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[Q] Rooting Questions; Effects and Consequences...

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#1
sarshadd

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Sorry for the wall of text and for being a total noob and thank you for all your help !

So I've been researching all night (read the wiki to no avail too; so please don't simply direct me there) and I have some unanswered noob rooting questions questions and need general reassurance...

Basically I want is full and lasting root permissions on FRG83D 2.2.1 so I can remove system apps (twitter, amazon, etc...) through terminal commands and MAYBE a unlocked boot loader to flash a custom recovery image (Amon_RA) so I can make full nandroid backups.

1) It seems to me that unlocking the bootloader is a more flexible and permanent way to achieve root, as opposed to other '1-click' type methods in the face of firmware updates (2.3...), which would just disable root and it might not be re-achievable till another exploit is found whereas with an unlocked bootloader I can flash w/e I want?

2) Is it possible to enable root and use terminal on my n1 without some "superuser.apk" program? In order to do this would I use an insecure superboot and manually deploy SU?

3) How can I make a backup before rooting if I'm not rooted? I've been using my device for 8 months so there's a lot of stuff on there...

3a) If I can't make a full backup where can I find signed stock recovery images and boot images or updates zips so I can reflash them if I need to?

4) I believe if I superboot.img and leave everything (ROM and Recovery) stock will I still be able to receive and install OTA updates...?

4a) Can someone explain the difference between himem with updated wifi driver and not? I think himem removes permanent virtual address mapping so memory can be used for running applications. Asides from having more memory what are the tangible benefits or downsides to this? Would it make the system faster?Would I be able to multitask more apps before the system quits some because of lacking resources? Would the use of this extra memory inhibit system processes because there is no longer its own personal memory map?

4b) Will installing OTA updates remove root permission? If so, would simply flashing superboot.img re-grant me those permissions? But it would seem I need an updated superboot.img for the appropriate newer build(?). Is the development of superboot images still active and timely?

5) How important are OTAs and the stock recovery image? It would seem if I'm going to do any system moding (even just removing twitter/amazon) I should have a full and function Nandroid backup and would therefor need a custom recovery image- at the sake of missing OTAs (not important mainly because applying them would disable root etc anyway?)?

6) With root permissions and stock everything do I have to worry about manual baseband and radio updates? What about with a custom recovery image?

7) Apps2SD+ doesn't work with stock roms period and I would need a compatible custom rom?

Thanks again.

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#2
crawler9

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1. Although exploits could be patched, you can always go back and unlock the bootloader even if you hold off for now. If you root without unlocking the bootloader, you lose fastboot functions. That's all. You can still flash a custom recovery image and flash any rom you like if you use adb and flash_image or rom manager to install your custom recovery for you. I personally just didn't like the lock that shows up when the bootloader is unlocked, so after sending my device in for repair and receiving it with a relocked bootloader and stock rom, I left the bootloader locked.

2. Not sure ^-^ sry.

3. If you're on an old build with support for Androot, you can temp root to install a custom recovery and back it up. Or you could just root, install a custom recovery, and take a backup of your stock rom w/ root. You can always go back to stock with a PASSIMG anyway.

3a. http://android.modac...-root-insecure/

4. Not sure... I've asked that question a few times and never gotten a response.

4a. I don't know a whole lot about this, but I haven't heard of any disadvantages of using himem... I don't think anything is being made without himem now, even officially.

4b. Installing OTA updates will remove root (if it even installs properly). I'd assume a new superboot for the new version would work, but usually, Paul has a repack for custom recoveries of new updates before OTA updates even hit my phone, and his repacks include root permissions by default. That's the best way to go IMO.

5. For the above reason, I almost never use OTA updates. I don't think they're important. Also, about a "full and function[ing] nandroid backup": I don't use them... I suppose it's probably a safe move... but I've done some system modding and removed some stuff. Never had any issue except for once when I accidentally removed the camera app. Solved that by downloading a 3rd party camera app from the market until I had the time to reflash the rom i was using at the time If I ever decide to go back, I just use the stock signed PASSIMG files to revert to stock. I guess what that all means to me is that backups could potentially save some time, but aren't worth the space they take on my SD card as they aren't absolutely essential for anything.

6. I'm not exactly sure what you're asking here. You shouldn't have to do much with the radios at all. There might be a radio upgrade that is required for certain OS milestones. For example, when moving from Eclair to Froyo, a radio update was required. I don't know if the official Gingerbread will include a new radio update or not, or whether it'll be required. If I decide to change radios, I use zipped radio files in custom recovery. It's generally considered safer to flash radios through fastboot, but I've always used recovery without issue. As long as you make sure your zip file isn't corrupted, you shouldn't have any problem.

