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How exactly does “root” user access/account works? Do all applications run as root on my phone after rooting?

I understand the root user under Linux and the goal of rooting an Android device. Though, when people say "rooting", does it mean I will always use my device as root? Or just while I apply my changes?

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marked as duplicate by Al E., eldarerathis Aug 15 '12 at 17:26

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No. Rooting in that case means that apps are able to request root. If they do so, then usually a pop-up appears asking for your permission.

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It also means you are able to use su and sudo in a terminal emulator. Although I guess that's really just prompting the emulator to request root. –  SaintWacko Aug 15 '12 at 16:55
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