Root & Rooting your phones

Note: If you are running Android 4.0 and ABOVE and plan to root your device but want to make a backup BEFORE rooting it, please follow our guide here.
How to check whether your phone is rooted, and how to root (mostly links to forums and guides on the net). Why should you root? Why root is so important? All your questions shall be answered here. Here is the index of the page:

  1. If you’re still hesitating to root
  2. There are two ways to root
  3. When you’re ready to do it
  4. Here’s how to check whether your phone is properly rooted
  5. Here’s how to install the latest Superuser app from Market
  6. Official Superuser web site
  7. Here are some links which might help in case you have trouble with rooting – but please note that they are slightly outdated

If you’re still hesitating to root:

There are two ways to root:

  • The “custom ROM” way: you install a custom ROM made by people/developers from the Android community.
  • The “just ROOT it” way: you keep your current ROM and “root” it by yourself. If you do that, it also allows you to save your stuff (eg: with Titanium Backup) before you switch to a custom ROM.

When you’re ready to do it:

Here’s how to check whether your phone is properly rooted:

  • Open a shell on the phone (see The basics if you don’t know how) and do:
    • su
      whoami
    • You must see “root” or “whoami: unknown uid 0”. If you see something different, your phone is not properly rooted.
    • Now test your system’s busybox:
      busybox ls -l /data/data/ | busybox wc -l
    • To test Titanium Backup’s busybox:
      cd /data/data/com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup/files/ ; ./busybox ls -l /data/data/ | ./busybox wc -l

      You must see a number. If you get “Permission denied”, your phone is not properly rooted.

Here’s how to install the latest Superuser app from Market:

  • To be safe, boot in recovery mode and do a Nandroid backup of your phone. This is not a necessity though.
  • Open the Market, search for “Superuser” and install it. If the install succeeds, you’re done.
  • If the install fails because of an “invalid signature” error, you need to remove the older Superuser yourself.
  • To remove the older Superuser app, open a shell and do:
    su
    mount -o remount,rw /system
    rm /system/app/Superuser.apk
    mount -o remount,ro /system
  • If the “rm” command fails, please refer to the original Superuser thread.
  • Then attempt to install “Superuser” from Market again.

Official Superuser web site:

http://androidsu.com/superuser/

Here are some links which might help in case you have trouble with rooting – but please note that they are slightly outdated: