On installing cyanogenmod on the Samsung Galaxy S2 with a Mac.
The stock OEM+Telco Android experience is pretty awful, with loads of crapware. The best solution to running Android on a mobile device is to flash it with CyanogenMod.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and you’re on a Mac, the cyanogenmod wiki instructions are somewhat broken. Here’s what you have to do:
- Download CyanogenMod and Google Apps.
- Download ClockworkMod Recovery 22.214.171.124 – this is an alternate kernel image. Unarchive it.
- Download Heimdall suite 1.3.1 – this is a command-line flashing tool. Open the DMG as root to install it: sudo open heimdall-1.3.1-mac.dmg and once it’s installed but before rebooting, ensure the ownership is correct: sudo chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/heimdall.kext
- Plug a USB cable into your laptop.
- Turn off the Samsung Galaxy S2, and then boot it into download mode by holding Volume Down, Home, Power (note the wiki only says “Home and Volume Down”. When prompted, press Volume Up to confirm you want to do this.
- Plug the USB cable into your phone.
- Start the kernel upload: sudo heimdall flash -kernel zImage (note the wiki misses out the sudo; if you’re not root, the install will fail with “ERROR: Failed to receive response!”.
- Mount the phone as a USB drive, then copy update-cm-7.1.0-GalaxyS2-signed.zip and gapps-gb-20110828-signed.zip to the root directory. Eject the drive, and disconnect the USB.
- Hold down the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons to boot into ClockworkMod recovery. Alternatively, if you have the Android developer tools installed (and downloaded platforms through Eclipse), you can cd android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools && ./adb reboot recovery.
- As per the wiki, select Wipe data/factory reset, then Wipe cache partition.
- Select Install zip from sdcard, then Choose zip from sdcard, and select update-cm-7.1.0-GalaxyS2-signed.zip. Repeat for gapps-gb-20110828-signed.zip.
- The instructions say to select Go Back, but depending on how you booted this option may not be available. Tapping the power button acts like a back button. Select Reboot system now.
- First time around, this didn’t work, so repeat from the point of booting into ClockworkMod recovery.
And that’s it … you should now be running the cyanogenmod version of Android. It’s closer to vanilla, but with quite a few refinements.