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Enhance Your Android Device Through Rooting

You have probably heard your local Android geek mention rooting or read on the Web somewhere about rooting an Android device. Rooting may sound magical and mysterious, but it is a fairly simple idea. At its core, rooting gives the owner of a device more control and access.

The highest level of privilege you can have on a Linux system is to be logged into the device as the root user, sometimes called the superuser. The terms “superuser” and “root” both refer to the same thing.

Why Is It Called “Root”?

The term root comes from the hierarchical nature of the file system and permissions in UNIX and Linux operating systems. The branches of the file system and users resemble an inverted tree. The root of a file system is the beginning of all the files and directories. The root of the permissions system is the beginning of all permissions and, thereby, the most powerful and privileged.

The root level of permission exists on Linux systems to provide administrative access. Logged in as root, there is little that you cannot do. Root has permission to read and write most places in the file system and change system settings. Because of this, the highest goal for any hacker is to obtain the ability to log into a Linux device as root.

It is this very high level of privilege that you are seeking when you root an Android device. You need the root level of permission to customize your Android device in many ways.

Why Should You Root?

The benefits of rooting your device include saving money, as you extend the life and usefulness of your device, and fixing problems created during development or manufacture. There are also side benefits of adding functionality and removing restrictions imposed by the carrier or original equipment manufacturer (OEM). However, there are inherent risks in using root-level applications, as they are given access to all data from all applications installed on the device. Luckily, this risk can be mitigated by only giving root permissions to trusted applications.