I want to take an (older) Android device and replace the Android system.

I understand that I will need to a) get root access to it, and b) install a new system image (ROM&kernel). I also suspect that's a simplification.

My problem is that I'm having great difficulty knowing where to start. I have found lots of disparate bits of information on small aspects of this, but much of it seems to start either with "magic" software on windows, or at some point arbitrarily far downstream, but I don't know how far, and I don't know how to get there. It probably doesn't help that I'm trying to learn this using an old "I don't care if I destroy this" phone (LG Optimus 670)

I am a long-time programmer and Linux user, so I'm comfortable with technical instructions provided they're accurate and don't use new terminology without explaining it, and I'm even happier with an explanation of how the parts of a system fit together, and the tools that interact with it, from which I might extrapolate what to do, or why something hasn't worked.

Unfortunately, while I go to the point that I can use adb to get to a shell on my device, it's not a root shell, and anything I try to do (beyond simple "ls" or "ps" anyway) is generally met with a permission problem.

Partly perhaps because I run Linux, not windows, I've totally failed to find a way to root my device (it's an old LG Optimus 670 with a ZDJ "baseband"--what's that, btw, I thought baseband was a term referring to a way of using a medium to carry a single signal, as distinct from broadband, meaning you can encode multiple signals onto it! Perhaps this relates to the software controlling this behavior?)

I've also read that the ZDJ must be downgraded to ZDM before rooting, but I don't know where to begin doing that either.

So, can anyone suggest a good resource that might explain the fundamental structure of an Android system, so I can begin to get a better grip on it? And, can anyone tell me if there are resources that will help me hack this system using Linux as my host, rather than windows? (Or, if I just have to have windows, I suppose that's worth knowing, I could probably bring up a virtual machine if I must!)

Many thanks!

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    Take a look at forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1197991 they don't list was baseband the root works for but it appears everything can be done on the phone. XDA, in my opinion, is the best place to go to to learn how to root, install custom roms and etc for any mobile device. Been using them for years. Hopefully they will have what you are looking for. =) – jer3my Jun 23 '15 at 19:21
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    You're not restricted to Android. You can also try to install Debian on it. wiki.debian.org/Mobile – ott-- Jun 23 '15 at 21:04
  • Thanks for the input everyone. I have looked at the xda-developers site (it's part of what I've found to be rather overwhelming, but "lots of information" and "easy to find" are inherently incompatible, so it's not their fault :) ) I'll try the link you suggest Jeremy, thanks, I had not found that one (many others, but not that one) I think the rooting failures have been the main source of trouble, but now I understand a bit better that all other discussions I come across are secondary to that, which helps make it more manageable. Debian? Very interesting, but not what I want, thanks anyway! – Simon Jun 25 '15 at 15:53
  • Finally worked it out. Turns out that gingerbreak works on the hardware, but only with a downgrade to ZVD baseband (Froyo). Found a site that led me to the original Froyo update.zip on Sprint's site, and all is well. Next I must find an effective / useful ROM/kernel Thanks again for your time and input everyone. – Simon Jun 25 '15 at 18:33

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