Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3

Added by Wolfgang Wiedmeyer about 1 year ago

See the archived post for documentation about my initial work and findings
See this post for the Galaxy S2

Changelog of the latest version (replicant-6.0-beta-0001 from 27.1.17)

  • Added support for external WiFi dongles that use the AR9271 chipset
    Makes it possible to use WiFi with only free software as free firmware exists for the chip
  • January security updates for the kernel

Changelog of the sixth alpha release (replicant-6.0-alpha-0006 from 6.1.17)

Only the most relevant changes are listed.

  • Fixed sending of longer SMS messages
  • Fixed entering the SIM lock PIN
    Previously, if the PIN was entered incorrectly once, every subsequent try failed, even if the PIN was correct.
  • Fixed network operator recognition in countries that have MNC codes with three digits (e.g. U.S., Canada, India)
  • Removed the nonfree unrar tool
  • Synced the source code with the latest changes from CyanogenMod, including security fixes from December 2016 and performance improvements for the Galaxy S3
  • Made it possible to update the F-Droid app itself
  • Added the F-Droid privileged extension
    This makes automatic background updates of apps possible (needs to be enabled in the settings).
  • Fixed camera app freezes by restarting the camera and redoing the snapshot if the shutter button is pressed a second time
  • Made barcode scanning (including QR codes) work
    See Tips section below
  • Reduced the camera preview resolution to speed up the preview a little bit
  • Moved the build system from Debian Jessie to Debian Stretch and fixed various build errors
    This allows to use the manifest merger tool and the Eclipse Java compiler from Debian.
  • Added the possibility to enable llvmpipe as software renderer by making it buildable for ARM
    See the Tips section below
  • Applied various performance improvements and fixes for graphics rendering, mostly from the Android-x86 project
  • Ported various security/privacy enhancements from the CopperheadOS project
    This includes the possibility to set an encryption password that is different from the lock screen pin/password.
    The phone will reboot if the PIN was entered incorrectly more than four times.
    Some privacy enhancements for the browser
  • Added a new wallpaper to the Replicant wallpapers

Tips

Enabling llvmpipe as software renderer

llvmpipe has more complete EGL support than the Android software renderer, so more apps work with it, like Firefox-based browser or more recent webviews. Unfortunately, llvmpipe is still too slow to be the default renderer, but I made it possible to switch back and forth between llvmpipe and the Android software renderer. ADB and root over ADB needs to be enabled in the developer settings.

The following commands are necessary to enable llvmpipe:

adb root
adb remount
adb shell "grep -q "ro.libagl=1" /system/build.prop && sed "s/ro.libagl=1/ro.libagl=0/" -i /system/build.prop || sed "s/ro.libagl=0/ro.libagl=1/" -i /system/build.prop" 

If you want to go back to the Android sofware renderer, you will need to run the above commands again. A reboot is always necessary for the changes to be applied.

Barcode scanning

The mostly used barcode scanner app ZXing has a pretty slow preview. This barcode scanner app from F-Droid has a much faster preview.

Using an external wifi dongle

See this post.

Known issues

  • Some SIM cards are not recognized.
    If you want to help debugging this, do the following:
    Run adb logcat -d -b radio > replicant_radio_log.txt after the device booted.
    Install CyanogenMod 13.0 and capture the same log. The output of adb shell dmesg after CyanogenMod has booted could be helpful, too.
    You can send the logs in a PM as they can contain personal information.
  • The camera "locks" sometimes or the error "Can't connect to camera" is displayed.
    Logs might help debugging this, at least the issue with the error message.
    Recent versions have a fix which allows to take a picture if the camera app seems to be unresponsive and you press the shutter button a second time.
  • The camera preview is slow
    See this mail for more info.
  • There are still graphics with the CyanogenMod logo that need to be replaced with the Replicant logo
    Patches are welcome.
  • Only the Galaxy S2 and S3 are supported.
    If you want to help getting other Replicant devices supported: Add the missing device repositories and try to merge the changes from CyanogenMod. If the device is not supported on the CyanogenMod 13.0 branch, you will have to look at forks that took up the development. Merging with an older branch could also be sufficient to get basic functionality working.
  • Newer webviews can't be used because they don't work with the software rendering
    Webview version 43.0.2357.134 is currently in use. It was released in July 2015. This can be fixed by making llvmpipe fast enough so it can be used as the default software renderer. Currently, the Android software renderer is the default.
  • There are still prebuilt binaries in the source tree
    I got rid of a lot of prebuilt binaries to make the build more trustworthy and to ensure that all tools are properly built from source with free software, but there are still a few left. The gcc-arm-linux-androideabi toolchain needs to be bootstrapped with proper 1st and 2nd stage compilers so it doesn't rely on the sysroot from the NDK. In general, there are still some prebuilt binaries from the NDK, SDK and other places in use, but nearly all of them shouldn't run on the host, but only on the Replicant device.

