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CyanogenMod Founder Contemplating Abolishing Root Requirements For Custom ROMs (Update)

Cid CyanogenMod

The founder of CyangoenMod, Steve Kondik, took to Google+ to bounce off an idea to his followers concerning Android 4.3 and root access. With the intro of Android 4.3, Google added in some “much-needed” security features which restrict setuid binaries on the system partition, but also limit the capabilities of processes.

With that said (and there’s more to say, but it borderlines developer mumbo jumbo that I am ignorant to), Steve mentions that the need for root may not be there anymore. When he needs root access for a certain situation, he simply tweaks some stuff and makes it happen. But for the masses, he wants his team to focus on the security of the system and doesn’t want to compromise the OS. 

Koushik Dutta and Chainfire are working hard to permit root in some way on 4.3, but I feel that anything done at this point might severely compromise the security of the system and we should start considering better options.  Going forward, I’m interested in building framework extensions and APIs into CM to continue to abolish the root requirement.

A few good use cases for root are:

* Firewalls and network software, potentially requiring raw sockets.
* Managing the DNS resolver
* Tweaking various sysfs nodes to control the kernel

All of these can be done without exposing root, and they can be done in a very secure way.

At the end of his post, Steve poses the question, “If you’re using CM or another custom ROM, what do you actually use root for?” Let us know down below and maybe it will help them decide if they want to keep root or not.

Update: Steve took to his G+ page again to clarify that he isn’t looking to remove root completely from the ROM. “What I want to see is the common use cases supported by the platform so that we can write more powerful apps.”

Via: +Steve Kondik

  • Scruffy Nerfherder

    I used root, albeit sparingly, when I had a non-bloatware “infected” custom-OTA. The Verizon login kept me from tethering and using hotspot, plus a couple of other little things. I had to root to turn it off, via Titanium Backup, and then freeze.

    I’m running CM10.2 now, and extremely happy with how much more responsive and reliable the OS is. I’m so tempted to go into Verizon, just to jack with one of their techs, and hear him ask, “What OS are you running on this thing?!”

  • spider6667

    I use root a lot to access my USB drives cause I don’t own a computer I only have this tablet and I probably won’t own a computer in the future so its real important to me and others like me that root stays

  • Jonathan Williams

    I like PIE!

  • LugNuts McGruff

    Because Jeff Smith says so. http://youtu.be/czTkHe7-lXw

  • joejoe5709

    I’ll admit my lack of knowledge here, but I love my option for custom ROMs, custom kernels, ROM Manager, Helium Backup, and Wifi Tether is nice. If I can’t have these types of things, I’m out. I love walking into the Play Store knowing I’ll be able to download whatever I please because I’ve got an updated version of Android and I’m rooted.

    Now… If Steve was talking about something along the lines of a launcher that would simulate the effects of CM for those who don’t want to root and such, this is a great idea. I’d love to put this fun stuff on my mom’s tablet but she refused to let me mess around with it like rooting would require.

    • Taylor Abrahamson

      You are way off in your interpretation of his question. He is NOT trying to take root away. Remember, getting root on your factory rom is the only way you can install CM in the first place. Also remember that once you have a custom recovery installed, you don’t NEED root anymore.

      Here is the scenario for most users:
      1. Get a new phone
      2. Root it
      3. Flash a recovery (requires root)
      4. Download CM10.1
      5. Boot to recovery and flash CM
      6. Boot up CM and enjoy its greatness.

      As of right now CM comes with Root. But a lot of people don’t need root at this point. Some people can’t have root on their daily rom because their companies app detects it and wont work. CM already has built in tethering. And it can already browse the root file system by turning on a setting.

      So his question is this: “Once you have installed CM, and plan on using it as your daily stable rom, what else are you using root for that CM doesn’t already have built in?”

      • joejoe5709

        Alright. That makes sense. Thanks.

        So still I use Helium Backup pretty regularly. You can do it without root, but it requires a computer.

