My goal here is to help you, even if you are a rooting virgin, to penetrate your way deep into your Captivate, forever breaking the settings.db hymen that had previously prevented the insertion of non-market apps. Resist as she may, it shall be thrust upon her until she is liberated from her former inhibitions!
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I am writing this mainly for Linux Ubuntu users with little to no experience. This should contain everything you need to root your Samsung GalaxyS / Captivate model SGH-i897 phone. It is a bit long as I tried to be as thorough as possible for noobs, but hopefully the extensive use of bold font will make browsing through the instructions easier for the rest of you.
Specs: I am working on Ubuntu 10.10 amd64 with the Samsung Captivate SGH-i897 running the Android 2.1 (Eclair) platform.