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Temporary Root Achieved on Verizon Moto X and 2013 DROID Line Up

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Some carriers in the US are nice enough to allow companies to unlock bootloaders of their flagship devices when they launch on their networks. Unfortunately for most of us here, Verizon is not one of those nice carriers. Locked bootloaders and the struggle to get root is nothing new for Verizon customers, but there is now a ray of hope for fans who enjoy rooting their phones. Temporary root has been achieved on the Moto X, and the better news is that this exploit should work on the 2013 DROID line as well. 

Notable Android developer Justin Case from TeamAndIRC tweeted out last night that he achieved root on the Moto X. Right now the root is just temporary and there is still some work that needs to be done before it’s permanent, but it is a start. This same exploit, while untested at the moment, should work on the new DROIDs like the Ultra, Mini and Maxx. Of course, if you want to keep this exploit open, Case suggests that you shouldn’t take any upcoming OTAs until this gets more permanent.

Do you want to root your new Moto X or DROID?

Via: R0otzWiki

Cheers Willimus, Bill, and thedonxr!

  • Mike

    Wallpaper please! I’ve been looking for it since this post and cannot find it, Thanks

  • Michael

    Any word on 32 GB Moto X from Verizon?

  • Kage_

    I wonder if OTA RootKeeper will be able to restore root on OTA upgrades. Right now it doesn’t support 4.3 though.

  • blesx


    I really like that wallpaper. Anyone know where I can find it?

  • sk3litor

    Thanks justin and adam and all the awesome devs. Keep fighting the good fight.

  • loony2nz

    waiting patiently. Can’t wait to root my Mini to remove this god awful bloatware and add in tethering.

    • Kelvin Tso

      You know you can disable the apps right?

  • edmicman

    Any word on when (if?) Verizon will get the 32GB model of the Moto X? Or if the GPE version of the Moto X will work with Verizon?
    Or maybe a better way to put it, is there any way to have a stock Android experience on Verizon wtih timely updates and not having to root and ROM things? Or is iPhone the only way to get a Verizon phone that isn’t sullied by Verizon’s rules?

  • PuttsMoBilesiCit

    Honestly with my Droid Maxx having 4.2.2, this is the first device I have felt there is no need to root and ROM it. I only did that before on older devices that had minimum ROM’s built for speed. Even with 3 pages of apps, I have no hiccups and chrome runs super fast. I also used to dread pulling out my phone to Google something or use Chrome. Now I don’t feel this burden as I did in the past. This phone is overall amazing, and there is no need for anything to be changed. The last phone I felt that was worth rooting was the Droid Razr Maxx. After that, I felt no need. Plus, I have yet to find any apps that make rooting worth it on stock. Notice the list of phones below.

    Previous Devices: OG Droid, Droid X, Droid Bionic, Galaxy Nexus, Droid Razr Maxx, Droid Razr maxx HD.

    • GoBlue

      Dang you go through phones like I go through ice cream

      • PuttsMoBilesiCit

        Some people want the latest clothes, shoes, cars, ect… I just want the latest technology 😀

  • It’d be nice if the dev community could somehow keep these exploits a bit more secret so Verizon and co. can’t make an update to eliminate the exploits…

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Can you smell the kit kats? I dont care how good the camera gets, i’m not updating a damn thing.

  • Robert Macri

    Love it.

  • jeff manning


  • geekabilly

    Want? Uh, yes.

  • mustbepbs

    What is that wallpaper?

  • omarsalmin

    Forget the root, I want that wallpaper!

  • Temp root is better than no root at all.

    • Raven

      I think I would actually probably be OK with temp root. As long as I could run Autostarts every once in a while and Titanium Backup when I wanted to I would probably be able to make do with a not permanently rooted phone.

  • schoat333

    Doesn’t he usually report these exploits to manufacturers so they can patch them?

  • Godzilla

    There is nothing good about the phrase “temporary root”

    • Adrynalyne

      When compared to no root at all, it seems good.

    • Steve Ballmer

      It’s progress.

    • Ian

      You mean other than the fact that its a step towards full root?

    • Big_EZ

      Every device I’ve had (that didn’t have root when I got it) went through a short period of temp root only.