        I’m sure there are other similar things such as Flashify, but I use ROM Manager pretty regularly for flashing, etc. I love my touch CWM recovery. I don’t hardly use Titanium, but I know a lot of people do.

        I know CM is cautious of custom kernels other than their own, but I love them. And I love the TricksterMod app. ROM toolbox is alright, but similar.

        And however small a detail, the Google Play comment above is still nice.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I use root pretty regularly and it I am not interested in being unrooted. Hopefully that answers his question.

        I still say the launcher idea is great for those who don’t want to (or can’t) root, but want a heavily modified version of Android that could emulate CM and be updated on a timely basis.

        • Taylor Abrahamson

          Let me correct you just a bit here.

          Helium Backup: Yes, requires root (if you don’t want to install the desktop app)

          ROM Manager: If you are using ROM Manager to flash and backup the system, then why would ever need to use touch CWM? Remember, root and recoveries have nothing to do with each other, they are not linked in any way. You do not need root, to flash a new rom, or flash a new kernel. What ROM Manager does when you tell it to flash a kernel, is download the kernel, and then leaves it a little text file on the file system, then reboots the phone into recovery. When the recovery boots up, it checks to see if there is a text file waiting for it, then it does what the texts file tells it to. So ROM manager would leave a text file of instructions for the recovery to perform, which says flash this: ~/path/to/the/thing
          So if you like using the touch CWM recovery, why bother using ROM Manager at all? Just download the kernel you want, reboot to recovery and tell the recovery what you want to install yourself.

          You can actually use ROM Manager to download kernels and roms without root, but you just have to manually reboot to recovery and flash them yourself.

          TricksterMod: Yes you are right, definitely requires root. However if all you use it for is to set the governor and cpu frequencies, CM has that built in. But I hear you, that app does do a lot of stuff that the built in CM settings don’t do. But most users don’t do much more than change their cpu frequencies or swap governors.

          So technically speaking, you could be just fine without needed root, assuming you are a CM user. But I’m like you, I definitely need an app backup method that doesn’t require being plugged into my computer.

          About the launcher. It’s really just not possible to do that. CM isn’t about the look, remember in terms of the look, that is just AOSP the way Google made it. CM is instead about an ultra slim and FAST rom with special CM features. Which can’t be done with just a launcher on top of a really bloated and bad stock rom. Also you can’t change how all the system settings screens look with the launcher. If you have sense, they are still going to look like sense. So really what your asking for is Apex, or Nova, or a couple other launchers to make the homescreen look like AOSP.

          • joejoe5709

            Wow. That was awesome information. True, I do use CWM far more than ROM Manager. Sooooo I guess you boiled me down to convenient Helium access and the occasional kernel tweaking (which I admittedly don’t do that often). But even then… Why root yourself for the ROM installation itself and then unroot later. For security? Does rooting really leave your device *that* unprotected? I’m not understanding why being rooted is a bad thing.

          • Taylor Abrahamson

            You’re almost getting it 🙂

            You ask “Why root yourself for the ROM installation itself and then unroot later?”

            I think you need a bit more information about what root means, then you’ll see why I don’t need to answer that question. But I will.

            First off, rooting has nothing to do with the phone hardware, or even the recovery software. Rooting is only something that is done to a ROM (aka some version of compiled android source). When someone says “My phone is rooted” What they mean is “my ROM is rooted”. By rooting a ROM, you’ve installed an app (SuperUser or SU) which manages other apps that are requesting root permissions. Root permissions go back to linux software. It just means that by having SU access, you have full read / write permissions on all system partitions, and can access all system processes. The SuperUser app was built as a gate which apps who want root permissions must ask for access through.

            So, why would someone root, then unroot? Well because they aren’t. If your goal is to install CM, then you root in order to give an application access to the recovery partition, at which point CWM or TWRP is installed. Then when you flash CM, you aren’t “unrooting” because you are literally wiping the old ROM off the system and installing a new one. If the new one comes rooted, then that ROM will be rooted. If the new one doesn’t come rooted, then that ROM doesn’t have root. See how “root” only has to do with the ROM itself, and has nothing to do with the phones hardware?

