Like some of you Alpha fans will already know, the Android operating system that is running on your Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone is based on the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is an open source operating system for your computers. Windows is the most popular computer OS, followed by Mac OS X and then Linux. Where the difference lies between the three is Apple and Microsoft are companies, whereas Linux was developed by the people for the people and is available to install for free.

Linus is really cool but you need to be somewhat tech savvy to reap the benefits of such a non-user friendly operating system. Once you do know what you are doing with Linux, however, it actually performs up there with the best of them and can also easily outperform Microsoft Windows in benchmark tests for speed in most areas.

While it’s not a household name in the operating system department for the less geeky people out there, Linux gathered enough attention to be the main OS running on Android. The Android operating system was then acquired by Google. Why am I bothering to tell you all of this? Just in case you are interested in running Linux as a computer and making use of the DriveDroid application that is available for Android and Linux users. It is one of the best root applications for your Android and you can use the DriveDroid app as soon as you are done with rooting the Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850L smartphone running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update after the break.

The following tutorial demonstrates how to root the Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850L smartphone when it is running on the Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop) Android version.

What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?

When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.

Why Would You Want to Root Android?

Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:

  • Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
  • Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
  • Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
  • Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.

What Are the Risks of Rooting?

If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.

With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:

  • Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
  • You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
  • You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.

Files You Need

  • The rooting exploit for the Alpha device in this guide is based on LRX22G.G850LKLU2COJ2 firmware. You do not need to run that same firmware build ID on your Samsung Galaxy Alpha device. Chainfire gives you that build so you can use it as an indicator only.
  • Download the CF-Auto-Root for the Galaxy Alpha SM-G850L on Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop).

How to Root Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850L Running on Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop) Updates

You can root the Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850L smartphone on Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop) by using Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root package. CF-Auto-Root is a one-click root method. Here is how to do that:

1. Enable the USB Debugging Mode on the Alpha smartphone.

2. Extract the CF-Auto-Root for the Alpha to the desktop of the computer.

3. Right-click on the Odin executable file that is on the desktop after extraction.

4. Choose to run the Odin as an administrator from the menu you get after right-clicking.

5. Do not make any changes from the default settings you get on the Odin user-interface.

6. Long-press the Power button to turn off the Galaxy Alpha completely before rebooting it up again in download mode.

7. Connect the Galaxy Alpha to the computer with the USB cable you would usually use to charge the battery on the device.

8. Wait for around ten seconds for the drivers to start working and then check that they are by witnessing a blue or yellow ID: COM port from the Odin user-interface. No color means you will want to install the universal Windows ADB driver on the computer and try again.

9. Click the AP button and browse the desktop for the Alpha’s rooting file ending in the tar.md5 extension that you extracted earlier.

10. Click the Start button.

11. Wait until you can see a green box light up from the Odin application on the computer and it gives you a pass message inside.

12. Look at the Samsung Galaxy Alpha’s display and it should say it is about to reboot in 10 seconds.

That’s all.

In conclusion, that’s all you need to root the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone with the SM-G850L model number running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software update. Any device that did not get into recovery mode during the last step will need to be booted into recovery mode manually instead.