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[HOW-TO]Heimdall One-Click - ROM Packaging and Distribution System

16th November 2011, 12:33 AM   |  #1  
Introduction
Heimdall One-Click is a open-source stack of software intended to eliminate our dependence on Odin and provide an unrivaled safe method to perform a complete flash of a device. Heimdall One-Click will work on any device which Heimdall covers. Heimdall One-click and Heimdall One-Click Packager can be used to distribute custom or stock firmware upgrades or downgrades currently on most Samsung devices. Each of the sections in this post could be an entire post on its own. I want to consolodate this information into a single area here on XDA.

Heimdall One-Click is a project which I have been perfecting for months. After 147 revisions I feel it is time to release. It is my hope that the use of this software will enable users to safely flash and understand what is going on while they are flashing firmware. Heimdall One-Click is based on Heimdall by Benjamin Dobell.

The basic outline goes like this...
  1. Obtain firmware
  2. Use Heimdall frontend to package a tar.gz
  3. Select your tar.gz file with Heimdall One-Click. Your final package will be a executable cross-platform JAR file for redistribution which will deploy everything needed to flash your ROM.

It's really that simple. See the Downloads and Source section. I will now discuss how everything works in depth.

Warning
You have the power to damage your device and others! Several times during the development cycle I had asked myself if it was ethical to release a packager. A lack of skill can easily brick a device. Building a flashable package is a skill and I do not want to see any One-Click Nukes released into the public. So I want to set some rules-of-thumb:
1. If you are unsure, do not package bootloaders into a distribution.
2. If you are going to package bootloaders, include boot.bin, Params.lfs, Sbl.bin and repartitioning option should be checked.
3. Always flash the firmware from Heimdall-Frontend before creating a one-click. Never assume it will work.
4. Please watch this video in its entirety before attempting to package a one-click.





Heimdall & Heimdall Frontend

Heimdall is a cross-platform open-source tool suite used to flash firmware (aka ROMs) onto Samsung devices. Heimdall is an "upstream package" contained within Heimdall One-Click. Heimdall is Maintained by Benjamin Dobell http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=2710388 from Glass Echidna. Heimdall has its own discussion thread here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/arch...t-1104826.html
Heimdall Frontend allows a graphical user interface for flashing firmware, packaging and deploying Heimdall tar.gz files. It also provides several additional tools. Heimdall Frontend has its own discussion thread here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/arch...t-1104826.html


Heimdall One-Click Packager

Heimdall One-Click packager is a tool which will take a Heimdall tar.gz file and package it into a Heimdall One-Click. Heimdall One-Click Packager is an open-source cross-platform(win/linux/mac) program with no dependencies. After execution, the user selects a tar.gz package for one-click and the program:

1. Decompresses firmware.xml from tar.gz
2. Deploys an empty one-click java jar.
3. Writes the Tar.gz and firmware.xml into the one-click jar thereby creating a new one-click executable firmware package.


Heimdall One-Click

Heimdall One-Click's job is simple; it deploys firmware with one click while keeping the user informed. Heimdall One-Click is an open-source cross-platform(win/linux/mac), dependency installing, easy-to-use, automation tool which can install firmware onto a device in download mode. Heimdall One-Click's operation is very simple from the outside, but the operation is very complex inside. See source code for more information. Heimdall One-Click has several safety features built in which make it the safest method of deploying firmware to any compatible device.

Why use Heimdall One-Click over Odin or other methods of software distribution?
  • Heimdall is Open-Source software. Without Open-Source software we would not have android or custom ROMs. Open-Source developers should support and expand the work of other Open-Source developers.
  • Odin is closed source and propritary. Not only is the application proprietary, but the drivers are also proprietary. Open-Source developers do not support Closed-Source work as it is a hindrance to development.
  • Heimdall supports Open-Source Tar.GZ compression which ensures file integrity and provides higher compression than zip formats. A 500 megabyte ROM can compress to less than 200 megabytes.
  • Heimdall can restore operation to a device which does not even have access to recovery mode. Heimdall does not require the kernel to be operational, it works at a higher level in the Secondary Bootloader.
  • A Heimdall One-Click is a single executable file which contains everything needed to flash a ROM.
  • A Heimdall One-Click works on Windows, Linux or Mac OS-X.
  • A Heimdall One-Click is not a final output format. Once you make a One-Click, the contents are not lost forever. The ROM package contained within can be unzipped using your favorite archive program, modified and redistributed.

Easiest, most portable, and foolproof method of flashing
Heimdall One-Click has been designed to be the easiest, most portable and foolproof method of flashing. The requirements are that the user knows how to put their device into "Download Mode" and that the user has Java installed on their computer.

Heimdall One-Click contains:
  • A deployable and unpackable firmware located in /com/adamoutler/heimdalloneclick/
  • Installer routines
  • Windows Drivers
  • Windows C++ Redistributable Package
  • Windows Heimdall binary
  • Linux32 Debian package
  • Linux64 Debian package
  • Mac OS-X Installation package

You can find a repository of prepackaged ROMs here at the Team Komin website: http://files.teamkomin.com/ Please note, some of these were packaged during beta testing so not all of them are high quality builds.

