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I've recently rooted my Android phone. I was surprised by how difficult they make it (and it seems that every new version of Android makes it harder). I have Lollipop 5.11, and I had to find and download a specially-hacked .img file of what I'm guessing is the system partition, and flash it to the device to get root.

What I'd like to know is, how is a rooted .img file made? Suppose I had a new phone and I had to figure out how to root it myself. What would I do? (I'm guessing: create a backup, figure out how to mount the partition, muck around in some low-level linux config somewhere..?)

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    The "trick" is mainly to get the su binary in place with the right permissions, plus some SuperUser/SuperSU pendant installed as system app. A little of a "hen-egg-issue" as one needs superuser permissions to do that on a running system – which probably in the case of your device is the reason it's done by mocking the image. On other devices it's as simple as flashing a ZIP via (custom) recovery. – Izzy Dec 12 '16 at 12:13

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