Unlocking and rooting are independent things. Rooting simply gives you R/W access to the /system partition, while unlocking the bootloader allows you to flash custom software without the need for a "bootstrap" or "safestrap". On many devices with locked bootloaders, you can't flash custom kernels because the locked bootloader prevents it. On a Nexus with an unlocked bootloader, flashing kernels is no problem. These can give performance and battery improvements and can give you some additional features (like GPU overclocking, AC charging over USB, color control, etc).
Originally Posted by alboboy10
I don't really recommend the "easiest" way to root and unlock because if something goes wrong, you may not know how to fix it. I recommend using SBenson's root and unlock guide in the Galaxy Nexus Development section. Only difference is instead of using the superboot.bat within the superboot zip, you just need to flash supersu through a custom recovery or flash a ROM.
http://download.chainfire.eu/212/SuperSU/CWM-SuperSU-v0.96.zip <---------------- SuperSU. Download and put it on your internal SD card.
Flashing a custom recovery is easy though. Just download a recovery img (either CWM, CWM touch, or TWRP) just make sure you download the toro version. Once you have that downloaded you'll need to put it in your fastboot directory (you created this when following SBenson's guide). Turn your phone off and then turn your phone on again holding volume +, volume - and power and connect it to your computer. In a terminal type:
cd location/of/fastboot/directory (if you followed SBenson's guide, it should be C:/root; so you would type: cd C:/root )
fastboot flash recovery NameOfRecovery.img
Then you would boot into recovery by navigating to where it says "RECOVERY" using the volume buttons. Click power once you see "RECOVERY". You should now be in your recovery of choice. You can either flash the superSU zip I gave you OR you can simply flash a rooted ROM. I'm partial to Slim JB, but if you want to remain fairly stock, Bugless Beast is a good way to go.
Syndicate0017 you are the man! You really do explain things to the fullest. I had my nexus for 8 months before unlocking and rooting using wugfresh nexus toolkit. From there finding ROMs on forums and a lot of the ROMs have custom kernels set up for that specific ROM. I had some problems in the beginning. Learning things. But the toolkit has everything you need down to a factory image in case you soft brick and need to start over. I'm using JBSourcery with Franco milestone 6 and get amazing performance. I thought I'd be a bit jealous when my girl got her S3 but my nexus is just as good. Except for screen size. Good luck my friend and like Syndicate0017 said there's a lot of folks to assist here.
I completely agree with OP. Have a nexus and a 7. Both rocking buglessbeast and loving it
Sent from my Googlaxus
I have to admit that I was getting a little bored over the summer with the Gnex.
But since August, I've been flashing the Droid Concepts ROMs, TORO 4.1.2 Feature Rich Jelly Bean AOSP Based Rom(I think I heard about them here); recently augmented with custom kernels. Each of them has made the phone feel like new (especially with the custom kernels)!! I think I'll be happy for quite a while with these updates.
The flip side of this is I'll never pick up a phone with a locked bootloader ever again. Waiting on carriers for this stuff is a non-starter.
Its a love hate relationship. Some days is awesome others not so much.
I bought a Galaxy Nexus in January at full price. I had massive connectivity issues and was on my 3rd unit in May and switched out to a Razr Maxx. Battery life was fantastic but when the phone was updated to ICS the bugs ruined it. Switched out to a Droid 4. Loved the physical keyboard but the screen was so low rent and the construction quality was a lot worse than previous Droids with a hardware keyboard. Switched back to a Galaxy Nexus last week. The phone is much improved now with no connectivity issues. I will have this phone for a while. I don't understand all the flack about the camera. I know its only 5MP but takes WAY better pics than any of the Droids I've had with an 8MP sensor.