11 Aug

Samsung Galaxy S, pt.1 – Rooting

Category:Hacking, Hardware, Howto's

So, i became a Droid of the Galactic Empire, and left the Cult of Steve; dumping my iPhone 3GS to some other poor sod at the office. A few weeks ago, i went out and got the Samsung Galaxy S; their current flagship model.

The specs of the phone are as follows:

  • 1,0 GHz “Hummingbird” processor (Arm Cortex A8 base)
  • 2,0GB ROM
  • 6,0GB Flash
  • 512MB RAM
  • microSDHC slot (up to 32GB)
  • 4,0″ Super-Amoled screen 480×800 resolution
  • All the standards in the way of wireless, 802.11n, BT, A-GPS, HSUPA (7,2Mbit/s mobile broadband)
  • MicroUSB out, with support for TV-out

Basically it has a lot more oomph than the computer i had 10 years ago, in terms of almost everything, storage, cpu, telecom, etc. Anyway. It’s a nice phone, and so far i’ve noticed very few things to complain about. My intention is not a review per se, there are tons of those which speak for themselves. I’m gonna try to write simple-as-possible instructions for doing things like firmware upgrades, lag-fixes and other nifty tricks, as well as listing handy applications from the Android Market.


rooting of the phone has been made fairly simple. it consists of three distinct steps:

  1. Copy update.zip (as is, do not extract) to the /sdcard folder on your phone
  2. Boot phone into recovery mode
  3. Apply update.zip and wait for phone to reboot

Steps are performed as follows.

1. Go to the Homescreen and press the menu button (left of the home key), -> Settings -> About Phone -> Usb Settings -> Mass storage
2. Hook up USB cable and install any drivers that might be prompted, or not. Your internal memory (/sdcard) should be mounted
3. Copy update.zip to the root of that folder
4. Disconnect USB cable, and shut down phone
5. Boot phone so that you first press the volume up key on the side of the phone, and the home button, and keep holding them down, while pressing the power button. Phone will boot into recovery mode. Release all buttons as soon as you see text scrolling by. This will come after the Samsung logo.
6. Using the volume up and down keys, select the menuitem called “Apply update.zip”, and press the Home key to confirm. Rooting will commence, and phone will reboot after it’s done.
7. You will have two new menu entries in your phone under the Applications menu: “Superuser permission” and “BusyBox Installer”.
8. Open up the BusyBox Installer and upgrade to the latest version, or do it through the Android Market.

You now have a rooted phone, which can access any part of the phone filesystem, and allows you to use su to gain superuser permissions to do whatever you want. Get a terminal app from the Market, or do whatever you please. You can’t really break it, since you can always use Odin to reflash the phone, should something go pear-shaped. I’ll cover this in my next post.

Edit: Small corrections in terminology, download mode -> recovery mode. Thanks Anteuz.

4 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S, pt.1 – Rooting

  1. Change the download mode to recovery mode. As download mode is for flashing the firmware via ODIN and is reached with Vol Down + Home + Power button.

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