Today I got fed up with the stock Android ROM – and the lack of security updates – that came with my tablet and decided to switch to a better alternative.

The instruction for my device said to use QFIL to flash it. However, this is a Windows program and none of my computers run Windows. The instruction had a few steps with the word important written in red bold UPPERCASE, probably as a mean to discourage you experimenting and risk bricking your device. The forum thread wasn’t also very helpful to provide instruction for Linux.

A quick Internet search later, I was on the qdl page where the tool description says:

As open source tool (for Linux) that implements the Qualcomm Sahara and Firehose protocols has been developed by Linaro, and can be used for program (or unbrick) MSM based devices, such as Dragonboard 410c or Dragonboard 820c.

This seems like it! However, no mention of QPST or QFIL, the two tools I read about earlier. I decided to trust the nice folks at Linaro and indeed, this was exactly the tool that I needed.

As of today, there are no distribution packages available so we’ll have to build from source:

$ git clone
$ cd qdl
$ sudo dnf install libxml2-devel libudev-devel
$ make

When in EDL mode, the device identifies itself as a Qualcomm modem and we need to turn off ModemManager to prevent it from interfering:

sudo systemctl stop ModemManager

From there, I would change to directory where I unzipped the TWRP archive and run qdl:

$ sudo ./qdl/qdl --debug prog_emmc_firehose_8953_ddr.mbn rawprogram0.xml patch0.xml
Waiting for EDL device

After getting my device into EDL 9008 mode, in my case connecting it to my computer while being powered off and holding the volume up button, qdl noticed the device and started flashing it:

HELLO version: 0x2 compatible: 0x1 max_len: 1024 mode: 0
READ image: 13 offset: 0x0 length: 0x34
READ image: 13 offset: 0x34 length: 0x120
READ image: 13 offset: 0x53504 length: 0x720
END OF IMAGE image: 13 status: 0
DONE status: 0
qdl: failed to read: Connection timed out
FIREHOSE WRITE: <?xml version="1.0"?>
[PROGRAM] flashed "recovery" successfully at 15323kB/s

I could then follow the rest of the instruction and finish rooting my device.

After installing the custom ROM from TWRP and fixing a bootloop because I stupidly forgot to install the gapps, I got everything working and am ready to enjoy using my tabled again.