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Similarly, the ability to sideload applications is typically permissible on Android devices without root permissions.

Thus, it is primarily the third aspect of i OS jailbreaking (giving users administrative privileges) that most directly correlates to Android rooting.

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On Android, rooting can also facilitate the complete removal and replacement of the device's operating system, usually with a more recent release of its current operating system.

Root access is sometimes compared to jailbreaking devices running the Apple i OS operating system.

However, these are different concepts: Jailbreaking is the bypass of several types of Apple prohibitions for the end user, including modifying the operating system (enforced by a "locked bootloader"), installing non-officially approved applications via sideloading, and granting the user elevated administration-level privileges (rooting).

Only a minority of Android devices lock their bootloaders, and many vendors such as HTC, Sony, Asus and Google explicitly provide the ability to unlock devices, and even replace the operating system entirely.

Rooting is the process of allowing users of smartphones, tablets and other devices running the Android mobile operating system to attain privileged control (known as root access) over various Android subsystems.

As Android uses the Linux kernel, rooting an Android device gives similar access to administrative (superuser) permissions as on Linux or any other Unix-like operating system such as Free BSD or OS X.

Rooting is often performed with the goal of overcoming limitations that carriers and hardware manufacturers put on some devices.

Thus, rooting gives the ability (or permission) to alter or replace system applications and settings, run specialized applications ("apps") that require administrator-level permissions, or perform other operations that are otherwise inaccessible to a normal Android user.

A secondary operation, unlocking the device's bootloader verification, is required to remove or replace the installed operating system.

542 Comments

  1. Similarly, the ability to sideload applications is typically permissible on Android devices without root permissions.

  2. Thus, it is primarily the third aspect of i OS jailbreaking (giving users administrative privileges) that most directly correlates to Android rooting.

  3. Rooting lets all user-installed applications run privileged commands typically unavailable to the devices in the stock configuration.

  4. Rooting is required for more advanced and potentially dangerous operations including modifying or deleting system files, removing pre-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.

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