Obtaining firmware
Before you can package a ROM for distribution, you must have firmware to package. Here are two methods of obtaining firmware.

Obtaining firmware from a live device
The following commands can be used on most Samsung Android devices to make a backup of everything but bootloaders. Bootloaders must be obtained from official builds and cannot be pulled off a working device after you have finished developing. This may not work on devices designed for RFS filesystems if the filesystems have been converted
  1. Open a terminal to your device (terminal emulator or QuickSSHD, or adb shell)
  2. Enter the following commands into the terminal
    Code:
    su
    #Remove the target folder if it is present
    rm -r -f /sdcard/firmwarepackage
    #Write all zeros to data partition to zero flash memory until the partition is full
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/data/big_zero bs=1048576
    #Remove the zerod out dummy file
    rm -r -f /data/big_zero
    #Mount The /system folder as RW so we can read and write to it
    mount -o remount,rw /system /system
    #Drop all zeros into a file on the /system partition until it is full
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/system/big_zero bs=1048576
    #Remove the zerod out dummy file
    rm /system/big_zero
    #Make our folder to write the firmware package onto the SDCard
    mkdir /sdcard/firmwarepackage
    #Begin transfer of all relevant blocks to sdcard
    dd if=/dev/block/stl9 of=/sdcard/firmwarepackage/factoryfs.img bs=4096
    dd if=/dev/block/bml7 of=/sdcard/firmwarepackage/zImage bs=4096
    dd if=/dev/block/stl10 of=/sdcard/firmwarepackage/dbdata.img bs=4096
    dd if=/dev/block/stl11 of=/sdcard/firmwarepackage/cache.img bs=4096
    dd if=/dev/block/bml12 of=/sdcard/firmwarepackage/modem.bin bs=4096
    #Done
    echo done
  3. copy the files from your sdcard in the firmwarepackage folder to your desktop/laptop computer.
    Never mount an RFS filesystem to your computer Your computer is not equipped to handle the RFS filesystem. All permissions data will be lost and the filesystem will be rendered useless.
  4. Using Heimdall Frontend, you can download the part.pit from the options tab to obtain the partition tables for custom ROM use.
  5. Use Heimdall frontend to package a tar.gz
  6. Use Heimdall One-Click Packager to make a One-Click

Obtaining firmware from Odin packages
You will need a base firmware package to obtain bootloaders for your device. Firmware can be obtained from several sites. Some of the more common are:It is important that these firmwares be verified on your own device before distribution.
  1. Totally decompress the entire firmware package down to its individual files
  2. Use heimdall-frontend to create a package
  3. Use One-Click Packager to generate a one-click.

Recommended Distribution Instructions
Once you have verified that your package has been made correctly, you will want to distribute it. Here is a recommended blurb which I have found to be effective from multiple tests. Replace "MY ROM" with your ROM name and MYROM.COM with your download link.
  1. You will need Java installed on your computer Do you have java?
  2. right click and open with Java
  3. Put your device in "Download Mode" and click the flash button
  4. Problems? Enter "Recovery Mode" and select "factory reset"
Download MY ROM!

Code:
[ list=1]
[ *]You will need Java installed on your computer Do you have java?
[ *]right click and open with Java
[ *]Put your device in "Download Mode" and click the flash button
[ *]Problems?  Enter "Recovery Mode" and select "factory reset"[/list][ size=4][ url=MYROM.COM]Click here to Download My ROM![/url][/size]


Downloads and Source
Heimdall One-Click Packager: http://code.google.com/p/heimdall-on...downloads/list
Heimdall Frontend: http://www.glassechidna.com.au/products/heimdall/

Heimdall One-Click Source Code:http://heimdall-one-click.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/
Heimdall one-Click Change Log:Change Log: http://code.google.com/p/heimdall-one-click/source/list
Heimdall Source Code: https://github.com/Benjamin-Dobell/Heimdall



Conclusion and Disclaimer
The source and applications are released under the MIT License. I have provided these resources at no cost to you without warranty. I will not be held liable. It is up to you to use these programs responsibly.

History
Heimdall One-Click saw its first appearance as "One-Click UnBrick http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1153310". Since then, it has been tested and distributed as part of UnBrickable Mod, restoration back to stock, and upgrading firmware in the following threads:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1191924 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1331381 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1330491 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1341666 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1312391 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1333423 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1333424 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1238093 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1266172
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1323527 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1288130 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1216790 http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1221491

Forward
We are looking to expand Heimdall to work on more devices. We need devices to work with. Please see http://www.glassechidna.com.au/open for more information
Last edited by AdamOutler; 17th November 2011 at 05:53 PM.
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16th November 2011, 01:06 AM   |  #2  
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RFS is full of bugs, you cannot read/write RFS filesystems on any computer.
RFS is prone to corruption (in many more ways you can expect)
RFS doesn't have a "packer" that zeroes empty portions in order to get filesystem images with good compressibility (IE: free space will be by default full of junk)

Also, compared to the well established update.zip format: this method doesn't provide a clean method to execute post-flashing scripts.

