libqmi-devel Digest, Vol 63, Issue 6
wreg at wiedmeyer.de
Tue Feb 7 00:33:52 UTC 2017
>> I'm trying to port the LTE variant of the Galaxy S3 (i9305) to
>> Replicant. The non-LTE variant (i9300) is already supported. After
>> backporting cdc-wdm and qmi_wwan drivers to the 3.0 kernel and
>> cross-compiling libqmi and its dependencies for Android, I was able to
>> talk to the modem with qmicli.
> This is a very ambitious and brave enterprise as Replicant has only
> been available for Intel/XMM basband processors (BP).
> So the use of the Qualcomm MDM + Exynos AP-BP combo on the device
> would open the doors to all other
> Qualcomm devices.
Well, at least to all devices that have a USB-like connection to the
>> But I'm facing the problem that I don't know how to load the firmware
>> files to the modem and reboot the modem. For now, I use the proprietary
>> tool qcks which normally runs as a daemon on the device. It relies on
>> another binary called ks (kickstart) to upload the firmware and later
>> spawns another tool called efsks. I'm not sure what efsks actually
>> does. If I abort qcks at the right moment, the modem is correctly
>> booted and the cdc-wdmX nodes are accessible. If I let it run, it's not
>> really usable as the device reboots at a sudden moment. I attached the
>> relevant parts from logcat and kernel log below.
> Yep, that is a good observation and typical for the AP-BP combo from
> Qualcomm. The same happens on the Galaxy Note 4, but without the
> reboot. The reboot is due to a subsystem reset request being sent to
> or from modem, depending how the AOS being set to reset/reboot after
> changes to BP. As the name "efsks" implies, it is the EFS (embedded
> file system) kickstarter, it is used to copy the entire partitions
> to/from the 3 modem partitions. Usually, AFAIK, 1 of these is a
> "golden" copy that should be never written except for complete
> firmware updates. The other 2 are alternatively toggled after each
> reboot, to make sure the phone boots. When you make changes to the
> device related to modem behavior or settings, these 2 partitions
> seemingly need to be completely rewritten. The way it's written is by
> using their new (proprietary) Qualcomm high-speed USB (QHS-USB)
> protocol called Sahara. Some details about that can be found in 
> and an old version of efsks.c in .
>  https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=54829011&postcount=73
>  https://defuse.ca/b/dEM7LGyPYZrcGk1CX0pqL2
> // efsks.c : A wrapper around the Kickstart utility to perform EFS sync
> // qcks.c : A wrapper around the Kickstart utility
> // kickstart.c: A utility for uploading MSM images using the "DMSS-DL"
> and Sahara protocols
Thanks for the information! But it's probably not a good idea to look at
the leaked proprietary code as it may taint any effort to create a free
>> It looks like the protocol is SAHARA. I didn't find any documentation on
>> this protocol. Would qmi-firmware-update be usable in this case? I also
>> found two other tools that claim to be compatible with this
>> protocol. I went through Harald Welte's and Holger Hans Peter Freyther's
>> talk "Dissecting modern (3G/4G) cellular modems" and other osmocom
>> resources, but I couldn't figure out if a tool already exists that can
>> do this.
>> Thanks and best regards,
> As it looks, I don't believe you need a QMI firmware update. Why do
> you think you need one? Or more importantly, what do you think you can
> replace it with? Surely the most recent Qualcomm firmware images are
> signed and perhaps even encrypted to prevent modification.
> To have it said, don't take all what I have said as a truth, I doubt
> I'm fully correct on all points, and I no longer have any similar
> device to test on. But I'm sure you can find the sources of some of
> the Qualcomm binaries you mentioned, as they were leaked years ago
> while being occasionally available at the code aurora repositories.
There is maybe a misunderstanding. I was thinking about using
qmi-firmware-update to upload the firmware to the device when it's in
the download mode. It looks like on every boot the modem is either in
the download mode or boots in this mode when turned on and the firmware
files including efs and bootloader are uploaded.
Please let me know if there is any free code at codeaurora that would be
useful for this! I didn't find any.
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