            Now don’t forget that some phones come with a locked “bootloader” This just means that there is an extra piece of hardware in front of the system partition which prevents write access without a security code. This is when the term “unlocked bootloader” comes in. The way the system partition is locked varies between manufacturers. But once the exploit is found, and you don’t pull an update on a stock rom from the carrier, you don’t ever have to worry about it getting relocked.

            So now lets look at the security issues with a rooted rom. When an application requests root access, the SU app asks you if its ok, you either say yes, or no. There is no individual gates for specific things, so when you give root permissions to an app, you give that app EVERYTHING. Which is what CM is attempting to prevent. But it should also be mentioned that the SU app, isn’t fort knox, it keeps the honest apps who ask for root access. But a bad app could theoretically just knock SU out of the way and do what it wants. Which is the main reason why keeping a ROM unrooted is safer.

            I hope I’ve helped! Shoot me some upvotes if I did.

          • joejoe5709

            Alrighty. You’re absolutely right. Thanks for the kind and thoughtful response. An upvote and an internet handshake for you! 🙂 I though I was semi-informed when it came to ROMs and rooting but I obviously have a lot to learn. Sorry for turning this into an XDA-esque forum but I bet there are a lot of people with similar questions. Anyway, yeah I guess I’ve been thinking of rooting in a completely incorrect context. This gives me a better idea and I’m better understanding why he’s asked this. So I’m not sure where that leaves me. I’m hesitant to answer his question now… I still think root access a great option if he doesn’t mind the security risk. I mean this is part of what makes Android awesome, right? I like choices. I don’t use root everyday, but when I do it’s for fairly important things. Could I do without it? Sure. I could adapt. I’ll still use a well built custom ROM if it’s not rooted. Do you think it’s at all possible for CM to root and unroot itself with a button or two? Because I wouldn’t mind the added security for 80% of the time and then use it when necessary.

          • Taylor Abrahamson

            If I had to guess where CM was headed. I’d say what they will end up doing is just what you suggest. When you install it, it will not have root. But when you go in and open up the developer menu, there will an option for it to root itself if you so desire.

            I don’t think they would ever take root away. But I have installed CM an many friends phones, and they’ve gotten themselves into trouble with the ROM because of easy access to recovery mode and system options. If those could be hidden behind a layer that would be great for me when handing a phone to a friend, and for myself because I would just turn them on.

          • joejoe5709

            Awesome. I know we’re guessing but that sounds awesome. Good for those who want it while also looking out for noobs like me who *think* they know what they’re doing and could screw things up.

        • Taylor Abrahamson

          Recoveries, and root have nothing to do with each other. Once you have a recovery (CWM or TWRP etc.) on your phone, you don’t need root to flash kernels or other roms. Just download the kernel you want to install, reboot to recovery and flash it. No root required.

          Also CM has kernel settings built in, you can change cpu frequencies and governors without needing to install a rooted CPU app

  • rutgersjaffo

    This is pretty cool for those of us who really don’t feel like having to root. Looking forward to using some of those snazzy ROMs…

  • Itchy_Robot

    I would be running Cyanogen right now if I did not have to root. I tried to root a month ago and my phone kept getting stuck in a boot loop. I ended up having to taking it back to stock.

  • trumpet444

    Root explorer and Titanium Backup. Both are used every single day. If I have a device that cannot be rooted or jailbroken, I sell it.

    I’m going with the old pro-root argument; Would you own or buy a car in which the manufacturer had the hood welded shut? No, you would not

  • gp126904

    Adblock, titanium backup, and wifi tether.

    • JolleyMan


  • jcutter347

    My main use of rooting is titanium backup restores and my ad removal app. They both require root. As of now anyway.

