Hi, Guest! Login / Register

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

[Tutorial] Glossary of Rooting Terms


As you learn more about the rooting
process, you'll probably run into a bunch
of terms that can be confusing. Here are
some of the most important ones and
what they mean.
If there are any other terms you think we
should add, let us know and we'll put
them in!
Root: Rooting means you have root
access to your device—that is, it can run
the sudo command, and has enhanced
privileges allowing it to run apps like
Wireless Tether or SetCPU . You can root
either by installing the Superuser
application or by flashing a custom ROM
that includes root access.
ROM: A ROM is a modified version of
Android. It may contain extra features, a
different look, speed enhancements, or
even a version of Android that hasn't
been released for your phone yet. We
won't discuss ROMs in depth here, but if
you want to use one once you're rooted,
you can read more about doing that
Stock : "Stock" refers to a few different
things, depending on the context. When
we refer to "Stock Android," we mean
the Google-built version you'd find on
Nexus devices, with no extra UI chances
like HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz.
Many ROMs are based on stock Android
with some additions, like CyanogenMod,
while others are based on the version
that came with your phone. In other
cases, "Stock" can also mean the version
of Android that came with your phone—
e.g., if you want to get rid of your ROM
and return your phone to factory
settings, you might say you're "going
back to stock."
Kernel : A kernel is the component of
your operating system that manages
communications between your software
and hardware. There are a lot of custom
kernels out there for most phones, many
of which can speed up your phone and
increase your battery life , among other
things. Be careful with kernels, though,
as a bad one can cause serious problems
with your phone and possibly even brick
Radio : Radios are part of your phone's
firmware. Your radio controls your
cellular data, GPS, Wi-Fi, and other
things like that. You can sometimes find
custom radios for your phone that you
can flash yourself, but beware as
sometimes these can cause problems.
Flash: Flashing essentially means
installing something on your device,
whether it be a ROM, a kernel , or a
recovery (see below) that comes in the
form of a ZIP file. Sometimes the rooting
process requires flashing a ZIP file,
sometimes it doesn't.
Brick: To brick your phone is to break it
during flashing or other acts. There is
always a small risk with flashing, and if
your phone becomes unable to function
—that is, it basically becomes a brick—
you've bricked your phone. The risk is
very small, however, and more often
than not people say "brick" when they
really mean "it turns on but doesn't boot
properly," which is a very fixable
problem. See the FAQ below for more
Bootloader: Your bootloader is the lowest
level of software on your phone, running
all the code that's necessary to start your
operating system. Most bootloaders come
locked, meaning you can't flash custom
recoveries or ROMs. Unlocking your
bootloader doesn't root your phone
directly, but it does allow you to root
and/or flash custom ROMs if you so
Recovery : Your recovery is the software
on your phone that lets you make
backups, flash ROMs, and perform other
system-level tasks. The default recovery
on your phone can't do much, but you
can flash a custom recovery—like
ClockworkMod or TWRP—after you've
unlocked your bootloader that will give
you much more control over your device.
This is often an integral part of the
rooting process.
Nandroid : From most third-party
recovery modules, you can make backups
of your phone called nandroid backups.
It's essentially a system image of your
phone: Everything exactly how it is right
now. That way, if you flash something
that breaks your phone, you can just
flash back to your most recent nandroid
backup to return everything to normal.
This is different from using an app like
Titanium Backup that just backs up apps
and/or settings—nandroid backups
backup the entire system as one image.
Titanium backups are best when
switching between ROMs or phones.
ADB: ADB stands for Android Debug
Bridge, and it's a command line tool for
your computer that can communicate
with an Android device you've connected
to it. It's part of the Android Software
Developers Kit (SDK). Many of the root
tools you'll find use ADB, whether you're
typing the commands yourself or not.
Unless the instructions call for installing
the SDK and running ADB commands,
you won't need to mess with it—you'll
just need to know that it's what most of
the tools use to root your phone.
S-OFF : HTC phones use a feature called
Signature Verification in HBOOT, their
bootloader. By default, your phone has S-
ON, which means it blocks you from
flashing radio images—the code that
manages your data, Wi-Fi, and GPS
connections. Switching your phone to S-
OFF lets you flash new radios. Rooting
doesn't require S-OFF, but many rooting
tools will give you S-OFF in addition to
root access, which is nice.
RUU , SBF , and OPS : ROM Upgrade
Utilities (for HTC phones), System Boot
Files (for Motorola phones), and OPS and
PIT files (for Samsung phones) are files
direct from the manufacturer that
change the software on your phone. RUU
and SBF files are how the manufacturers
deliver your over-the-air upgrades, and
modders often post leaked RUU and SBF
files for flashing when the updates
haven't been released yet. They're also
handy when downgrading your phone, if
a rooting method isn't available for the
newest software version yet. You can
flash RUUs right from your HTC phone,
but Motorola users will need a Windows
program called RSD Lite to flash SBF
files, and Samsung users will need a tool
called Odin to flash OPS and PIT files
(note there is a specific version of Odin
for each device).


Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)