  • thedonxr

    I hope when the Developer Edition becomes available it allows the devs to get past the encryption on the stock version so there will be more support for the phone.

    • Eric

      The developer edition won’t help the bootloader situation on the regular version.

      • geekabilly

        this phone is so good stock, rooted but unlocked will be a very good alternative to the DE

  • muffnman

    FYI he also mentioned that he believes to have found a new solution for the S4: https://twitter.com/P3Droid/status/377632762930290688

    • jnt

      that part was a joke

      • muffnman


  • T4rd

    It’s truly sad that we can no longer expect bootloaders to be unlocked/exploited on Verizon phones anymore. Somehow I doubt we’ll be lucky enough to see the Verizon GS4 (again) or Note 3 unlocked, which will definitely hamper the experience on those devices (for me at least). Verizon removing Blocking Mode and putting persistant WiFi notifications on the phone is extremely annoying to me, so I flashed the international-based Note 2 ROM onto my Verizon Note 2 so it is as Samsung intended.

    • socarwolverine

      Unfortunately the bulk of VZW’s customers are either unable or do not care about root. Those are the ones that ruin it for the rooters, especially when some guy decides to brick his phone and goes running back to VZW rather than work out the problem himself or with forum help.

      • Big_EZ

        If they weren’t so locked down bricking wouldn’t be an issue. All they would have to do is have programs at Verizon stores to restore the phone, then most issues wouldn’t get escalated to the warranty department.

        • socarwolverine

          Still, VZW is trying to protect itself from the lowest common denominator, and unfortunately, that’s pretty low. It’s not a good excuse on their part, but it’s a lot easier to lock everything down than to worry about any joe schmuck rooting and breaking his phone and expecting a warranty replacement.

    • Tim242

      I remember when my list of reasons for unlocking used to be so long. Now, it’s just to fix Verizon’s crap.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        Precisely. The only reason I need root is to tweak tethering for my Nexus 7 while I’m away from/near crappy wifi which is unfortunately more often than I would like.

        • Tim242

          Which phone do you have? This https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.erez.hotspot works on all Samsung devices, some others. I don’t think it does on moto or not. It toggles your built in hotspot, without checking for subscription.

          • Curtis

            Is this a bad URL for anyone else? What’s the app called?

          • Tim242

            Hotspot Toggle.
            Erda Team

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Hmmm, might be worthwhile to check it out. I’m running a Razr at the moment, so I just did the entitlement hack and the built-in hotspot works great, bluetooth or wifi.

            Also, I’m trying my hardest not to support Verizon with a device sale if I can help it. Dev editions are typically sold direct, which would be great.

            My dream would be the next stage of Moto Maker to be the Dev Editions, but given the wording currently on their website I doubt it will happen even though it would make sense as it would only incrementally increase their volume being that it is full retail only.

            However, all of this goes back to the lack of communication from the OEMs. I’m about to just give up and get a DNA or Razr HD off swappa until these guys sort themselves out then decide what to do after that.

        • tomn1ce
          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Thanks. I swear a working hotspot app is the most difficult to find app on Play. That’s why I love the entitlement hack, quick SQLite database scan, change one value and POOF! working hotspot.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      One the one hand it is sad, but at the same time it means that Android is becoming an ever-more-secure OS, which is a very very good thing for all of us.

  • WCM3

    Hooray! Now bring motomaker and wood backs, Verizon. k, thx

    • charles rogers

      Yep, I’m probably skipping the X for a G2, but i totally agree there.

  • Victor

    This is a great thing for those that are used to have root access and may have been on the fence for these phones with Verizon. Although I am sure many are waiting for the LG G2 and Note 3 release.

    I am going to get the G2 tomorrow, but if it is not up to par, I will look at the Droid Maxx.

    • charles rogers

      Its coming out on verizon tomorrow? Nobody told me 🙁

      • socarwolverine

        Verizon pretty much told everyone…

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The G2 looks like a great device. Still looking at it myself, but the glossy plastic and odd buttons are a pretty big turn-off for me.

  • Jeremy Martin

    With the almost stock OS on the new Motorola phones having root is honestly all you would need I would think. You could modify the bloat and install great root based apps. I love CyanogenMod but with this new look for Motorola I am not sure I personally need an unlocked boot loader anymore.