7. I haven't read anything about a2sd scripts in rooted stock roms, but I don't think it'd work. I know that DarkTremor apps2sd requires busybox which isn't present in a stock rom. You might be able to download and install the busybox stuff, but that sounds like more trouble than it's worth to me. If you want a custom rom with close to stock feel, I highly recommend Paul's custom roms.

Hope this helps.

Edited by crawler9, 29 December 2010 - 10:52 PM.

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Current device: Locked T-Mobile AmoLED Nexus One
Radio: 5.12.00.08
ROM: Always changing. Today it's MoDaCo Custom ROM r26
Recovery: Latest ClockworkMod
My name is Matt, and I have ORD

#3
P00rSpy

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Sorry for the wall of text and for being a total noob and thank you for all your help !

7) Apps2SD+ doesn't work with stock roms period and I would need a compatible custom rom?

Thanks again.



Wall indeed... I will do 1 brick only...


Not sure what you mean by APP2SD+ I know app2sd which is the google way and app2ext which is the way cyanogen and other script used to work.
if you mean the total data move, I do not find it performing well on my N1

You can also use Magpie to get Cyan 6.1 with integrated app2ext support.

So you can use app2sd with any genuine google rom froyo and up.

As for the rooting When I decided to root my handset there was no such thing as 1 click root, so I never bothered about those method...

Edited by P00rSpy, 29 December 2010 - 11:01 PM.

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#4
crawler9

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So you can use app2sd with any genuine google rom froyo and up.

Though only certain applications can be moved to SD without modifying settings through terminal. Also, the official Google apps2sd uses your standard SD partition which isn't mounted until after calls to widgets have already been made thus anything with a widget would need to be kept on the phone's internal memory for proper function and any apps stored on the SD through this official method will not show up on the phone at any point when you're connected as a mass storage device to your computer. None of these limitations are present in apps2ext.

Edited by crawler9, 29 December 2010 - 11:13 PM.

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Current device: Locked T-Mobile AmoLED Nexus One
Radio: 5.12.00.08
ROM: Always changing. Today it's MoDaCo Custom ROM r26
Recovery: Latest ClockworkMod
My name is Matt, and I have ORD

#5
shootnospam

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Rooting
unlocked bootloader
custom recovery


Are all different things, though they are intertwined in some ways.

- An unlocked bootloader is necessary to install a custom recovery (except for those methods that don't require unlocking to install root)
- a custom recovery is necessary to install custom ROMs
- an unlocked bootloader is necessary to gain root, except with that one method that finds an exploit to gain root privileges.

IOW, you can use a security exploit in the system to gain root without unlocking your bootloader, or you can do it the official way with the whole warning about voiding warranty and so on.

Next:

- rooting = "administrator" access to your system, allowing you to do things you normally can't like remove system apps, mess your system up, play with the phone's software internals (which is why a rooted phone can be used to install a custom recovery, for example with ROM Manager, without going through unlocking the bootloader)

- rooting = part of the OS is changed to allow root, therefore an OTA update WILL remove your root privilege until the superboot.img is updated

- having a custom recovery = OTA updates will NOT work, you need stock recovery for that

- with a custom recovery you can make backups of your current system, even if you didn't root it first; this means unlocking your bootloader and flashing a custom recovery, then going in recovery mode and backing up

Let's see if there's other questions that aren't answered by the above:


Basically I want is full and lasting root permissions on FRG83D 2.2.1 so I can remove system apps (twitter, amazon, etc...) through terminal commands and MAYBE a unlocked boot loader to flash a custom recovery image (Amon_RA) so I can make full nandroid backups.


That paragraph above is why I prefaced my reply with what I wrote before the quote... Seems like you are mixing up the terms and role of each part :(

1) It seems to me that unlocking the bootloader is a more flexible and permanent way to achieve root, as opposed to other '1-click' type methods in the face of firmware updates (2.3...), which would just disable root and it might not be re-achievable till another exploit is found whereas with an unlocked bootloader I can flash w/e I want?


With an unlocked bootloader you can flash whatever you want... best way to flash ROMs is to flash a custom recovery and use it on the phone to flash ROMs through the custom recovery's GUI, since most ROMs come as .zip "update" format files rather than .img files you can flash with fastboot on your PC/Mac

Unlocking the bootloader allows you to flash the appropriate image of a rooted "boot" image (not bootloader, just an image of the kernel and other files of the base Linux OS on which Android is based) that allows root permission. The 1-click methods use a security exploit to install the same thing.

