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Old 08. Apr 2013, 06:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advantages and disadvantages of rooting

I have been pondering on this for some time now.

Rooting a phone has the advantages like having more control over the phone, can remove pre-installed applications, can install apps like Titan Backup and take backup of system, etc.

What are the disadvantages to rooting? I know about the obvious risk of bricking the phone while rooting, but that's before rooting. I want to know about disadvantages once rooting has been done.

One would be I guess that maybe risk of getting a malware increases, because a malware can easily gain superuser access on a rooted phone.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 08:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would like more information on rooting too. I don't even know what it is. I am buying a Kindle Fire HD and I believe that rooting may be something needed here too. I can Google things I know, but someone here probably has reliable and friendly information for those of us (me) who are ignorant on these things. I watch this thread with interest.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 09:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I havent come across any disadvantages myself but it is the same as running SU in linux or admin in windows. Meaning it's more "open" to malware installs/info leaks. But if you are careful with what you download, trusted sites/etc, then there's not much problems. Pretty much the same as being on a computer and surfing

Something related is you could delete something you shouldn't and end up needing to reset phone, or risk bricking it (not too easy to do now if you follow all the guides)

You can download antivirus/permission apps/and apps won't be granted SU rights outright either unless you set it to.

Pretty much on my phone, I have it either prompt for all apps, setting a few to always allow that I trust. Or I run it always deny SU except for the ones I allow.

edit: I'm thinking about a kindle HD as well, well a nexus 7 but it doesn't do hdmi so it's forcing me towards nexus 10 which has hdmi. But I'm holding out on the next version of a 7inch nexus with hdmi truthfully lol My goal is to run android to TV and stream hulu/netflix/amazon onto it. I can do it with my laptop right now but I might just pick up an android usb stick and leave that on TV, haven't decided really

edit:Even just root/remove junk/deny thereafter is nice too, then you'll never see root again until you want to. You can set a password on the SU app too, so it won't be changed without password

Last edited by eyeb; 08. Apr 2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 11:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm afraid you might as well be talking Vulcan eyeb. I still don't know what rooting is. However, I DO know what HDMI is and that Kindle Fire HD has HDMI output.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 02:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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hm, if you use linux... I'm not too familiar with it but root is like using the su or sudo command in linux.

Rooting in android is like getting access to the root directory of linux, since it's based on linux kernels, it behaves the same way

edit: i know kindle has hdmi, i was talking about nexus 7 not having it :S hence I'm looking at the 10 inch one or a newer nexus 7. The kindle fire hd would be something i might settle for if nothing comes along but I'm sure there will be

edit: and like in linux, if a program you install wants more permissions, it has to have you grant it. Android works the same so if you deny the superuser request on the app, it will act like it is on a non-rooted phone. Not saying there aren't things that could infect phone without root, but it would make no difference if you had root if it didn't need it

here's a picture of what a prompt looks like when something asks for permission


edit: oh right, if you are installing apps and the author doesn't tell you it needs SU rights, I wouldn't grant it. On the off chance that it is a virus and all... try to run it without SU rights and see if it works without it (or better, find another app that isn't shady). Pretty much like how you shouldn't go around running programs in windows under admin. Android apps shouldn't need root access outside of the file managers/backup tools/things that need access to it. So things people normally download like fun apps/games wont need it.

edit again lol. I guess for me, having root is like having admin rights on the computer. I'd hate to limit myself to a non-admin computer for personal computer. Sure I work in it for safety for daily use, but I still run into programs that need admin rights. So I just type in my password and it runs. If you're the type of person that can work without admin rights on the computer, you'd probably wouldn't need to root in android. Since it's the same mentality of wanting to have control over the OS you're using.

Last edited by eyeb; 08. Apr 2013 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 02:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hullo Anapam and Jim,

Some time ago, I too wanted to know what "all this root, unlocking and modding thing was about". Well there are many places to start learning about it, but here are 2 OK ones:

http://www.androidcentral.com/rooting-it-me-some-qa

http://www.androidcentral.com/what-rooting

I also did a duckduckgo search for what is rooting? and it turned up quite a few useful bits of info like here:

http://droidlessons.com/what-is-root...disadvantages/

Finally, in this thread IO.Hazard posted 4 links to sites that are very, very useful if you really want to get into rooting, unlocking, and modding:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/free...o-android.html

It's a lot of digging, researching and reading, but unfortunately there's no other way to learn about all this.

From what I understand, eyeb's explanation about root being like using an admin account in Windows, is quite apt.

There are obvious advantages, e.g. the ability to use apps that require root privileges. Take for instance, I cannot use the firewall in Avast because it requires root. So no firewall , until good ole IO.Hazard tells us about one on this thread. There are also other apps that require root to run. I found this out when I started researching apps to do "house-cleaning". It became obvious that some of that cleaning needs to be done in the root of Android, and if I don't have root privileges then those files can't be got at.

The disadvantages could mainly be put down to the risk of bricking your device through user error.

