What is Rooting?
“Rooting” your device means obtaining “superuser” rights and permissions to your Android’s software. With these elevated user privileges, you gain the ability to load custom software (ROM’s), install custom themes, increase performance, increase battery life, and the ability to install software that would otherwise cost extra money (ex: WiFi tethering). Rooting is essentially “hacking” your Android device. In the iPhone world, this would be the equivalent to “Jailbreaking” your phone.
Custom Software (ROM’s)
You may have heard of people loading custom “ROM’s” on their devices. A “ROM” is the software that runs your device. It is stored in the “Read Only Memory” of your device. There are many great custom ROM’s available that can make your Android device look and perform drastically different.
After hanging around rootzwiki forum, listening to Droid Nation and Android App Addictspodcast I felt like I was ready to install my first custom rom. My rom of choice was [K]IN3TX v1.0 some features about this rom:
- Latest BusyBox
- Superuser (Updated Binary)
- Battery Optimization
- Fully ROOTED
- SD Card Read tweaks
- Built Off of 5.8.894 OTA
- Advance Power Menu
- Scrollable Power Toggles in Pull Down
- FULL Custom UI
- PNG Optimization
- init.d Run Support
Just to name a few..
You can read the full posting about this rom over at the rootzwiki forum their you will also find the various downloads that you would need. However I will highlight a few steps I took:
- Root your device
- Install clockworkmod recovery
- Install Titanium backup pro or MyBackup root (backup your apps and data)
- ***COPY THE ROM TO YOUR SD CARD***
- Boot into recovery mode with CWM while there do the following
- WIPE DATA/FACTORY RESET
- WIPE CACHE
- UNDER MOUNTS AND STORAGE, FORMAT SYSTEM
- UNDER ADVANCED, WIPE DALVIK
- INSTALL AND HAVE FUN!
After you are finish installing log-in setup your device, then you can boot back into CWM wipe your cache, and dalvik then install add-on or tpak of your choice, I installed the ICS tpak.
Now as anyone might expect the first time you are doing something like this you have to realize that you might make a mistake, but you can only hope it doesn’t hurt you too much. The mistake I made was that I copied the wrong add-on pack to my sdcard but not the base rom, and since I already wiped my system partition I was unable to reboot my phone into recovery mode after I copied the correct file via another device.
How I corrected this issue you might ask yourself, I had some help from my buddy Highlander-: over at the Podnutz IRC chat room. He pointed me to a tool call RSDlite, which allowed me to flash my phone back to the stock rom and from there I followed the steps outlined above and all was well the second time around :). You have got to love the power of the Internet and great communities.
Have fun roming and you can comment back and let me know which rom is your favorite. I have only tried one and I must say I absolutely love it!