Why is rooting so diverse and difficult?

epidenimus

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I have looked through all classifications and this seems to be the best place to start a philosophical thread.

Our Android devices are fantastic little Linux boxes with which we can do so much with just our thumbs. I have attempted to root my device at two different points, each called for a different exploit, depending on the stock ROM/recovery that I was running at the time. I have helped others in finding the path to controlling their devices. I am an IT administrator IRL and realize the damage one can cause to a computer with extended privileges. I know what rooting does and that it is most certainly not for everyone. I also understand that manufacturers and telecoms/ISP's cannot support anything that they cannot control (i.e. ROMs and recoveries other than stock).

All that having been said, I am also an American patriot who wonders why we have to resort to and adapt hacking to get superuser rights to the personal equipment we have purchased. Seriously, most users will never do anything that voids their right to complain and get recourse, nor will they install anything beyond a slew of games or some productivity apps. That is just fine and dandy by me. What I do not get is why rooting is relegated to being such a dirty practice. With any Linux box that I own and/or I set up, I know the root password and can tweak to my heart's content or my hardware explosion, whichever comes first. :)

So my questions, as the icon indicates are:

Why must it be so weird and hackeroony to get root permissions on a device that we own and control? What would be the harm in allowing a command like 'adb rootthismofo' to do just that? How many of the user base even know what an SDK is or how to install it? Even so, why not have a typical BASH response that says
BASH reply
"You do realize that what you are about to do takes control. liability, and responsibility away from your carrier and the device manufacturer and transfers it to you, right? Rooting voids your warranty and exempts said parties from their obligation to provide you technical support and/or equipment replacement. Further, it may allow you to perform some untested or tested function that may render your device useless. Do you accept these terms? yes/no?"
when you run it? How about a static log file or certificate that shows the user acceptance?

Is this really an absurd idea when the computing world as we know it functions just fine under such a model??

Feedback and input very much welcomed!
 
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someguy01234

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I guess phones come with locked bootloader to prevent things like rooting, unlike the Nexus which is both sim-unlocked and bootloader unlocked.

Truth is Google steer further away from linux standard ways of doing things, their system is proprietary, the kernel is open source. They have not been keen on security compared to linux standard, but its partly due to the ecosystem, with so many variant of ARM cpus and manufacturers adding their own bit to the OS. So there has been some security alert with Android, but I still prefer to use it over iOS or Windows for example which is even less open. Because of the security concerns, on my Android device, I use LBE Privacy Guard to prevent extra access from apps.

I had high hope for Meego because I thought it was going to continue to the path of Maemo of being true linux while being more user friendly. Unfortunately, the Microsoft sabotage or failed strategy invalidated that.
 

rootbrain

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I have looked through all classifications and this seems to be the best place to start a philosophical thread.

Our Android devices are fantastic little Linux boxes with which we can do so much with just our thumbs. I have attempted to root my device at two different points, each called for a different exploit, depending on the stock ROM/recovery that I was running at the time. I have helped others in finding the path to controlling their devices. I am an IT administrator IRL and realize the damage one can cause to a computer with extended privileges. I know what rooting does and that it is most certainly not for everyone. I also understand that manufacturers and telecoms/ISP's cannot support anything that they cannot control (i.e. ROMs and recoveries other than stock).

All that having been said, I am also an American patriot who wonders why we have to resort to and adapt hacking to get superuser rights to the personal equipment we have purchased. Seriously, most users will never do anything that voids their right to complain and get recourse, nor will they install anything beyond a slew of games or some productivity apps. That is just fine and dandy by me. What I do not get is why rooting is relegated to being such a dirty practice. With any Linux box that I own and/or I set up, I know the root password and can tweak to my heart's content or my hardware explosion, whichever comes first. :)

So my questions, as the icon indicates are:

Why must it be so weird and hackeroony to get root permissions on a device that we own and control? What would be the harm in allowing a command like 'adb rootthismofo' to do just that? How many of the user base even know what an SDK is or how to install it? Even so, why not have a typical BASH response that says
BASH reply
"You do realize that what you are about to do takes control. liability, and responsibility away from your carrier and the device manufacturer and transfers it to you, right? Rooting voids your warranty and exempts said parties from their obligation to provide you technical support and/or equipment replacement. Further, it may allow you to perform some untested or tested function that may render your device useless. Do you accept these terms? yes/no?"
when you run it? How about a static log file or certificate that shows the user acceptance?

