Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,166
1,005
What you can learn from this article:

What is meant by rooting an Android phone
Steps to take before proceeding to root your phone
Google’s SafetyNet check
The preferred root method in today’s world – Magisk – and an outline on how it works
Things you can do after flashing Magisk – the utility of rooting your phone
Things (I feel) you should avoid doing after rooting systemless-ly
Uninstalling Magisk
What to do in case the phone is bricked

What this article will not teach you:
Specific methods to root your phone or flash custom recoveries. Such methods vary greatly from one phone to another. For example, in Samsung phones, you can flash files with a software called Odin, which is specifically written for Samsung phones. On other brands, you have to use some other software, if they exist, or use Fastboot. I have not included these topics in this article. My attempt has been to keep the content of the article as general as possible, so that it is applicable to a large...
Continue reading...
 
1,411
747
Nicely done :smile:

Regarding bootloop: for devices having built-in (non-removable) batteries it is fine to leave them on charger till you calm down ad look for solution.

Learning: it took me three days and a dozen or so 'bricking' till I could finally start up the first custom ROM on my phone. The Internet with all the guides written in a wide time range can be quite confusing and half of the guides will forget to mention just something small, minuscule detail... It is fine to take time, no rush.

Bricking: some phones are just no good for beginners since they can be really bricked with no chance of recovery, ever, by any means. Better look before starting!
Old Samsung phones can be considered a good playground, they have quite a forgiving nature.
(BTW getting stock ROM might be a pain.)
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,166
1,005
Regarding bootloop: for devices having built-in (non-removable) batteries it is fine to leave them on charger till you calm down ad look for solution.
That's why I always prefer phones which have removable batteries. :wink:
BTW getting stock ROM might be a pain.
Yes, primarily because the backup you make from TWRP cannot be compiled into a .tar file easily. Otherwise by now XDA would have flooded the internet with the stock ROMs of all available devices.
 
7,682
4,367
Good article Wrichik. I learned from it. But it feels incomplete without these two important points.
  1. Why? What are the benefits of rooting your phone?
  2. Who is qualified?
For example, I see that an app developer with many phones available may benefit from rooting.
But I also fear that consumers with limited technical skills, motivated by questionable benefits of rooting, and playing with their one and only digital device, may be ill advised to play with rooting. There may also be bad actors advising vulnerable people to root their phones to gain something attractive.

"View your file system using a root file browser" that is not a utility that an ordinary consumer considers a benefit. In the USA, we like to use the Aunt Millie metaphor. Is rooting something that your great aunt Millie could do? should do?

I considered rooting only once about 10 years ago. I wanted to make my phone a WiFi hotspot. I feared doing it because of inexperience, and because I had no local support group of friends who could rescue me if I bricked my phone. Also, that was the only phone my wife and I owned, and we were cruising on remote islands with no access to the cell provider's stores or repair centers. But before I could decide, an update from the provider added wifi hotspot as a standard feature.

The author can edit Insight articles. I suggest that you may want to add some paragraphs to the article, and not just reply in this comment thread.
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,166
1,005
Why? What are the benefits of rooting your phone?
Since this article focuses on systemless rooting, the greatest benefit (without changing to a custom ROM) is the power of modules. I have written on that briefly, because if I started writing about each and every module that I use currently, it would become another separate article. Anyways, I will add a few points.
"View your file system using a root file browser" that is not a utility that an ordinary consumer considers a benefit. In the USA, we like to use the Aunt Millie metaphor. Is rooting something that your great aunt Millie could do? should do?
No, she shouldn't. Let's be frank about it: rooting is not for a layman. Just like you would refrain from teaching perturbative QCD to a person having insufficient knowledge in physics, I would advise people who have no idea on the Android system to keep away from rooting, because this thing is no joke. For example, I would not root my parents' phones, because if some problem suddenly crops up, I might know how to handle that, but they won't be able to do anything without my support. And I won't be available all the time to tackle these problems.

But that does not always mean that you cannot root if you are a layman. I was a layman too when I started out with these things, but I have learnt and am still learning on these topics. If you are interested in these things, knowledge will come to you automatically, and once you are confident enough, you can proceed to root your phones. You will make mistakes, like @Rive said, and you have to be prepared for that.
 
