You receive a brand new Nexus device in the mail and once you have made sure it all functions as it should, there are no dead pixels and nothing falling off it what is the first thing you should do? That’s right obtain root access. In the past it was extremely simple to root a Nexus device that when all the blogs came out with the “ZOMG! Root All the Nexuses!” many of us had a very hohum moment. With Android version 5.0, lollipop, as posted here on Ausdroid a couple of weeks ago root access isn’t as basic as it once was.
It seems that now instead of it being extremely simple it is now just simple, thanks to the hard work of Chainfire. There is an extra step but if you read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter then you should not have any issues at all obtaining root access. As per usual we do not take any responsibility for what you may do to your device. You proceed with the following steps at your own risk.
- Download the SuperSU root file from Chainfire’s server
- Read the instructions obtained within the zip file
- Read them again
- Enable Developer settings on your Nexus 9 by going to Settings -> About Tablet and tapping build number 7 times
- Enter the Developer settings and tick the “Enable OEM unlock” box and the “USB debugging” box
- Boot into the bootloader by either typing adb reboot bootloader into a command box or turning tablet off and booting it up while holding down the volume down button
- Select Fastboot in the menu that comes up using the volume keys to scroll and the power button to select
- Open a command prompt for the folder where the files you downlaodedd are located
- Type in “
fastboot devices” to make sure that your tablet is recognised. If it is not you will need to either reinstall or update your Android SDK
- Once you get a return of a device present it is time to unlock the bootloader. Doing so will erase all your data (interestingly it didn’t wipe the sd storage, just the /data partition on my device
- Type in “
fastboot OEM unlock“
- Read the disclaimer that comes up on the screen and select the volume up button to accept it. Your Nexus 9 will now erase the data and return you to the fastboot menu
- The next step is to inject SuperSU into the system partition. Type in “
fastboot boot inject.img“
- After it reboots it is time to flash a modified kernel to bypass some SELinux restrictions as mentioned previously on Ausdroid
- Type “
fastboot flash boot patched.img” into the command box
- Type in “
fastboot reboot” to boot up into a rooted Android 5.0 system
- Go to the Play Store and purchase SuperSU Pro to thank Chainfire for all the work he has done obtaining this root access for us to enjoy
The difficulties do not end there. Root access apps will need to be altered to work with this new root process. A popular app is Titanium Backup and at this stage the market version does not work. You will need to obtain the latest beta for this from their twitter account. A way around this for apps that have not been updated and do not look like being updated is to turn of SELinux totally although I do not recommend doing that. There are apps on the Play Store that will accomplish this for you.
You can now enjoy your rooted Nexus 9 with very little restriction, the way Android should be.