Rooting Your Linux Mobile Device

If you desire to have better control and infinite freedom to customize your Linux powered mobile device, the rooting process will definitely leverage your expectations. Linux based systems are well recognized for extensive use of access control. The root user, or more commonly referred to as root is the user with the highest level of accessibility to all system configurations, files and other resources. All other users of a Linux system have less privileges than the root user.

Rooting linux mobile device
Source: news.nexus-one.co.uk

Linux in Disguise as Android

Although Linux systems have been widely used for network server administration and other heavy duty computational activities, with the introduction of Android operating system many avenues to exploit mobile computing devices opened. Until the advent of Android, mobile phone market was basically dominated by Microsoft Windows Mobile and Apple Mac operating systems. Android operating system is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel.

Why Root?

In essence, rooting gives you better performance, widens your options in customizing your mobile device that closely matches with your requirements using 3rd party application software (including custom ROMs), and also tweak configuration settings that are inaccessible otherwise. This is very much like you becoming the root user of your mobile device, hence surmounting the limitations carriers and mobile device manufacturers have enforced on us. However the downside is that when you root your mobile device, some device manufacturers annul the warranty that comes bundled with it.

The process of rooting may change from device to device. Therefore, it is advised to do a thorough search so as to verify the exact steps in the process. The following steps describe the rooting process for HTC DESIRE Android phone. It is always wise to charge your phone to 100% capacity and back up your phone’s content. Also note that this booting process will only work for HTC DESIRE with the boot loader version of 0.75 or lower. You can check the version of your phone’s boot loader version by first turning off the phone, and then turning it on by holding the “back” key. Once the phone is turned on the text HBOOT flashes on the screen with the version number next to it.

Prerequisites for this process:

Hardware Checklist

  • A HTC DESIRE
  • A personal computer (Linux powered)
  • A micro USB cable
  • A micro SD card

Software Checklist:

The Process

  • The first step is to convert the micro SD card into a gold card. A gold card allows you to flash RUU files having a different CID to your device. For detailed instructions on how to create a gold card you may visit http://android.modaco.com/content/general-discussion/305672/creating-a-goldcard/.
  • The next step is to copy the ISO image downloaded from the above mentioned links onto a bootable CD. Then use this CD to boot your PC.
  • When the booting process is progressing, you would be prompted to load Linux, accept the prompt and allow Linux to be loaded.
  • After the operating system is loaded, open up a terminal window on Linux
  • Turn off your HTC DESIRE and turn it back on by holding the back button.
  • Following this step you may be flashed with the text FASTBOOT on your phone screen. When you see this message, connect the phone to your PC and enter the following commands in the terminal window.

sudo mkdir /mnt/cdrom

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

cd /mnt/cdrom/root

sudo ./step1.sh

  • Navigate to BOOTLOADER RECOVERY option and select it.
  • In the terminal window, type:

sudo ./step2.sh

This will take you to the recovery screen.

  • Select Wipe Apply ZIP update From SD CARD rootedupdate.zip

This will flash your phone.

  • After this completes reboot your phone.

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