Rooting Android with z4root

A screenshot of z4root in an unrooted Samsung Galaxy Tab

A screenshot of z4root 1.3.0 in an unrooted Samsung Galaxy Tab showing temporary and permanent root options.

I have posted a guide on how to root the Samsung Galaxy Tab with SuperOneClick just lately which you should read if you’re new to rooting. This time I’ll tell you how to do it with an app called z4root which is less intimidating. Since the process is similar to all compatible Android phones I decided to give it a more general title. I have confirmed that z4root works with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8.

Although the act of rooting is generally safe, the things you can do after rooting can turn your device into an expensive paperweight if done incorrectly. I won’t be responsible for any damages, injuries or crimes resulting from following this guide. Also be aware that rooting could potentially void your warranty. Proceed with caution.

z4root seems to has been removed from the Android Market. Fortunately, you may download the app from the XDA Developers forum – you’ll need an XDA account to do so but don’t worry it’s free to register. You could also see an incomplete compatibility list there. Once downloaded send it to your device if you downloaded it on your PC and install it. But wait! Don’t run it yet. Let’s not be hasty and follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure your device isn’t connected through USB. Go to Settings app on the application menu and browse through Applications > Development. From there check the USB debugging checkbox.
  2. Launch z4root and press the Root button or, as of version 1.3.0, you’ll also get the option for a permanent or temporary root. I’ll explain what they are below.
    • Pointing out the obvious, permanent root will permanently root your device. This means that your device will remain rooted even after a reboot. This option is not compatible with all phones. I have tested it to work on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 with an Eclaire update.
    • Temporary rooting will root your device while it’s running and a reboot will remove root access. Do note that the actions you could do on a temporary root is more limited compared to a permanent root. Also, it’s worth noting that temporary rooting is sometimes the only option for some (NAND-based) devices.
  3. What happens next depends one which option you chose:
    • If you chose a permanent root your device will restart after the rooting process. To confirm that your device is rooted you may run z4root again. If you see a Re-root and Un-root button then you’re good to go. You could also check for the Superuser app in your application menu. Another app called Busybox will also be installed although it will be transparent to you.
    • A temporary root will not initiate a restart but your device will be rooted until you reboot. So do what you have to do before restarting your phone. I haven’t really tested the temporary root option so I’m basing this upon what others say. You may correct me if I’m wrong.

That’s it! You now have a rooted phone! You may turn off USB debugging now. Enjoy your newfound freedom!


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