For those of you who don’t know, Heimdall is an open source project to bring the functionality of Odin to every platform and build even more functionality on top of that. Odin is a Samsung program that allows you to flash your Samsung phone to new kernels, firmwares, bootloaders, modems, or anything you need. It is often used when the phone is bricked and can not be turned on. Heimdall allows you to flash your phone on Linux or OSX, along with Windows. Since developers use Linux to build Android ROMs and apps, having that functionality on Linux is crucial.
Heimdall was limited to very few devices before, the devices being Exynos-based. However, there will be an update out soon that should support all Qualcomm-based devices, like the US Galaxy S III variants. Here are the update details:
“This is a fairly large update for numerous reasons. However, probably most important is that Qualcomm chipset based Samsung devices should now be supported! If you don’t know whether your device has a Qualcomm chipset, if you’ve got one of those crazy U.S. telco specific variants, then chances are your phone is using a Qualcomm chipset. The code-base itself has been extensively refactored. There are also a bunch of new features; such as the ability to print the contents of a PIT file stored on your computer. In addition, there are also some nice ease-of-use improvements. For instance Heimdall Frontend now suggests the likely name of files that correspond to a particular partition. e.g. When you add the “KERNEL” partition to a flash, just above where you click to browse for the corresponding file, you will see the text “(zImage)”.This build also fixes the pretty horrible regression that was present in 1.3.2 that causes the “ERROR: Failed to confirm end of file transfer sequence!” to pop-up on devices that worked with version 1.3.1. In fact, the changes made for Heimdall 1.4 should vastly improve both the number of supported devices, and the quality of support for previously supported devices.”
The update is not yet out, but the source code is. There is also no list of supported devices yet, but you can expect one when the program is released soon. Of course, as you expect, this is a program for modifying your phone and is dangerous. Use at your own risk. However, if you’ve been itching to mess with your phone and are a diehard Mac/Linux user, here is your chance to be able to flash anything from a computer!