[Info/Guide] Rooting FAQ and General information.
So you just got your Evo 4G, and your reading all this crazy stuff about rooting, rom-ing, "jailbreaking", free tethering, and kernels (Not the corn type). Now your thinking what the HELL is this stuff? Why should i do it? Why shouldnt i do it? Pros/Cons? Life-death?
After searching, you cant find anything in non-tech speak so you give up, and/or wander the forums in ignorant bliss.
Well, this is my attempt to explain it (or alot of it) in the english language instead of tech speak.
Ill be writing this as an evo specific guide although a lot of it is usable for most other devices so, if anyone would like to use it as a template or steal anything, to make a different device specific guide, or a general one. PLEASE DO!
Here are some great informative links, you should read these before reading this any further. Although ill still go over the stuff.
Rooting FAQ general.
Set up ADB
General Rom FAQ/Your phones internal system.
Android dictionary, AKA, the bible for new androiders.
At least skim through those, it'll help ya out alot.
So i'll just get right into it.
What is "rooting"?
Its gaining the ability to do whatever youd like to your phones software/hardware controls, with great power comes great responsibility Flash a different rom, underclock, overclock, screen pixel density, and free tethering to name a few goodies.
Why should i root my evo (or any android phone)?
Well, first of all rooting itself does nothing. Except give you "root directory" access to your phone. So why should you get this access? To install custom roms, get free tethering, get outstanding battery by using smart underclocking, overclock if you feel the need for speed, remove the bloat, get updates faster, and.... Need i go on?
Is it safe? Does it void my warranty?
As with any software tampering, bad things CAN happen. But do they? In my experience no. If worst comes to worst, you can Run an RUU from fastboot to restore your system. YES it will void your warranty, NO it is not permanently voided - You can restore it to factory unrooted settings to file an insurance claim, take it in, sell it, whatever.
How do i root my Evo 4G?
Root with revolutionary, an awesome tool! How too root your evo on gingerbread with revolutionary!
Well fred made an awesome GUIDE <-Pre 2.3 method
How do i know if im rooted?
Simple, download terminal emulator from the market. Enter "su" and enter, if it says # youre rooted, if it says $ youre not rooted. You should know if your rooted anyways, the superuser app will be installed and root-requiring apps will work.
Okay, im rooted! What now?
youre going to want to flash a custom rom, trust me its wayyyy better, but make sure you back-up your stuff though! A full wipe will most likely be needed!
What about unrooting? I gotta take my phone in.
This thread OR This method at xda. Either will achieve the same result. Unrooting is actually easier then rooting.
What is an RUU?
Its a program ran from your PC that you run while your phone is connected and the appropriate drivers installed, that will erase your phone and restore it to factory settings. Sprint cannot tell you were ever rooted.
What is a rom?
A rom is your phones system basically, it will have your kernel/system apps/and everything else needed for your phone to tick. For instance, when your unrooted your running the stock, unrooted sprint rom.
What is a kernel?
No, its not those brown things in the bottom of the pop-corn bag. Its a piece of your phones system that controls your phones hardware and transfers information from apps/system workings to the hardware. For instance when you get a Facebook notification and your phone rings and vibrates - What has happened is the app said to the kernel, that told the vibration motor and speaker to sound off. Make sense? haha. This kernel is based off of the linux kernel, for those familiar.
What is a nandroid backup?
A nandroid backup is a copied freeze frame of your phones current system. It backs up EVERYTHING, your rom, apps, and personal data. These are life savers, say you flash a bogas rom or kernel and your phone starts freaking out! No worries boot into recovery and restore the nandroid backup you made prior to flashing. These cannot be used to restore apps/personal data to your new rom after a wipe-its all or nothing.
How do i make a nandroid backup?
Boot into recovery->backup> nandroid backup. Or from rom manager to do that automatically.
How to back up apps/data/contacts?
To back up your contacts, just make sure they are synced to your gmail account, and just in case, export em to your SD card by entering your contacts app (people) hit menu and export. Now for your apps/data, you have 2 options. App brain will sync with the apps you have and after you wipe, you download appbrain and reinstall your apps from the market OR titanium backup which backs up apps AND data like game levels etc. But the thing with titanium being that whatever you backed up on the previous rom might not gel so good with whats in your new one, so problems could arise-serious and not serious. I suggest doing both types, appbrain just in case (its a cloud service anyways) and titanium if you just gotta have those angry birds levels! haha. I only use appbrain, i dont like risks of that nature. Haha.
How do i wipe? How do i install roms?
Boot into recovery and it will give you options to do so basically, yeah its that simple. But hey, a picture is worth a thousand words so heres a video! (How many words is a video worth? Must be alot..)
What is "recovery"?
While it might be one of eminem's greatest albums, in the world of android (and linux sorta) its a sort of "behind the scenes menu" where you can install things with the phone not actually booted into the rom. Its used to flash roms, kernels, and themes on your phone. Every phone model has different buttons to boot into it, a google search will help ya out. For the evo, turn the phone off and press vol down+Power and it will dump ya into the bootloader, from there scroll with the volume buttons to recovery and hit power to select. You will need a custom recovery to flash stuff to your phone (Amon_ra or Clockworkmod)
What is Hboot/Fastboot?
More behind the scenes menus to boot into - Fast boot = Volume up+power / Hboot = Volume Down + power.
Whats the difference between cache/dalvik/data wipes?
Data is more like a factory reset (LOSE apps/data), cache wipes your apps/phones saved up cache that it uses to load stuff thats been loaded before a lil faster (keep apps/personal data), and dalvik is a special type of wipe used mostly to install kernels (keep apps/data). When you hear full wipe, it means wipe ALL 3.
What is Flashing?
Flashing means installing to your phone, usually through recovery.
What is ADB?
Android Debug Bridge. Its the ability to control your phone through the command prompt on your PC, this is VERY useful. Link at the top to set ADB up.
What is/How do i - Under/overclock?
Under/Overclocking is changing the (clock) speed of your processor, this can save you lots of battery, or speed it up and destroy your battery, while making your phone hella fast. For instance, the evo runs at 998mhz (1ghz) stock, i have it running at 998-1190mhz while my screen is on and then 245mhz while my screen is off. This save me TONs of battery and gives me more speed to boot! Comprende amigos?
To control your clock speed, i recommend SetCpu from the market. The app is great, the dev is great and the results are great. Oh and the price is great too, i think its only 1$
Free wireless tethering?
Get Youre FREE tethering/hotspotting on!
Whats the best rom?
PURELY personal opinion. But there are some front runners, such as Cyanogen, Myn's warm two point two, vaelpak, and LOTS more found HERE.
Where can i get themes from?
Right here, instrctions to flash the theme will usually be in the thread. Most of the time, a cache wipe and then flash as normal is all thats needed.
What about OTA updates from sprint!?
EVERY TIME an ota update is pushed from sprint/HTC everyone wants to know "OMG how do i unroot so i can update?" THERE IS NO NEED TO UNROOT. In fact, you can probably get the update before its even pushed too you by checking XDA Dev forum. It will undoubtedly be there packaged in ROM form, hell i had the last 3.70 ota on my phone a full day before it was pushed!
Removing bloat and OTA's
If you decide to root and not flash a custom rom in order to get OTA updates, keep in mind that you will NOT get an OTA update if you remove any bloat. But, why worry about OTA's? You can get the OTA packaged in rom form almost immediately. If your still not ready to flash stuff, but want to do something about the bloat, use bloat freezer or titanium backup premium to freeze the apps.
How do i un-install a rom?
You dont, if you uninstall a rom you will be formatting your system partition and therefore have no phone to boot into, you could only boot into bootloader/fastboot/recovery until you flash a rom. That being said, when you flash a rom it will automatically format(erase) you system partition and replace it with the rom you just installed - Dont forget to wipe tho, it doesnt auto-wipe your personal data/apps etc.
What is "cyanogen"?
Youve probably heard alot of talk about it. Its a rom built from source with other awesome goodies that... well ill let the cyanogen mod site fill you in. CyanogenMod Site!
What is/How do i use Rom manager?
Its an AWESOME tool that does a lot of the work automatically instead of manually such as: Downloading and installing roms, flashing different/new recoveries, fixing permissions, and auto flashing roms or anything on the SD card.
To use it just grab it from the market (i bought the pro version WORTH it), and to download roms just hit download rom->pick one and it will download it and give you options to wipe/backup. Or you can hit flash rom from SD->it will skip the downloading and flash the .zip. You can flash any .zip this way.
Is (insert something here) erased after a wipe?
SO, when you do a data wipe through recovery it will erase your personall data and apps, a cache wipe erases app/system cache.
Doing a wipe will NOT delete themes, kernels, and most mods.
That being said, if you want to get rid of a theme/kernel/mod, an easy way to do it is to just wipe cache and reflash the rom youre running. When you install a new rom, it will format the "rom" partition and put it back to normal, including the kernel. When flashing a kernel, it deletes the previous one automatically and replaces it.
How do i...
When in doubt, look at the stickies. If its not there, post it here and ill answer it or make a thread.