This article is about one particular step of the procedure for “flashing” a new android-compatible operating system onto a Samsung device to create a Freedom-Respecting Smart Phone or Tablet.


This is about flashing a custom operating system ROM in a Samsung Android device using the tool named Heimdall.

We may encounter a failure mode in which heimdall detect succeeds but heimdall flash and heimdall print-pit both fail, printing this:

Initialising connection...
Detecting device...
Claiming interface...
Setting up interface...

Initialising protocol...
ERROR: Failed to send handshake!ERROR: Protocol initialisation failed!

Releasing device interface...

Additional diagnostics if we give the --verbose option:

"ERROR: libusb error -7 whilst sending bulk transfer"

(This message is repeated several times, before the final failure.)

Errors like this have been reported many times: e.g. here and duplicates, here, here

Here are two scenarios in which this error can occur.

Scenario 1: Only The First Heimdall (Flash, Print-Pit) Command Works

It is reported that on some devices, including Samsung, only one Heimdall command can be given in the bootloader mode. Further attempts fail. Rebooting is required before another command can succeed.

(In this description, “heimdall flash” and “heimdall print-pit” count towards the limit of one command, while “heimdall detect” doesn't count towards the limit and can be used freely.)

This may be a real limitation of the devices, or it may be that using Heimdall's options “—no-reboot” (on each command) and “—resume” (since 1.4.0, on subsequent commands) options may overcome this. I do not have such a device and did not find conclusive evidence in my search for information.

Scenario 2: Every Heimdall (Flash, Print-Pit) Command Fails

This happens only when running Heimdall on certain linux distributions, notably Ubuntu.

Some people fixed this in their forks of Heimdall, e.g. Jesse Chan's fix is in Grimler's version of Heimdall and in several other forks. (This fix works by resetting the USB device on the Linux end.)

My suggestion: build and use Grimler's Heimdall. I explain a bit about Heimdall and how to build and use it in my article Odin and Heimdall: Free Your Samsung Android .

Scenario 3: Heimdall With Resume Option Fails First Time

If the first Heimdall command after booting into download mode is given the '—resume' option, Heimdall fails for me (on Ubuntu 22.04) like this, even when using a version with the Scenario 2 bug fixed:

$ heimdall print-pit --resume --no-reboot --verbose
Beginning session...
ERROR: libusb error -7 whilst sending bulk transfer. Retrying...
ERROR: Failed to begin session!
Releasing device interface...

From what I can tell, this seems to be expected, and so a usage error. The '—resume' option should not be used on the first command.

#fossGadgets #android #degoogled #lineageOS #eOS


This is about buying a Samsung Android tablet and replacing the privacy-invading proprietary Google and Samsung software with privacy-respecting Freedom Software: “degoogling” for short.

Why? In “The Problem” section below, we take a look back at how much we're giving up when we accept Google's and Samsung's terms.

I would like ordinary people, with a little technical skill, to be able to do this. The process unfortunately is currently far too difficult, especially so on Samsung devices.

My goals:

  • Install a privacy-preserving freedom-software operating system on my tablet
  • Make it easier for others to do the same

Are you asking yourself,

“What's it to be: Android or iPhone?”

Actually, NO! There is another way.

Time I Learned: there are freedom-respecting phones.

I'll tell you which one you need.

What's the problem?

What's so bad about choosing either Google or Apple?

It's about who controls our use of the device after we “bought” it. Do “they” remain in control of what we do, or are we in control?


Resources around development of camera apps, camera API standards, and photos management, in Indie Phones, degoogled Android, Murena /e/-OS, Purism Librem, etc.


Independent smart-phones have recently become a reality for those of us unhappy with the way Apple and Google seek to control, own and use us. We can now choose a user-respecting alternative, thanks to Murena /e/-OS, Purism Librem 5, LineageOS and more.

With sustained dedication from their producers working with very limited budgets, these alternatives are coming along nicely and by now are certainly usable. Understandably, however, they are not yet as slick as those funded (and controlled) by the mega-corps Apple and Google.

There is much more to be done to bring the indie phones up to a level of sophistication that ordinary people find a pleasure to use and to trust. In this article I look at one rather technical aspect of it: what developments do we need on the infra side?


From: Google

Your Google Account will soon be considered as inactive

”... if you don't sign in soon”

“Is this a phishing scam?” was my first thought. But no, it's true! This officially confirms I am freed at last from Google's clutches on my data, on my digital life.


I once thought Google was my friend. The most convenient email, the most convenient search, a great phone, with a feeling of being quite open-source-y, not too locked-in. But of course their lock-in is immense, almost inescapable, just like all the other Big Tech silos. Once disillusionment set in, it was hard to leave that all behind. Took me five years.

Now, for months and months I haven't signed in to my gmail, to play store, to youtube, nothing.

And I feel great!

Want to know more?


“What's it to be: Android or iPhone?”

Actually, NO! There is another way.

Time I Learned: there are freedom-respecting phones.

I'll tell you which one you need.