    • Adam Truelove

      Unless you want new versions of Android in a timely fashion. Some of us aren’t content with being stuck on old versions.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        Depends on your definition of “timely”. Nexus/GPE are the only ones that got out within 2 weeks of source hitting. CM is usually pretty quick, but there are also usually a ton of bugs, some of which aren’t worked out until a leak gives devs the code they need.

        Unless I am buying a Nexus, I tend to make sure that I am happy with the way the device looks/runs with its current software. Any updates beyond bug fixes are icing on the cake. And no, I’m not giving OEMs a pass for not updating their devices as quickly as possible, I’m just keeping my expectations low and keeping the fact that I have a perfectly working phone in perspective.

      • socarwolverine

        While you’re right, I’ll say that VZW and Moto weren’t too bad with the OG Razr Line. They did get it off gingerbread and up to 4.1.2. I think most of us have been through worse upgrade cycles.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Agreed, but no word on any updates for any Motorola devices other than the Xyboards (still don’t have 4.1.2 or anything even close to an ETA) has me very worried.

          If HTC and Samsung can announce their projected update timeline (end of Sept for most HTCs, mid-Oct for the Verizon One and Samsung’s devices), Motorola should be able to say at least what they are planning to update, if not when. We don’t even know if they are working on an update for the Moto X to 4.3, or if they are waiting for 4.4. The lack of communication is troubling to say the least.

          • Jeremy Martin

            Take a look at Punits last post to me asking this same thing. He seems to embrace the fact they need to be more open and plans to fix that: https://plus.google.com/111499908439497508351/posts/FCXhAuM2GXR

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            That’s very encouraging, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. A week later, still nothing. No word on the Developer Editions either. I know it takes time, especially to refresh their update website (it is still one of the few that retains the pre-Moto-X styling), but any news would be welcome at this point, even a “yeah, we plan on getting x update on y devices”.

            I’m holding out a slim hope that it will be an Oprah meme come to life “YOU GET 4.3! and YOU get 4.3! Everyone gets 4.3!!!!!”, but I know it won’t happen. I have slightly higher hope that they are holding the dev editions for the 4.3 software and greatly improved camera performance, which is arguably the only software-fixable issue most reviewers had with it.

          • Jeremy Martin

            Honestly i can see the business reason in not updating the Razr HD line right now. Why get a Droid Ultra/MAXX if you could get a Razr HD with the same OS right now but $50 dollars cheaper.

            They will let the Ultra and MAXX ride for a bit before releasing an update for the Razr HD lineup im sure to boost sales. “They” could be Motorola or Verizon…could be both. However putting up an update schedule should be ok and thats what Punit is supporting.

          • socarwolverine

            The flaw with your business reasoning, is they’d rather clear out old stock while still locking people into contracts. The 2 yr agreement is more lucrative than one $50 purchase. If they can update a year old device and still lock some sucker down, theyll do it. Besides, they still updated the OG Razr and Maxx well into the HD’s timeline.

          • Jeremy Martin

            I am not saying they wont update the HD…what I am saying is they wont update the HD right out of the gate with the Ultra and MAXX as well as the Moto X they are pushing. Does not make much sense. They want to push their new phones, especially the Moto X, to everyone they can. Upgrading the Razr HD line right now only makes someone who cares nothing about what a phone can do and only cares about what it looks like on the shelf, get the cheaper option over the line they want to push.

            I see what you are saying about clearing out stock but only Verizon cares about that…Moto does not. So maybe it would be Motorola being the “They” in my scenario.

          • socarwolverine

            In that case I do agree with you. Only thing I’ll say is, if people don’t care about what the phone can do then they probably aren’t keeping up with updates either. But you’re right VZW is in no rush to update while they can push new phones.

          • Zach B.

            Unless I COMPLETELY missed something, is it not painfully obvious the Mini/Ultra/Maxx line IS the upgrade to the M/HD/HD MAXX line?

