S4 Mini running Android 7.1.2

Android – Flashing S4 mini / Android Nougat 7.1.2 / Spiritual Workout under Linux (Ubuntu 16.04)


My mum recently came to me with her little S4 Mini in the hands, and told me that an app didn’t work. It is Spiritual workout by Himalayan Academy. More about this app here. A detailed introduction of Spiritual workout in the latest issue of hinduism today. It shows you the mantras,chants and prayers in Sanskrit and their English counterpart. I initially thought that she installed it wrong from Play Store. Not a chance! She did everything right.

spiritual workout not working android

blank screen simulation of spiritual workout on mum’s mobile

I tried all kinds of installation, from downloading the .apk and disabling all kinds of protections, clearing caches. The app would just open up and then go blank. It had to be the Firmware! I tried installing it on my S7, which installed quick and easy.

spiritual workout android 6.0

spiritual workout working on my S7 – Android 7.0

Of course, having it work on my mobile and not on hers meant she would come to me almost everyday and borrow my mobile. Which was not the most convenient. I decided to do something about this.

I installed an android emulator on her PC.


An android emulator that runs under Gnu/Linux

genymotion android emulator

This was quick to set up :

  1. Install oracle virtual box (Required)
  2. Download Genymotion
  3. Create a Genymotion account (Trial 30 days)

For those who run into anything virtualization related that prevents both Genymotion and Oracle VM to work. You just need to enable virtualization in your bios.

spiritual workout working great on genymotion

spiritual workout working great on genymotion

My mum liked genymotion a lot, it worked. But it had issues when she was streaming video on say Chrome. The sound from Genymotion would be muffled. Well, expected that an emulator will come with a long list of bugs, and it was one of them.

Flashing S4 Mini from 4.4.2 to 7.1.2

This morning, when I heard my mum talk about buying a new mobile, just for an app.  Damn! I have to do something about it. I decided to look for how to upgrade the S4 Mini to at least firmware 6.0. It would resolve her issues and at the same time, save her some hard earned money.

I finally came to a nice firmware made by the guys from AOKP. Oh, did I mention it was 7.1.2 Nougat !? Even I don’t have 7.1.2 on my mobile.

Link to original article from xda-developers here

Before you start:

  1. Make sure to download TWRP, AOKP firmware and open gapps on a microsd card or at least have a microsd card reader/writer handy.
  2. If you don’t own a MicroSD card, this can be done using internal storage, so don’t wipe everything!

Instructions to install (as per xda-developers) :

  1. Download and install TWRP 3.1.N1-0 ( Not recommended – It won’t work. TWRP 3.1.N1-0 is too new and won’t allow you to install 7.1.2. I recommend installing TWRP 3.0.3
  2. Download and install firmware Serranodsdd (GT-I9192) other models available in the original xda-developers link (see UP). – make sure to verify the md5 checksum after download.
  3. Download and install open-gapps, I like pico gapps, lightweight 180mb. – Platform ARM, Android version 7.1, variant pico.


Step 1: Installing TWRP 3.0.3

/!\ Flashing a third party rom is a risky process and can completely brick your device making it unusable. i cannot be held responsible if anything goes wrong. Do this at your own risks /!\

I used Ubuntu for flashing. So yeah, a lot of articles on using Odin under Windows but none on GNU/Linux. I ran into a very nice alternative to Odin called Heimdall.

There is Heimdall command line and Heimdall-frontend which is the GUI version.

The easier way is to use Heimdall-frontend.

Installing Under Ubuntu 16.04:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install heimdall-flash-frontend

Run as superuser in a terminal:

sudo heimdall-frontend

flash android linux heimdall

flahshing TWRP under linux

  • Restart your mobile into recovery- turn it off, then turn it on by holding power, home and volume down at the same time
  • Once the mobile goes into “Odin mode”, plug in the usb cable
  • In heimdall, Select Utilities tab, then click on “Detect”, once it has detected your device, click on “save as” to save your PIT file on local hard disk (give it a name s4.pit or something).
  • Click on download.
  • Once downloaded, Heimdall will tell you that it “released interface”. You may now disconnect it from USB.
  • Remove the battery and put it back on.
  • Boot your device into Odin mode again using the shortcut keys.
  • On Heimdall, go to the flash tab, browse for the PIT file you saved before.
  • Click on “Add”
  • Choose partition name “Recovery” , do not mess this up!
  • Choose the recovery rom, from TWRP 3.0.3 . The recovery rom’s name is “recovery.img” make sure you extracted it from the archive!
  • Remove no-reboot and resume in from the options.
  • Click “start” to commence flashing. You should see progress bar filling up, if not it didn’t work.

Step 2: Flashing the ROM – aokp_serranodsdd_nougat_unofficial_2017-04-16_1126

  • Turn off your mobile, by removing the battery and putting back on.
  • Turn it on holding the shortcut keys POWER, HOME, VOLUME UP to boot into recovery. (this is different from odin mode, odin mode is volume down)
  • Once in recovery, wipe your data, dalvik, cache, system. (DON’T FACTORY RESET or WIPE internal storage)
  • Once done, installaokp_serranodsdd_nougat_unofficial_2017-04-16_1126 from .zip file
  • Reboot system, congrats ! You are now running android 7.1.2 on an S4 Mini. Proceed to next step (install open-gapps or you won’t have play store!)


Step 3 : Installing pico open-gapps

Gapps, is installed the same way as you install a rom.

  • Reboot into recovery.
  • Install open-gapps.


Done !

AOKP booting


S4 Mini running Android 7.1.2

S4 Mini running Android 7.1.2


Codarren @ hackers dot mu

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