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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Exclamation What does "Rooting" your phone actually mean?

    I get it. If you 'root' your phone you can add a new UI and stuff to it. Change the start-up, the lock screen..and all that. But what does it actually mean to 'root' your phone? Is it the same as jailbreaking?
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  2. #2  

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    Android is basically linux

    rooting your phone means giving yourself root, or superuser (think...admin) access, giving you access to system files and the ability to change things that normally are marked read only

    This allows you to change all kinds of things that normally you wouldn't be able to, along with install custom versions of Android.

    Currently you can install 2.1, or a rom with multizoom native throughout the entire os, you can turn your phone into a wireless hotspot....the possibilities are limited only by the hardware itself and not limitations implemented by the carrier or google.
  3. #3  

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    It removes all software/firmware restrictions on the device, it's like jailbreaking an iphone if that helps. I could pretty much make my own custom android OS and put it on my phone if I wanted, if you're familiar with windows, being rooted is like being an administrator and not being rooted is like being a normal user.
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    Before I make a new thread my question seems relevant here:

    What does rooting your phone do exactly? I know it allows you more control but control over what? What are the exact benefits? So far I know that when rooted you can change the color of the notification bar on top.... What else? How easy or hard is it to do this stuff? I know I am capable of rooting my droid, buttt I don't know if it will benefit me. I am a simple user who just wants a customized phone for my needs. Can anyone clear this up a bit?
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    Basically, once you're rooted, you can do anything you like to your phone if you know what you are doing.

    You could grab the 2.1 SDK that has just been released today and hash a new android version for your phone if you know what you are doing - if you don't you can also totally bugger your phone up...

    Phil.
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  6. #6  
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    Rooted, or rooting, is a rather new term primarily for Linux-based smart phones.

    In every version of unix, linux, SunOS, AIX, HPUX, etc, there are several user id's that are set up by default. Some of them run things, others are mostly just a holding and controlling place. The root id, has a UID (userid) of zero. It is all powerful. If you have the password to the root id, you can use it. I've honestly not read how they're getting into the various phones, there could be some other things "wrapped" on top of root to hide it, or the normal ways to hack into it, nevertheless, this is the goal, to get full access to the root id.

    What does this do? If you're not a coder or sysadmin, this may seem like not much, but it is everything due to the way the operating system manages permissions. In a nutshell, root has, or can assign to itself, permission to all files and directories, and all users. EVERYTHING in unix/linux can be treated as a file to an extent, so if you have access to every file, you have access to every possible function now or added in the future, as long as it is part of the Linux operating system that root controls. There can be some things that are hardcoded into electronics/chips on the phone that are not under Linux, and therefore root, control. But anything you think of as a program or application is, and some that you may not realize are programs are.

    So with root, you can add, own, edit, delete, ANY file on the system, and control who else (what other user id's) have access to what files (programs, apps, functions). Again, think - all powerful.

    Hope this helps more for the layman.

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    Last edited by Cory Streater; 01-31-2010 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Adjusted formatting.
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  7. #7  
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    There are a lot of good answers in this thread in regards to the definition of "rooting". I've cleaned it up, stickied it, and closed it.

    Cory
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