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Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Phone, or any Android Phone

The Samsung Galaxy is a phone that lends itself to a variety of uses. With it’s large screen, current Android operating system, and thanks to the many technically minded people who are choosing this phone, an impressive selection of apps are available which increase the appeal of this phone to those who wish to use it fully.

Very little work is required to root this phone, become a Super User, install Root Explorer, Tor (Orbot), Tor enabled search engines (Orweb), Red Phone (encrypted phone calls) and much more. Linux operating systems are easy to install if you choose. Having Linux on your Android will run a little slower but allows you to install any software that is available to a Linux OS.

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Samsung Galaxy with the apps listed here.

Rooting the Phone

Searching the internet, many web pages will describe complicated procedures to root the phone that include connecting the phone to your computer, downloading programs, and performing extensive work. To make this procedure even less attractive, the voluminous comments below these articles are filled with posts about phones that have become unusable, bricked, etc.

Warning

Rooting your phone could invalidate your warranty! The method described here is working on the writers phone, but there could be risks so do your own due diligence. The responsibility is on you when rooting your phone.

Easy and Reversible Rooting

For those who wish to safely root their phone, without the high risk consequences, and to be able to unroot it should warranty repairs be required, there’s an easy solution – Exynos Abuse, Root Explorer, and Super User.

Exynos Abuse

Exynos Abuse is a small app available online (it’s either not in your apps, or hard to find). There are many sources for this, but it was created by a user on the Android forums, and this was where it was downloaded from in this example. Once installed, you can check for updates, donate through PayPal, and more, including the Unroot option, which along with the other app's unroots, restores your phone to its original unrooted condition, allowing you the choice of reversing your decision. Consider making a donation to the Developer if you like his app.

When you look for this download, ensure it is the right version for your make and model of phone. This great little piece of software requires a few more apps to become fully functioning.

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A look at the Exynos Abuse interface.

Root Explorer

There are several options in your Apps for this. In this example the permissions that the App required were scrutinized, and some trial and error with different apps to find one that suited this phone and the user. This download is small and won’t affect your phone plan if you have a download limit (more on this later).

Root Explorer along with Exynos Abuse, and Super User, allows you access to all your folders and directories. You can delete anything (which is why rooting can void your warranty) and cut and paste. It’s a very powerful little tool that we take for granted on our computer. Once you have access to this, you’ll wonder how you got along without it.

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A look at the Root Explorer.

Super User

The Super User app works with Exynos Abuse and Root Explorer to provide complete control over your Android phone. You can delete logs, enable your phone so logs aren’t even being collected, unroot, check your apps to ensure they are actually rooted, enter a PIN code for access to Super User, and more. Use common sense when choosing your Super User app and look at the granted permissions. Use some trial and error to find the one you like best.

Once this step is complete – your phone is rooted!

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A look at the Super User interface.

Tor

Rooting has many advantages, one of which is being able to install Tor. In this case the app from the Tor Project is called Orbot. It’s easy to download and install. You can also download Orweb, the search engine from the Tor Project.

Root Warning

Orbot can function and you may be able to browse with any browser except Orweb. If Orweb will not work – you have not rooted your phone correctly! To check that your root is working and set up properly, try launching Orbot, then Orweb. If this is successful, you have another confirmation of your successful root.

Orbot

Once installed run through the Wizard. You will be prompted to Request Super User access. Don’t skip this step, grant the access. You will then be prompted to optionally install Orweb (do it!), Gibberbot (encrypted text messages), DuckDuckGo, Proxy Mobile for Firefox, and Twitter. As mentioned, installing Orweb is a double check that you are rooted. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that can be used with or without Orbot. It’s a cool app so give it try if you don’t have it.

Optionally (outside of the Orbot interface) you can install Red Phone, which allows you to place and receive encrypted phone calls between parties that have Red Phone installed on both ends. It will not work if you dial some one who doesn’t have Red Phone, so not a bad thing to have if you value your privacy.

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Orbot prior to being turned on.

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Orbot has been activated. Note the screen confirming it has been granted Super User access.

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Orbot is working, it's turned green and the arms are straight up.

Orweb

This search engine will take you anywhere including the deep web. If you are considering browsing the deep web (for amusement purposes) please be aware that one of the three letter agencies in early August 2013 found a way to track users who had Java script enabled. This is a default setting in some versions of the PC based Tor browser, and more research should be performed if you have any thoughts about checking out the deep web on your phone. However it is a great search engine and a lot quicker than the desktop based Tor browser.

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The Orweb interface. DON'T ENABLE JAVA.

Linux

Yes Linux is available for those who would like the functionality and options offered by this operating system. If you have a data cap on your phone plan, you might be ahead to explore this when you are connected to your home WiFi. Some of the Linux installers have to download 600mb of data.

Thanks for reading – enjoy your rooted Samsung Galaxy!

References

1. Get 'Root' on your Android device http://www.androidcentral.com/root

2. [ROOT EXPLOIT+PATCH][2012.12.19] ExynosAbuse APK v1.40 http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2050297

3. The Samsung Exynos kernel exploit - what you need to know http://www.androidcentral.com/samsung-exynos-kernel-exploit-what-you-need-know

Reference | How To


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