By Sebastiaan de Jonge, published on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 09:30

In today's adventure I will attempt to root my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (GT-P5110) via Mac OS X. There are many tutorials that will show you how to do this from a Windows machine, unfortunately not so many that will show it from a Mac. This tutorial will probably take you 5 to 10 minutes to complete, after which you will have you device rooted and ready for action.


Perform these steps at your own risk. I'm not responsible for any broken or bricked devices. Be sure to backup any import files or apps on your SD-card or even an external source before you start this tutorial to prevent any file loss in case something goes wrong. This is of course your own responsibility, not mine.

Before we start rooting anything we will download all the required files for the process. We use the following:
  • Heimdall
    A command-line tool we will use to flash the recovery image on our device.
  • Recovery image
    The recovery image we will use. I have included two version, on my device I used the 6.x version.
  • CWM Recovery
    The ClockworkMod Recovery we will use to root our device.
Next thing we will need to do is enable USB debugging on our device. This can be achieved from Settings > Developer > Enable USB debugging.Also, make sure you are installing the recovery image and CWM file for your device/model. In this case the GT-P5110. You can find the model number under Settings > About device.All downloads are also included at the bottom of this post.
Samsung's official app for syncing your device is called Kies. Kies is know to conflict with Heimdall, it will simpy interfere with the connection to your tablet. So before you start with anything. Make sure anything related to Kies is removed from your Mac. In some case you can avoid removing Kies and simply disable the Samsung drivers. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful for me. However, if you would like to try it. This article will show you how:
Installing Heimdall is very easy. Simply download the image file and install it. You can download the suite or just the command-line version & driver. The command-line and driver are all we will be using in this tutorial.I've chosen to use version 1.3.1 instead of 1.3.2 because from what I read many people have encountered problems with the 1.3.2 version. However, feel free to use v1.3.2 instead.
In order to flash our device, we will need to start it up into download mode. To do so, perform the following steps.
  • Disconnect the tablet from your Mac (if it's connected in the first place)
  • Turn off the tablet (hold the power button, choose "Power off")
  • Once the tablet is turned off, start it in recovery. Do this by holding the power button and the volume up button until the warning screen pops up.
  • On the warning screen, press the volume down button to continue
Congratulations, you have now started your tablet in download mode!
Now that we are in download mode, we are able to flash our device with the recovery image. Unpack the recovery file ( GT-P5110_ClockworkMod-Recovery_6.0.1.0.tar ), open Terminal and switch to the directory containing the unpacked recovery image.Note: I'm using the 6.x image, at the bottom of this post I have also included a 5.5.x version that you can use, I haven't tested it though.Now that we are all set, let's flash the recovery image onto our device. Do so with the following command.
heimdall flash --recovery recovery.img
If all goes well, you should see something like the following. In case you get an error (E.g. "ERROR: Failed to receive response") just unplug, turn the device off and restart it into download mode.
Heimdall v1.3.1, Copyright (c) 2010-2011, Benjamin Dobell, Glass Echidna
This software is provided free of charge. Copying and redistribution is
If you appreciate this software and you would like to support future
development please consider donating:
Initialising connection...
Detecting device...
Claiming interface...
Setting up interface...
Checking if protocol is initialised...
Protocol is not initialised.
Initialising protocol...
Handshaking with Loke...
Beginning session...
Session begun with device of type: 131072
Downloading device's PIT file...
PIT file download sucessful
Uploading RECOVERY
RECOVERY upload successful
Ending session...
Rebooting device...
Now that we flashed our device with the recovery image, we can proceed with the root installation. First we will need to upload the root installation ( ). There are several ways to do this, I choose to do it over bluetooth. Simply because all Macs (as far as I know) are equipped with it, and so is the device. So simply pairing and sharing will do.We can simply upload the Zip file, no need to unpack it. After it's uploaded it will be stored on your SD-card under a folder named "Bluetooth".
In order to root the device, we will need to start up in recovery mode. This is very simular to starting up in download mode. Perform the following steps:
  • Turn off the device
  • Start the device by pressing the power button and the volume down button. Hold them until the Samsung logo blinks twice. Then wait a bit.
If all went well, you should see the recovery menu.
Now we've come to the final step of this little tutorial. We can finally install the root package. Start by selecting "Install zip from sdcard", you can move up and down the menu with the volume key. Select by using the power button. "Choose zip from sdcard", from there browse until you find the " " file and select it.After selecting the file, confirm by selecting "Yes - Install". The installation of the root package should now start. Once the installation is complete, reboot your device and you're all done! Now you can install apps that require superuser privileges!
Kenny - Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 19:55

Thanks for the tutorial, did you perhaps upgraded your P5110 from ICS to Jellybean already? If so, a response or another blogpost would be cool 😉

Sebastiaan de Jonge
Sebastiaan de Jonge - Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 15:18

No, actually I haven't. But that will be an interesting follow-up. I will consider it if I can make the time free for it.

Sean - Monday, May 27, 2013 at 22:01

Won't allow me to choose 'download zip...' in recovery modeonly options are:'apply update from ext. storage''reboot''wipe data''apply update from cache'

coldjack - Friday, September 26, 2014 at 14:39

hi i tried to use heimdall with mac. I got a tab 2 5110. Now if i want to flash it i get the error "Initialising protocol...ERROR: Protocol initialisation failed!

Releasing device interface..."

Can you help me?

moosi - Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 07:31

use "heimdall flash --recovery recovery.img --no-reboot"

This is important, because auto reboot will overwrite the new recovery. If the download is succeeded, restart the device directly into recovery mode using "PowerButton + Volume Down".

I hope it works now 🙂