Rooting terminology for beginners
Entering in the world of rooting and rooting your android phone or tablet is like a never ending thread you will find some strange words and confusing combinations of letters like ROMs, Kernels, Bootloader and Nandroid. In this post we are going to define all the basics terms used in rooting.
Rooting: Rooting is the process of gaining control over your device completely. When you purchase your mobile there are certain files in the system that you can’t access because they are blocked by the manufacturer. By acquiring root you gain access to these files that allows you to modify, replace and even delete them.
Bootloader: Before rooting your device you have to unlock your bootloader. The bootloader is a line of code that is executed before your phone boots up. The bootloader’s code is specific for every model of android devices.
Bootloader comes locked because company doesn’t want you to change the system software as they worked so hard on software to optimize for that particular piece of hardware.
By unlocking the bootloader you can replace system software with the custom software, but unlocking bootloader erases all the internal data like a factory reset.
Recovery: once your bootloader is unlocked and you have rooted your device, you will need a custom recovery as the stock recovery is limited in function. In order to change system’s software and make changes in the device at core level we need custom recovery like CWM or TWRP recovery. You can flash new ROMs, wipe data and take backup of data with the help of custom recovery.
Backup/ Nandroid: Once your custom recovery is installed, you can take backup (also known as Nandroid).A Nandroid is simply a complete backup of your system, data, call logs and messages etc. i.e. you can restore to the exact same state like it was before factory reset.
Flashing & Flashable ZIP: Flashing is the process of installing software via custom recovery. A flashable ZIP is the file that you install or flash from recovery to make changes to your phone’s software. The flashable ZIP may be a file containing ROM, kernel and apps.
ROM: A ROM is the operating system that your phone runs like windows runs on your PC. It includes all the system apps (like messaging app, phone, email), the launcher, notification bar etc. Almost all devices come up with the stock Android ROM (unmodified).
Code-savvy developers have taken the manufacturer’s code and created their own Custom ROMs. These ROMs enhances the look and feel of the phone and often add so many features. Two very popular custom ROMs are CyanogenMod and MIUI. A ROM is made for specific model of a phone and can be flashed by recovery.
Kernel: A kernel usually tells the software how to interact with the hardware. A custom kernel is the kernel that developers have added code to, in order to create new options and abilities.
They might add code to make phones processor to run faster or make battery to draw less power when it is in ideal mode. Kernels are in the format (.img) and usually called Tar Images.
Brick: Bricking is the stage where phone isn’t responding and it occurs due to poor flashing or not following the steps correctly. Generally brick is of two types:-
- Soft Brick
- Hard Brick
Soft Brick can easily be handled by flashing the correct by using adb drivers. While the hard bricks needs the professional to fix it because in case of hard brick the phone is not responding and not charging as well.
Android SDK: Android SDK is a “software development kit” developed by GOOGLE that enables developers to create applications for the Android platform. It includes sample projects with source code, development tools and required libraries to build android applications.
ADB: ADB stands for “Advance Debug Bridge” which is a tool that comes in the Android SDK. ADB lets you to modify your device by pc command line. ADB is mainly for developers to create and test their apps. ADB runs command via computer’s command prompt.
Well that’s it for now. Hopefully this will clear you the meaning of all the basic terms used in rooting.