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Samsung Galaxy S5
Stock OS Setup

Jim Carter, 2015-04-15


Host names: On my net, names follow roles, and the eventual role of the Galaxy S5 will be jimc's personal pocket computer (cellphone), named Selen. However, the existing Selen (Galaxy S3) cannot be retired until the new one is ready. The name Orion is reserved for machines that are being set up initially, and will be used for the Galaxy S5.

Several steps require interacting with the Galaxy S5 by Android USB debugging or lower level protocols (download mode). I'm going to be doing this from Jacinth, the home server, a CompuLab fit-PC3 LP with a AMD x86_64 CPU, running OpenSuSE Linux 13.1. Having the home server role, Jacinth has a lot of USB peripheral devices, and the USB subsystem can get picky about available bandwidth. Also, it is recommended to connect the pocket computer directly to the support machine, not through a hub. So which USB bus shall I use? It looks like the safest move is to transfer the FM radio receiver (USB-1.x, 12Mbit/sec) to bus 4 (face module center right) leaving bus 3 (face module rightmost) completely vacant, to be used for Android installation.

Basic Operations with the Phone

In the box:

To remove the back cover: There is a subtle cutout near the power button in the northeast corner. Start the attack there. Your fingernail can get it open (if you're male) if you slide it north, then around the headphone jack, and all the way around the phone to the USB connector (south). Make sure the northwest grabber lets go. Then go south from the cutout to the bottom, and the cover will be off. I saw a photo where the person used a guitar pick to get the cover off.

When replacing the cover I start at the south end (charging connector) and work around both edges in parallel. I found the northwest grabber (near the headphone jack) was hardest to get closed. Check that all grabbers are connected because water resistance depends on this. Be careful to not press the power button by accident, until you are ready to turn on the phone.

In the battery box you will find a sticker with the IMEI and other info. Copy down everything on the sticker, particularly the IMEI and the serial number.

Northwest of the battery box are the sockets for the SIM and the micro-SD external storage card. When handling the cards, avoid touching the gold contacts, to avoid chloride corrosion from your sweat. Some features are not functional unless a SIM is present, but the software does not care if your account with the carrier is valid, so I'm inserting an expired AT&T SIM, as well as a spare micro-SD card (8Gb). No I'm not; the expired SIM is mini size, 25x15mm, whereas the Galaxy S5 (and S3) take a micro-SIM, 15x12mm. For reference a nano-SIM is 12.3x8.8mm.

How do you remove the SIM afterward?

Insert the battery, replace the back cover, open the USB connector's door, plug in the charger, connect the USB cable between them. The USB logo goes to the front. The battery, as delivered, had 93% charge, so I can get right to work testing things. On the stock image the indicator LED (northwest corner) is red while charging and green when finished (90% or so). When finished charging, make sure the USB connector door is closed tight because water resistance depends on this. It's on a little rubber stalk and you need to help the stalk go back inside the body.

Stuck out of the Box

With the charging cable connected (97% charge), external SD card present, but no SIM, I hold down the power button for about 3 secs until the phone vibrates. It boots, showing the boot animation (the word Samsung with a cloud of dots popping out on each repetition). When booted it runs the Welcome app. It mumbles a lot in what could be Spanish (though I can't understand it), but you can't select the language, accessibility features, or Start. OK, I figured it out, it's English as spoken by Russians in a James Bond movie.

If I press the power button I get the power off or restart menu, but pressing any of the items does nothing. Holding down power for 30 seconds should make it power off, but doesn't. Battery pull, starting again without the USB cable. Didn't help. (Battery pull means remove the back cover, remove the battery, count to 10, and replace the battery and cover.)

A search on Google reveals that this problem is not unknown. Here's one forum post: On romi_kler has this problem (2014-04-29). dpham00 (moderator) replies, boot into recovery (home, volume up, then power) and do a factory reset. But how do I turn off the phone? When I pulled the battery and replaced the cover, it rebooted into the main OS (failing). In hindsight, I must have accidentally pressed the power button when replacing the cover.

This procedure worked:

The Welcome App

After setting the date and time you should reboot your phone, otherwise it will botch authentication to your Google account. There is probably a margin of a minute or two, 2014-01-01 is way outside the limit, and some apps, like the Google services backend, likely botch slewing the clock.

To discover the MAC address you can look in the firewall log, but the straight-arrow way is Settings - System - About Device - Status - WiFi MAC Address (5th from the bottom on mine).

Grant access to Orion in the firewall. First create the IPv6 address per RFC 2462. (I use IPv6 on my home net.) Files to edit (see /etc/hosts.add.txt):

Now set up the Google account. It is possible to create the Google account here, but I already have one, and also I recommend creating it in advance from your desktop machine, to avoid complication and communication issues. Settings - Accounts - Add - Google - Existing - give e-mail address and password. Decline Google Backup and Google Spam. It will try to sync all syncable data to your Google account. Get back to the accounts list, click on the Google account line item, click on your e-mail address, and it will open a list of what may or may not be synced. Turn off what you don't want.

Once it has a Google account, it will immediately update every app you have, taking half an hour or so for this. You can still install new apps but they have to wait in line. You should be doing this step on Wi-Fi, not cellular data.

Checking Out the Phone

How to enable developer mode and Android USB Debugging: In Settings find About Phone. Find the build number. Tap the line 7 times. It announces Developer Mode has been enabled. Back out to the System section of the main Settings menu and you will find a new item for Developer Options. Turn on USB Debugging. I left everything else at the default.

I was unable to use ADB (Android Debug Bridge) effectively on the unrooted stock image, but if you need it see the paragraph on ADB in CyanogenMod installation.

It's also downloaded a recent image for Android-5.0 Lollipop. I can't tell from where, but it's got to be an official source. I want to capture it for future use, but I can't find it. Installing ES File Manager. It sees the same files that I do with adb shell. Try rebooting into Recovery. The stock recovery does not do ADB. Growl. I guess this is going to have to wait until I install TWRP Recovery. If you accidentally click on the notification for the update, hit the back button to decline to install it. While I would like to check out the Lollipop stock image, a higher priority is to capture that image for future use in an emergency.

Installing Phone Tester, GPS Status, LTE Discovery, AnTuTu Benchmark from the market (Play Store). You need to create and authenticate your Google account before you can do anything on the market. LTE Discovery doesn't discover any LTE without a SIM card.

I want to do the minimal work on the stock image because I'm going to just replace it with CyanogenMod, but it will be less annoying if you do the basic setting steps.

Pairing with the 66 BT Sport headphones on the stock OS: Turn on Bluetooth. Make the headphone discoverable (hold down the call button after the initial wakeup beep, until you get a lower double beep). Hit Scan on the phone if the scan times out. Click on the line item for the headphone, starts out as the MAC address but eventually shows the device brand. It pairs with no further user interaction. And it plays media.

Playing the KUSC Shoutcast stream: I used the Android browser to show a web page with a link to the stream. It asked what to show it with; I picked the Android browser. The stream source redirected and it asked again what to show it with; again I picked the Android browser. It asked again giving a selection of media players; I picked Google Play Music. It executed and performed the stream. All these choices would become automatic if you click on the Always choice button. (But if you decided to change, how would you do it?)

Now I'm going to check out cellular operation, transferring my Verizon SIM to Orion, but I'll move it back after checkout, until I get CyanogenMod installed.

Jumping Ship

Picking a cellular plan from T-Mobile. Terms are as of 2015-05-01.

OK, finally got the SIM card.