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Would you install TWRP and Magisk if you could?


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theOriginalSuperl2

Senior Member
May 28, 2016
458
668
Melbourne
Hi all, I've just got my hands on a TicWatch Pro 3 and am keen to mod it.
As far as I can tell, there've been no kernels or recoveries built for it yet. I'd like to fix that.
This will be my first time bringing up TWRP (I have experience with building AOSP and porting Ubuntu Touch and PostmarketOS).

If anyone else is interested in helping with this stuff, feel free to join in! It'd be great if we can build a bit of a community around this.

My plan of action is as follows:
  1. Boot TWRP or obtain temporary root access in another way. Some kernel sources are available.
  2. Extract images of every partition on the device (excluding userdata) so we have a way to restore everything if anything goes wrong,
  3. Properly port TWRP to the device. This may be difficult; I don't think TWRP has run on the SDM429W before, though it's based off the SDM429. The Nokia 3.2 may be a useful reference.
  4. Root the device with Magisk, and document the process so users can do it.
  5. Build a custom kernel. To be honest, I'm not sure if this device needs one, but @janjan managed to squeeze amazing performance out of the OG TWP by tweaking a few things and disabling junk.
Here's some useful information to get started:
  • The TWP3 ships with a charging cable that only has power wires. It's possible to use an old TWP dock to get a data connection, though, and the bootloader can be unlocked through fastboot. See this thread for more info. The USB wire layout is not in the regular order (D+ and D- are swapped), so if you don't have an old dock and are using wires, refer to the pictures here.
  • The TWP3 LTE kernel source code is available here. I've also forked it here, in case anything happens to the original repo. As far as I can tell, there are no sources for the GPS model, but the kernel version in the repo (4.9.232) matches my GPS model's kernel version. I expect the LTE kernel can be used on the GPS with minimal effort.
  • The rubyfish kernel configuration is available through /proc. It's attached to this post.
I'm not sure if unlocking the bootloader blocks OTA updates; if it does, perhaps we should work out a way to manually download OTA updates before unlocking the bootloader.

Here's some miscellaneous information:
  • The TWP3 LTE is codenamed "rover", and the TWP3 GPS is codenamed "rubyfish".
  • As far as I can tell, the Snapdragon Wear 4100 in this device is a 64-bit SoC, but a 32-bit OS is in use.
  • Here's the complete kernel version string on my rubyfish running the latest OTA update: Linux version 4.9.232-perf+ ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.9.x 20150123 (prerelease) (GCC) ) #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Jun 9 09:55:19 CST 2021
 

bernarbernuli

Senior Member
Aug 26, 2010
107
182
Vigo
www.htcmania.com
I think the project is fantastic, the truth is that Mobvoi totally succeeded in minimizing attempts to root the watch, simply sold the watch with a cable that only serves to charge, and also there is none for sale (not even in the Asian market), you can only make one by hand, which pushes back 99.9% of users.

For those who don't know, the cable is mandatory, because to flash TWRP or root you must first unlock bootloader. Unlocking bootloader is done in bootloader mode (fastboot) and there will not work debugging via Wi-Fi, as the watch in this mode does not connect to the Wi-Fi network, it will only work with a USB cable.

Anyway, I want to contribute the info I have on the subject:

- Last May the user @mind-overflow was trying to port TWRP, I do not know if he has managed to advance something. Since May i do not know anything. Here the last thing he talked about it.

- Here, at the end of that post I explain how to make a handmade cable from a Ticwatch S/E cable.
 
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BadWolfYe

Senior Member
I think the project is fantastic, the truth is that Mobvoi totally succeeded in minimizing attempts to root the watch, simply sold the watch with a cable that only serves to charge, and also there is none for sale (not even in the Asian market), you can only make one by hand, which pushes back 99.9% of users.

For those who don't know, the cable is mandatory, because to flash TWRP or root you must first unlock bootloader. Unlocking bootloader is done in bootloader mode (fastboot) and there will not work debugging via Wi-Fi, as the watch in this mode does not connect to the Wi-Fi network, it will only work with a USB cable.

Anyway, I want to contribute the info I have on the subject:

- Last May the user @mind-overflow was trying to port TWRP, I do not know if he has managed to advance something. Since May i do not know anything. Here the last thing he talked about it.

- Here, at the end of that post I explain how to make a handmade cable from a Ticwatch S/E cable.
Use "fastboot boot rubyfish_recovery.img"
Without "" obviusly

Actually it's untested
Edit: i see u from Spain, Send me pv if u have Telegram ;)

Edit2: for upload the Rover variant


Rubyfish = BT + GPS Ticwatch Pro 3
Rover = LTE Ticwatch Pro 3
 

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Last edited:

bernarbernuli

Senior Member
Aug 26, 2010
107
182
Vigo
www.htcmania.com
Use "fastboot boot rubyfish_recovery.img"
Without "" obviusly

Actually it's untested
Edit: i see u from Spain, Send me pv if u have Telegram ;)

What good news, hopefully it works.

Pending clarification from @BadWolfYe I understand that TWRP recovery is ONLY for the GPS variant, no? I say this in case some brave guy who has TWP3 LTE is/will be flashing it.
 

BadWolfYe

Senior Member
What good news, hopefully it works.

Pending clarification from @BadWolfYe I understand that TWRP recovery is ONLY for the GPS variant, no? I say this in case some brave guy who has TWP3 LTE is/will be flashing it.
In theory can work for the two variants in any case if any want for LTE tell me and i upload ;)
Although I would rather wait to upload it when I know if it goes at least the GPS In my jenkins I have a set to compile both variants as soon as I can test it in the next few days
 
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BadWolfYe

Senior Member

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theOriginalSuperl2

Senior Member
May 28, 2016
458
668
Melbourne
Be careful everyone - the first thing we should do is pull stock images before doing anything that may break OTA updates so we can revert back to stock if need be. I've been talking to JanJan on this matter, and it seems that OTA can be broken very easily.

@BadWolfYe, that DTB error can be caused by missing DTB images appended to the boot image or kernel. This can usually be remedied by changing the kernel configuration - have you tried using the config available through /proc/config.gz?
 

BadWolfYe

Senior Member
Be careful everyone - the first thing we should do is pull stock images before doing anything that may break OTA updates so we can revert back to stock if need be. I've been talking to JanJan on this matter, and it seems that OTA can be broken very easily.

@BadWolfYe, that DTB error can be caused by missing DTB images appended to the boot image or kernel. This can usually be remedied by changing the kernel configuration - have you tried using the config available through /proc/config.gz?
Yep, i use the config.gz from device, and the output file after build it's zImage-dtb 🤦🤦🤦🤦

If any want acces to the source of device Tree/kernel
Send me a pm with Telegram Alias
 

bernarbernuli

Senior Member
Aug 26, 2010
107
182
Vigo
www.htcmania.com
There were no more OTA updates since July. The last update for TWP3 LTE was in May and TWP3 GPS in July.

The only way someone meets that profile is to buy these days TWP3 GPS (and hopefully has not received the July factory update) , unlock the bootloader and then upgrade.
 

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  • 2
    Hello. I bought this watch too. I'm not a developer, but I installed roms on many devices. If there's anything I can do, I can help.
    2
    Ok i'm back. I got discuraged with the cable situation but i have 2 more coming today. hopefully i dont break em. I just came fresh off rooting a nvidia sheild tv pro so i'm not ro rusty anymore . lets get this opened up
    2
    ok seriously. Ive gone through 5 chargerrs trying to make the cable. I'm legally blind guys... could someone do me a solid and ship me one. i'll pay you if you ship it fast... I know i can help with this a lot i just needa cable for like 2 mins to unlock bootloader ... i dont want to give up but i dont wanna spend as much as i did on the watch on ****in chargers lol
    1
    for now I have not released the device Tree of TWRP until I check if it works
    @bernarbernuli I hope @BadWolfYe will share soon :cool:
  • 10
    Hi all, I've just got my hands on a TicWatch Pro 3 and am keen to mod it.
    As far as I can tell, there've been no kernels or recoveries built for it yet. I'd like to fix that.
    This will be my first time bringing up TWRP (I have experience with building AOSP and porting Ubuntu Touch and PostmarketOS).

    If anyone else is interested in helping with this stuff, feel free to join in! It'd be great if we can build a bit of a community around this.

    My plan of action is as follows:
    1. Boot TWRP or obtain temporary root access in another way. Some kernel sources are available.
    2. Extract images of every partition on the device (excluding userdata) so we have a way to restore everything if anything goes wrong,
    3. Properly port TWRP to the device. This may be difficult; I don't think TWRP has run on the SDM429W before, though it's based off the SDM429. The Nokia 3.2 may be a useful reference.
    4. Root the device with Magisk, and document the process so users can do it.
    5. Build a custom kernel. To be honest, I'm not sure if this device needs one, but @janjan managed to squeeze amazing performance out of the OG TWP by tweaking a few things and disabling junk.
    Here's some useful information to get started:
    • The TWP3 ships with a charging cable that only has power wires. It's possible to use an old TWP dock to get a data connection, though, and the bootloader can be unlocked through fastboot. See this thread for more info. The USB wire layout is not in the regular order (D+ and D- are swapped), so if you don't have an old dock and are using wires, refer to the pictures here.
    • The TWP3 LTE kernel source code is available here. I've also forked it here, in case anything happens to the original repo. As far as I can tell, there are no sources for the GPS model, but the kernel version in the repo (4.9.232) matches my GPS model's kernel version. I expect the LTE kernel can be used on the GPS with minimal effort.
    • The rubyfish kernel configuration is available through /proc. It's attached to this post.
    I'm not sure if unlocking the bootloader blocks OTA updates; if it does, perhaps we should work out a way to manually download OTA updates before unlocking the bootloader.

    Here's some miscellaneous information:
    • The TWP3 LTE is codenamed "rover", and the TWP3 GPS is codenamed "rubyfish".
    • As far as I can tell, the Snapdragon Wear 4100 in this device is a 64-bit SoC, but a 32-bit OS is in use.
    • Here's the complete kernel version string on my rubyfish running the latest OTA update: Linux version 4.9.232-perf+ ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.9.x 20150123 (prerelease) (GCC) ) #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Jun 9 09:55:19 CST 2021
    4
    I think the project is fantastic, the truth is that Mobvoi totally succeeded in minimizing attempts to root the watch, simply sold the watch with a cable that only serves to charge, and also there is none for sale (not even in the Asian market), you can only make one by hand, which pushes back 99.9% of users.

    For those who don't know, the cable is mandatory, because to flash TWRP or root you must first unlock bootloader. Unlocking bootloader is done in bootloader mode (fastboot) and there will not work debugging via Wi-Fi, as the watch in this mode does not connect to the Wi-Fi network, it will only work with a USB cable.

    Anyway, I want to contribute the info I have on the subject:

    - Last May the user @mind-overflow was trying to port TWRP, I do not know if he has managed to advance something. Since May i do not know anything. Here the last thing he talked about it.

    - Here, at the end of that post I explain how to make a handmade cable from a Ticwatch S/E cable.
    Use "fastboot boot rubyfish_recovery.img"
    Without "" obviusly

    Actually it's untested
    Edit: i see u from Spain, Send me pv if u have Telegram ;)

    Edit2: for upload the Rover variant


    Rubyfish = BT + GPS Ticwatch Pro 3
    Rover = LTE Ticwatch Pro 3
    2
    I think the project is fantastic, the truth is that Mobvoi totally succeeded in minimizing attempts to root the watch, simply sold the watch with a cable that only serves to charge, and also there is none for sale (not even in the Asian market), you can only make one by hand, which pushes back 99.9% of users.

    For those who don't know, the cable is mandatory, because to flash TWRP or root you must first unlock bootloader. Unlocking bootloader is done in bootloader mode (fastboot) and there will not work debugging via Wi-Fi, as the watch in this mode does not connect to the Wi-Fi network, it will only work with a USB cable.

    Anyway, I want to contribute the info I have on the subject:

    - Last May the user @mind-overflow was trying to port TWRP, I do not know if he has managed to advance something. Since May i do not know anything. Here the last thing he talked about it.

    - Here, at the end of that post I explain how to make a handmade cable from a Ticwatch S/E cable.
    2
    Hello. I bought this watch too. I'm not a developer, but I installed roms on many devices. If there's anything I can do, I can help.
    2
    ok seriously. Ive gone through 5 chargerrs trying to make the cable. I'm legally blind guys... could someone do me a solid and ship me one. i'll pay you if you ship it fast... I know i can help with this a lot i just needa cable for like 2 mins to unlock bootloader ... i dont want to give up but i dont wanna spend as much as i did on the watch on ****in chargers lol