Installing /e/ OS on Samsung S9+ - need step by step help

@pitorel, the device manufacturers have the possibility to lock the bootloader completely on firmware level. For example, the carrier US Verizon is notorious for blocking the bootloader for G°°gle Pixel and Samsung devices for life. Huawei stopped its Bootloader Unlock program some time ago.

From this point of view, Samsung is still “gracious” with its current devices. But with Android 10 and 11, Samsung is tightening the thumbscrews.


You can always reflash the StockROM Android 10 #G965FXXU8DTC5, for example with Odin3.

This can also be useful if you want to uninstall or remove a custom recovery like TWRP Recovery.

So a simple software update effectively locked the bootloader firmware to arbitrarily forbid installing Android 9 on the device, right? Wow, that’s really evil. If the phone would have stayed just a couple of updates behind, that would not be the case, correct?

That’s so frustrating I am really really angry. Coming from the Linux word I have a very difficult time accepting this reality, that a software update locks the device into a specific OS version… I thought Android phones were different in that regard from iPhones, but I guess not that much, or it just depends on the manufacturing company… Sorry for all the newbie questions, but the Android ecosystem is completely new to me and there are a lot of different concepts I am trying to grasp.

So the conclusion is that the best I could do is to install LOS 17.1 in the meantime until an /e/ OS Android 10 version is available for my phone (if ever?), right?

  • … nstalling Android 9 on the device, right?*.Right!

  • … that would not be the case, correct? Correct!

  • … is available for my phone (if ever?), right? .`Right! but …
    If /e/ OS 9-pie is available for the S9+, OS switching will probably be possible. I’ve been able to try it so far. However, /e/ OS 9-Pie is such a rough-looking OS that I’m hopeful.


Until stockROM Android 6 Marshmallow, Samsung had not blocked the bootloader. Now get really angry. I don’t know but I suspect that G°°gle is also behind it.

G°°gle is already making it harder than before for the developers of custom ROMs based on ASOP 10. Android R (11) will again cause problems and will move further and further away from “open source”. G°°gle determines what will become of Android in the future. All others will have to participate or build a complete new operating system à la Huawei OS.

Do you think flashing a previous firmware version for this phone to revert this firmware update could work (found on sammobile)? Is it dangerous?

Which firmware version do you intend to flash?

I can’t even get to OEM unlock the device… The option does not exist in the developer options menu. I tried all kind of solutions found online, nothing worked. Maybe they removed this option also with their latest firmware update. So I cannot even install the latest Lineage OS version for this phone, which should work with Android 10.

Well, thank you Samsung. I will never buy a Samsung device again. 400 euros thrown away…

This one: G965FOXM7DTAA (30.01.2020)

Found here:

Together we can try to install e.g. LineageOS 17.1 on your S9+ - if you want to.

We just have to proceed step by step and with caution.

Think it over again in all peace and quiet. Tomorrow is another day …

That would be great :slight_smile:

I am following the instructions here but I am unable to OEM unlock the bootloader, so that may be a new blocker introduced by Samsung. I already did the “fake date and time+disable auto updates” trick that many online forums offered as a solution to enable the OEM unlock option, but it didn’t work.

But first do you think it is possible to revert the phone to a previous official firmware update as mentioned above? Maybe that way I could install /e/ OS?

I wish I had just bought a phone with preinstalled /e/ OS on it, but I thought I would be smarter by installing it myself. Should have known better.

Anyway this experience may be useful for further reference and troubleshooting to people with a similar device and problems…

Okay, let’s start at the beginning.

Is AUT Switzerland your preferred region?

Yes.
My current build is G965FXXU8DTC5 and in the “Software Information” under “Service provider SW ver.” that it has AUT written multiple times.
I don’t know what “AUT” refers to by the way.

Well, I ask to make sure that I’ve understood everything correctly and can give you the right tips.


It’s Samsung’s will that you cannot downgrade to this firmware version G965FOXM7DTAA (30.01.2020).

It is only possible to upgrade to the current version G965FXXS9DTD7 with April 2020 Security Update.

It is also possible to flash the existing firmware G965FXXU8DTC5 again with Odin3.

Your host machine works with Wind!°ws, doesn’t it?

Absurd and against everything I stand for, but I guess there’s nothing to be done about it.

Should I do that? Or no benefit?

Meaning if something goes wrong I can reset it to factory settings (i.e. as it is now) and hopefully resell it? :slight_smile:

No, I run Linux, but if I REALLY need Windows I could boot a Windows 10 disk that is laying around…

  1. It’s what it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s nothing I can do about it. We can only try to make the best of it.

