First-time rooting questions from a noobie

flick0416

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I've never rooted a device, but have found an app I need that requires root access. So, before going through with the process, I just want to cover my bases to make sure I don't end up with a bricked device. So, first, a few questions:

- Is unlocking the bootloader the same thing as rooting? Are the terms synonymous, or are they two separate things? If the latter, which comes first?
- Do I need to back up my apps somewhere before going through the process? In other words, does rooting wipe the phone? If so, can I still download the apps that are stored in "My Apps" in Google Play?
- After rooting, will I still have access to and be able to download apps from Play?
- Does rooting make the device more vulnerable to viruses and malware attacks? No change from unrooted?
- Are there any general risks or drawbacks to rooting (aside from the potential of bricking the device)? Any standard functionality I lose by rooting?

Finally, I found this from ChainFire over on XDA. Seems to be pretty simple/straightforward. Is that all I need to do to gain root access? Anything else I should be sure to do?

Thanks in advance!
 
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jwenzel

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Why not use the Nexus Root Toolkit. I have used it before on previous nexus devices and it is super super simple. Was recently updated to support the nexus 5. Check it out
 

jj14x

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I've never rooted a device, but have found an app I need that requires root access. So, before going through with the process, I just want to cover my bases to make sure I don't end up with a bricked device. So, first, a few questions:

- Is unlocking the bootloader the same thing as rooting? No Are the terms synonymous, or are they two separate things? Separate If the latter, which comes first? first unlock the bootloader, and then root
- Do I need to back up my apps somewhere before going through the process? Depends - do you have apps that you can't redownload from the play store? In other words, does rooting wipe the phone? Rooting won't, but unlocking the bootloader will. If so, can I still download the apps that are stored in "My Apps" in Google Play? Yes, you can
- After rooting, will I still have access to and be able to download apps from Play? Yes
- Does rooting make the device more vulnerable to viruses and malware attacks? No change from unrooted? Rooting is basically giving you admin rights. Superuser app will prompt you for permission when you launch an app that needs root access - so you can/should review the app and then decide whether to give it root access or not. So, to answer your question, rooting in itself isn't making you more vulnerable to virus/malware
- Are there any general risks or drawbacks to rooting (aside from the potential of bricking the device)? Any standard functionality I lose by rooting? You don't lose any standard functionality. As long as you are careful about what you flash, you should be good.

Finally, I found this from ChainFire over on XDA. Seems to be pretty simple/straightforward. Is that all I need to do to gain root access? Anything else I should be sure to do?

Thanks in advance!
 

mr.wizard

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I've never rooted a device, but have found an app I need that requires root access. So, before going through with the process, I just want to cover my bases to make sure I don't end up with a bricked device. So, first, a few questions:

- Is unlocking the bootloader the same thing as rooting? Are the terms synonymous, or are they two separate things? If the latter, which comes first?

They are different, but usually they go hand in hand. You'll want to unlock the bootloader first, then look at rooting. However, unlocking the bootloader will erase everything. Which will make sense for your next question

- Do I need to back up my apps somewhere before going through the process? In other words, does rooting wipe the phone? If so, can I still download the apps that are stored in "My Apps" in Google Play?

As long as you know your gmail account info, your good. Your apps will reinstall if you have your account set to backup your info. Which is a default setting. The data from your apps will be lost, unless you back them up

- After rooting, will I still have access to and be able to download apps from Play?

Of course you can

- Does rooting make the device more vulnerable to viruses and malware attacks? No change from unrooted?

That can happen if you don't root. Always check permissions of any app you install. Especially ones that require root access.

- Are there any general risks or drawbacks to rooting (aside from the potential of bricking the device)? Any standard functionality I lose by rooting?

There's a whole world of customizations, mods, tweaks out there. Usually, that means adding functionality. But, things can get messed up. The beauty of the Nexus devices is that there's always a way back to the beginning.

Finally, I found this from ChainFire over on XDA. Seems to be pretty simple/straightforward. Is that all I need to do to gain root access? Anything else I should be sure to do?

Thanks in advance!

I answered your questions in the quote.

Edit: so did someone else

I have some for you though:

-What app have you downloaded that needs root access?

Are you down with some reading, and some trial and error?

Here's a link on the "old school" way unlock, root, and have a custom recovery.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2507905

I'd even check out this old thread, from the Galaxy Nexus. Just switch GNex with Nexus 5, and I think it will provide some useful info.
http://forums.androidcentral.com/ve...ont-panic-hitchhikers-guide-galaxy-nexus.html

As always: search, ask questions, search some more, try it, ask questions, try again.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes

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