A workshop about flashing lineageOS on a Samsung Galaxy S3.
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Steps to flash microG LineageOS on Samsung Galaxy S4

download latest TWRP image from https://eu.dl.twrp.me/jflte/

download latest lineageOS from https://download.lineage.microg.org/jfltexx/

download latest su (arm) for 16.0 from https://download.lineageos.org/extras

Unlock the Bootloader / OEM

Attach phone to PC. Use a good micro USB cable; make sure that you can use it to copy data.

enable developer options

enable USB debugging in developer options

allow USB debugging access for your PC

Format Data for Encryption

download official lineage recovery: https://download.lineageos.org/jfltexx

adb reboot bootloader

heimdall flash --RECOVERY lineage-16.0-xxxxxxxx-recovery-jfltexx.img --no-reboot

Now we don't want to boot into the system, we want into the new recovery directly - so turn off the phone with the power button, and then boot into recovery by holding the power button, the home button, and volume up for a few seconds. Release them only when you see the blue "Recovery" writing in the top left of the screen.

Now we need to take the following steps to format the data partition for LineageOS:

  • Factory Reset -> Wipe data / factory reset
  • Factory Reset -> Wipe System

Flash LineageOS

Now go back into the recovery main menu, tap on "Apply Update", then "Apply from ADB". Then execute adb sideload lineage-xxx.zip on your PC.

After a while, it warns you you that the signature verification failed, and whether you want to continue with the installation; answer "Yes".

Now we also want to root the phone with addonsu. Go again to "Apply Update" and "Apply Update from ADB"; then flash addonsu with adb sideload addonsu-16.0-arm-signed.zip. It doesn't overwrite lineageOS, don't worry - it only installs addonsu next to it.

In the end, tap reboot to boot into the fresh LineageOS system.

Finish Installation

Go through the setup screen and choose what you want. You can be as restrictive as you want. Make sure to choose a Wi-Fi, so you can proceed with the next steps; you can also do this at any later time.

You should also choose a screen lock pin. Patterns are not very secure (you can often see them by holding the phone into the light at the right angle). Passwords are a bit inconvenient (but most secure). Do not use a fingerprint sensor, they are really insecure.

Device Encryption

Charge the phone to 100%.

Go to the Security Settings and encrypt the phone. During the process, it reboots once and asks you for the device PIN. It can take a while, but not soo long actually.

Secure the device encryption

You usually want to have a long password for your device encryption, which you only have to enter when the phone boots, and a shorter PIN for your lockscreen. By design, Android doesn't allow this; this is a workaround to make it possible still.

We will also install an app which shuts down the phone when you get the unlock code wrong 5 times in a row.

Wrong PIN Shutdown

Open the F-Droid app, wait until it is done with "Updating repositories".

Install the app "Wrong PIN Shutdown".

Now go to the developer settings, and enable root for Apps and ADB.

Open "Wrong PIN Shutdown", grant Admin rights until forever, activate the function, and set it to shut down the phone after 5 wrong tries to enter the PIN. You can try it out directly - if you enter your PIN wrong 5 times, does it shut down?

Change the encryption password to a long password

First you need to enable USB debugging again. You can enable the developer options at "About Phone", tap the "build number" seven times. After you enabled it, you can find the Developer options in the settings at "System > Advanced > Developer Options". Enable USB debugging and reboot into the bootloader mode:

Then go to the Security settings and set the PIN you want to use for your lockscreen.

Now you have to backup the files where it is saved. To do so, execute these commands with adb - you need to be connected to a PC with a proper USB cable:

adb root
adb pull /data/system_de/0/spblob/
adb pull /data/misc/keystore/user_0/1000_USRPKEY_synthetic_password_*  # the file has a different name; just remove the * and press tab before executing it
adb pull /data/system/locksettings.db

Now, go to the Security settings again, and change your PIN to the password you want to use for the encryption. Unfortunately you can use maximally 17 characters.

Finally, you use adb again to restore the backup of the PIN, which changes your lockscreen PIN, but not your encryption passphrase:

adb push locksettings.db /data/system/locksettings.db
adb push 1000_USRPKEY_synthetic_password_* /data/misc/keystore/user_0/  # the filename will be different with your device
adb push spblob/ /data/system_de/0/

When you try to unlock your screen now, you will realize that you still have to enter the encryption passphrase. So reboot the phone; enter the encryption passphrase at startup, as desired. When the phone has booted, you can use the (shorter) PIN to unlock your phone.