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Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3

Added by Wolfgang Wiedmeyer over 2 years ago

This post contains outdated information and links to outdated images. See the wiki and blog for development updates, up-to-date documentation and current images!
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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (135)

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Daniel Kulesz 10 months ago

I assume if you want to migrate from a replicant6 alpha it should be straight-forward, as you should be able to just install the current version without wiping the data.

If you want to migrate from almost any other Android version I recommend using SMS Backup+ (available on F-Droid) on an own IMAP server. It's some work to get things set up this way, but I made good experience migrating from Android 4.4 to Replicant6 and LineageOS 7.1 in the past.

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Fil Lupin 10 months ago

Daniel Kulesz wrote:

I assume if you want to migrate from a replicant6 alpha it should be straight-forward, as you should be able to just install the current version without wiping the data.

If you want to migrate from almost any other Android version I recommend using SMS Backup+ (available on F-Droid) on an own IMAP server. It's some work to get things set up this way, but I made good experience migrating from Android 4.4 to Replicant6 and LineageOS 7.1 in the past.

Thank you for your fast answer.
I have to say it seems a lot of work to convert sms :)
However, I do not find SMS Backup+ on F-droid, I probably did not search with the good keywords, do you have a link?

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Daniel Kulesz 10 months ago

Indeed, they seem to have removed it from the F-Droid store. However I can't find any notice why... and if you search via Google for "F-Droid SMS Backup 1.5.10" you find a link to the F-Droid store which says that there is no such application.

I was able to find the maintainer notes though:

https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata/blob/master/metadata/com.zegoggles.smssync.txt

The link from the official GitHub website to the F-Droid store is also dead, originating from here:

https://github.com/jberkel/sms-backup-plus

Not very transparent if you ask me. :/

Edit: I see you opened a thread about it in the general forum, maybe we should continue the discussion there as this is not very on-topic here.

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by dl lud 10 months ago

The F-Droid website link for SMS Backup+ is broken but I could still download and install it from within F-Droid.

I've also used Slight backup for this effect: https://f-droid.org/app/de.shandschuh.slightbackup

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Kurtis Hanna 10 months ago

For those that want to follow along with F-Droid and SMS Backup+: https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata/issues/772
Feel free to follow or comment here too: https://github.com/jberkel/sms-backup-plus/issues/763

In the mean time, I could be wrong, but I think you can download Silence https://silence.im/ from F-Droid, which is a superior text client anyways, and then import all of you SMS and MMS texts into Silence and then back it up with oandbackup https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=dk.jens.backup to your external ssd or your computer.

You can then install Silence on your updated Replicant 6.0 and restore your Silence messages.

You might be able to use oandbackup to save your regular SMS texts as well, without grabbing Silence, but I haven't tested that out.

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Fil Lupin 10 months ago

Thanks you all of you for your answers. :)
I will continue on a dedicated subject (https://redmine.replicant.us/boards/9/topics/14315?r=14323).

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Fil Lupin 9 months ago

Hi,
I am not sure this is the good place to ask but I do not find how to clean data for an app.
I remember we can do this before by going into Settings -> Apps -> App -> CLEAR DATA

Is there any mean to do this?

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Fil Lupin 9 months ago

Kurtis Hanna wrote:

In the mean time, I could be wrong, but I think you can download Silence https://silence.im/ from F-Droid, which is a superior text client anyways, and then import all of you SMS and MMS texts into Silence and then back it up with oandbackup https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=dk.jens.backup to your external ssd or your computer.

You can then install Silence on your updated Replicant 6.0 and restore your Silence messages.

Just to notice that after a few weeks of tests and crashes, it seems Silence does not manage MMS import/export from/to outside Silence so this does not seem a solution to keep SMS & MMS from replicant 4.2.

Same as SMSBackup+, oandbackup seems not currently available on F-droid (https://f-droid.org/forums/topic/oandbackup/).

edit: oandbackup seems to be back on F-droid (https://f-droid.org/packages/dk.jens.backup/). However, it only backup directory and so does not allow to convert sms & mms when changing replicant version. Moreover, it seems manual copy of directory does not allow to get back sms access.

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Dawn Bishop 9 months ago

Kurtis Hanna wrote:

In the mean time, I could be wrong, but I think you can download Silence https://silence.im/ from F-Droid, which is a superior text client anyways, and then import all of you SMS and MMS texts into Silence and then back it up with oandbackup https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=dk.jens.backup to your external ssd or your computer.

You can download LibreSignal over at this repo for FDroid. It updates to the latest version of Signal quickly and you still can call amnd text with other Signal users.

Edit:
You do not need Google Play Services or Microg due to Signal developers have change what it uses for calling.

RE: Replicant 6.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S3 - Added by Fil Lupin 9 months ago

Dawn Bishop wrote:

You can download LibreSignal over at this repo for FDroid. It updates to the latest version of Signal quickly and you still can call amnd text with other Signal users.

Edit:
You do not need Google Play Services or Microg due to Signal developers have change what it uses for calling.

Thank you for the suggestion. However, it seems LibreSignal does not handle SMS since it is only a rebuild of Signal which drop SMS support.
Seems LibreSignal can neither be a solution. :(

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