What is Rooting?

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Rooting is the process that allows users of smartphones, Tablet and other devices that are running the Android mobile operating system in order to attain privileged control, which is commonly known as "root access" within Android's sub-system.

People often root their devices in order to overcoming limitations that are placed on their devices by carriers and hardware manufacturers. Rooting a device give you the ability or or permission) to alter, or even replace system applications and settings, and even the ability to run specialized apps that require administrator-level permissions, or perform actions that would otherwise be otherwise inaccessible to a normal Android user. Android rooting can also facilitate the complete removal and the replacement of the devices operating system, usually with a more recent release of its current operating system, or even a custom operation system.

As Android derives from the Linux kernel, rooting an Android device gives similar access administrative permissions as you would on a Linux or any other Unix-like operating system such as FreeBSD or OS X.

Rooting lets all user-installed applications run privileged commands typically unavailable to the devices in the stock configuration. Rooting is required for more advanced and potentially dangerous operations including modifying or deleting system files, removing carrier- or manufacturer-installed applications, and low-level access to the hardware itself (rebooting, controlling status lights, or recalibrating touch inputs.) A typical rooting installation also installs the Superuser application, which supervises applications that are granted root or superuser rights by requesting approval from the user before granting said permissions. A secondary operation, unlocking the device's bootloader verification, is required to remove or replace the installed operating system.

In contrast to iOS jailbreaking, rooting is not needed to run applications distributed outside of the Google Play Store, sometimes called sideloading. The Android OS supports this feature natively in two ways: through the "Unknown sources" option in the Settings menu and through the Android Debug Bridge. However some US carriers, like AT&T, prevented the installation of applications not on the Play Store in firmware.

Rooting an Android phone lets the owner modify or delete the system files, which in turn lets them perform various tweaks and use apps that require root access

Advantages of rooting include the possibility for complete control over the look and feel of the device. As a superuser has access to the device's system files, all aspects of the operating system can be customized with the only real limitation being the level of coding expertise.Immediately expectable advantages of rooted devices include the following:

  • Full themeing capabilities, meaning that everything can be changed and themed from the color of the battery indicator, to the look of the dialer or contact list, to the video that plays while the device boots up.
  • Full control of the CPU and kernel, which should only be adjusted by knowledgeable users.
  • Full application control including the ability to backup, restore, or batch edit applications, or to remove bloatware that comes pre-loaded on many phones. These features become available with the use of root applications such as Rom Toolbox or Titanium Backup which are among the most popular root applications.

Custom versions of Android, known as custom ROMs, allow additional levels of control on a rooted device. As Android is open source, anyone with the proper skills can create their own customized version. These versions are often more feature-rich, more efficient, and better looking that standard OEM versions, which can be restrictive.

Rooting a device involves circumventing its technological protection measures (in order to allow root access and running alternative software), so its legal status is affected by laws regarding circumvention of digital locks, such as laws protecting digital rights management (DRM) mechanisms. Many countries do not have such laws, and some countries have laws including exceptions for rooting.

International treaties have influenced the development of laws affecting rooting. The 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty requires nations party to the treaties to enact laws against DRM circumvention. The American implementation is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which includes a process for establishing exemptions for non-copyright-infringing purposes such as rooting. The 2001 European Copyright Directive implemented the treaty in Europe, requiring member states of the European Union to implement legal protections for technological protection measures. The Copyright Directive includes exceptions to allow breaking those measures for non-copyright-infringing purposes, such as to run alternative software,[26] but member states vary on the implementation of the directive.

  • Australia:
    In 2010, Electronic Frontiers Australia said that it is unclear whether rooting is legal in Australia, and that anti-circumvention laws may apply. These laws were strengthened by the Copyright Amendment Act 2006.
  • Canada:
    In November 2012, Canada amended its Copyright Act with new provisions prohibiting tampering with digital locks, with exceptions including software interoperability. Rooting a device to run alternative software is a form of circumventing digital locks for the purpose of software interoperability.

