The original UNIX operating system that the likes of Linux and other UNIX-based operating systems are based on was designed as a multi-user system. At that time a personal computer did not yet exist, and every user that was on the computer was connected to the mainframe via a terminal. Given that, it was necessary to haver the files of each of the users separate while still allowing each user to access the computer at the same time. Moreover, jobs such as system administrators were still a requirement, and it allowed system admins to get access to all files without the same level of permissions running down to the rest of the users.
In UNIX-based systems, every user account gets assigned an ID number, and the root user account always comes with the ID set as zero. You can always tell this by logging into your Linux account and typing the command “echo” to find out the UID of your account.
Since that is the way the UNIX operating systems have always been, it is still the way they are today, including with the Linux distributions. Android is based on the same Linux kernel as the Linux that we are referring to in the distributions such as Ubuntu and Gnome. Thus the root user account exists in the Android OS also. The difference is that when you set up a computer that runs any of the Linux distributions, you get given the root user account immediately. On Android, the first person who sets up the mobile device is not given the root user account. Nobody is the root user on the operating system.
People don’t notice it as much because there are still over a million applications that they can install from the Google Play Store, other App Stores and developer websites that make the Android operating system seem pretty open. But it is not open at all, and thousands of apps require root access before they can run and you don’t get to use any of them. Some of those apps can even help you remove the existing apps that are put on the device before you buy it which takes it away from being as “Vanilla” as possible.
Details We Should Know
- Chainfire was running the MMB29K.T817WVLU2BPF5 firmware build number on his Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet when the version of the CF-Auto-Root tool that is available in this guide was developed. He does not suggest you need to be running on the same firmware as him when you follow this guide to become the root user. He gives you the information of the firmware he was running just in case you need to use it as an indicator in the future.
- Sometimes newer Android versions bring new bootloaders with them, and they can stop the CF-Auto-Root tool from working. If you find that your Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W does not boot up after you have flashed the rooting file, then you need to let Chainfire know about it because it likely means the rooting file needs updating because of the new bootloader being present. He needs you to send a message to the CF-Auto-Root tool thread that is available at XDA-Developers that contains the model number of your device and the recovery image file that is found in the firmware.
- You need to have the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet that comes with the SM-T817W model number ot use this guide. Any other model number gets bricked when you flash the version of the rooting tool that is available in this guide.
- You need to have a computer that is running on a version of the Windows operating system to use this guide. Any other operating system cannot use the Odin flashing tool to flash the rooting file.
Files We Need
- Download the CF-Auto-Root tool for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Windows operating system running on the computer.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates by flashing the CF-Auto-Root tool
- Turn on the computer running Windows and log into the administrators account so you can use the flashing tool with the administrative permissions. (Some version of Windows also allow you to right-click on the Odin file and choose to run it as an administrator if you are unable to log into the computer with the admin account.)
- Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Android operating system running on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet, so you can use it to turn on some options that are available for developers.
- Turn on the USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet so the Android software lets you make the necessary changes to it for the rooting to work.
- Install the Samsung USB Drivers file on the computer so that the flashing tool can detect your tablet.
- Open the Downloads folder on the PC and then extract the rooting file to the Downloads folder and run the Odin flashing tool that becomes available from the Downloads folder.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet into its Download Mode and connect it to the computer with the USB cable.
- Check the Odin is showing an added message and the ID: COM port is lighting up with yellow or blue, so you know that the USB Drivers are working on the computer and the device is ready for the flashing.
- Do not make any changes from the default options that are available from the Odin Options tab.
- Click on the AP button from Odin and then navigate to the Downloads folder and select the rooting file so that it uploads to the Odin.
- Click on the Start button from Odin and then check the information that starts rolling down the display of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet so you know what to expect.
- Wait until the tablet says the device is going to reboot in ten seconds and then check Odin for a pass message appearing inside a green box.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T817W tablet is now rooted running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates by flashing the CF-Auto-Root tool from the Odin flashing tool on a computer that is running on a version of the Windows operating system. You now have a new application installed on the computer, and it’s called the SuperSU program. It’s a regular app that lets you go inside and check out the settings it has available but nothing in there needs adjusting in any way before you can start giving the root applications the rooting permissions that they need to run. All you need to do is download the root apps that you want to try and then run them on the device and then SuperSU then sends you a message that pops up on the display checking to make sure that you d wish to grant the app the root access that it required before it can run. It’s at this point that SuperSU will allow root access to anything that you choose to grant root access so make sure you read the name of the app that is requesting it and don’t just assume that you know what app is asking for the root access otherwise you might accidentally grant the root access to malware and not the root apps that you were hoping to be using.
Many people enjoy installing the root checker application from the Google Play Store to check that root access is granted on the device correctly before they start installing the root apps.
Once you know that SuperSU is properly installed and enabled thanks to the CF-Auto-Root tool, you can then start installing the root apps with confidence that they are going to work. The only problem you might face is not knowing the names of the root apps because there is no place on the Google Play Store that lists them for you to use. There are there, but you need to rely on stumbling upon them or already knowing the names of them. You can check out our list of the best root apps for Android to learn some names of many of them.
If you want further reading on the root applications, you can check out all the things you can do with a rooted Android operating system instead.