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All this time, I thought that once I've rooted my phone, it means that I will also have SU access to it. This is true for the first device I rooted. When I rooted it, a SuperUser application appeared on my phone. I was also able to use the command su on the adb shell.

However, just recently, I tried to root a different phone. After rooting the phone, I check my applications for the SuperUser app but it's not in the applications. And so I downloaded the SuperUser app on the market. But when I opened it, it says, there is no SU binaries installed on the phone. Also, when I inputted su on the adb shell, it can't determine what is su.

  • What could be the problem?
  • How can I gain SU privilege?
  • I thought that once a phone is rooted, it is automatic to have an SU application or at least access to the su command. Am I wrong with my assumption?
  • How can I use the su command?
  • What is the real state of the phone I rooted? Does it mean the phone is not really rooted? Or is it still rooted?


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migrated from Nov 19 '12 at 3:01

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

I do note, while tablets are on topic on SU, phones arn't. I've voted to close/migrate this to Android.SE, and you may wish to ask future questions on Android phones there. – Journeyman Geek Nov 19 '12 at 2:19
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your device isn't rooted at all. Without su binary, you can't assume command as root.

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Thanks. Sachin! I checked the instruction that I followed again and it seems that I still need to the one more step to root the phone. That is to install a desktop application that will eventually root the phone. I think what I do before is only to flash an insecure kernel on the phone? (I'm not sure if I used the term "flash" correctly) What does flashing an insecure kernel means and why did it not root the phone? I thought it is also the same to rooting. – Arci Nov 19 '12 at 5:27
@Arci Flashing an insecure kernel means replacing existing stock kernel (on NAND) with this one. It has nothing to do with root access. There are many processes of rooting. So, I guess, flashing insecure kernel was suggested to make root exploit easy. Do follow all suggested steps. – Evil Angel Nov 19 '12 at 12:43

"Rooting a phone" - Acquiring super user permissions.

"Installing the SU application" - Making it so you can acquire super user permissions any time you want.

The first thing you should do after rooting a phone is install the SU application so you can have root permissions any time you want them. Most automated rooting processes do this for you, but if you acquire root permissions manually, you probably have to install the SU application manually too.

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Thanks for your reply! I didn't acquire the root permission manually. I tried to change the kernel into an unsecure kernel by using Odin with the PDA option checked. But after that I gain no su is still not accessible on adb shell. – Arci Nov 19 '12 at 5:21

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