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How to Use Heimdall to Flash ROM’s, Modems, Bootloaders

Using Heimdall to flash files to your Android device can be confusing if you are a Mac or Linux user. Heimdall is an alternative to Odin, which is Windows based. Odin is a little more straight forward and I found Heimdall pretty confusing.

Most the time, you can flash files to your Android device using a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP. However, if you have a file that can only be flashed with software like Odin, it is very frustrating if you are a Mac or Linux user. If you need to flash a file this way, it’s not too difficult. Just be aware that you can hard-brick your phone, so you should only flash files with Odin or Heimdall if you are comfortable taking this risk.

Using the Heimdall GUI on a Mac is pretty easy once you’ve done it once. Here’s how to do it. If you get confused, you can watch a video that describes a similar process.

Step 1: Download Heimdall

Download the latest version of Heimdall from

Install Heimdall: requires reboot.

Step 2: Detect Phone and Download PIT File

You do not need Samsung drivers on a Mac like Windows. Word of caution: avoid downloading PIT files from the internet. Always create your own from your phone.

  1. Turn your phone off. Put into Download Mode. Ex: Samsung you power on with the Power Button + Volume Down
  2. Choose the Utilities button at the top of the screen
  3. Click “Detect”
  4. Click “Save As” and name your PIT file something like “S4.pit”

Step 3: Flash Files


  1. While still in Download Mode, switch to the “Flash” button at the top of Heimdall
  2. Browse for the PIT file you created above
  3. Click the “Add” button.
  4. Choose the Partition Name dropdown and select the type of file you have. Ex: MDM is for modems
  5. Click the “Browse” button just below the Partition Name and find the file you want to flash
  6. Click “Start”, let it run, and you are done

That should be it. This worked for me when recently updating basebands.

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