Have you ever thought about what websites such as XDA-Developers are all about when you’re browsing about online? There are entire blogs and forums dedicated to the Android operating system, and in particular, customizing it. Each device has a different bunch of options available for changing things up a little bit. When most people think about customization, they think about custom ROMs.
If you have one of the more bought devices out there, then there will probably be many custom ROMs to choose from. If, however, your device didn’t sell very well, then you might only get a few options, or maybe none at all. In addition, the custom ROMs, while they might be made by the same name, could have different features and slightly vary from version to version on various devices as well—a bit like that official version of Android that you’re used to seeing, really.
The Samsung Galaxy S8, being the flagship for one of the premier manufacturers of smartphones, is likely going to be one of those devices that has many custom ROMs made available for it. When it all gets down to it, you’ll need to check the different threads on XDA-Developers for your phone carrier network, as the list of custom ROMs is likely to change again based on who you are subscribed.
Assuming custom ROMs are your thing, you’ll probably want to install a custom recovery image to help get them flashed. It’s technically possible to do it with root access instead, but you wouldn’t be flashing them manually that way, and that takes away a lot of the fun for the many Android enthusiasts.
Details of Note
- The custom recovery images available in this guide are only to be installed on the Samsung Galaxy S8+ smartphone. Most devices have a custom recovery image developed specifically for it, and you shouldn’t install one that is intended for another device unless advised it is okay by a professional.
- The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a dm-verity device, meaning that swiping to allow system modifications results in your device being unable to boot if it is using the stock kernel. To get around dm-verity’s boot prevention, you must first install a kernel that has dm-verity disabled in the fstab.
- The codename for the Samsung Galaxy S8 with Exynos processor TWRP recovery image is “dreamlte.” You will see that codename in the TWRP image file path and also from your About Device menu so you know you are flashing the right file on the right device.
- You can visit the official support thread over at XDA-Developers if you run into any problems along the way.
- You can install the official TWRP Recovery application from the Google Play Store or from the TWRP website as an apk, if you have root access on the device already, and get the TWRP installed that way, no adb required. Once the app is installed, it will be in your Downloads folder. Navigate to the Downloads folder and select the TWRP application. When the application opens tap on the option for flashing the TWRP.
- Download on your computer the latest version of TWRP Recovery: Primary (Americas) | Primary (Europe).
How to Install TWRP Recovery on Samsung Galaxy S8 (Exynos)
Note: The Odin flashing tool is really easy to use, but it only works on the Windows operating system. You won’t get the flashing tool to load on a Mac or Linux computer. It doesn’t really matter what version of the Windows operating system that you’re using as long as it is something above Windows XP.
1. Download and install the Samsung USB drivers on the computer if you don’t have them already.
2. Download the firmware (.tar) file from the links above directly to the computer. Extract the file by right-clicking on it and choosing the option to extract. When you do, you’ll see the tar.md5 file inside. That’s the file you’ll be using to do the flashing.
3. Download the Odin flashing tool. It doesn’t really matter what version, but the latest is the most up to date so grab that one. Extract the Odin file and then double-click on the Odin executable file (.exe) that is found from within the Odin folder after extraction. You should now have the Odin interface open on the computer and waiting for you to connect to it.
4. Boot the Samsung mobile device into the Download Mode by first powering it down and then rebooting by holding the Volume Down + Home + Power keys at the same time.
5. A yellow warning triangle will come up on the device’s display. At this time you need to press the Volume Up button. You’ll then see the device getting into the Download Mode. It’s then ready for the flashing.
6. When in Download Mode, connect the Samsung mobile device to the computer with the USB cable.
7. If you have installed the USB drivers correctly, the Odin flashing tool should detect your device. You can tell this by observing the ID: COM port lighting up with a color, usually yellow or blue.
It doesn’t matter what color, it’s the lighting up that counts.
8. After the device is picked up by Odin, click on the PDA or AP button, depending on what button your version of the Odin flashing tool has.
9. Navigate to the stock ROM folder and upload the tar.md5 file to this location in Odin.
10. Without changing any of the default settings, click on the Start button in Odin, and the flashing then begins.
11. Wait until Odin shows a Pass message before disconnecting your device.
You can now close the Odin flashing tool and continue using your computer if you like.
TWRP App Installation Method (Root Required)
If you decided to download the TWRP application from the Google Play Store or the APK file from the official TWRP website, then after you open the application you will be given a few different options to choose from. But before even going that far, it’s important to note that you should only install the TWRP APK file from the official TWRP website. If you’re installing it from Git, or any other file hosting website, it might not be the official version, and thus, it won’t have been built or tested by the official TWRP developers and maintainers.
Once the application is open, you’ll need to agree to not hold anyone from TWRP responsible for any issues that your device may face while using the application. This is a standard disclaimer that Team Win puts on top of each of the recovery image files from the official website as well, so it’s nothing new. It just explains that it is your decision to put the custom recovery on your device, and while they work hard to provide a quality product, there are no guarantees that your device isn’t susceptible to damages relating to TWRP while the custom recovery is installed. You can grant the application root permissions now as well. Root access can be obtained by flashing SuperSU, or other appropriate rooting files, from the custom recovery itself. Without root, you won’t have access to some of the app’s features, such as image flashing. It’s here also where you can enable InsightCore (a feature to monitor and record the network performance of your device).
Once you’ve accepted the agreements, you’ll see the TWRP application’s home screen, where you can choose to flash TWRP or view the network statistics. When choosing to flash the custom recovery, you’ll need to scroll and select your device from the list to make sure you are flashing the correct file. When the device is chosen, the TWRP application automatically then searches for the latest version of the TWRP for that device and will continue doing so every day for as long as the app is installed. This interval can also be altered from the Settings in the top right-hand corner of the device’s display when the apps open.
If root access has been enabled, you’ll see the chance to select the custom recovery image and the buttons for flashing the images to boot or from recovery. You should choose to flash the images to recovery. Only use the boot image flashing when you are flashing full boot images, not just kernel zimages.
DD Installation Method
You can also get the custom recovery installed on the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone by using the DD install method. To do it this way, download the latest recovery image file for your device from its downloads page on the official TWRP website (Primary [Americas]| Primary [Europe]) and then place the file in the root of your /sdcard folder. Rename the image “twrp.img.”
You then need to run the following commands from the ADB shell or a Terminal Emulator application:
dd if=/sdcard/twrp.img of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/recovery
The custom recovery and stock recovery are always interchangeable. There are no limits as to how many times you can flash one or the other; the only thing you need to know is that only one of them can be installed at any given time. There’s also no need to stress about trying to figure out how to flash the stock version back. You should find you can flash it with the same method as you used for the custom recovery. All you need to do first is get your hands on the stock recovery file, which can usually be found inside the official firmware files for the same device. Or if you wanted, it’s also possible to just flash the full stock firmware on your device using the flashing tool, and it too will install the stock recovery at the same time.
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