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I was attracted by the hardware specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S.

However, I don't like the default TouchWiz skin developed by Samsung. I'd prefer to use the native Android UI, as in the Nexus S and similar devices.

Is it possible for me to perform "self installation" of the stock Android OS, after I bought the Samsung Galaxy S? If yes, how? Will I void the warranty of my phone by doing this?

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Isn't that just replacing their customized launcher, not the OS? –  Al E. Mar 21 '11 at 15:17
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You need to be more specific than "Galaxy S". There are several different iterations of the sgs like the Fascinate and the Epic, which require different ROMs. –  Matt Mar 21 '11 at 20:54
    
As for me, I'd like to replace the stock OS on Samsung Galaxy S (GT9000) because I want to have voice calls in Google Talk. Perhaps, I'll try a CyanogenMod based on the newer versions of Android that would have support for voice calls in Google Talk. –  imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Dec 16 '12 at 11:39
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'm not familiar with the Samsung Galaxy, but in general if you want to install an aftermarket OS you need to root your phone and in general rooting your phone will void the warranty.

Do you have other reasons for wanting to change the OS or is it really just TouchWiz?

According to this XDA post, the only TouchWiz-free ROM is CyanogenMod. It's very unstable on the Galaxy S though.

However, you can install a different launcher such as LauncherPro. TouchWiz will still be on the phone, but just in the background, so you can have a more "stock Android" experience by using another launcher.

I hope I've answered your intial question. Don't hesitate to ask new questions about how to go about disabling TouchWiz if you do opt to go that route.

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Launcher Pro is a homescreen replacement. You're not exactly disabling the default TouchWiz interface, merely using another in its stead. There are other launchers like ADW.Launcher and GoLauncher. –  Sparx Mar 21 '11 at 13:55
    
Thanks, @sparx. I cleaned up my answer a bit. Seems like options for disabling TouchWiz is a question unto itself. –  Amanda Mar 21 '11 at 14:03
    
@Sparx: while you're technically correct, I think it is a bit too nitpicky; with all those overlines, now I can barely understand what the post is attempting to say. –  Lie Ryan Mar 21 '11 at 16:21
    
@LieRyan: I agree. I was just trying to impress upon Amanda the slight difference. @Amanda: IMO, your answer was fine just as it was. :-) Not OT. –  Sparx Mar 21 '11 at 18:48
    
I cleaned it up, hope everyone doesn't mind. –  Matthew Read Mar 21 '11 at 20:26
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Yes, flashing a custom ROM will void your warranty. However, it is very simple to revert to the stock ROM with a Galaxy S for warranty purposes. Rooting will also void your warranty, but the method below does not require root.

The easiest way to a get a new OS for a Galaxy S is to use Odin for Windows (download here. Search for "Heimdall" if you want to do this on Linux). You just need an Odin-flashable ROM. For the Galaxy S Vibrant, I highly recommend the ROM I currently use, Bionix v1.3.1, which has a TouchWiz-free version. I assume you have a GT-I9000 however; you should look for one that suits your purposes in XDA's i9000 Android Development forum.

Edit: According to this post, the only completely TouchWiz-free ROM is CyanogenMod, which is unstable/buggy. So if you don't want CM and just want to replace the launcher, you can do that without flashing another ROM as Amanda says in her answer. Otherwise you can continue with the instructions below for using Odin.

Once you have the ROM, do the following:

  1. Put your phone into Download mode
    1. Remove the battery
    2. If non-i9000, attach the phone to your PC via USB.
    3. Hold VolumeDown plus either the Home key (i9000) or VolumeUp (non-i9000) and the power button
      1. Reinsert the battery.
      2. Let go of the power button only about 1 second after the white device logo appears (if it does)
      3. After a few seconds a yellow triangle with an android in it should appear, you can let go of the keys since this is download mode.
  2. Start up Odin.
  3. If non-i9000, detatch your phone from USB.
  4. Attach the phone to USB so that Odin recognizes it.
  5. Load the .zip file you downloaded (the custom ROM) into the PDA field of Odin.
  6. Load the 512 .pit file into the PIT field of Odin.
  7. Check "Re-partition".
  8. Hit Start. Odin will tell you when it's done; if it fails, reboot your phone and try again. (This happens occasionally).

Note that if you need to back anything up, you should do that beforehand and save the backup to your PC, since everything (except probably the external SD card) will be wiped on the phone. Also note that you do this at your own risk; Odin is very powerful and misusing it can damage your phone. I've used it dozens of times myself safely.

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Quick answer: Yes it is possible to get a nearly stock Android on your Galaxy S.

I just flashed Gingerbread to my Galaxy S last week or so.

You can find any relevant information here: http://forum.cyanogenmod.com/topic/17020-all-models-cyanogenmod-7-for-samsung-galaxy-s-phones-experimental/

Contrary to what is written in the first post I'd actually say that it is already pretty stable for a ROM which is described as 'experimental'. Since I installed it I cannot remember of any system crash or similar. (Which doesn't mean that It won't destroy your phone.)

There are some missing features/bugs though. Notably: radio, frontfacing camera.

Another funny bug is that your data connection only works after you lock & unlock your phone. (You have to do this once it boots so it's not a big deal.)

And oh, Gingerbread is awesome.

Edit: If you are on Linux you can use Heimdall instead of Odin.

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Do you mind to capture a screen shoot, on how samsung galaxy s look like in Gingerbread? Does it still have the ugly looking TouchWhiz? –  Cheok Yan Cheng Apr 7 '11 at 5:59
    
@Yan No, CM does not use Touchwiz. (As far as I know, no Gingerbread ROM for the SGS does either). –  Matthew Read Apr 7 '11 at 12:47
    
twitpic.com/4i8i8l –  Martin Klepsch Apr 8 '11 at 9:56
    
I am curious what you decided to do :) –  Martin Klepsch Apr 20 '11 at 15:17
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In order to replace the OS there are a few steps that must be taken. I do not have a Samsung Galaxy S phone nor do I know how locked down it is. At this time, I do know that the SGS is not available on CyanogenMod yet (popular stock-ish Android OS rom).

In general, the steps for any phone would be:

  1. Root the phone (varies by phone)
  2. Download ROM Manager
  3. Flash a recovery such as Clockwork Recovery
  4. Make a backup of the phone's original ROM with Nandroid
  5. Use ROM Manager to download a Rom, such a CyanogenMod
  6. Flash the ROM with ROM Manager.

Some phones it is not possible to flash a rom because of a locked bootloader. Most Motorola Droid phones except for the original Droid and Xoom have this problem. However, as already mentioned, you can still replace the home launcher with another such as LauncherPro, ADW or numerous others.

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