Explain unlocking boot loader and rooting.

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy Nexus' started by bsmith0731, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. bsmith0731

    bsmith0731 Member

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    Help? Is it worth it? Advantages disadvantages??


    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using DroidForums
     
  2. scdown

    scdown Member

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    Rooting is the process by which you get access to a higher level of privileges on the phone. In the process, two applications, su (for command line/script application) and Superuser.apk (for Android application level use) are installed. When an Android application requests a higher level of privilege, the Superuser app is involved as a gatekeeper, to allow you to accept or reject the request. If you accept it, the application can go on to do what it needs/wants to do.

    So why would you root? Light Flow is a very simple example - it's an app that allows you to customize the LED colors on your phone by notification type. Sounds simple, right? Well, on some phones, that requires higher privilege, so your phone would need to be rooted. That seems to be the case on the Nexus.

    Another, more common, example would be the ability to install custom ROMS, with different feature sets and optimization, based on your needs.

    After the Droid came out, carriers and phone manufacturers started encrypting the boot loader, to prevent hackers from installing new kernels, radio files, etc. Why would they do this? Largely because of applications that would allow you to tether without the carrier knowing about it, or allow you to "abuse" their networks in other ways. In other words, they want to maximize revenue in any way possible.

    Unlocking the boot loader allows you to install new kernel software in the future, to overclock the device, to fix bugs, for optimization that may come along the way from the developer community. It also makes it simpler to install modified recovery software, which allows for system-level backups, and greater flexibility in dorking with your phone.

    Rooting and unlocking are complimentary actions - you don't always have to do both - there are locked phones out there that are rootable, like the Bionic.

    Doing either is technically a security risk. You could also, if you screw up, brick your phone, but there are ways to recover from that.

    Doing either also *could* void your warranty. I'm not sure of the status of that with GN and Verizon.

    I won't tell you to do either. I will tell you I did both the first night I had the phone. My choice.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Creed

    Creed Member

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    This doesn't have to do with this, directly anyways, but you seem to know a lot about this sort of thing. So, what is a fastboot?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  4. scdown

    scdown Member

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    fastboot is a development kit application that interacts with a phone, plugged in and rebooted to its bootloader.

    You can get to the bootloader by powering off the phone, then holding both vol+ and vol- and power. Hold it until you feel if pulse. Then let go.

    Once there, and also plugged into the PC, you can use fastboot.exe to:
    • unlock the bootloader (fastboot oem unlock)
    • flash an image to a partition on the phone (fastboot flash system system.img, for example)
    • erase data and cache (fastboot -w)
    • reboot (fastboot reboot)
    There are many other places that do this better justice than I can here.

    DISCLAIMER: IF YOU NEED TO ASK (and that's fine by me!), YOU NEED TO DO MORE HOMEWORK BEFORE USING. It's often used as part of a larger operation on the phone, like unlocking and rooting, as well as to restore a bricked phone.
     
    #4 scdown, Dec 17, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  5. Creed

    Creed Member

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    I don't plan on doing anything with it (yet) haha! I will do my homework before doing anything that could make my phone a paper weight. :p I was only curious because I thought that it might make the phoneboot up faster. Thats all.

    Thanks again for the information!
     
  6. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod
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    Sig check. Lol if you got anymore questions

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using DroidForums
     
  7. wil318466

    wil318466 Member

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    Rooting / ROMing the GNEX is cake really. Just install drivers and create a folder with the fastboot files in there. Move files into that folder and just push it into the phone.

    Easy and fast, and the benefits are immense. You can add custom roms, kernels, whatever. It makes your phone faster and customizable. Just little things like having the % of the phone power on the bar make a big difference to me. I rooted and rom'ed my phone as soon as I got it (I think I rooted it within 2 hours of buying it), I didn't even bother staying stock.
     
  8. Creed

    Creed Member

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    Does not compute.

    What are you implying?
     
  9. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod
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    Check my signature. Should be a link to what is root. At least I hope it shows up while I'm on the app

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using DroidForums
     
  10. Creed

    Creed Member

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    Oh haha! Brilliant! I thought you were making fun of my signature.

    So yeah, I have now read your very long post about rooting and being new to android. Thanks for it, it was extremely informational.
     
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