  2. No, at the moment there is no benefit.

  3. This means that if something goes wrong, they can put the s9+ in the state it is in now.
    The professional will of course be able to tell that the Warranty Bit (Samsung Knox) was changed if a custom ROM was installed.

  4. If your hostmachine works with Linus, you need a fully functional Heimdall instead of Odin3. Is that guaranteed?

Ok, this is important. Other than being visible by a professional would it impair the device functions if running the stock ROM as intended? In other words, could it forbid the device to run as perform as it is now, or would it be just a kind of “watermark” that shows the Warranty Bit was changed but nothing else? I am just asking in case I want to resell it… :wink:

Yes, I seem to have a functional Heimdall. I was able to run this command heimdall print-pit and the device rebooted accordingly.

According to this documentation, once warranty bit is “tripped”, “the only way to get the device back to its original settings is to replace the PBA (Printed Board Assembly) on the device; hardware replacement will be required”

@archje can you confirm that? Would that mean that even when reinstalling stock, Android Knox would still not work?

@archje EDIT: I cannot write anymore for 18 hours as I have reached “the maximum number of replies a new user can post on its first day” (very useful I guess). So unless an admin grants me the authorization to post, I am off until Sunday. What a great day! Thanks for your help anyway

EDIT2: this is what I wanted to answer you:

This is very sad indeed.

I totally agree. The thing is that I was ready to install /e/ OS, but I am not sure that Lineage OS will fit my needs, contrarily to /e/ OS.

Look, I am not even sure I can even unlock the OEM bootloader. Have you heard anything regarding the impossibility to unlock OEM bootloader on recent S9+ bootloaders?

EDIT3: Hi @archje and thanks for your help. I am actually still blocked from writing for another 7 hours, so I’ll just write here once again: `

You’ve reached the maximum number of replies a new user can create on their first day. Please wait 7 hours before trying again.

After sleeping on it, I have decided that I would first try to have a refund for this phone, or to resell it. Thus I won’t try further installing Lineage OS on it for the moment. The reason is that I initially wanted /e/ OS, and Lineage OS might not fit my needs, secondly I am much less inclined to install anything on a phone that is so restrictive regarding any user change in general. I wouldn’t mind if it was a couple of hundreds of euros cheaper, but at this price I think I will stay on the safe side and avoid causing any change that may forbid me to resell it or get a refund.
I’ll sure try again if I cannot get rid of it :slight_smile:
In the meantime I will look for another phone with preinstalled /e/ OS, maybe a S7 (but I am quite angry with Samsung now), or a Fairphone 3, which actually may better fit my needs and values.
Thanks anyway for your kind help!

`

The internal counter increases the warranty bit by 1.

The performance of the device is not affected.

This warranty bit is only there to allow Samsung to indicate that the device has been tampered with in the event of a warranty claim.

The whole thing is sold to the customer under the guise of Samsung Knox.

It can be ascertained: Samsung does not actually want anything to be changed on the device. Samsung wants to track with its pre-installed apps, G°°gle apps want to track - and so do many others. Especially /e/ OS wants to prevent this. LieneageOS does it partially.

If I want to free myself from the clutches of data collectors, including Samsung and other manufacturers with preinstalled bloatware, then it is of secondary importance to me whether stockROM Android Knox works or not. It has no influence on custom ROMs.

Warranty claim also after rooting and flashing of devices

The EU regulation 1999/44/CE stipulates that the warranty remains valid even in case of root or flashing. Only if it can be proven that the defect was caused by rooting or flashing - which according to Carlo Piana and Matija Šuklje is only given in exceptional cases - the manufacturer can refuse the warranty.


EDIT / UPDATE

I haven’t heard anything about that.

Edit / Update

oem_unlocking


Let’s try unlock OEM bootloader later this Saturday.

Until then you could download this stockROM Android 10 as a precaution: G965FXXU8DTC5

The file is at least 4.5 GB in size.

If you aren’t a Premium Member of Sammobile, the download as a Non-Premium Member takes 18-24 hours at approx. 15 kB/sec.

In about six hours (slow speed) you can download it for free here.

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Seems I can finally answer :slight_smile:
So in the meantime I changed once again my mind… And I installed LineageOS 17.1.
Although I would have better installed /e/ OS, I am quite happy with LineageOS for now.
I guess I will use it until there is a /e/ OS build available for S9+ on Android 10.
Many thanks for your help!

Yes, LOS 17.1 (without GApps of course) is a compromise, but still better than stockROM Android.

How did you manage to activate the OEM Unlock Tell us a bit. After all, we spent some time yesterday with the fact that you are still using a Samsung device today ;o)))))