Table of Contents

  1. Installation
  2. Post-installation
    1. My FAQ

My experience installing LineageOS on my Galaxy S10

Guide, Mobile

August 03, 2021

I own a Samsung Galaxy S10, and of course that’s a phone that offers zero privacy out of the box. Plus it contains a bunch of software that I don’t want and don’t need, from both Samsung and Google. LineageOS started officially supporting the S10 a few months ago, so I decided to make the jump; read on to find out about my experience.

I started off trying to harden the stock setup, using various tips from /r/privacy,, etc. Two fantastic guides are 100% FOSS Smartphone Hardening non-root and Taking (almost) full control of your unrooted Android, both of which I used to relatively high degrees of success. But I still wasn’t fully satisfied, there was still a bunch of software that I couldn’t get rid of, just because it was an “important” part of the OS (read: Samsung/Google made these apps so tightly connected to the OS that things break without them). Custom ROMs were always in the back of my mind, but CalyxOS and GrapheneOS only/mostly support Pixel phones. Then, finally, LineageOS added official support for my phone, so after asking around on its subreddit, I decided to go through the installation.


Firstly, if you decide to go through the process yourself, do so on a day when you don’t have much else to do. It will likely take up a good part of your day. The installation itself is quite fast (I think you can have the whole thing done in an hour or less), but reinstalling apps and reconfiguring them (as well as the OS) will take more time.

Anyway, here’s what I did:

  1. I backed up everything I wanted to keep, because the phone’s data would be erased during the process. I already sync almost everything via Syncthing, so there was not that much to back up. I moved all the important data to my SD card, ensured that the card was decrypted, and then removed it from the phone. An important step was exporting data out of 2FA apps (such as Aegis) and out of communication apps like Signal and Element.

  2. I installed Heimdall on my Mac, which I would later use to flash LineageOS to my phone. The versions on the Glass Echidna website and on Homebrew did not work, I had to find this discussion on Github and download an ‘unofficial’ newer version (which is, however, created by a lead Heimdall developer). That worked fine on my machine (mid-2012 Macbook Pro on Mojave), but YMMV. After the installation, I rebooted my computer (if I recall correctly, Heimdall uses a kernel extension, so this is required).

  3. I followed through the installation guide for my phone, which went without issues. In the Recovery menu, you need to use volume buttons to navigate, with the power button to press a selected button on the screen. After sideloading the LineageOS zip file, I also sideloaded the zip file for MindTheGapps (unfortunately there are still some times when I need to use Google for work). I chose MindTheGapps because it was recommended on the wiki; it’s important to check what’s recommended for your phone model. I considered microG, but I could not find a version of LineageOS with microG that supports my phone model…I might reinvestigate this in the future.

And that was all. After rebooting, I was in LineageOS. Really, the only problem I encountered was when trying to install Heimdall, but that was solved in around 10 minutes as explained in step 2.


Time to customize! Here’s what I did after booting up into LineageOS:

I immediately noticed a speedup in regular usage, notably while installing apps, but also in terms of general performance. Battery life seems much better too, but I’ll only be able to make a definitive assessment after a few more days of use. Overall, it seems that installing LineageOS was a good choice.


How can I read a QR code?

The default camera app has this built in. Open it, tap the camera icon in the bottom right, then select the QR code icon.