Is this really an absurd idea when the computing world as we know it functions just fine under such a model??

Feedback and input very much welcomed!

That's the best suggestion for specific command sequence I've ever seen.:D
 

paxchristos

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Sep 5, 2011
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I have looked through all classifications and this seems to be the best place to start a philosophical thread.

Our Android devices are fantastic little Linux boxes with which we can do so much with just our thumbs. I have attempted to root my device at two different points, each called for a different exploit, depending on the stock ROM/recovery that I was running at the time. I have helped others in finding the path to controlling their devices. I am an IT administrator IRL and realize the damage one can cause to a computer with extended privileges. I know what rooting does and that it is most certainly not for everyone. I also understand that manufacturers and telecoms/ISP's cannot support anything that they cannot control (i.e. ROMs and recoveries other than stock).

All that having been said, I am also an American patriot who wonders why we have to resort to and adapt hacking to get superuser rights to the personal equipment we have purchased. Seriously, most users will never do anything that voids their right to complain and get recourse, nor will they install anything beyond a slew of games or some productivity apps. That is just fine and dandy by me. What I do not get is why rooting is relegated to being such a dirty practice. With any Linux box that I own and/or I set up, I know the root password and can tweak to my heart's content or my hardware explosion, whichever comes first. :)

So my questions, as the icon indicates are:

Why must it be so weird and hackeroony to get root permissions on a device that we own and control? What would be the harm in allowing a command like 'adb rootthismofo' to do just that? How many of the user base even know what an SDK is or how to install it? Even so, why not have a typical BASH response that says
BASH reply
"You do realize that what you are about to do takes control. liability, and responsibility away from your carrier and the device manufacturer and transfers it to you, right? Rooting voids your warranty and exempts said parties from their obligation to provide you technical support and/or equipment replacement. Further, it may allow you to perform some untested or tested function that may render your device useless. Do you accept these terms? yes/no?"
when you run it? How about a static log file or certificate that shows the user acceptance?

Is this really an absurd idea when the computing world as we know it functions just fine under such a model??

Feedback and input very much welcomed!

It's because, obviously big companies know more than the people they provide services for they they *must* protect you from yourself :p

Android exploits are considered security flaws in the the OS (as you must know) so that's why patches are made and sent out to the carriers to update...

My favorite patch so far has been the zergRush security patch, which, (if you looked into zergRush at all) needed a computer to run... So in other words, if someone stole your cellphone and hooked it up to a pc, they could root it... or you could root your phone by hooking it up to a pc... no other way around it... (unlike gingerbreak, which could be ran on the phone)
 

epidenimus

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It's because, obviously big companies know more than the people they provide services for they they *must* protect you from yourself :p
Exactly. They know what I want more than I do? I'm all for intuitive design, but that's, well... tyranny.
Android exploits are considered security flaws in the the OS (as you must know) so that's why patches are made and sent out to the carriers to update...
You've got it. And you remind me that my entire post could be condensed into: "Why must we crack our own devices to hack them if we take responsibility for what we do?"
My favorite patch so far has been the zergRush security patch, which, (if you looked into zergRush at all) needed a computer to run... So in other words, if someone stole your cellphone and hooked it up to a pc, they could root it... or you could root your phone by hooking it up to a pc... no other way around it... (unlike gingerbreak, which could be ran on the phone)
I do not support "one-click root" apps or crApps like ROM Manager. I don't think that I am being geeky-snobby when I suggest that users should have some minimal acumen for hacking when they are hacking, even if the only hacking they are doing is installing someone else's ROM. I have used z4root to root a friend's phone in the past, but I knew what it was doing and I was prepared to accept responsibility if it failed. This "ease of use" coupled with assumptive attitudes presents a real hazard. With power comes responsibility. I don't find installing JDK and ADK or using ADB a challenge. Maybe that's the line in the sand, the crucible. If one can't install software, maybe one shouldn't be empowered to do so. But if one can... why make it more difficult for them?
 

Rukbat

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The VAST majority of cellphone users don't know a ROM from a transducer. Give them unlocked access to a Linux-based device and you'll end up with a brick, and sooner than later. And you can't tell them that, even though you gave them the access necessary to turn their phone into toast, it's their fault for using that access. And the ones that sue you, the vendor? You provided what the court calls an "attractive nuisance", so you're responsible. Since the manufacturers don't want the liability they lock down the phones. (Ever have to remove viruses from some numbskull's computer? I make a fair living doing it.)
 

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