Why I advice not using the method described here to distribute custom ROMs as RFS.

However, distributing official firmwares in this format could be nice, but I'm not sure it's worth the hassle of re-packaging.

Note: for Ext4 based ROMs and devices like Galaxy S II or Galaxy Tab 10.1, this tool can make sense (ext4 fs packing tools are available in AOSP)
Last edited by supercurio; 16th November 2011 at 02:18 AM.
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16th November 2011, 01:24 AM   |  #3  
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Yay!!! Thanks again

Sent from my SGH-I897 using xda premium
16th November 2011, 01:38 AM   |  #4  
Supercurio, your notes on RFS are appreciated, but irrelevant if the guide I've provided is followed.

As a precaution, never mount an RFS Filesystem to your computer directly. It will corrupt the filesystem and Voodoo Lagfix will fail and bootloop. Apply Voodoo Lagfix after pulling the partitions. Flash a kernel, reboot, then pull partitions. This way you can mount it on your computer.

why to use this? using this method you will be able to ensure what is on your device is on your user's device. Rather than expecting that they are running a certain version of a certain firmware prior to applying an update.zip Heimdall One-Click also provides the easiest method to installing a custom kernel in order to get ClockWork Mod on a stock device.

As Supercurio mentioned, repackaging an odin file as a Heimdall One-Click may be a hassel, but Heimdall One-Clicks work on Linux, Windows or Mac OS-X.

I'm not going to go through all methods of development nor the functions of each file. However, if you wish to perform a factory reset, use a params.lfs from an official firmware package. If not, use the params from an active device.

There's downfalls to each method of distribution.
Update.zip requires that the user have a specific version of a specific firmware on their device. Heimdall One-Click does not require this.
Update.zip allows modification of firmware on a device. Heimdall One-Click will obliterate all firmware.
Update.zip is exactly as it says, it is an update. Heimdall One-Click is an entire firmware package.
Update.zip requires knowledge of a proprietery scripting format. Heimdall One-Click requires knowledge of Android filesystems only.

For this reason, packaging as a Heimdall One-Click makes your firmware package immortal rather than having a lifespan/dependency. A properly packaged Heimdall One-Click will always work without any expectation of the firmware on a user's device. It's a very clean way to distribute firmware.
Last edited by AdamOutler; 17th November 2011 at 05:51 PM.
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16th November 2011, 08:34 PM   |  #5  
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Awesome piece of software, incredibly easy to use, and extremely useful. Thanks for releasing this to the community!
25th November 2011, 02:41 PM   |  #6  
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Thank you!

I have a 1007 Captivate and Odin / Keis were unreliable at best.
I'd love to see some Odin 1-Click repackaging for this. I could use them!!!
Downloads / upgrades with the Heimdall method have been easy to monitor and and
part that failed could easily be retried.

Without the Odin 1-click to stock being available (or failing, leaving me in an unknown state), I found the ability to use PIT, and target each section of the ROM to be critical in booting a new ROM if there is any reason the upgrade went awry from within Android.

Stock ROMs repackaged will help Odinphobes!

Erbid
27th November 2011, 01:41 PM   |  #7  
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Adam,
Does Heimdall frontend know which cache and dbdata file to use from a stock package, or do i need to manually select them? I've noticed that in a full package, there is a cache and dbdata file in two different places, but I do not know which one should be used. Also, should the param.lfs file be used only if flashing bootloaders, or should it always be included?

Edit
I am using stock firmware for a Captivate.
Last edited by mrhaley30705; 27th November 2011 at 03:46 PM.
30th November 2011, 11:26 PM   |  #8  
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhaley30705

Adam,
Does Heimdall frontend know which cache and dbdata file to use from a stock package, or do i need to manually select them? I've noticed that in a full package, there is a cache and dbdata file in two different places, but I do not know which one should be used. Also, should the param.lfs file be used only if flashing bootloaders, or should it always be included?

Edit
I am using stock firmware for a Captivate.

Dbdata goes in dbdata. Cache goes in cache. Paramaribo is a bootloaders. Watch the video.
1st December 2011, 01:02 AM   |  #9  
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Ok, I watched the video (great tutorial,btw), but I still don't know what to do about my problem. In a stock captivate package, there is a dbdata and cache file in the pda package, and another dbdata and cache file in the csc package. Which one gets used and which one gets tossed?
1st December 2011, 01:52 AM   |  #10  
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhaley30705

Ok, I watched the video (great tutorial,btw), but I still don't know what to do about my problem. In a stock captivate package, there is a dbdata and cache file in the pda package, and another dbdata and cache file in the csc package. Which one gets used and which one gets tossed?

Just use one or the other.

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