  • Todd

    I have the Droid Razr Maxx and worked great on ICS. Once the JB update hit, I have had numerous lock ups, lagging issues, etc. I worked with a Motorola Rep for an hour working on it. Verizon wanted to send me a replacement. I accepted it and the phone received was in terrible shape. I sent it back. I do not want any other phone right now and will refuse to upgrade and lose my unlimited data plan. So I appeared stuck.

    Then, I rooted and loaded CM. Smoother than warm butter. That, unfortunately is the reason I root. Received my new N7 today and do not plan on rooting it. So far, it is a sweet ride.

    I rooted to get rid of the lag.

  • StankyChikin

    Nexus 4 locked and unrooted here…

    Haven’t had a real need for root in quite a while…

  • Bigsike

    ARLiberator, Screenstandby, Rom Toolbox pro, Adfree. The first two I couldn’t live without.

  • Skittlez

    i use it for helium, so i can backup all my data to the cloud without having to plug in to a computer. Thats pretty much it though. So you don’t need root to ROM and add mods to the ROM?

  • trixnkix637

    I use root almost exclusively for cosmetic purposes (RoundR, certain audio tweaks, kernels). It’s not a total deal breaker as I miss the use of apps that block root (Flixster).

  • Razr4332

    Ok let me see if I get this (I haven’t rooted yet but want to soon)… I need to be rooted on phone first to install CM10.1, right? But then within CM, there is an option to root within that, which is the root in question here?

    Also, from a potential CM user, one benefit I see is being able to upgrade to newer android versions (since I have a RAZR, I think it’s at the end of it’s official upgrade road) – is that correct? There’s no other way to upgrade the OS version without rooting?

    • JolleyMan

      Yes, you need root access to your phone to install custom ROMs and to install Titanium Backup, etc. You will not need to root after installing CM.

      As a fellow RAZR user, I wanted to extend the life (or just the interest level) of the phone and custom ROMs are the way to go. I don’t know if the support path is officially dead, but with access to custom ROMs, I don’t care. If this is your first time rooting, I have found that rooting is the part where I was a little nervous. Installing ROMs to different slots via Safestrap was the easy part.

      Here’s a good place to start: http://tinyurl.com/mxqt3rt

    • bucsfanbryan

      You really only need an unlocked bootloader to load a custom recovery before flashing a custom rom. On a nexus, you don’t need to be rooted. It all depends on the device and the method for unlocking the bootloader.

  • Intellectua1

    Titanium Backup and Ad Blocking.. That’s it..

  • AdBlock. It’s the most important thing I use.

  • Damien Luna

    i only use root for titanium backup and sixaxis controller and setcpu and cpu sleeper.

    I found that i use root less and less as android and roms now include more and more features.

  • Khary

    I barely use root and I think removing root access will open up the Custom ROM community to the people who buy Android phones just to be cool (ie: the people who bought the Galaxy S3 and S4 because they were popular).

    However, as a person who’s been using custom ROMs since my Moto Droid 2, i don’t know if I could live without Titanium Backup….

  • enigmaco

    I use it to help free up memory of apps, and found better security apps through root like cerebus that takes pictures of the person if your phone is stolen. But other than that I do not use root much. I just updated to 4.3 and honestly do not feel like rooting my phone again. Before jellybean I felt like it was needed, but I feel like Google is doing a better job with things.

  • Kaufkin

    +1 for Titanium backup, but a Nandroid backup (Rom Manager) is something we all (or should) do. not sure if R.M. would be included. Yeah, I know, CM has a update detector, but it isn’t R.M, not even close.

  • gorkon

    I really don’t need root. One big reason I see lots of people root for is to get around carrier tethering apps and other tethering restrictions. Since I don’t do that and EVERYTHING else I have ever needed root for in the past has been solved by AOSP anyway, well the need is EXTREMELY diminished for myself. The “because you can” crowd will come up with a stupid excuse but to be honest it’s just that….an excuse.