Just for the record, after getting a basic idea of what these "unknowns" were all about, I decided not to venture into all that for now with my tablet. If and when I find the time and motivation to pursue this further, I just might.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 03:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Joe. I am pretty good with PCs etc. but not phones (mine is a VERY basic model). As for Android (whatever that is) I am just buying my already mentioned Kindle Fire HD (which I understand uses Android and is due to be delivered this Thursday) and, until it comes, have absolutely no idea how it works. I bought it on a whim and, as long as I can access my emails and transfer files to and from my PC, I will work the rest out as I go along. If anyone wants to give me advice/tips etc. then that will be gratefully accepted. As far as this "rooting" is concerned it seems that it is something I should stay away from - at least until I have a lot more experience.
Thanks again.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 04:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the links Joe. The droidlessons link is wonderful, and the article has nicely explained what is rooting, and also its advantages, and disadvantages... pretty much what I needed to know. What is rooting is also explained very nicely in the article.

eyeb explained it nicely too... a root is basically an alternate term for an administrator on Linux. So, essentially rooting gives administrator permissions on the device, using which any changes can be made to the system. It's very useful, but with elevated permissions, there are disadvantages too.

The disadvantages are pretty much what I was expecting.

Like Joe, I am also contemplating if it's worth the trouble to root the phone, and presently, I do not see any big need for it. There are many reasons to it.. first and foremost is that I love my phone, it's working great, and if I happen to have some problem with the phone, I cannot afford to buy a new one easily.
In case the phone has some problems during rooting, or after it, I will face problems, and will have to shift to my older outdated Nokia phone, which I do not want.

Also, the rooting procedure looks a bit strange, and is not very straight forward, considering the odd key combinations and all, and the various steps.

There is also the security reason. Although I am sure I will be careful, but still, a rooted phone is at greater risk of malware than a non-rooted one.

So, I am thinking it might not be worth the trouble. But, I am tempted for it sometimes, and may try it later maybe.

I am tempted for many reasons too. First, it feels good to have control over things. I like to have things my way, and I would really like to get rid of the apps which came pre-installed on the phone, and which I rarely use. They are taking up unnecessary space.

Then, I can install many apps which require root access, like firewall, Titanium Backup, etc.

I mainly would like to root the phone for the above reasons.

Of course, after rooting custom ROMs can be installed, but I am not too keen on that one, because of the cumbersome steps involved. Well, maybe it's not so cumbersome but looks so because I haven't done it anytime. My cousin tells me that one of his friends changes ROM quite regularly on his phone. That sounds fun, but would have been better if I had a spare phone to experiment on. Can't do that on my main phone.

So well, I will keep rooting for a later stage. I am pretty happy with my phone as it is, presently.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim View Post
I am pretty good with PCs etc. but not phones (mine is a VERY basic model). As for Android (whatever that is)...
Just use the same approach to learning about your new Kindle Fire and you'll be fine . What I did was find the manual for my tablet and read-up on it. I also read-up the Android manual because the version on my tablet is "plain vanilla". After that, it was no different to learning about anything else. In the case of the Kindle Fire, it's a modified version of Android that Amazon uses, so I'm not sure how much that differs from the original. You can also try to locate the forum for your tablet and browse through it. Sometimes you can come across useful nuggets of info that way.
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...as long as I can access my emails and transfer files to and from my PC...
You should be able to do that and more, I would think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim View Post
As far as this "rooting" is concerned it seems that it is something I should stay away from - at least until I have a lot more experience.
That's exactly how I feel. However, I know some people are more adventurous than me, and they like to try out new things. Nothing wrong with that at all, although I personally do things based on "a need-to" and leave the "new" discoveries for if I have extra time to spare. As it is, my un-rooted tablet does what I want, that's why I haven't delved any further. It is important though, to be aware of the potential that is offered by root, unlocking and modding, just in case you find it can do something more for you in a meaningful way - and that was one of my reason for researching it.
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Old 08. Apr 2013, 04:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
Thanks for the links Joe.
Glad they were useful.

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Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
eyeb explained it nicely too... a root is basically an alternate term for an administrator on Linux...
Yes. From the little I garnered on Linux (which I'm totally n00b about, lol), it denies root access by default. It's a fundamental security feature that makes Linux a much safer platform than Windows. As you know, Android is based on Linux, so it follows that there's no root access, but that also hampers many users who wish to do things that require root.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
I am tempted for many reasons too. First, it feels good to have control over things. I like to have things my way, and I would really like to get rid of the apps which came pre-installed on the phone, and which I rarely use. They are taking up unnecessary space.
Very good points Anupam. I actually feel the same way. There are lots of apps that came factory installed and I don't use them. If I really get fed-up some time I'll do the "root thing" if only to get rid of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
Of course, after rooting custom ROMs can be installed, but I am not too keen on that one, because of the cumbersome steps involved. Well, maybe it's not so cumbersome but looks so because I haven't done it anytime. My cousin tells me that one of his friends changes ROM quite regularly on his phone. That sounds fun, but would have been better if I had a spare phone to experiment on. Can't do that on my main phone.
From what I understand, those who are versed can do all these things and have a custom ROM installed on your device in minutes. It actually happened with my nephew. A friend of his modded his Nook to dual boot with Android as well as the Nook's own OS.

From browsing on XDA Developers, those persons who are into creating all these modded ROMs are a class act all by themselves . I wish I could learn as much as them some day.
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