Build instructions

For now, only Debian Stretch is supported as build system. See this blog post on my personal blog for instructions on how to set up a Debian Stretch build environment in a chroot.

You need to install the following dependencies:

sudo apt-get build-dep gcc binutils llvm-defaults
sudo apt-get install gcc-arm-none-eabi cmake python-dev swig ant bc proguard maven-debian-helper libemma-java libasm4-java libguava-java libnb-platform18-java libnb-org-openide-util-java libandroidsdk-ddmlib-java libmaven-source-plugin-java libfreemarker-java libmaven-javadoc-plugin-java repo ca-cacert curl gawk libgmp3-dev libmpfr-dev libmpc-dev git-core gperf libncurses-dev squashfs-tools pngcrush zip zlib1g-dev lzma libc6-dev-i386 g++-multilib lib32z1-dev lib32readline-dev lib32ncurses5-dev zlib1g-dev:i386 xsltproc python-mako schedtool gradle dirmngr libandroidsdk-sdklib-java eclipse-jdt libgradle-android-plugin-java android-sdk-build-tools android-sdk-platform-23 aapt lzop

All my code is hosted at https://code.fossencdi.org. You can get the source code with the following commands:

repo init -u https://code.fossencdi.org/replicant_manifest.git -b replicant-6.0

If you want to contribute or if you simply want the latest and possibly unstable changes, you can also initialize with the development branch:

repo init -u https://code.fossencdi.org/replicant_manifest.git -b replicant-6.0-dev

Please note that the build might even be broken on this branch and there are no git tags on this branch which pin the source code to certain versions.

Then download the source code:

repo sync

The F-Droid binary is downloaded separately. The download script will check if the signature of the F-Droid binary comes from the F-Droid release signing key. You can retrieve the current signing key with the command gpg --recv-key 7A029E54DD5DCE7A. Run the download script to get F-Droid:

./vendor/replicant/get-prebuilts

Before you can build the ROM in the regular way, you need to run a build script that takes care of building the toolchain:

./vendor/replicant/build-toolchain

In order to prevent strange errors, I recommend running the script in a newly opened shell, in which you haven't already run one of the commands like . build/envsetup.sh, lunch or make that change the environment.

Then you can run the regular build commands to create a Replicant 6.0 zip and recovery:

. build/envsetup.sh
lunch replicant_i9300-userdebug
make -j $(nproc) bacon

I also added a script that signs your build, takes care of generating the necessary keys and puts everything in the out/dist directory. Using this script, it is possible to rely on your own keys and not on the test keys which are not recommended to use because the private test keys are publicly available. Building from source and flashing the default image that is signed with the test keys basically disables all the security measures in Android that are based on signing keys. The script also makes it possible to use password-encrypted private keys. The images below are signed with my keys using this script. You can run the script the following way:

./vendor/replicant/sign-build i9300

And finally you can flash the recovery in the download mode and sideload the zip in recovery mode:

heimdall flash --BOOT out/dist/recovery.img
adb sideload out/dist/replicant-6.0.zip

If you have already built Replicant at some point and now you are getting build errors: Run make clobber and retry in a newly opened shell.
If make fails, it may be necessary that run mka org.cyanogenmod.platform-res.

Compiled images (build date: 18.2.17):

  1. Download the following files:
    https://fossencdi.org/replicant/replicant-6.0-i9300.zip
    https://fossencdi.org/replicant/replicant-6.0-i9300.zip.asc
    https://fossencdi.org/replicant/recovery-i9300.img
    https://fossencdi.org/replicant/recovery-i9300.img.asc
    https://fossencdi.org/replicant/images-i9300.sha256
  2. Add my key to your GPG keyring
    You can retrieve it from the keyserver of your choice (gpg --recv-key 5816A24C10757FC4).
    Alternatively, you can download it from here: https://wiedmeyer.de/keys/ww.asc
    and import it with gpg --armor --import path/to/5816A24C10757FC4.asc
    The key should have the following fingerprint: 0F30 D1A0 2F73 F70A 6FEE 048E 5816 A24C 1075 7FC4
  3. Verify the signatures of the files:
    gpg --armor --verify path/to/replicant-6.0-i9300.zip.asc path/to/replicant-6.0-i9300.zip
    gpg --armor --verify path/to/recovery.img-i9300.asc path/to/recovery-i9300.img
    
  4. Check the checksums (in the folder with all the downloaded files):
     sha256sum -c images-i9300.sha256
    

Only install the images if all of these checks are successful!

