Home > Android > Enable root access on Android phone (Nexus S)

Enable root access on Android phone (Nexus S)

Rooting is a process that allows users of mobile phones and other devices running the Android operating system to attain privileged control. With root access the limitations imposed by manufactures are overcome and how have almost full control of what you can install on your phone.

Option A [1][3]

Download the latest version of the ClockworkMod Recovery. Use one of the following images.

$ wget http://download.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-
$ wget http://download.clockworkmod.com/recoveries/recovery-clockwork-
$ wget http://bit.ly/su2361ef

Download the Superuser application.

$ wget http://bit.ly/su2361ef

Copy the Superuser application to the mobile. The easiest way is to enable USB storage mode on your mobile phone, although you can use adb tool (adb push)

$ cp su- /media/USB_STORAGE_PATH/

Reboot into your bootloader/fastboot mode. (Volume Up + Power, or adb reboot bootloader)
Mobile has to be unlocked in order to continue (see PONER POST UNLOCK).

Flash the recovery image (it doesn’t matter v3.0.2.4 or

$ ./fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork- 
  sending 'recovery' (4040 KB)... OKAY [  0.642s]
            writing 'recovery'... OKAY [  0.540s]
finished. total time: 1.187s

The ClockworkMod Recovery should now be installed on the Nexus S.

Note: On next reboot the recovery image just flashed is removed and the phone gets to the normal one. It seems that this is the normal behaviour but not sure if it is or not. Have to further check.

Boot into Clockwork recovery and install the Superuser zip file by choosing in fastboot mode the recovery option (just select the option on the phone menu) or using the adb tool

$ ./adb reboot recovery

When the phone is in recovery mode the first line of the text menu on the phone should display something similar to

ClockworkMod Recovery v4.0.0.2

In the recovery menu, select

  • +install zip from /sdcard
  • +choose zip from sdcard
  • +su-
  • +Yes – Install su-

Note: there is a menu option which enables signature verification, but for our case it is ok as it is by default (it seems it is not checked)

After installation reboot system now

Once rebooted to check that everything has gone well

$ ./adb shell
	$ su (a prompt will appear on the mobile phone - accept)
	# (you are root)

Now it is time to go to the Market and download the ROM Manager so you can install custom rooms.

Option B

[2] is a quick guide to setting root access. It seems it is only to install a couple of programs.
It hasn’t been tested.

There are other ways where just by flashing a custom image root access is enabled, but you’ll never know what’s in the image 😉


[1] [GUIDE] Root and Recovery for the Nexus S
[2] [GUIDE] Unlock bootloader for Nexus S
[3] Nexus S: Full Update Guide – CyanogenMod Wiki

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