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Old 11-07-2011, 01:53 AM   #1
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What do you mean by 'rooting'?

Just that--I've seen a few people on various threads talk about 'rooting'. What does that mean and why would you do it?

Thanks.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:36 AM   #2
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On almost all Android devices (and almost all mobile devices of any sort, for that matter) you don't have full control over your system.

On a Windows computer, for example, you've got administrator accounts. One or more user who has full rights to do anything. On a Linux or Mac OS X computer, this administrative account is called the "root" account. Whatever it's called, most people have come face to face with a prompt saying "You don't have permission to do this." or a prompt to enter credentials for an administrative account before continuing.

Android is actually based on Linux. You have a front-end - all that stuff you see when using your tablet or phone - sitting atop a version of Linux. However, since your access to the device all comes through the android front-end, you don't have that same full access you have on a desktop computer. You're basically sitting completely within a program that doesn't have administrative powers.

Rooting your device is a process that allows you to have full access. The process is different on different devices (I've got a tutorial here on doing it on the Vox) but it involves installing a program called Superuser. Superuser acts as a gatekeeper of sorts. Any other app that wants to perform an administrative function (ie, that needs root access) can ask Superuser for that permission. Superuser then prompts you to accept or deny that request.

This opens up a lot of options in terms of what an application can do. For example, backup utilities can only back up all of your data if they have root access. Another example is taking screenshots. Android has no built-in screenshot tool and if you want to use a screenshot app, you need root. There are all sorts of other applications for rooted devices and the uses are varied as with regular apps.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jefftheworld View Post
On almost all Android devices (and almost all mobile devices of any sort, for that matter) you don't have full control over your system.

On a Windows computer, for example, you've got administrator accounts. One or more user who has full rights to do anything. On a Linux or Mac OS X computer, this administrative account is called the "root" account. Whatever it's called, most people have come face to face with a prompt saying "You don't have permission to do this." or a prompt to enter credentials for an administrative account before continuing.

Android is actually based on Linux. You have a front-end - all that stuff you see when using your tablet or phone - sitting atop a version of Linux. However, since your access to the device all comes through the android front-end, you don't have that same full access you have on a desktop computer. You're basically sitting completely within a program that doesn't have administrative powers.

Rooting your device is a process that allows you to have full access. The process is different on different devices (I've got a tutorial here on doing it on the Vox) but it involves installing a program called Superuser. Superuser acts as a gatekeeper of sorts. Any other app that wants to perform an administrative function (ie, that needs root access) can ask Superuser for that permission. Superuser then prompts you to accept or deny that request.

This opens up a lot of options in terms of what an application can do. For example, backup utilities can only back up all of your data if they have root access. Another example is taking screenshots. Android has no built-in screenshot tool and if you want to use a screenshot app, you need root. There are all sorts of other applications for rooted devices and the uses are varied as with regular apps.
I understand that you're pro rooting, but please be sure to let people know that rooting their device likely voids the warranty. It may be very low risk with android devices, but it's still a risk.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:35 AM   #4
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I understand that you're pro rooting, but please be sure to let people know that rooting their device likely voids the warranty.
Voiding the warranty just because of rooting would probably won't hold much in font of a judge.
It's more to scare people away, and be able to say "screw you" when they are sue rooting and other stuff actually caused the problem.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:43 AM   #5
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Voiding the warranty just because of rooting would probably won't hold much in font of a judge.
It's more to scare people away, and be able to say "screw you" when they are sue rooting and other stuff actually caused the problem.
No one is talking about lawsuits, I'm talking about if you brick your Vox trying to root it will Kobo honour the warranty if you call up and say "Oh hey I killed while rooting it".

I'm not against rooting, just saying be very careful about listing the possible downsides when you're talking to someone who doesn't even know the definition of rooting.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:50 AM   #6
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Where does it say that rooting voids the warranty?
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:38 AM   #7
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Where does it say that rooting voids the warranty?
I would guess it would say it in the warranty... I don't have one so I can't go look to be sure but almost every device like this has clauses in the warranty voiding it in cases where the software has been tampered with.

If it doesn't, then cool, but I'd be very surprised and I'd still say be sure to warn people of potential risks when rooting.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:54 AM   #8
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The Limited Warranties described herein do not cover: [...] damage or malfunctions caused by third-party products including, without limitation, software, downloaded data [...]
http://download.kobobooks.com/learnm...ionPlan_TC.pdf
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #9
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Maybe it could be considered an accident and covered under the extra warranties .
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:14 AM   #10
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No one is talking about lawsuits, I'm talking about if you brick your Vox trying to root it will Kobo honour the warranty if you call up and say "Oh hey I killed while rooting it".
Yes, and that make scene. But if your nook suffer some un-releated failure, warranty still apply.

Experience with phone is that they don't bother looking at the software.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:08 AM   #11
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The Limited Warranties described herein do not cover: [...] damage or malfunctions caused by third-party products including, without limitation, software, downloaded data [...]
Does rooting damage the hardware? Does it have more potential to do so than any other "Unknown source", non-Kobo-Market application?
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #12
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Does rooting damage the hardware? Does it have more potential to do so than any other "Unknown source", non-Kobo-Market application?
It doesn't change the hardware. Just the firmware or software on the device. Using gingerroot it is very easy to root and unroot the device.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:06 PM   #13
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Because of the particular method being used here, I didn't think it warranted any special warnings. This method of rooting is just as safe as doing a regular firmware update.

You're right though, if anything goes wrong with any sort of 3rd-party software it's not covered under warranty.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:04 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info!
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