767
351
That's why I always prefer phones which have removable batteries. :wink:
I like the LG V20 especially for the replaceable battery reason. It's limited to 'only' 4GB RAM, but that's not a bad match for its (quad-core) processing capacity. It's a 2017 device -- about $800 MSRP then; can be bought new-overstock now for <$150 -- alas, people are selling counterfeit batteries for them now. I replaced a 'non-replaceable' battery in an HTC One M9, and in a Samsung Galaxy S6 -- the M9 required disassembly all the way past the motherboard -- you almost have to have the skill of a jeweler or a watchmaker to do that. I detest the idea of retiring a device simply because its battery won't take a charge once it's 2 or 3 years old. I was disappointed to learn that the V30 eliminated the replaceable battery, but I'm happy with the V20.
 
1,411
747
What are the benefits of rooting your phone?
...
Is rooting something that your great aunt Millie could do? should do?
Well, as the Android is now, there are not many benefits coming with rooting. I think the real benefits of the process described above are:
- TWRP, as a great systemless platform for backup and ROM changes
- easy availability of custom ROMs, as bloatware-free platforms with a kind of 'extended support' for older or abandoned hardware

I consider the possibility to switch to rooted mode as just an extra, for emergency. I too prefer to keep my phone non-rooted for normal times, what's actually close to 100% of the runtime: however I benefited a lot from changing the last official ROM (4.4 KitKat) to custom 7.1 Nougat (and that's still not the very last version available) on my phone.

So: I think rooting is not really a 'must have'. But if somebody already decided to 'go custom' then it is a convenient feature and better to do it thoroughly in one go.
 
Last edited:
7,682
4,367
No, she shouldn't. Let's be frank about it: rooting is not for a layman.
I'm suggesting that the article should say that prominently. Laymen could be fooled into doing something they don't understand. And if someone approaches you and says "do what that Insights article says" to your phone so that you can use this neat new feature, you should run away.
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,166
1,005
I'm suggesting that the article should say that prominently. Laymen could be fooled into doing something they don't understand. And if someone approaches you and says "do what that Insights article says" to your phone so that you can use this neat new feature, you should run away.
Updated the article.
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,166
1,005
Well, as the Android is now, there are not many benefits coming with rooting. I think the real benefits of the process described above are:
- TWRP, as a great systemless platform for backup and ROM changes
- easy availability of custom ROMs, as bloatware-free platforms with a kind of 'extended support' for older or abandoned hardware
There are other benefits as well. For example, Magisk has a module Energized Protection (I have mentioned it in the updated version of the article). This module has a file of blacklisted hosts, and it simply blocks all requests to those hosts. Thus, it blocks ads and malicious websites not only on the web browsers, but also on apps. The root browser app that I have complains that it cannot connect to the Google Ad hosts. Such strict ad blocking is not possible without rooting the phone.
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,166
1,005
I replaced a 'non-replaceable' battery in an HTC One M9, and in a Samsung Galaxy S6 -- the M9 required disassembly all the way past the motherboard -- you almost have to have the skill of a jeweler or a watchmaker to do that.
You need to have really stable hands and infinite patience while tearing down a smartphone. A salute to you and anyone else who is experienced in this.
 
1,411
747
...Magisk has a module Energized Protection...
Sounds like the good old 'hosts' file trick got noticed and now has a fancy frontend?

Exactly because of things like this is why I don't like running rooted. Fine and nice to have it as an option, but in general it is not a good idea to have a permanent access to admin/root.
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,166
1,005
Exactly because of things like this is why I don't like running rooted. Fine and nice to have it as an option, but in general it is not a good idea to have a permanent access to admin/root.
The hosts file is saved in /system/etc. This means that in order to modify that file, the malware will ask for your permission to use the Magisk SU binary to get root access. If you deny permissions to any app that you don't recognize, you should be safe.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"An Intro to the Systemless Interface of Rooting Android Phones - Comments" You must log in or register to reply here.

Related Threads for: An Intro to the Systemless Interface of Rooting Android Phones - Comments

Replies
13
Views
3K
Replies
2
Views
691
Replies
6
Views
674
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
8
Views
868
Replies
16
Views
1K
Top