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Explain "rooting a device"

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jlindemann, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. jlindemann

    jlindemann Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I'm a computer tech, so I do have a good understanding of things. But being that I'm new to the Android world the concept of "rooting" one's device is new to me. It sounds like I gain many features from doing such a thing. But could someone explain to me what it does exactly. And is it worth it?

    Just trying to get a better idea of what it is and if something I should do.

  2. Teknologic

    Teknologic Android Expert

    Rooting is basically the process of unlocking the bootloader (which wipes the device), allowing you to push files and applications to your system. Then pushing a few tools and binaries and finally an app that can be easily compared to windows UAC, which allows you to control which applications can access root functions and partitions.

    Basically rooting is giving you full control over your device and every partition. You have many tools for various tasks.

    Edit: And yeah, it's worth it. You might not have use for it right away and in any other case I wouldn't bother with it then. But trust me sooner or later you'll come across something that requires root and you'll wish you had done it right away so you didn't have to unlock and wipe your nexus :)
    El Presidente likes this.
  3. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast

    In PC terms - when you root, you establish administrator privileges.
    Rxpert83 and breadnatty08 like this.
  4. jlindemann

    jlindemann Lurker
    Thread Starter

    thank you both for that. Explains a lot more now.

    So the next questions..... since I've been installing a number of apps and such right now.

    - It sounds like to root my device I have to wipe it clean? Is that right?
    - And is there any danger to rooting?
    - In terms of my iPad, possibility of 'bricking' the device?
    - Will I have issues getting the newest version of Android when it comes out?
    - Do apps have any issues working on a rooted device? (guessing not)

    Never did jailbreak my iPhone or iPad because of the issues above. I did come across something that mentioned you can always go back to an unrooted device. I'm guessing a full reset of your device. But worry about the above.

    I can't see myself using it for anything too wild. Perhaps wanting to change the lock screen wallpaper, or as I read my other thread the ability to read/write to external media. (and I'm sure a few other usages could be found along the way)
  5. Teknologic

    Teknologic Android Expert

    There's a few other useful tools like titanium backup that are really convenient if you're rooted, do a search for must have root apps or something alike.

    Enjoy your Nexus :)

    Edit: btw, there's a sub forum at the top called all things root, check it out.
  6. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast

    My apps syayed in place when I rooted the N7. And I understand that you cannot brick it. I used the Nexus Root Toolkit V 1.6.0. There are 3 steps:

    Install driver for the PC

    Takes about 20 minutes. The unlock is supposed to wipe your device (which it did not in my case). Make a backup - just in case.
  7. Teknologic

    Teknologic Android Expert

    From what I know there is one case where you'll end up with a brick, if you manage to erase your boot partition (correct me if I'm wrong).
  8. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast

    That sounds like a valid case for a brick. I guess there are always ways to brick your device. But if you follow the steps in the root toolkit, there should be no danger.
  9. jlindemann

    jlindemann Lurker
    Thread Starter

    thanks guys. Looks like I have some reading to do and decide which path to go.

    I like the idea that I could use the updated toolkit, 3 steps and 20-30min later have it rooted. Sounds easy enough.

    And like I said, at this time I'm not looking to mod a lot out of my device. At this time I just want to have a little more access (ie: wallpaper on lock screen, OTG read/write access) at the moment.
    If I don't do anything drastic to it, can I still upgrade the OS by standard means, or will I have to go through special ROMs in the future? It sounds from whs37 that the rootkit just gives my account SU access (which is basically all I'm looking for)

    Sorry if I sound so chicken. If it was a PC or a Mac or Linux computer... I would have done it within 5min. But being it's a expensive tablet that could potentially be bricked, I'm just a lot more cautious.

    Anyways, a reading I shall go, a reading I shall go.
  10. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    Being rooted is nothing more than having administrative rights on the device

    I will never own another device that I don't have full root control over.

    You have to manually type in the command to wipe your boot partition, and there is no reason to ever do that, and you'll never see it recommended anywhere.

    Bricking a device is actually hard to do.
  11. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    Deleting the boot partition doesn't result in a permanent brick, because the boot partition is the kernel. Deleting is the bootloader partition is the one you are thinking of. Also, replacing it with an invalid bootloader will yield the same result.
    Teknologic and Rxpert83 like this.
  12. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    Yep, that's it. :eek:
  13. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    Yeah, it's very confusing and I made that mistake until I restored to stock manually for the first time. The only time you would probably use that death command is if you wanted to downgrade the bootloader for whatever reason, and I'm not fully convinced deleting it is even necessary; I'm pretty sure you can just flash over it with the old bootloader on this device.

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