The Google Nexus 5 can now be rooted without any trouble thanks to using the nifty SuperSU package. We know Android 5.0 is out in SDK form under the build number of LPX13D for the Developer Preview and this will result in a successful unchaining attempt following that update. Furthermore, users who update to Lollipop in the future from the official OTA release that is coming for the Nexus list in November can also use the same steps listed below.
By unlocking the hardware we are ensuring access to the Android internal system that is otherwise blocked off by factory restrictions. The manufacturers do this to keep us stuck in their business plan. However, we know that smartphones and many tablets have much more power and ability locked away. They say if you do not open up the OS of your Google-owned and operated Nexus handset you are not doing it right. That is since they are heavily customizable and we know even the Android employees love tinkering with the operating system and opening it up to all its grandeur.
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.
Details of Note
- The technique we are using to get this done today is with ChainFire’s SuperSu with the CF-Root tool. We love this tool the best out of all of them since it delivers as near the stock Android experience as possible. ChainFire is an awesome developer and his work extends far outside of this tool. You can install this with confidence knowing that you are taking some of the easiest steps you’ll find and the most reliable too.
- Once root is complete, users can improve the battery life, speed up the smartphone, get to the bottom of lag, heat and bug issues and much more. Some applications to help you with these tasks include Orange backup, Greenify, DataSync, BusyBox Installer, Samba FileSharing, Pimp My ROM, Trickster MOD kernel, CatLog and more.
- Nevertheless, before we get into it, we must run you through the essentials so that you are prepared. If you don’t have any experience with SDK we advise you find a family member or friend who does to help. The steps are for advanced users only and shouldn’t be touched unless you grasp what you are doing.
- We advise taking a NANDroid backup where applicable. Otherwise try using the Titanium backup application available from the Google Play store. If you are running stock software and firmware at the moment, you want to try using Helium instead. Make copies of the phone contacts, EFS folder, videos, pictures, music, SMS texts and all other data stored on your phone after you opened it out of the box. Use SMS backup+ from the Play Store to help you store those important text messages you revived.
- You can use a laptop, notebook or desktop computer so long as it has a fully operational USB slot for connecting. Moreover, the OS is flexible this time and we can use Mac OS X and Linux coupled with Microsoft Windows. Nevertheless, with flashing in general using tools such as Odin we only use Windows, so that’s something to think about when purchasing your next computer. I always say it makes life a great deal easier if you shop for Windows-based operating system if you are an Android enthusiast.
- Turn the phone on and stop any security program running such as virus protection, spyware protection and malware protection. Do the same for the computer.
- Correspondingly, you must have USB Debugging Mode switched to the “on’ position from the Developer options menu available from the Settings panel on the phone.
How To Root The Google Nexus 5 On Android 5.0 Lollipop Using SuperSU
1. Download the SuperSU root file here.
2. Download the adapted hammerhead boot image here.
Extract the contents.
Note: You must have Android SDK already pre-installed before starting.
3. Use the extracted file from the boot image folder and copy it over to the same folder that the SDK is sitting.
4. Fetch the USB cable.
Look at the wire connecting the charger.
5. Connect the nexus 5 to the computer with the USB wire.
6. Have the SDK folder open and right click the mouse and hold the “Shift” key on the keyboard.
Now you have the command line open and ready for us to type some commands.
7. Type “ADB Devices” and make sure the device is connected.
8. Type the second command: “adb reboot bootloader”.
You are running in bootloader mode.
9. Now once inside the bootloader type “fastboot oem unlock”
Waring: it will erase all the contents on your phone and unlock the bootloader.
10. Flash the custom recovery by navigating to the folder where you have the TWRP.
11. Type “fastboot flash recovery openrecovery-twrp-184.108.40.206-hammerhead.img” with the latter being the file extension from the TWRP recovery file.
12. The custom recovery is now flashing.
13. Type the next command: “fastboot reboot”.
14. You are now back in the OS.
15. Transfer the kernel and the SuperUser zip to the devices internal storage. (Do this from the open files on the computer with the mouse).
16. Type in “ADB reboot recovery” from the command prompt.
17. Select the recovery option from bootloader mode.
18. Choose the “install” option from the main menu.
19. Locate the root file from earlier and upload the file to the Nexus.
Confirm the process and do not touch any keys until it finishes flashing once more.
20. Flash the Superuser zip file.
21. Go back to the main screen of recovery and select “Reboot System Now”.
22. The initial boot process can take minutes longer for the first time.
23. Disconnect the handset from the computer properly by stopping over at the “safely remove hardware” icon from the system tray.
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