Either of them is as permanent as the files on the phone are.. meaning, if you re-flash with a non-rooted rom, if you install an OTA (only possible with the Stock Recovery), then you will lose root. If not, your phone is rooted. Period.

BTW all custom ROMs I've encountered are rooted, so it's not a big issue to flash them, you won't lose root.

2) Is it possible to enable root and use terminal on my n1 without some "superuser.apk" program? In order to do this would I use an insecure superboot and manually deploy SU?


Probably, but why? Some apps are more useful as root (Titanium backup for one, NetExtender VPN is another one), so SuperUser is great to have.

3) How can I make a backup before rooting if I'm not rooted? I've been using my device for 8 months so there's a lot of stuff on there...


Answered above.

Also, once rooted, you can use Titanium backup or "MyBackup root" (both free, though Titanium needs a licence if you want to avoid clicking "ok" and "install" and "done" every time you backup or restore an app) as an additional backup measure, which will backup individual applications and their data, on your SD Card, so you can restore them (ie if you install a new ROM you can restore your apps like that).

3a) If I can't make a full backup where can I find signed stock recovery images and boot images or updates zips so I can reflash them if I need to?


Right here in one of the stickies of this forum, you can download some signed-passion-update zip files that contain the .img files that you can flash with flash boot when your phone is in bootloader mode. (the mode where you see the droids on skateboards on the screen lol)


4) I believe if I superboot.img and leave everything (ROM and Recovery) stock will I still be able to receive and install OTA updates...?


Yes but you will lose root when updating and will have to re-apply a superboot.img once it's rooted again.

4a) Can someone explain the difference between himem with updated wifi driver and not? I think himem removes permanent virtual address


AFAIK you don't need to worry about that since Froyo came out...

5) How important are OTAs and the stock recovery image? It would seem if I'm going to do any system moding (even just removing twitter/amazon) I should have a full and function Nandroid backup and would therefor need a custom recovery image- at the sake of missing OTAs (not important mainly because applying them would disable root etc anyway?)?


Exactly, if you unlock your bootloader, then... the only "disadvantage" to not getting OTA updates is you need to get updated ROMs from here or other forums.. meaning you might get it faster since modders will be rooting and modding as soon as the OTA starts hitting phones, while waiting for the update to be rolled out gradually and reach your phone might take longer.

6) With root permissions and stock everything do I have to worry about manual baseband and radio updates? What about with a custom recovery image?


You should run the baseband radio that's current with the version of Android you're running.

IE the "eclair radio" version 4.08 or whatever, for running with Eclair

the 5.08 radio is the Froyo radio, also for Cyanogenmod 5,6,7+.

I assume you don't want to be on Eclair, and you might have already gotten the Froyo update, so don't worry about the radio.

It's possible the Gingerbread OTA will bring a new radio with it, but until then don't worry. Just make sure you have 5.08 with Froyo..

7) Apps2SD+ doesn't work with stock roms period and I would need a compatible custom rom?



Correct.


Hope it helps, and I hope I untangled some of the terminology cuz I see so many people being confused between rooting, unlocking the bootloader, custom recoveries and custom ROMs... IMO it's dire to understand the differences.

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#6
lcg

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While shootnospam has answered your questions quite thoroughly, I'd like to add one comment.


2) Is it possible to enable root and use terminal on my n1 without some "superuser.apk" program? In order to do this would I use an insecure superboot and manually deploy SU?

Probably, but why? Some apps are more useful as root (Titanium backup for one, NetExtender VPN is another one), so SuperUser is great to have.

Basically, the 'su' binary is called by a process that requires (or simply wants) superuser (or root) privileges. Most rooted Android phones tie this 'su' binary to a Superuser.apk, which maintains permissions about which process is actually allowed to gain root privileges. This way, a useful application such as Titanium Backup can obtain the necessary privileges to backup all applications and settings, which are usually strictly separated by Android's security concept. However, you can choose not to enable superuser privileges for another application, which requests it but for which you have doubts about its legitimate use of these privileges. That at least maintains some of the original integrity of your phone.
I am not sure if you could have a 'su' binary that you can call without such a privilege check from a remote (ADB) shell but not from applications running on your phone. And if you couldn't, then any application could gain root privileges without you knowing it, doing whatever they want with your phone.

HTH,
lcg

Edited by lcg, 04 January 2011 - 09:16 AM.

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