    There had been several efforts from 2008-2011 to amend the Copyright Act (Bill C-60, Bill C-61, and Bill C-32) to prohibit tampering with digital locks, along with initial proposals for C-11 that were more restrictive, but those bills were set aside. In 2011, Michael Geist, a Canadian copyright scholar, cited iPhone jailbreaking as a non-copyright-related activity that overly-broad Copyright Act amendments could prohibit.
  • European Union:
    The Free Software Foundation Europe argues that it is legal to root or flash any device. According to the European Directive 1999/44/CE, replacing the original operating system with another does not void the statutory warranty that covers the hardware of the device for two years unless the seller can prove that the modification caused the defect.
  • United Kingdom:
    The law Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 makes circumventing DRM protection measures legal for the purpose of interoperability but not copyright infringement. Rooting may be a form of circumvention covered by that law, but this has not been tested in court. Competition laws may also be relevant. See also "Europe" section above.
  • India:
    India's copyright law permits circumventing DRM for non-copyright-infringing purposes.Indian Parliament introduced a bill including this DRM provision in 2010 and passed it in 2012 as Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012. India is not a signatory to the WIPO Copyright Treaty that requires laws against DRM circumvention, but being listed on the US Special 301 Report "Priority Watch List" applied pressure to develop stricter copyright laws in line with the WIPO treaty.
  • New Zealand:
    New Zealand's copyright law allows the use of technological protection measure (TPM) circumvention methods as long as the use is for legal, non-copyright-infringing purposes.This law was added to the Copyright Act 1994 as part of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008.
  • Singapore
    Rooting might be legal in Singapore if done to provide interoperability and not circumvent copyright, but that has not been tested in court.
  • United States
    Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act rooting is illegal in the United States except by exemption. The U.S. Copyright Office currently grants phones an exemption to this law "at least through 2015".

    In 2010, in response to a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the U.S. Copyright Office explicitly recognized an exemption to the DMCA to permit rooting. In their ruling, the Library of Congress affirmed on July 26, 2010 that rooting is exempt from DMCA rules with respect to circumventing digital locks. DMCA exemptions must be reviewed and renewed every three years or else they expire.

    On October 28, 2012, the US Copyright Office updated their exemption policies. The rooting of smartphones continues to be legal "where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of [lawfully obtained software] applications with computer programs on the telephone handset." However, the U.S. Copyright office refused to extend this exemption to tablets, arguing that the term "tablets" is broad and ill-defined, and an exemption to this class of devices could have unintended side effects. The Copyright Office also renewed the 2010 exemption for unofficially unlocking phones to use them on unapproved carriers, but restricted this exemption to phones purchased before January 26, 2013.

    Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, argued in 2007 that jailbreaking is "legal, ethical, and just plain fun." Wu cited an explicit exemption issued by the Library of Congress in 2006 for personal unlocking, which notes that locks "are used by wireless carriers to limit the ability of subscribers to switch to other carriers, a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with the interests protected by copyright" and thus do not implicate the DMCA. Wu did not claim that this exemption applies to those who help others unlock a device or "traffic" in software to do so. In 2010 and 2012, the U.S. Copyright Office approved exemptions to the DMCA that allow users to root their devices legally. It is still possible to employ technical countermeasures to prevent rooting or prevent rooted phones from functioning. It is also unclear whether it is legal to traffic in the tools used to make rooting easy.

Information from: Wikipedia: Rooting (Android OS)
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I try to avoid this kind of activity as I am scared that my phone might get bricked. I would rather keep my android nice and normal rather then avoid my phone ending up
Fucked :Kappa:
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Chief and Nick: I added some MyBB coding and removed some unnecessary info, so maybe now it is more organized.

Ally Mac Your welcome and I'm glad it helped you out.

Should I add a section about the risk of rooting your phone?
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RiseWithTheFallen said:
Chief and Nick: I added some MyBB coding and removed some unnecessary info, so maybe now it is more organized.

Ally Mac Your welcome and I'm glad it helped you out.

Should I add a section about the risk of rooting your phone?
Noticed, great thread, nicely formatted mate.