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Out of curiosity, in theory can all android devices be rooted? It's my understanding that a root exploit needs to be found based on a vulnerability, and these vulnerabilities can be patched. So is it possible for a phone not to be able to be rooted?

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  • Tough examples: Verizon variant of many devices, Blackberry phones, and the Blackphone. The latter two don't have a user base big enough to interest developers/exploiters either.
    – Andy Yan
    Feb 7 '17 at 13:17
  • @AndyYan I didn't know blackberries could be rooted
    – Celeritas
    Feb 7 '17 at 13:34
  • I guess you mean like this amazon.com/dp/B01LY8QV47/ref=psdc_2407749011_t2_B0169SNI3C
    – Celeritas
    Feb 7 '17 at 13:38
  • It's not possible to prevent someone with physical access to a device from arbitrarily modifying that device, no. That's ultimately the same thing. Feb 7 '17 at 14:05
  • @Celeritas Nah, what I said are negative examples. Anything Android from BB, including the oldest Priv, can't be rooted.
    – Andy Yan
    Feb 7 '17 at 14:10
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Theoretically all Android systems can be rooted. Rooting is, basically, introducing an su executable to the system, mostly done under recovery environment. The basic rooting process is simply putting an su under a specific directory, while advanced rooting gives a complex su executable as well as a GUI application for you to manage root permission management, to grant and to revoke. Besides, an engineering build of Android OS has root already enabled (stock su), so there shouldn't be an 'unrootable' Android OS.

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  • There exist systemless root too
    – Celeritas
    Feb 7 '17 at 13:02
  • @Celeritas Systemless rooting is forging a su.img into and modify the boot image to let su mount correctly. However su still requires other stuffs (like system calls) that can't be done without a system.
    – iBug
    Feb 7 '17 at 13:47

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