LineageOS and Paranoia on Galaxy Note 9

I replaced my Note 9 with a Motorola G200 recently but I find it lacking in so many ways - not surprising given it’s a budget device. However, I can’t force myself to pay 1000€ for the latest flagship when every single one makes my OCD shoot to 11. No headphone jack, no SpO2 sensors, holes and notches all over the place, ugh… terrible.

I’m thinking about going with LineageOS for the Note 9 and see how it works out.

I do have few reservations, mostly about what the hell is Heimdall mentioned in the official guide linked above, and where is the official website/repo:

This is where my paranoid side kicks in and I get this feeling I have ~10% chance to end up with backdoored phone - that would be very bad.

Any thoughts, comments or experiences with LineageOS on Galaxy Note 9 or similar devices?

only use XDA forum for info on mobile device modding.


This is the best of the worst options out there. At least the community will call out its shenanigans if the file is indeed malicious.

Im sure you can drop the file to VirusTotal if it really sketches you out. My bet it will return negative. @vivante

Ive learned to love (or at least tolerate) USB-C to 3.5 mm jack against my will.


I can feel your pain regarding newer devices and lack of features and other shenanigans tradeoffs that I can’t even describe.

So if you don’t wanna use Odin in Windows and I don’t take your reasons, you can boot from a USB live distro with all things already baked in.

And you can always go with microG to replace gapps if you wanna de-google your phone. (Here’s a good guide)

But if you are towards the lazy side of the force but still wanna get microG built in Lineage, just flash and be happy

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If you wanna be sure about it my suggestion, which comes with no warranty because I stopped playing with ROMs and mods with Android 2.3, is to install TWRP and use that to flash the phone. To that you might say that it could be backdoored aswell but I think it’s so established that I wouldn’t worry about it at all. That way you’re not using any tool to flash this new ROM and you’re gonna have much better chances to recover the phone if something goes wrong or needs work.

Also, as Zedicus said, ONLY trust XDA when it comes to tools and ROMs for Android.

I’m one year into the whole “no headphone jack game” and I still hate with all my soul this change especially when I need to charge my phone and listen to music through decent cans. Was also pretty hard to find a decent adapter that allows charging and listening.

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I’ve managed to boot into Linage OS after several failed attempts. Following the official guide it didn’t work, so here are the key points to solve it:

Enable OEM unlock

It will fail to download recovery.img if you don’t do it. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass to do, general procedure that worked for my phone SM-N960F dual SIM:

  • Connect to WiFi
  • Disable auto date/time in general settings
  • Disable auto updates
  • Enable Developer Options
  • Roll back the date 2 months
  • Reboot
  • Bring the date back forward
  • Go into Developer Options and enable OEM Unlock
  • It will reboot and wipe
  • Connect to WiFi
  • Enable developer options
  • Roll back the date 2 months
  • Reboot
  • Bring the date back forward

Now you should see OEM unlock enabled and you can download recovery.img, and I did try the download after wipe, but it didn’t work until OEM unlock was visible again which required the whole date thing again. Apparently you have to “use” the phone for 7 days to enable OEM unlock.

Key combo for download mode is different on newer devices

To enter download mode you need to hold Volume Down + Bixby and plug in the USB cable - different than what’s in the guide (Volume Down + Bixby + Power at the time of writting).

You can’t power off after you download recovery

You have to be fast, when the recovery image is downloaded you can only reboot by holding the Volume Down + Power longer than 7 seconds. As soon as the screen goes black, switch to holding Volume UP + Bixby + Power and it should reboot into Lineage recovery. If you don’t see the Lineage logo you messed up. Booting stock OS will overwrite Lineage recovery and you have to go back to download mode to redo it.

First impressions are it’s very quick, it’s easy on the battery, camera sucks and S-Pen support is basically zero, at least out of the box - it thinks it’s a mouse.

There is this annoying halo from the top of the screen, anyone knows how to deal with it? It doesn’t even show on a screenshot just when on home screen. It’s not an issue with the display itself if I open a black image in gallery and go full screen there is no glow.

There is one thing that I learned about Samsung phones, is that some functionality will be killed when unlocking or tampering.

So watch out, that front camera might stop working.

Wait… you don’t know every phone ever is backdoored?

They come with 500 apps. 20 of which are needed.

Doesn’t the Note 9 have a retina scanner? Little overkill.

When I had my Note 9 I wasn’t trying to access top secret military establishments.


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I’ll be using it as a secondary phone for a while and see how it goes, and if it works fine I may switch over to it. And if hardware holds, it’s going trough its third battery.

Absolutely, but I still can have concerns about trading a company backed backdoor for some guy backed backdoor, which arguably might be worse.

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Have you checked if there are any appearance settings in the launcher about it? If it’s still an issue with the stock launcher you can switch to another I guess.

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Yeah, that’s it. Trebuchet doesn’t have an option for it as far as I can tell, but changing the launcher did it.

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The camera on almost any phone when going to custom roms will be worst than the official roms because their “special sauce” (AKA proprietary blobs) and so there’s an tradeoff.

But since GCam project and it’s many ports some functionality was restored on many cases. In my Snapdragon devices I much preferred the quality of GCam over the stock camera, because the community has tuned very well for my taste/needs.

In your device has an Exynos so the port has his own challenges but theres a fork specifically for it, and the project site has the some configs for you to test.So take your time.

Again the problem with proprietary blobs making everyone lives a hell. The latest device with S-Pen that I used with Lineage was the Note 4 and with that I installed SPenCommand but the development has stopped but the features where great.

Suggestions that I read on some places to help ease some of the lost functionality it’s Squid and INKredible but again only you can attest for what best suit your needs.

So if you find problems with the official documentation please let the dev team know and update the wiki on the device so everyone could benefit from your discoveries.