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Samsung Galaxy S III
Bloat in Stock Image

Jim Carter, 2012-10-23

The stock Verizon system image occupies 820Mbytes, compared on the Droid-3 to the stock Gingerbread image at 213Mb, and the CM-10 Jelly Bean image at 158Mb (add 87Mb for Google apps). These are all zipped files. What bloatware are they putting into this image? Here's a list of all the apps in the stock image that have icons. Sizes are shown; items without sizes are well under 1Mb each.

The sum of the known app sizes is 100.8Mb, and it's unlikely that either the tiny apps or the ones I'm not sure of would inflate this significantly.

Digging into the image file: 820Mb compressed, 1.24Gb uncompressed (tar file). The contained objects break down as:

The system image is an ext4 filesystem. Unfortunately I was unable to mount it -- perhaps an endian issue? ARM is big endian while Intel is little endian. Neither could I do anything useful on the phone using ADB because I lack root access. Strings shows the names of all the APK files, presumably in /system/app. Let's try this command line: dd if=system.img.ext4 of=system.gmi conv=swab -- Didn't help. Later when I do have root I'll try copying the image onto the phone's /sdcard (plenty of room) and mounting it there.

Dealing with the stock image: