Perhaps someone can correct my understanding.

  1. True or false: TWRP is copied into the "recovery" directory and can be executed after reboot.

  2. True or false: Running TWRP does not require an unlocked bootloader. (If so, why not?)

  3. True or false: The size of a program such as TWRP is limited only by the size of the partition it is being copied into, and could be quite large.

  4. True or false: An entire OS could in theory be run as a "recovery" if it were so desired.

  • You're right, TWRP is a custom recovery which is based on specific device recovery so its size would be the same as the recovery partition
    – esQmo_
    Mar 7 '19 at 21:03
  • How large is that partition generally?
    – xyz
    Mar 7 '19 at 23:29
  1. False. Many newer devices utilizing the A/B partition layout don't have a dedicated recovery partition. See landing page for Google Pixel for a full explanation.
  2. True. Certain devices have exploits that allow recovery on locked bootloaders - this kind of recovery is often referred to as "Safestrap". Do note "exploits" - most devices don't have such discovered.
  3. True - partition size is usually the same as boot. On my Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, both are 67108864 bytes, i.e. 64MB.
  4. True - recovery can be considered a minimal OS by itself (with complete display, input, file management subsystems). If you want to start a regular OS by booting into recovery, just flash a regular boot image (one that usually goes into boot) to recovery.
  • 1
    +1 last point - TWRP by itself can be considered as bare bone OS in addition to letting you boot into one
    – beeshyams
    Mar 8 '19 at 1:43

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