Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rooting the Google Nexus 5 Smartphone

Further to my last posting where I upgraded my Nexus 5 phone to Android 5 manually  (necessary to fix my charging problem) it is now time to /root/ the phone.

What is Rooting?
Perhaps watch this video  but essentially some applications need superuser access to the phone i.e. without any restrictions, and so I decided to root the phone.

Rooting is accomplished below by replacing the bootloader program boot.img by a custom version of the program

If you follow the XDA developers website  you will see that user Chainfire  is probably the leading

How to Root your Nexus 5 

  • This process assumes that you already installed on a controlling PC the necessary minimal adb software and thus you know how to make a connection from your PC to your android phone.   This post
  • Next you have upgraded your system to Android 5.0 right?  Just checking
  • Download the bootloader and controlling script here  (generic page) and link for Nexus 5
  • I unpacked the files into the same directory as the adb files from a few days back C:\Program Files\Minimal ADB and Fastboot

  • Then shutdown the phone and restart  (hold down volume and power button)
  • Now connect your phone to your PC via USB cable
  • I tried the fastboot devices command to check that my PC can talk to the Nexus 5. (It should return the serial number)
  • For windows now run the root-window.bat program that is just really running these 2 commands

tools\fastboot-windows.exe oem unlock
tools\fastboot-windows.exe boot image\CF-Auto-Root-hammerhead-hammerhead-nexus5.img

(Here we will run the different fastboot-windows.exe program supplied with this .zip file)

Actually I ran the commands manually and since the phone is already unlocked the first command failed as expected

Next the bootloader is downloaded and kernel modified etc.


Okay, you can double check you are rooted because you will see the SuperSU application magically appear in your app list.

Close but no Cigar
One application that needs root permissions for certain functions is airdroid.    It allows you to control certain aspects of your phone remotely without using cables    (For me not everything is working but you get the principle right?)

Right now rooting the Nexus 5 with Lollipop OS is fantastically easy thanks to the work of others.  I recommend that you consult XDA developers website periodically for interest and also subscribe to their YouTube channel.