Install /e/ on a Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016 Exynos) - “a3xeltexx”

Very important: please read the following carefully before proceeding!

Installing a new operating system on a mobile device can potentially:

  1. lead to all data destruction on the device
  2. make it an unrecoverable brick.

So please only flash your device if you know what you are doing and are OK with taking the associated risk.

The /e/ project and its project members deny any and all responsibility about the consequences of using /e/ software and/or /e/ services.

Warning : Downgrading Smartphones already on Android Q or LineageOS 17.x to Pie or from Pie OS to Oreo or Nougat can cause instability or at worst brick some devices.

Tip: If you find an issue with this installation document or to suggest any improvements , Please add your suggestions to this topic on our community forum


  1. Highly recommended: it is recommended that you have an /e/ account (like: if you want to benefit from /e/ account integration for all online services such as: email, drive, calendar, notes, tasks. Register for your free /e/ account.
  2. Make sure your computer has working adb and fastboot. Setup instructions can be found here.

    Please ensure you follow the instructions for adb and Fastboot setup exactly as given in the previous step to avoid unexpected issues during device setup.

  3. Enable USB debugging on your device.
  4. Please read through the instructions at least once completely before actually following them to avoid any problems because you missed something!

Preparing for installation

Samsung devices come with a unique boot mode called “Download mode”, which is very similar to “Fastboot mode” on some devices with unlocked bootloaders. Heimdall is a cross-platform, open-source tool for interfacing with Download mode on Samsung devices. The preferred method of installing a custom recovery is through this boot mode – rooting the stock firmware is neither necessary nor required.

Please note: On windows PC’s to run the installation using ODIN check this HOWTO. The steps given below explain how to install Heimdall and flash /e/OS

  1. Enable OEM unlock in the Developer options under device Settings.

    It appears sometime that the OEM unlock option is missing from Development options, especially on new devices. Please connect your device to the wifi and check of system updates. After a reboot, the option should appear.

  2. Install Heimdall or if you prefer you can Build latest Heimdall suite
  3. Power off the device and connect the USB adapter to the computer (but not to the device, yet).
  4. Boot into download mode:
    • With the device powered off, hold Volume Down + Home + Power.

    Accept the disclaimer, then insert the USB cable into the device.

  5. Windows only: install the drivers. A more complete set of instructions can be found in the ZAdiag user guide.
    1. Run zadiag.exe from the Drivers folder of the Heimdall suite.
    2. Choose Options » List all devices from the menu.
    3. Select Samsung USB Composite Device or MSM8x60 or Gadget Serial or Device Name from the drop down menu. (If nothing relevant appears, try uninstalling any Samsung related Windows software, like Samsung Windows drivers and/or Kies).
    4. Click Replace Driver (having to select Install Driver from the drop down list built into the
    5. If you are prompted with a warning that the installer is unable to verify the publisher of the driver, select Install this driver anyway. You may receive two more prompts about security. Select the options that allow you to carry on.
  6. On the computer, open a command prompt (on Windows) or terminal (on Linux or macOS) window, and type:

     heimdall print-pit
  7. If the device reboots, Heimdall is installed and working properly.

Installing a custom recovery

  1. Download a custom recovery - you can download TWRP.

  2. Power off the device and connect the USB adapter to the computer (but not to the device, yet).
  3. Boot into download mode:
    • With the device powered off, hold Volume Down + Home + Power.

    Accept the disclaimer, then insert the USB cable into the device.

  4. On the computer, open a command prompt (on Windows) or terminal (on Linux or macOS) window in the directory the recovery image is located, and type:
     heimdall flash --RECOVERY twrp-x.x.x-x-a3xeltexx.img --no-reboot
  5. A blue transfer bar will appear on the device showing the recovery being transferred.
  6. Unplug the USB cable from your device.
  7. Manually reboot into recovery:
    • With the device powered off, hold Volume Up + Home + Power.

Note: Be sure to reboot into recovery immediately after having installed the custom recovery. Otherwise the custom recovery will be overwritten and the device will reboot (appearing as though your custom recovery failed to install).

Tip: On some devices if the device does not boot into TWRP you could try it manually by following these steps
With the device powered off, hold `Volume Up` + `Home` + `Power`.

Download /e/ for a3xeltexx

Installing /e/ from custom recovery

  1. Download the /e/ install package that you’d like to install from here.
  2. If you aren’t already in recovery mode, reboot into recovery mode:

     adb reboot recovery
  3. Optional Tap the Backup button to create a backup. Make sure the backup is created in the external sdcard or copy it onto your computer as the internal storage will be formatted.
  4. Go back to return to main menu, then tap Wipe.
  5. Now tap Format Data and continue with the formatting process. This will remove encryption as well as delete all files stored on the internal storage.
  6. Return to the previous menu and tap Advanced Wipe.
  7. Select the Cache and System partitions to be wiped and then Swipe to Wipe.
  8. Sideload the /e/ .zip package:
    • On the device, select “Advanced”, “ADB Sideload”, then swipe to begin sideload.
    • On the host machine, sideload the package using:

        adb sideload
  9. Once installation has finished, return to the main menu, tap Reboot, and then System
Success: Congratulations !! Your phone should now be booting into /e/OS !!
To find some troubleshooting tips… click here

adb errors and suggestions

  • Error: Getting a Total xFer ':' 0.01x message
  • Tip: Upload the /e/OS to internal storage and retry to install

  • Error: adb ':' sideload connection failed ':' insufficient permissions for device error
  • Tip: Execute the commands adb kill-server and adb start-server and retry

  • Error: Running adb shell twrp install /sdcard/</e/ zip package> raise non-existent directory error
  • Tip: Check solution here

TWRP errors and suggestions

  • Error: Errors while running TWRP version 3.4.x.x or above
  • Tip: Try downloading and using a previous TWRP version.. below 3.4.x.x

  • Error: In TWRP if this error shows up failed to mount /preload
  • Tip: In TWRP wipe screen in advanced menu select preload and swipe to wipe