  • Since moving to my Nexus 4, I’ve lived without root, and the only thing I miss, like others here, is the strength of Titanium Backup. Helium just doesn’t cut it. So a really good, granular backup app, preferably that syncs to a cloud service, would be the last thing I miss from my rooted days.

    • Intellectua1

      Yea Helium sucks (In my opinion).. I’ve tried like that app several times but it’s slow and Titanium Backup is far more better and efficient..

  • Ben

    Titanium Backup and Antutu CPU Master Pro. I love being able to back up user data directly to the phone (and since I have Pro, I can upload to DropBox), and I like to limit CPU speeds when the screen is off. It seems to help a lot with battery life, especially if there is some rogue process going to town on my battery.
    Looking at SuperSU’s applications log, those are the only two things that are on the list.

  • TheRobotCow

    i use it only for Titanium Backup

  • Trevor

    For me it’s really just Titanium Backup. Lightflow might work better when rooted too, but I’m not sure about that.

  • Raven

    I am very concerned about this statement, “With the intro of Android 4.3, Google added in some “much-needed”
    security features which restrict setuid binaries on the system
    partition, but also limit the capabilities of processes.”

    What is this going to do to my stock rooted but still locked Nexus 7 when I update? I am used to rerooting with Voodoo OTA Rootkeeper. Is this no longer going to work? Are other root apps like Titanium backup going to cease to function?

    • It’s already known that OTA Rootkeeper isn’t working for 4.3. Plenty of people are having root issues with 4.3 so far.

    • mustbepbs

      I just ran the Chainfire root script from XDA from my Windows machine to root my 4.3 Nexus 10. Easy, done and done.

      • Raven

        I originally ran the djrbliss motochopper script to get root, but I have not found any mentions of a chainfire root script on XDA, just his updated SuperSU and a zip to install with TWRP, but I still have the stock launcher. Could you please provide a link to the root script from XDA that you ran from your Windows machine?

        • mustbepbs
          • Raven

            Thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen that one before. Unfortunately that script unlocks the bootloader and wipes the device if it has not been previously unlocked. I have not unlocked my boot loader and I would rather not if I can avoid it. But, I will keep it in mind if I need to resort to that approach.

    • jewvee

      I used wugfresh toolkit to do an adb sideload of the 4.3 ota update then rooted it using the same method!! Currently I am on stock 4.3 rooted with an unlocked bootloader on my nexus 7.. Everything works great except for titanium backup restoring apps I tried to restore 2 apps and it failed but that’s not something that I consider to be major …I did however have to change the file location for the app to work properly to legacy instead of 0

  • I dont understand the problem with root access, especially with the use of Superuser apps where you limit and control what is getting specific access why the whole system isnt accessible without root access to begin with. The whole “you can screw stuff up” is stupid as you can drop the phone and screw it up. We shouldnt have to jump through hoops to get full access to OUR devices.

  • ArrTooDeeToo

    PS3 controllers with the sixaxis app!!!
    Ad blockers.
    Titanium backup.
    Wifi Kill (when roommates are hogging bandwidth. Muahahaa!)

  • Raven

    I use root apps all of the time and they are very important to me.
    Here some of the apps that I use:
    Root Explorer – for all of my root file management needs.

    Titanium Backup – for single app backups of course.

    AdFree – duh.

    Autostarts – for preventing so many apps from autostarting at the drop of a hat.

    Greenify – for hibernating the rest that Autostarts can’t stop, but I still want to use.

    LagFix – for running an occasional fstrim on my N7.

    ROM Toolbox – for everything.

    SysTune – for custom tuning process priorities to make things way smoother.

    Sonicwall NetExtender – for remote desktop in to work through our firewall.

  • Tom Luley

    Um, titanium backup is a must. And root explorer is a close second, for me anyway…

    • gorkon

      One question: Why? When Google Play knows what you have bought and you can restore the data….other than convenience why do you really need Titanium Backup???

