rooting

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by graygrannyonate, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. graygrannyonate
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    graygrannyonate New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm new to the Droid, but enjoying and learning. Reading here, I keep seeing the term rooting, but am not finding enough information to tell me what that is. If, after I figure it, how does one root, and does that actually void my warranty?

    What are the advantages or disadvantages?

    I went to the Market to find a program that will take screen shots. They say they can only be used on a rooted phone.

    Would someone please explain, or send me to the link about rooting that isn't coming up when I search . . .or, well, whatever I need?

    Thanks!
    Debbie
  2. rawburt
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    rawburt New Member

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  3. hedney3
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    hedney3 Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    well first off welcome to the community!

    second Why (and How) to Root Your Android Phone | Smarterware
    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-hacks/632-what-root-means-stop-asking.html
    this should be everything you need to know.

    rooting basically unlocks you phone from any limitations.

    if you need any help just pm me:)
  4. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 New Member

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    Grannie,

    The term "root" comes from the user name traditionally given to a "super-user" in the Unix operating system and its derivatives. (It also refers to the "root" of a file system (think "folders") where files needed by the operating system are stored.)

    In effect, it allows a user to take over control of the operating system and modify features that are prohibited to "normal" users. In multi-user systems (like Unix) it is a role reserved for a system administrator. And in multi-tasking operating systems (like Linux and Android) it is typically assigned only to the operating system itself. That's because for a super-user, there are literally no protections to prevent destruction of files that have to be present (and to operate correctly).

    The "advantages" of course are that you can control features such as the clock speed of the cpu that would otherwise be off-limits to a normal user. This will make your phone run "faster." The disadvantages are the flip side of those advantages. It's possible, for example to "overclock" a cpu chip (which requires more current) to such an extent that you can literally melt delicate electronic components.

    You can, of course, avoid messing with features of the o/s that run such risks. Assuming you know what those features are or that you can rely on the advice of others about such changes. Many people who "root" their phones do so only to change the look and feel of their phones in ways that are otherwise under the control of the o/s, for example. A trivial example of this is to change the color of the notification bar on your droid from white to some other color. Other, more significant changes, are possible as well.

    And even those who "overclock" their devices frequently experience no ill effects. The stock clock speed is designed to minimize problems across millions of devices that vary according to manufacturing tolerances. You may be among those "lucky" enough to have a tough, reliable cpu. Then again, you may not.

    Once you start down the road of "rooting" your phone you move off of the "stock" version update path and tie yourself to the support provided for the version of the o/s that you select. The consequences of that choice depend upon (a) the skill of the developer of the "custom rom" you choose; (b) the developer's willingness to continue to support their work; (c) the number of users who use the version you use; (d) whether you have the time and willingness to keep up with changes that must be made to your particular version of the operating system.

    If you enjoy learning about and playing with the software internals of your phone; you don't depend upon your phone to such an extent that you cannot risk problems that might put you out of action for a few days; or you absolutely have to have a feature in your phone that can be achieved only by "rooting," then it can be worthwhile.

    If these qualifications don't apply to you, it's best to remain "unrooted."

    P.S. Yes, it voids your warranty. There are, however, ways to "return" to a stock version of the o/s and remove the evidence of "rooting." Whether that will be possible in the event of a need to use your warranty depends on the state of your phone at that time. Whether it is ethical to remove such evidence, especially if something you have done has produced the problem in the first place is a question you'll have to answer.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  5. Mule65
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    Mule65 Member

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    :clap:

    Well stated, jsh1120.
  6. hedney3
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    hedney3 Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    All i have to say is WELL DONE. :rating09:
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