these forums. And if your SGS2 isn’t lucky enough to have received the update already, the instructions even walk you through manually installing the update as well.
I9100XXLPQ (Official Final Build) DO A WIPE BEFORE FLASHING!
Base Firmware: I9100XXLPQ (4.0.3)
Build Date: 8th March 2012
Change List: 223505
Kernel Version: 3.0.15
Chainfire’s CF-Root XXLPQ
To get your SGS2 up to date and rooted with the latest in Google-flavored tasty treats, head over to the development thread. You know you want to. This is like peer pressure, only in the absolutely best way possible.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]
March 9, 2012 By: egzthunder1
Superuser, the final frontier for those seeking for root on their devices. These are the voyages of a small tool that surfaced a few years ago based on the idea that some apps required more from our devices to work properly. Superuser has become a standard on xda-developers, much like theming and roms, and definitely a must-have if you want to run things like SetCPU and Titanium Backup. However, as with everything in life, there is always room for improvement and people with vision and skills are the ones who can make said improvements into a reality. In the case of this tool, XDA Recognized Developer and Senior Moderator Chainfire has decided to take it to the next level, and the results of the work gave birth to SuperSU.
So, what is so special about SuperSU? Well, aside from all the goodies that you would normally get out of the regular superuser app, this provides you with more options, power, and flexibility. For instance, the app can be configured on a per-app basis, it can log activity and requests of every app and process, which will save you from going “what is this thing using superuser?”. It will also allow you to temporarily unroot your device, it works in recovery, and runs even if Android isn’t properly booted. There are many more features, and this is just the free version! There is also a pro version available, which offers more functionality such us surviving after an OTA update (over the air), and more.
If you happen to use it and test it, please report any and all feedback on the thread so that the dev can correct any bugs listed or add features if needed.
SuperSU allows for advanced management of Superuser access rights for all the apps on your device that need root. SuperSU has been built from the ground up to counter a number of problems with other Superuser access management tools.
You can find more information in the original thread.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
Thanks to Chainfire for the tip!
February 6, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Back in November, we took a peek at Mobile ODIN by XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer Chainfire. For those who don’t remember, the app acts as an on-device ODIN utility by allowing you to fully flash your firmware straight from the device itself—practically removing the need to connect your device to a host computer. Due to safety reasons, however, the EFS and bootloader partitions are not flashed.
Mobile ODIN has now undergone a major update to version 2.0—adding compatibility for several new devices and variants, while updating flashkernels for already supported devices. Just as before, two versions are available: a lite version that is available exclusively on XDA, and a pro version that can be found on the Android Market. In the words of the developer:
The following devices have been added (see changelog for full list):
- Samsung/Google Galaxy Nexus, GSM and CDMA/LTE variants
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7″, 3G and Wi-Fi variants
- Samsung Galaxy 5, eight different models
The following variants have been added:
- Samsung Galaxy Note: I9220 variant added
- Samsung Galaxy S2: SHW-M250S variant added
The following devices have been updated and have new flashkernels:
- Samsung Galaxy S
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ (the original 7″ tab)
- Samsung Galaxy S2 (2 models)
- Samsung Galaxy Note (2 models)
Those interested in getting started with Chainfire’s latest offering should proceed to the application thread.
Even if your device is currently unsupported, there is a good chance that the next major revision will add support—just be sure to share the resultant application dump and your device’s PIT file in the thread.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Moderator M_T_M for the tip!]
December 22, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re ever tried to use a USB stick or external hard drive with your brand new Galaxy Nexus, you’ve no doubt faced difficulties. Despite supporting USB On-The-Go, Google has disabled automatic mounting of mass storage devices for some unknown reason.
Similar to the growing pains in previous versions of the OS, it is safe to assume that a first-party fix will eventually be coded into Android itself. In fact, Romain Guy has indicated that this functionality will be added in a “future release.”
Until then, however, we have XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer Chainfire to rescue us from the dungeon of arbitrary limitation. StickMount allows rooted users to automatically mount and dismount USB mass storage devices.
For some reason the current Galaxy Nexus build (writing this on December 19, 2011) does not automatically mount mass storage devices (such as USB sticks) so you can use them from the phone.
Maybe Google will fix this soon, maybe not. Until that time there is StickMount !
If you’re rooted and looking for some automatic USB lovin’, head over to the original thread to get started.
December 15, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
One of the most amazing aspects of the Google Nexus experience is always being first in line for Android updates. However, some of us Nexus loyalists still decide to take the software experience into our own hands by installing custom firmwares.
What does a Galaxy Nexus owner with an aftermarket recovery partition do when a shiny new update comes out? While you could restore to the factory images completely, wipe your /data and /recovery partitions, XDA Recognized Developer Chainfire has made it much easier for your by releasing a stripped down version of the ICL53F update compatible with both the GSM (yakju) and the LTE (mysid) models.
Here is the stripped version of ICL53F.
Stripped meaning no bootloaders, no recovery (so you keep your current CWM), and no wipe.
Continue to the ROM thread to get started. Be sure to say thanks, as few developers consistently release as many high quality releases as he.
Chainfire’s abilities know no bounds. The XDA Moderator and Recognized Developer now presents Mobile ODIN, allowing you to flash firmware from your device, itself. That’s right, you no longer need to connect your device to your computer.
All right, that’s not perfectly true–Mobile ODIN currently cannot flash PIT, bootloader, or EFS partitions. You still need your computer for those. For now. But if you want to flash a new kernel, system, DBData, data, cache, parameter, or modem partition, Mobile ODIN can do that. As the developer says,
All partitions are supported, as are loose files, .tar files and .tar.md5 files. Mobile ODIN will even check the MD5 signatures before flashing. While in theory Mobile ODIN can repartition and flash EFS and bootloaders, it will cowardly refuse to do so, for your own safety.
Mobile ODIN Lite is exclusively available on XDA. You can find the pro version on the Android Market. Now, Mobile ODIN Pro has a few extra perks that the regular, old ODIN doesn’t have. For example, Chainfire includes EverRoot–an option that roots your ROM as you flash it. With that, you can also automatically flash Superuser, and Mobile ODIN itself, so you’re all ready to flash again when you reboot your new ROM.
Not every device is compatible. But Chainfire made eight new devices compatible in the second update, and he says he’s willing to work with Samsung phones. If you install the app on an incompatible device, the app will let you create a dump file, which you can post in the app’s thread. If you can, also post a PIT file for your device. Lastly, the developer says, he needs a kernel running ClockworkMod5, though it might work with CWM3 or 4.
To see if your device is compatible–or if there are plans for compatibility–and try it out, please carefully read the source thread.