      • Tom Luley

        when you have 30+ apps, I dont want to go into the play store and individually find all of those apps. When I try to backup/restore through the feature when you set up your phone, it restores very few apps. Also, when you have multiple android devices that you sign into with the same Google account, it gets very confused and I want to keep all those apps separate.

        • gorkon

          I don’t have to. They just restore from Goolge Play. Occasionally it won’t but to be honest it’s rare now. What ever doesn’t restore I just download again.

          I mean I get it….but wouldn’t this be qualified as a convenience?

          • Tom Luley

            You must have better luck than me then! Ha!

            That still doesnt address the multiple devices issue though, so for me and many others, TiBu is the way to go. I dont want to backup all the apps on the account that my phone has on there then sign into my Nexus 7 with the same account and have it pull all the apps from my phone over. I want to keep those seperate.

          • Big_EZ

            It might work if Google allowed multiple profiles for each account. Then we could have tablet, phone, etc. profiles that you could choose to restore when setting up a device.

          • Big_EZ

            Google Play has only restored my apps a few times. Most of the time I have to manually reinstall the apps and then restore the data. It is a convenience, but when you flash a lot of roms it’s almost a must. Also I use titanium to backup apps before I update them, because sometimes updates break apps.

      • Ben

        If you fool with custom ROMs and want to transport your data from one rom to another. Or if there’s some need to factory reset your phone but you don’t want to lose your Temple Run progress, you can restore it after the reset. It’s most likely not why you had to wipe your phone in the first place.

  • Steve

    TB, Mobile Odin, Trickster Mod

  • jmsbwmn

    Ideally, CM would not abandon their current projects and simply add a non-root version. This would provide an option to end-users who could then choose whether they favored enhanced security or customization.

    Personally, I use CM on my Verizon Galaxy S3 merely as a way to get closer to stock Android. A couple of my apps use root, but I would be among those who value security as a higher priority.

    • mikeym0p

      There is an option to disable root in settings, they said they plan to ship with that disabled which I think is a good approach.

  • brkshr

    What Steve is saying, is that “root” is a sledgehammer approach to doing whatever you want, that leaves open vulnerabilities on your device. He wants to take the time to develop what we usually accomplish through root, the right way & securely. Without the need for superuser right’s. I have no doubt in my mind that CM can accomplish this.

    • Bi0nic

      Definitely. The CM crew are a talented bunch and I can’t wait to see what new developments arise.

      • matt_helm

        Yes, but will the phone company allow Google to let me do these things?

        I know we are talking custom ROMs, but until all this is standard on the standard ROMs, there isn’t going to be a true standard way of getting rights without root, if you ask me.

    • 1966CAH

      The problem with that is that CM either has to bake in a non-root method of replicating apps, or we just can’t use them. I think root is useful and as secure as needed as it’s implemented now. It’s granted app by app, and the user decides whether to give the rights permanently or each time the app runs. It lets the user decide whether they trust the dev and the app. I am not a fan of the “We know better and will decide for you” way of thinking. I would rather have the freedom to swim in the deep water, come what may, than to be sent to the kiddie pool…

  • EDNYLaw

    I use root for: Lightflow, Kernel tweaking, File management, ROM Control functions, AdBlock, tethering, backing up apps, scripts (init.d, etc…) if I can do all those things without root, go for it.

    For the general public root may not be needed, but as JBQ stated on Google+, Google is adaptable to changing OS abilities if there is demand. He stated that if someone really wants root, get a device with an unlockable bootloader.

    For my use case, I’m careful what I put on my devices, but root is pretty essential (as it stands now) for a lot of the things I use on a daily basis.

    Edit: here’s the Google+ Post from Koush with JBQ responding (https://plus.google.com/u/0/110558071969009568835/posts/dRXeizPKSqt)

  • M C

    really the only things i use root for is titanium backup wants it, my root file explorer wants it so i can drop stuff into the system or data folders, and a vpn app i have wants it, and maybe to tweak the clock speed for the cpu n gpu. That list used to be bigger a few years back but i use most of those apps anymore

  • Nathaniel_Graham

    Steve Kondik clearly stated he has no intentions of removing root in his follow up Google + post

  • Ibrick

    Sell out.

