Changes to Android Versions Could Break Root Apps

By: Carlie McKeon | January 22, 2014 (Edited July 7, 2017)

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Possible changes to Android's file system may cause a headache for users that have downloaded apps that require root. The news broke when the creator of Chainfire, a collection of the most highly-rated root apps available on the Google Play market, shared that the new versions of Android would ultimately break root access for several different apps.


Rooting is the process in which users are able to gain "root access," which is essentially a new level of control within the Android system. Users who wish to "root" their android devices do so in order to avoid certain limitations that are often implemented by carriers and manufacturers. Rooting allows the user to  customize applications and settings, download specialized apps, and maximize other capacities that are not available to the typical android user. Rooting is often times compared to the jailbreaking devices that run on the Apple iOS.


In a public statement, Chainfire explained that, "A lot of root apps (though by no means all of them) include binaries or scripts that they extract to their app-specific files or lib directory and execute from there as root. This will no longer work out-of-the-box, and generate an access denied error."

There is room for hope, as the Chainfire expert further stated, "Though there are certainly several ways around the issue for the affected apps, there doesn't seem to be a single generic solution that would work for all cases and can be implemented in the su command itself."

The Problem

The change is expected to occur when Google decides to release the next major version of Android. This will ultimately present developers with a complex issue since there is no solution to solving these problems at this time. In the mean time, developers need to be made aware of the potential problems associated with the new Android version so they can correct it before it takes affect.


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Written by Carlie McKeon

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