Heimdall is a cross-platform open-source tool suite used to flash firmware (aka ROMs) onto Samsung mobile devices.
How does it work?
Heimdall connects to a mobile device over USB and interact with software running on device known as Loke. Loke and Heimdall communicate via the custom Samsung-developed protocol sometimes referred to as the 'Odin protocol'. Low-level USB in Heimdall is handled by the popular open-source USB library, libusbx.
For internal use, Samsung developed their own firmware flashing tool known as 'Odin', named after the king of gods in Norse mythology. Loke, the software component that runs on the Samsung devices and provides the functionality necessary to flash, also seems to be named after an important character in Norse mythology (often translated as Loki). In this vein, our software was named 'Heimdall' after the Norse god and guardian of the Bifrost Bridge.