    • Ibrick

      Sensitive bunch.. lol
      Just think it’s ironic considering the source.

  • Go Hawkeyes

    I use root less and less anymore since needing to use my phone for corporate email through the Good for Enterprise app. I have to use a work around to disable root while using GFE so the vast majority of the time root is disabled. I’ll enable it to run TiBu periodically though and that’s about it.

  • Taylor Abrahamson

    TiB, and to navigate into system files.

  • AC

    titanium backup, custom kernels, modifying/deleting system apps

  • Kree Terry

    I only ever use root for Rom Toolbox and franco kernel updater. Make those work without root and im sold!!

  • Derek L.

    I use root for Titanium Backup and Adblock. I’m sure there are other uses, but since I don’t have an Android phone at the moment, I can’t think of them! 🙁

  • LugNuts McGruff


  • Justin Rogers

    I think Root should be an option that can be turned on in Developer options

    • Rook

      I agree or something along those lines

  • sc0rch3d

    great line of thinking for enterprise. i’ve heard of companies not allowing mobile devices that are detected as rooted.

  • BrianLipp

    custom kernels. I gots to have my Franco.Kernel! Big thanks to Franco to continuing to make them!

    • Ben

      You can flash that in a custom recovery, though. Doesn’t take but a minute and no root on your ROM.

      • Paul Henschel

        and how do you control them? you wouldnt even be able to switch something as simple as a governor. (-:

        • Ben

          oh, I guess that’s a fair point. lol

  • Justin Everett

    I will admit i do not use Root a ton, but i do use it enough to warrant keeping it. For Titanium Backup, AdBlock, Autostarts, and whatnot. (and as bvsbutthd101 noted, tethering too)

    • FknTwizted

      been rocking Android since og droid and really needed love from the devs, with today’s os it seems redundant, except for things like wifi tether, sixaxis controller, tb or helium…

      • As I’m seeing it, Chainfire and the devs are trying to secure their ROMS and plug any major security holes and if I’m not mistaken most devs already include things like WiFi tether baked in, I’m not sure about controller support or backup programs tho.

        • FknTwizted

          Yeah i know however i just root and stock rom it for this reason since the os is really getting to the point that it is smooth and feature packed… just wish they would work on the plug n play with bluetooth for things like keyboards, mouse, gaming controllers etc without the need for root access. also haven’t figured out why regular devs (manufactures) haven’t allow (other than htc’s feeble attempt) to allow system why customization ie change the coloring of the os and not being stuck with green, aqua blue etc.

          • While I can see why some would want to have that complete control over their device’s font colors and scheme you also have to remember they are programming it for the masses and one of the first things I learned about programming is that you have to make your program stupid proof! Basically someone ignorant / stupid could change the the OS colors to being say black with black font causing all of the text to become “invisible”.

          • FknTwizted

            Oh don’t worry I work with the tupid heads on a daily basis… But no matter what your always going to have someone that messes it up and that is why we have a whole industry of technical support that fixes tupid issues caused by end user.

    • Sean

      Also, Cerberus anti-theft.. If you install it via the root method it won’t be removed from your phone even if the thief does a full wipe.

      • But wouldn’t the attached data be removed?

        • Justin W

          No, it’s kept somehow (I’m not sure how, but I believe it’s kept in the sys folder itself?).

          • Oh interesting, I just assumed since other system app data gets removed (like Google apps), that this would be wiped as well. It would be awesome if that works though

          • On a wipe system apps (Google Apps) do not get removed, its only on a flash that they do and Cerberus does as well

          • Yeah I know that, but I meant on a wipe it removes all the data associated with those system apps.

          • But if the data is merged back into the system files it goes back to that state instead, which is likely what it does.

