What is ROOT anyhow? <- need more technical answer this time

Discussion in 'Android Hacks and Help' started by nateccnn, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. nateccnn

    nateccnn Active Member

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    This post is not meant to spark a debate. And yes...I read the damned stickies. I don't need instructions or advice on which ROM to chose. Phew...got that out of the way.

    What I am asking is What is ROOT ACCESS really?

    I always thought rooting was installing a custom rom. Then I found out over clocking was obtained through installing a kernel. But the process was the same...download a file and name it update.zip and flash it with SPRecovery.

    Now I find out you don't need a stinkin custom ROM. Once you have SPRecovery on your phone you can mount the data directory in read write...add superuser.apk and busybox (or other methods not mentioned but just as useful). Some put it in sys/block/mtblock4 while others put it in sys/block/mtblock3...or whatever. Create an xbin directory and place the aps you need there and install using SDK Tools or terminal emulator.

    So I get it that rooting is all about gaining access to these read only directories. But the key to making rooting easy is all about getting some form of a useful recovery app on the phone in an easy package. Prior to 2.1 ESE81 we used the stock recovery to extract an update.zip file which placed SPRecovery on the phone where the stock recovery used to reside. It looks like the first release of 2.1 ESE53 still allowed one to use the stock recovery to accomplish this but the latest release ESE81 did not allow it.

    So along comes the thread http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-hacks/37696-flashing-sprecovery-sbf-stock-2-1-a.html with instructions on using RSD Lite to place SPRecovery on the phone.

    Was THAT the infamous "Exploit" that allowed rooters to access the hidden features of the phone? The Stock recovery allowed us to flash a new recovery that allowed us to access the directories we need?

    Without that exploit we now have to use RSD Lite to get SPRecovery so we can mount the data directory r/w so we can add the xbin directory...so we can install superuser and busybox?

    So I am now thinking that it would be just as easy to write some code that sort of batch files the whole RSD Lite process if someone can just decompile RSD Lite, right. Can that be recompiled and placed on the SD Card? Make it noob proof?

    Until then I am perfectly comfortable using RSD Lite. I don't know what the big fuss is all about. Vz uses it all the time and I know I am way more technically advanced than those folks are. LOL By biggest problem is I can't type worth a $^!#

    Do I have this right? Cuz if not, I owe some other posters a big fat appology.

    Nate
     
  2. christim

    christim Super Moderator
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    Me too, don't be scared of sbf and rsd lite. Check out the 3rd link in my signature. It's my attempt to pull various uses for SBF files used on RSD Lite into one place.
     
  3. jstafford1

    jstafford1 Super Moderator
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    Root access, to answer your question is just the same as administrator rights in windows. Thats all it is. As for the process to gain that access, Rooting, the original exploit was through the stock recovery, and was closed on ese81. DroidMod created an easy work around by adding sprecovery to the sbf making it one step simpler to root 2.1. Hope that helps some.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
     
  4. LtKen

    LtKen Silver Member

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    The term root comes from the highest level in the Unix/Linux directory structure. The "root" is the Unix/Linux equivalent to "C:\", and is literally the root (like a tree) of the directory structure: the directory level at which the entire system is a subdirectory, so a super-user or "root user" would typically have access to it.
     
  5. EmmVeePee

    EmmVeePee Member

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    Nevermind
    +1
     
  6. Jim 777

    Jim 777 Silver Member

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    In a nutshell, a small nut at that, to have read/write privileges to the root directory of your phone. The rest are different issues and areas all together.
     
  7. nateccnn

    nateccnn Active Member

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    Thanks, guys...this really helps. I can muddle through most IT things but I have this weird need to understand things beyond following simple steps. Weird thing is once I find that answer it's like a release and I can move on to another project. Guess I'm going to have to go buy an iPad now. LOL

    Nate
     
  8. qat

    qat New Member

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    Well, knowing what you're doing is a great first step. I've been reading these forums for a couple of months now, and the biggest problem I see is people always think of Windows, since that's what we're used to.

    Rooting a phone is simply giving you access to the very base operating system of the phone. The ability to modify the kernel is not possible without root privileges. The ability to overclock is not possible without root privileges. The ability to make changes are restricted based on your access rights. The droid comes locked down pretty tightly when you buy it. Rooting it allows you to bypass those restrictions, and make changes that you want to.
     
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