You need to flash the new recovery first before you can flash the zip to your device. A full wipe is also necessary. Updating your ADB installation might help if you have problems with ADB.
See the wiki for more details.


Replies (105)

RE: Replicant 6.0, at least for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by David Pizarro 23 days ago

Gumbor W wrote:

Again, please provide more information like the output from the script.

Thanks for the fast reply! The script says that everything is successful. It is just not working on my phone (WiFi is turning off again and the camera app is unable to connect to the front camera). My script output is attached to this message.

I completely forgot to mention: Great work! Great to see that this project is getting better and better.

UPDATE Now that I looked into it.. it only seems to push the first line in fw_file.txt .
UPDATE2 Found the bug.. I just do not know how to fix the script. $ADB shell mkdir -p "$path" somehow messes with the while loop. Making sure the folder is already created on the phone and uncommenting it fixes the issue.

so maybe the script should improve. Here's my output.

output.txt - firmwares_nonfree log (5.2 kB)

RE: Replicant 6.0, at least for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Wolfgang Wiedmeyer 13 days ago

Gumbor W wrote:

Thanks for the fast reply! The script says that everything is successful. It is just not working on my phone (WiFi is turning off again and the camera app is unable to connect to the front camera). My script output is attached to this message.

I completely forgot to mention: Great work! Great to see that this project is getting better and better.

UPDATE Now that I looked into it.. it only seems to push the first line in fw_file.txt .
UPDATE2 Found the bug.. I just do not know how to fix the script. $ADB shell mkdir -p "$path" somehow messes with the while loop. Making sure the folder is already created on the phone and uncommenting it fixes the issue.

Thanks for looking into this! I can't reproduce the issue. I guess it happens with certain ADB versions. I updated the script and simplified the path creation. The script also prints now the ADB version. I hope it works now.

RE: Replicant 6.0, at least for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by David Pizarro 12 days ago

Wolfgang Wiedmeyer wrote:

Gumbor W wrote:

Thanks for the fast reply! The script says that everything is successful. It is just not working on my phone (WiFi is turning off again and the camera app is unable to connect to the front camera). My script output is attached to this message.

I completely forgot to mention: Great work! Great to see that this project is getting better and better.

UPDATE Now that I looked into it.. it only seems to push the first line in fw_file.txt .
UPDATE2 Found the bug.. I just do not know how to fix the script. $ADB shell mkdir -p "$path" somehow messes with the while loop. Making sure the folder is already created on the phone and uncommenting it fixes the issue.

Thanks for looking into this! I can't reproduce the issue. I guess it happens with certain ADB versions. I updated the script and simplified the path creation. The script also prints now the ADB version. I hope it works now.

Excellent!! I congratulate you! Now it works perfectly.

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by pitr lolo 11 days ago

Hello,

Wolfgang, I've asked on the blog, but no one responded, so going to ask here, is there any way on how to upgrade to the current build release without losing any user data using compiled images? I cannot seem to find any "check for updates" in the replicant settings. Would be cool to have something like cyanogenmod nightly updates feature.

Thanks.

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Wolfgang Wiedmeyer 8 days ago

pitr lolo wrote:

Wolfgang, I've asked on the blog, but no one responded, so going to ask here, is there any way on how to upgrade to the current build release without losing any user data using compiled images? I cannot seem to find any "check for updates" in the replicant settings. Would be cool to have something like cyanogenmod nightly updates feature.

Usually, it should be fine to upgrade to a newer Replicant 6.0 release from a previous Replicant 6.0 version without wiping data. But it's always possible that there are some incompatibilities that cause issues. AFAIK there was never such an update check in Replicant. It's worth discussing such a feature, but only after the official release of this version and after some of the current infrastructure issues are sorted out. I don't think that it makes sense if I implement it now when it's not sure where the images will be hosted and what can be done on the server side.

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