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I've been attempting to root my phone (Samsung Intercept M910, but that probably doesn't matter).

How can I tell that I have actually, successfully gained root? I've run a few apps which require root, and some work and some don't, so I'm unclear if I've gained root or not.

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7 Answers 7

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Use terminal emulator (a popular free/open-source terminal emulator is Android Terminal Emulator, available from F-droid or Play Market), open the emulator and type


you will know with the message that appears after if phone is rooted or not.


There is an app just for this now : Root Checker

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A popular free/open-source terminal emulator is Android Terminal Emulator, available from F-droid or Play Market. – imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Apr 20 '13 at 15:20
What if "su: not found"? It simply implies that the su utility has not been installed (or is not in the PATH), rather than whether we have root... – imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Apr 20 '13 at 15:52
I got "su: not found". But I still suspect the phone is rooted. What can I do now? – Leo Oct 29 at 0:29

Connect your phone in developer mode via USB and start an ADB shell

adb shell

If you see a # at the beginning of the line your phone is rooted, if it's a $ try to execute the su command, and if you get a # now, your phone is rooted, but if you get an error that su can't be found it's probably not, or the su binary is simply missing.

There are also apps on the market that test if your phone is rooted.

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That's not enough. If you see a "$"-Prompt you still can elevate to root via the su binary (typing the "su" command), if you have successfully rooted your phone. – Flow Sep 11 '11 at 10:44
Yeah, forgot that some ROMs doesn't have root as default. Hm, anything else you want me to change now? – kyrias Sep 11 '11 at 11:01

There is an application available in the market called Root Checker, that can verify if your phone is rooted, and if you have BusyBox installed.

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Does not that just check for the su binary? – Leo Oct 29 at 0:26
That is exactly what it means to be "rooted", is to have su binary installed properly with suid bit set. The su binary commonly comes with an accompaniment program to manage permissions, Superuser app, but this is just for conveniences and ease of use. – Lie Ryan Oct 29 at 0:54
Thanks @Lie Ryan, but from some other comments it looks like the phone can still be rooted even if there is no su binary. Is that not correct? – Leo Oct 29 at 0:57
Please see this thread for the reason I am asking:… – Leo Oct 29 at 1:00
@Leo: to be precise, there isn't exactly a different state between rooted and unrooted devices in the underlying Linux system. All Linuxes, including unrooted Android, have setuid system call, which is the primary mechanisms used by Linux programs to acquire elevated privilege. Setting up a suid binary itself requires elevated privilege. Many Android system applications on a unrooted device runs with elevated privilege (e.g. adbd, system updater), but they only escalate for very specific purposes. su is a privileged program that allows you to invoke other programs with elevated privileged. – Lie Ryan Oct 29 at 1:23

You should see the "Superuser" application in the app tray.

Most rooting methods add this app to manage the superuser rights: it appeared for me when I rooted my Desire.

Not all do: so just try to install and run Superuser from the market. If it fails, you aren't rooted :-)

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That's incorrect, the Superuser application has to be installed manually after rooting, but it might be installed automatically if you use a one-click rooting application. – kyrias Sep 11 '11 at 9:40
@Demizide: I was updating as you downvoted. It depends how you root it of course: some methods add it automatically like happened for me. – gbn Sep 11 '11 at 9:45
Okay, think you could update it again, so that I can undo the downvote? – kyrias Sep 11 '11 at 9:49
@Demizide: thank you, done – gbn Sep 11 '11 at 10:03
You can install Superuser on a non-rooted device just fine, though. It just won't do anything without the su binary (and will complain that it needs to "update" it every time you run it). The presence of Superuser doesn't really mean you're rooted; running it kind of does, but the update failure message doesn't say "failed to update because you're not root" or anything of that nature (and you can hit "Cancel" and it goes away). – eldarerathis Sep 11 '11 at 20:48

Use the following commands from RootTools library.



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Does those calls check if the device really is rooted? Or do they just check for the su binary (as all the root checking apps seems to do)? Is there perhaps any app using these calls? – Leo Oct 29 at 0:43

Beside what everyone mentioned, One super easy way would also be installing an app from Google Play that requires root access. I suggest DroidWall, which is a must-have firewall for android. Install it, and hit apply rules. If not rooted, it will tell you, and will fail to apply rule.

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Its easy. Just download some famous root requiring apps(apps which require root) eg:- titanium backup, supersu etc. and see that they work or not. If they work correctly, then you have gained root. If they don't work, it means root is not working.

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If they don't work, that might also have other reasons – such as incompatibilities with your device, bugs in the app. Of course if all of them fail, that might be a strong indicator – but a long way to go. Using a root checker, or a terminal app (as suggested in the linked answers) are much faster and more reliable methods. – Izzy Jan 2 at 11:41
Checking root is also a good method but according to question details, some apps had worked and some had not so probably root checker can also fail – Aditya Sinha Jan 2 at 11:51
It's more likely those failed for a different reason: A root-checker, or especially running the su command, has much less complexity, and thus is much less likely to fail. – Izzy Jan 2 at 11:54
Yes, you should download root checker basic or pro. – Aditya Sinha Jan 2 at 11:56

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