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Trying to understand locked bootloaders

8th July 2014, 01:33 AM   |  #1  
kettir's Avatar
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I get what a bootloader is--the low level programming that checks everything and then boots the OS. And I have read that when they say "locked bootloader" it means "encrypted bootloader".

Have previous bootloaders been un-encrypted and thus made flashable? Or was some "exploit" found that enabled the bootloader to be replaced with one that would be unencrypted and thus ROMs could be flashed?

It sounds like the bootloader being locked/encrypted prevents much being done in the way of custom ROM flashing. So at this point we have Safestrap, unless that doesn't work on the AT&T g900a.

So, what are the designers working on at this time--unencrypting the bootloader, finding a way to simply replace it, or using something like Safestrap to create a space where a different ROM can be placed and the bootloader bypassed in some way?

I suppose I am curious to find out just how tough this locked bootloader problem is for the devs.

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9th July 2014, 02:06 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettir

I get what a bootloader is--the low level programming that checks everything and then boots the OS. And I have read that when they say "locked bootloader" it means "encrypted bootloader".

Have previous bootloaders been un-encrypted and thus made flashable? Or was some "exploit" found that enabled the bootloader to be replaced with one that would be unencrypted and thus ROMs could be flashed?

It sounds like the bootloader being locked/encrypted prevents much being done in the way of custom ROM flashing. So at this point we have Safestrap, unless that doesn't work on the AT&T g900a.

So, what are the designers working on at this time--unencrypting the bootloader, finding a way to simply replace it, or using something like Safestrap to create a space where a different ROM can be placed and the bootloader bypassed in some way?

I suppose I am curious to find out just how tough this locked bootloader problem is for the devs.

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From what I have seen very few bootloaders have ever been unencrypted publicly by the community. There have been some devices although rare that the manufacturer has had a change of heart and allowed to be decrypted in most cases at the cost of your factory warranty.

My last phonetic galaxy s3 was not encrypted and allowed an insecure boot image. This did not check to make sure the rom, modem, or kernel were not signed. The development community is still very alive today years after its release.

Hashcode's safestrap allows for a custom rom but to my knowledge has never allowed a viable custom kernel. He did amazing work with this technology around the Motorola Droid 3 but the community never really built up support for the device.

It's a shame as my old s3 with a good rom and custom kernel is much much faster and more usable than this locked down s5.

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9th July 2014, 04:22 PM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spasch

From what I have seen very few bootloaders have ever been unencrypted publicly by the community. There have been some devices although rare that the manufacturer has had a change of heart and allowed to be decrypted in most cases at the cost of your factory warranty.

I did a quick Google to find out if other carriers had the s5 with an unencrypted bootloader. Nothing came up immediately except mention of the Verizon s5 developer edition. Android Police had this to say about the developer version:

The unlockable bootloader on the Developer Edition allows end users to easily flash a custom recovery, and then root or flash a custom ROM. Other than the unlockable bootloader, this Galaxy S5 is exactly the same as the standard Verizon model in both hardware and software.

I did a comparison of the straight Verizon s5 to the GSM s5 on Phonescoop and noticed differences (less GSM levels). Therefore it would be a loss, as far as performance goes, to get the Verizon developer version.

Overall, I'm happy with my s5. I've got root. I've found ways to get the features I want (often through Xposed.) It definitely seems faster than my s5 even though I'm burdening it with Go Launcher (just to get all the pretty themes.) I can freeze the bloatware or even delete it via Titanium Backup. So I'm not super anxious about it. I just hate being locked out of anything on something I purchased and own.
9th July 2014, 07:58 PM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettir

I did a quick Google to find out if other carriers had the s5 with an unencrypted bootloader. Nothing came up immediately except mention of the Verizon s5 developer edition. Android Police had this to say about the developer version:

The unlockable bootloader on the Developer Edition allows end users to easily flash a custom recovery, and then root or flash a custom ROM. Other than the unlockable bootloader, this Galaxy S5 is exactly the same as the standard Verizon model in both hardware and software.

I did a comparison of the straight Verizon s5 to the GSM s5 on Phonescoop and noticed differences (less GSM levels). Therefore it would be a loss, as far as performance goes, to get the Verizon developer version.

Overall, I'm happy with my s5. I've got root. I've found ways to get the features I want (often through Xposed.) It definitely seems faster than my s5 even though I'm burdening it with Go Launcher (just to get all the pretty themes.) I can freeze the bloatware or even delete it via Titanium Backup. So I'm not super anxious about it. I just hate being locked out of anything on something I purchased and own.

Plz sign this

https://www.change.org/petitions/att...ur-bootloaders


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