          • socarwolverine

            You’re right, but he’s speaking of a software upgrade.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            I can agree, but with their competitors stepping up their updates Motorola needs to as well. Communication I think is going to be key for them over the next couple of years as they try to rebuild their sales. Be decisive, communicate well, and follow through. But the communication surrounding the Moto X launch (very soft launch, exclusivity, no details on updates/Moto Maker/dev editions) has hopefully been taken as a “lessons learned”, and will quickly improve. Sometimes you want to show your hand, no matter what your competitors are up to.

      • Jeremy Martin

        Well also keep in mind the Motorola developers for CM (epinter, Dhacker, Skrillax etc..) are masters in their craft. They have safestrap releases for the Bionic, Razr and other locked up Moto devices. Dhacker is skilled at making CM work with the stock kernel if he has to. So other than an updated AOSP kernel you would still have the other security updates from CyanogenMod im sure even if you bought a locked up device.

    • Tim242

      It will probably still have that stupid WiFi notification.

      • MrBigStuff

        The Moto X doesn’t have a persistent WiFi notification on Verizon.

        • Tim242

          I’m shocked. Maybe they’ll stop that nonsense.

      • Nick

        You can turn that off

        • Tim242

          I’m talking about the persistent notification. It can only be disabledwhen rooted.

          • Lucky Armpit

            Not true. Head to the advanced settings under Wifi and you can disable the ongoing notification. At least that’s how it is on the Droid Maxx.

            Untick “Show Wi-Fi status in notification panel”

            Android/Verizon users rejoice. 🙂

          • Tim242

            That option is not there on Samsung or HTC phones . Verizon is so random with its crap.

          • Stuff

            Tim242 is not wrong. On Samsung Galaxy S3 running TouchWiz on Verizon the option to turn off persistent notifications is not available. You have to use SQLite Editor to get to the appropriate setting, as there is no toggle for it otherwise.

          • Lucky Armpit

            That’s just crazy. Didn’t realize you guys were referencing Sammy, sorry about that.

          • Stuff

            Yeah, I was quite peeved when I had learned about this a year ago with my SGS3. Thankfully AOSP ROMs have been stable for quite a while now, so I feel like I’ve regained control of my own device.

      • bboyairwreck

        I know what you are talking about but you can definitely turn it off. Search deeper my friend.

        • Tim242

          There’s no option to disable it on the Note 2, or S4.

          • Robert Macri

            Confirmed, it can be turned off on the Moto X

          • Tim242

            There’s hope for sanity if we lose the option to root and run custom rrecovery!

          • David Verba

            How do I turn it off?

    • geekabilly

      right on the money, I’m with you on that, Jeremy

    • Lucky Armpit

      I wholeheartedly agree… I don’t care about unlocked bootloaders for loading customer ROMs. I only want root to eliminate the bloat as well as backup/restore apps and I’m a happy guy. This is good news. Need to head over to xda to see what the bounty is up to.

    • jnt

      I agree – I have no desire to flash any custom software on the X. A few small tweaks might be nice, but I definitely don’t want to lose the features the X brings to the table on top of what is essentially stock Android.

    • addicuss

      You forget about the vzw nexus. Stock android…. Slooooooooow updates.

    • antinorm

      There are some features stock Android has that, IMO, shouldn’t be hard-coded as they are right now. Being able to replace the Recents button with something more useful like a Search button comes to mind, as does being able to choose what happens when I swipe up from home.

  • Milind Shah

    aaaaaaand an update comes up next day to remove this exploit!

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      lol, they are never that fast. however, the next update (presumably 4.3) will likely patch a whole mess of exploits, possibly this one included.

      • Milind Shah

        nono they are when they want to patch up exploits xD

      • Weber

        Weren’t they that quick with the HTC One?

        • Ian

          Not the same situation. With the One, VZW picked up the phone and called HTC and said stop letting our devices be unlocked damnit!

          • Weber

            Ah, I thought that it was VZW that patched it. I only remember that the situation worked out in VZW’s favor.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          That wasn’t an update, HTC just fixed their unlock website, which is much much easier.

          • Weber

            Who downvoted you for this? haha

      • Jeremy Martin

        4.3 uses SELinux so I am sure in the very near future root will be much harder to obtain sadly unless you have an unlocked boot loader.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          One of the reasons I am very very hesitant to buy anything but an unlocked device. I don’t want to limit my options.