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  1. #1
    Iconia Operative
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    What exactly happens to your tablet when you root it?

    Ok, this question may be a little higher level than this forum generally deals with, but if anyone knows, I'd really like to find out...

    I know what root allows you to do, my device is rooted, and I am taking advantage of that to do things like block ads, install custom roms, and other things. My question is not about what root allows, but more precisely what it IS.

    When you root a tablet or a phone, (in my case I used an app I downloaded and simply clicked the "root" button) what exactly does that program do?
    More specifically, what is the end result? is it a file that gets edited? a file permission that gets changed? what exactly happens in the background that unlocks this potential.

    I'm not looking for what hack allows the edit to happen, only what the end result is, what is the difference between a rooted device and a non-rooted device at the file system level?

    I hope that was clear enough...

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  3. #2
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    You answered your own question! A file is changed, which grants new 'superuser' permissions, allowing the user to change any file, including system files, at whim. Carriers tend to want their customers logged in as 'guest' so they can have a generalised user experience, uniform support, and control over features and services. Rooting gives the user back this control.

  4. #3
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    No, I didn't answer my question... WHICH file is changed? and in what way?

    As I said, I know what rooting allows, what I want to know is exactly what the difference is between a rooted device and a non-rooted device at the file system level?

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by green1 View Post
    No, I didn't answer my question... WHICH file is changed? and in what way?

    As I said, I know what rooting allows, what I want to know is exactly what the difference is between a rooted device and a non-rooted device at the file system level?
    Well, that varies with device. Some units already have an unlocked bootloader, and a new flashed rom will already be 'superuser' capable. Some devices need it's bootloader unlocked first, etc. so the definition and 'file level' changes may be different. Generally speaking, it's changing permissions of system folder/files on a stock rom, afaik.

  6. #5
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    Video Format Changes after rooting

    I don't know if you noticed this:

    When I updated my firmware from 3.01 to 3.1, video captured results are now better than the normal output (tablet unrooted - 3GP was the extension format of all videos).

    But after I rooted my tablet (and still v3.1) and some information was updated to my unit, and when I'm taking some videos and transferring them to my PC, I noticed that the format has been changed from .3GP to an MP4.

    How that happend?

    I didn't change any settings on my video and as for photo, I only used the zoom and just pressing the shutter to capture images.

    Has anyone experienced this?

    Besides from the installation of applications and Superuser thingy, this is the important issue I noticed after rooting my Tablet.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphawave7 View Post
    Well, that varies with device. Some units already have an unlocked bootloader, and a new flashed rom will already be 'superuser' capable. Some devices need it's bootloader unlocked first, etc. so the definition and 'file level' changes may be different. Generally speaking, it's changing permissions of system folder/files on a stock rom, afaik.
    No offence, but it sounds like you really don't know any more about it than I do... As I said, this may be a little too in depth a question for this forum, but a google search hasn't been much help either.
    The bit about locked bootloaders is actually irrelevant to the question, that's just one of the obstacles to doing whatever the actual change is. I'm not interested in those, I'm interested in the actual change itself. if it is a permission change, what file(s) and/or folder(s) are changed, and to what permission? if it's a file change, what file is changed and what is added/subtracted/replaced in that file? if it's a file that's added, what file, and where is it put?

  8. #7
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    Well... in case anyone else is wondering...
    As far as I can tell, "rooted" simply means you have su loaded and functioning. it's a single file that should be in the system/bin or system/xbin directories and set to executable.

    Of course as discussed in other threads, the trick is in getting it there as non root users can't normally write files to that location...

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by green1 View Post
    Well... in case anyone else is wondering...
    As far as I can tell, "rooted" simply means you have su loaded and functioning. it's a single file that should be in the system/bin or system/xbin directories and set to executable.
    Of course as discussed in other threads, the trick is in getting it there as non root users can't normally write files to that location...
    Here is a start to answer your question..

    " How does this work?
    When your device boots up, there is a init.rc script in your boot image that runs various components found in /system. The Droid X recovery bootstrap mimics the "logwrapper" binary. The hijacker then looks for "/data/.recovery_mode", and if it finds it, it unmounts /system to prevent android from starting. It then starts up recovery instead. "

    From Koush

    A developer looks for a weakness in the Boot file and exploits it. The above quote refers to the Droidx type phones, The process differs for each device .

    Check out his blog page
    My Brain Hurts

  10. #9
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    I believe that's one of the exploits on how to get root, not the end result of rooting?

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by green1 View Post
    Well... in case anyone else is wondering...
    As far as I can tell, "rooted" simply means you have su loaded and functioning. it's a single file that should be in the system/bin or system/xbin directories and set to executable.

    Of course as discussed in other threads, the trick is in getting it there as non root users can't normally write files to that location...
    No offense taken...I was trying to show that gaining 'root' can be different definitions, different by devices, but *I* believe is having full access/R/W permission to the /system folder. The su ('switch user' or 'substitute user') file may also be considered 'root' (for root-aware apps, along with a permissions-granting app like SuperUser), but that would be AFTER gaining /system control, which is what I would call 'root' (also, not 'any ole' su file will do, those with more knowledge than I have could add to this?). I suppose it becomes a matter of semantics on what and where one feels they have root, and what obstacles they overcome to achieve /system access. Despite rooting for over two years (G1s, Nexus Ones, Nexus S, Nook Color, Sensations, Acer A500/A100) very little has been common to these devices to get root. My experience has taught me it's a process, and not a simple black and white answer. Still, a working su file would certainly be a goal in that process as well, since most reasons I and others want to root are related to /system access of root-aware apps (Titanium, and often a Netflix hack of some sort!)
    It's a great discussion to have, since it could provide an overall bigger picture, and help allay fears about the daunting task of rooting. I applaud those devs that create a one-click or easy-follow directions to root, since newbs with no similar thirst for answers like you, can root without a burden of understanding the process. However, the problem with obscuring the process is it requires a leap-of-faith for the uninitiated, when it doesn't really need to, and compounds even more fear when OTA updates come down the airwaves and rooted users had no knowledge of the consequences of their actions until after they've hit a 'brick' wall. One of the things the Android community here at Forum Foundry want to do is try to simplify the rooting process for the layman, and create a generalised 'primer' about ROOT! All input is welcome.


 

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