Can I add the superuser binary without a custom recovery? Is there a way to force the binary install through terminal or PC or app?

  • You can't write to /system normally. PC/app one-click rooters just use an exploit to forcefully open it up. – Andy Yan Apr 26 '17 at 2:14
  • @AndyYan Nowadays one-click rooters flash a custom recovery (usually modded CWM) then their own root zip. – iBug Apr 26 '17 at 3:42
  • @iBug Really? I'm talking about the likes of KingRoot, KingoRoot, iRoot, etc. Those won't even need a reboot. – Andy Yan Apr 26 '17 at 6:11
  • @AndyYan Modern phones no longer have such exploits so even the rooters you mentioned will have to rec+root. They only work "originally" on older exploitable phones. – iBug Apr 26 '17 at 7:44
  • @AndyYan I've also seen an alternative to grant adbd with root privileges by modifying /boot used by a few softwares, but more that uses this method are scripts and tools from BBSs. – iBug Apr 26 '17 at 7:46

Generally no, but it depends on your device. For example, if you have an older non-updated Amazon device, you can usually root it with as little as an app install. For devices that haven't been exploited yet, however, there's little hope besides asking the community on xda and such very very nicely. It's a good idea to look for "bootloader unlockable" devices when you're looking to purchase a new Android device, to show the corporations that people want this.

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