So far Samsung has been rolling updates out using its windows only software Kies, and not over the air like the rest of the android world.

Is there anyway that non windows users can get these updates?

3 Answers 3


I'd get a virtual machine and run windows in that for updates. Will probably be the easiest for you, if you're not comfortable with flashing. Usually the ROMs for Samsung come out as Odin packages (program Samsung uses for flashing i guess).

The forum for Galaxy on XDA has alot of resources to get you started. http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=665

If the above doesn't help you, you can use a custom recovery. ClockworkMod Recovery has just been updated today. Follow the steps on http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=734166. With this you will be able to flash updates from Samsung when the community releases them as update.zip, from your sdcard.

This REQUIRES root on your device, but is probably your only solution without Windows. Before you start with this, sit down and read the resources on the forum. Flashing a wrong firmware COULD damage your phone. Be aware of your phone version. The above guide is for the Galaxy S i9000 International version.

  • 2
    So I have to pay the windows tax in order to update my linux based phone. No thanks.
    – trampster
    Sep 21, 2010 at 10:04
  • 1
    Actually, ClockworkMod recovery went into stable today. I'll update my post.
    – anders
    Sep 21, 2010 at 17:12
  • I can't understand what the step 2 "Flash Recovery." in the linked ClockworkMod instructions mean. Could you please explain? Aug 17, 2012 at 6:13
  • 1
    @imz - Sure! Old post you responded to :) You have to open Odin and in the PDA box, chose the recovery.tar.md5 file. You should get a newer recovery and rom for your Galaxy S though. Things have changed alot in 2 years time. 1.bp.blogspot.com/-PPIbHmU2G4M/UAw2OOtr3mI/AAAAAAAAAes/….
    – anders
    Aug 17, 2012 at 11:00

Going through the Galaxy S Flash/Root/ADB/ROM guide on XDA, I just spotted this:

  1. I'm running Linux/OSX. Can I still flash my firmware? Do I need to install windows?

If you are running Linux you do not need to install Windows. You can either run Odin in a virtual machine or alternatively use Heimdall by Benjamin Dobell. Heimdall runs natively on Linux and has reached a well tested release state.

Which takes us to here Heimdall - Cross-Platform Open-Source Flashing Software:

What is Heimdall? Heimdall is a cross-platform open-source utility to flash ROMs onto Samsung Galaxy S phones.

How does it work? Heimdall uses the same protocol as Odin to interact with a device in download mode. USB communication in Heimdall is handled by the popular open-source USB library, libusb-1.0.

What platforms does Heimdall run on? Linux, OS X and Windows (XP, Vista, 7 etc.)

What Galaxy S variants has Heimdall been tested with? I've tested Heimdall with a Galaxy S GT-I9000 (8 GB) from the United Kingdom and Galaxy S GT-I9000 (16 GB) from Australia. I don't have access to any other devices to test with at present, but community members have confirmed it to also function correctly for the AT&T Captivate.

Hopefully this will help us all out!

Though obviously as this is effectively a replacement for Samsung's Odin software it's more designed towards people who are happy grabbing their ROMs from various places across the internet and flashing them on in a fairly custom way, as opposed to Kies which is (supposed to be) pretty much plug and play.

  • Pretty nice to see that there's something like that. On the next update, i will give it a try.
    – mru
    Nov 7, 2010 at 8:51
  • There is a further problem if the other computer (which runs a GNU/Linux) is ARM. So to flash a new OS onto the Samsung Galaxy S through the USB cable from the other computer, I'd need something like heimdall for ARM. It's not among the available pre-built downloads, will have to try to build it for ARM then... Is this possible? Aug 21, 2012 at 9:38
  • @imz running a minority OS on minority hardware, I think you're probably going to end up doing a lot yourself, unless other enthusiasts happen to have hit the exact same problems as you, with the same exact combination of circumstances.
    – GAThrawn
    Aug 21, 2012 at 9:52
  • Ok, I've put up a separate question: Is obtaining heimdall for ARM possible? Either the result of my work or someone else's exploration will be the answer. Aug 21, 2012 at 11:38

If you can find someone or somewhere who has a direct link to the update, you can probably download it to your SD card using your mobile browser. Im not sure what the key combos are for the Galaxy S to get to your Recovery, but im sure with some web searching you can find out how. Once you are in Recovery, you can flash the update. I am basing all this on how it works on other Android phones but have not actually seen it done on a Galaxy S variant. You may try this site for Samsung Firmwares: http://www.samfirmware.webs.com/


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .