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  1. #1
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Android OS

    101: Basic Introduction to Android Rooting

    Basic Introduction to Android Rooting

    Rooting an Android device can seem very complicated and sometimes very intimidating feat. Their are plenty of resources around the web that explain rooting, it's benefits, and it's downfalls very well. This guide aims to bring all that information together and hopefully allow any user to grasp the basic concepts of rooting. We'll get into other root topics in other posts such as custom ROMs, kernels, rooting methods, boot loaders, etc. This guides purpose is to explain the basic premise of rooting in simple uncomplicated English.

    Important: Rooting your phone will void the warranty if your carrier finds out. Should you come to the decision to root your phone then you do so at your own risk! Android Evolved disclaims all liability that should occur to your device.
    What this guide covers:
    • What rooting basically is and does for you.
    • Why you should root your android device
    • Downfalls to rooting your device

    So what is Rooting?

    Rooting is the process of gaining root access to an Android Device. Basically, it allows users with Android operating system enabled devices to gain super user (switch access) or privileged control access to their device.

    So what does that mean?
    Well, just like on a windows operating system, if you only have user privaleges then your limited to what you can do with your computer. If you have administrative privalges then you are free to install programs or do other tasks that modify the system that a normal user could not do.

    So is Rooting like Jailbreaking?
    Yes they are essentially the same. The difference between rooting and jailbreaking is to what each term is referring to. Root would refer to android and jailbreaking would refer to apple i products. But they both mean the same, which is gaining super user access.
    Rooting and installing a custom ROM are two different things!
    ROMs are basically custom versions of the Android Operating system that support features that the stock Android Operating system that came with the device does not support.
    We'll get into Custom Roms more in another post
    Rooting an android device and installing a custom rom are not the same thing. Rooting allows you the privaleges on your device to make drastic changes like changing the stock rom (Orginal Android Operating System) with a custom ROM (Custom Android Operating System). So again, rooting only gives you the ability to change ROMs.
    So how does the basic process Work?
    1.) You root your phone using available method for your device.
    2.) Once your phone is rooted you now have the neccessary privaleges to

    • Install Custom Roms, Kernels, or do other tasks that you did not have the necessary permissions to do before. See Benefits of rooting below.
    • Access the whole system
    • Install root only apps.

    So rooting is basically increasing your access privileges on your phone?

    Can I Unroot my android phone?
    Yes, in fact, some android devices are extremely easy to unroot back to its original state. Some phones not so much. Really depends on the device
    Any other for dummies basic definitions I should know?
    • Rom - basically the section of an android device that houses the operating system and apps. For our purpose its the OS. Technical term would be the read only memory of the device. But this is the dumb down version. Custom ROMs look to change out the OS and apps found here with their own custom versions.
    • kernel - Which communicates the software on the device with the hardware. Kind of like resource ambassadors. It helps the software and hardware get along. You'll notice alot of ROMs need their own custom kernels as well.

    For our purposes this is all your really need to know, below are links to other sites that really explain it in depth should you want to further your understanding. But you should have the basic gist of it now.
    So what are the benefits to rooting again?

    So now that your all set with what rooting is and why super user privileges that come with it are important lets get into what to do with your new founded powers.

    1.) Run Custom Roms & Kernels2.) Able to install Custom Apps that require your phone be rooted.
    a.) Their alot of great apps avaible to you once you root. Here is quick run down of some popular root apps.
    File Manager Apps - Some require root to allow you access your system files. With this access you can change icons and other things to custimze your device.
    Overclocking apps - These apps overclock the hardware on your device in order to make it faster.
    Wifi Thethering - Wifi hotspot Baby!
    Backup devices - hey, now you can back up your entire device.
    3.) Able to increase performance by optimizing your device.

    4.) Customize your device

    5.) Upgrade to your operating system without having to wait for Over the Air Update.

    6.) Save space on your phone and remove bloatware.

    7.) Full control over your device.

    Okay, Lets go over some negative aspects to rooting an Android device

    You can harm or brick your device.
    As steady as Linux operating system ( the operating system android is based on) things can go wrong. Installing a custom ROM on the wrong device may send you into a boot loop. It possible to end up with an expensive paper weight so keep that in mind as well. Linux does have fail safes to prevent this from happening. Such as bootloaders or recover image. Well get into these later.

    You can void your warranty
    Regardless of insurance, you can lose your warranty on your device

    This was meant to be a very basic first step into the world of rooting. Below you can find some helpful links to more in depth articles. Eventually we will be rolling out more detailed articles as well. I miss something? Let me know.

    More indepth Rooting Articles:

    Last edited by Alec79; 01-15-2013 at 01:52 AM.
    Android Forums at Android Evolved

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Samsung Galaxy Note
    Android OS
    Before reading post, I was not clear about rooting. Now I know both aspects (positive & negative) of doing rooting for android device.

    Rooting is special thing for a person who like to do new experiments on android platform.
    Android related Tech Blog www.nkjskj.com

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Samsung Galaxy Tab2
    Android OS
    Android 4.1.1
    Thanks for this post! I actually read advices before about rooting my tab to be able to use more space on my memory card to prevent running out of space in my device. I'm still hesitant though to do it as I don't want to cause any damage that I can't revert just in case. Since I just always install games, what I usually do is just uninstall the apps/games that i don't regularly use anyway.



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