          • Yeah I know that, but I meant on a wipe it removes all the data associated with those system apps.

          • Yeah I know that, but I meant on a wipe it removes all the data associated with those system apps.

          • On a wipe system apps (Google Apps) do not get removed, its only on a flash that they do and Cerberus does as well

          • On a wipe system apps (Google Apps) do not get removed, its only on a flash that they do and Cerberus does as well

          • Justin W

            It’s similar to how Apple’s lost phone thing works – with the iOS theft prevention thing, if someone wipes the device, it keeps the information on it until someone can successfully enter the password of the last icloud account that was on the device prior to the wipe. I believe the same is possible with Android as well, but I don’t know how it works.

  • bvsbutthd101

    Tethering!!!! I tether all the time and it’s very important to me. The non-root tethering apps seem to always have problem for me.

    • Justin Everett

      Amen to that!

      • martyjones100


        • Timothy McGovern


          • Charles Hobbs


          • Timothy McGovern


      • Daniel Medlin

        Praise Tha Lord!

    • Taylor Abrahamson

      You don’t need to root to tether on CM, you don’t need any application at all. Tethering is built directly into CM10.1

      So what Steve is saying is that, the things that you do use root for on say a non CM rom, are already built into CM, so there should be no need to have root if you are running CM.

      • bvsbutthd101

        Unfortunately I’m using an old Droid Charge lol. CM is not available for me. Luckily though I can use the update from another line on my plan and I won’t lose my unlimited. I’m just waiting for the right phone to come out. So if CM is available for whatever phone I get next then all will be good. Even though Steve says they have no intention of removing root.

        • Taylor Abrahamson

          You really misunderstood Steve’s question. His question is posed only to people currently running CM. You don’t even fall into that category.

          When he says he wants to “Abolish the root requirement” He means that he would like to see CM be fully functional to the vast majority of users, and not need to be rooted. Hes not trying to abolish root from all roms, haha that’s the only way to get CM on your phone in the first place.

          • bvsbutthd101

            Actually I didn’t misunderstand anything. “If you’re using CM or another custom ROM, what do you actually use root for?” Notice it says “or another custom ROM” The ROM I’m using doesn’t have a built in tethering option so root is required for me tether, at least for free that is.

          • Taylor Abrahamson

            I would say that most custom roms have a working built in tether option. I don’t know why the one you have doesn’t.

          • bvsbutthd101

            “Most custom ROMS”, not all. Like I said, I’m on a old Droid Charge. No ROM for this phone ever had tethering built in.

      • Mark Mann

        you don’t need root to tether on CM per se…but you do need root to get cm…so essentially you need root to tether on cm

        • Taylor Abrahamson

          Yes, of course you need to get root on the factory rom to flash your recovery, once you flash your recovery, and you flash CM, there shouldn’t be many reasons to have root after that. Which is the actual question Steve is asking. Hes not saying root shouldn’t exist, hes just asking what people use root for after they’ve got CM installed.

          I can think of a few myself: TiBackup, root filesystem exploring, and to allow an application to update the recovery to a new version.

          I beleive CM already allows you brows the root filesystem with the built in file manager, so you shouldn’t need to use a app that needs root anymore. They also have a great built in tether app, so you don’t need it there. So Now I’m down to two answers:

          Backup apps, and update recovery. Steve could easily get the team to build in a recovery updater, and an app backup util. Then there are no more reasons to keep the rom rooted.

          Remember some people can’t have a rooted rom with their work, some people just don’t need root at all, but still like to use CM.

          So I believe hes proposing the idea of removing root from the rom on default installation, but of course allowing root to be added probably in a menu.

          • Mark Mann

            makes sense…one question though, do you need to have root to browse the root of your sd card? if so, he’d have to not only abolish root permissions to install the rom, but to allow access to the root as well

    • Kree Terry

      But if you use a custom rom you wont need root to tether. Most roms enable tethering with no setup required.