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For Android rooting these days, it appears that Magisk is dominant, though there are some alternatives mostly for older versions of Android, e.g., CF-Auto-Root.

However, in iOS, there appear to be more options, e.g., checkra1n, unc0ver, and Chimera for iOS 12 and up (with specific exclusions), and a number of other jailbreaks for older versions of iOS.

Am wondering why this is the case? It seems that Android rooting is more narrowly focused on providing admin privileges, whereas iOS jailbreaks also bypass locked bootloader (Android phones typically just allow users to unlock the bootloader), and sideload apps, besides the admin privileges. So, one might expect there to be more alternatives for Android?

Or is it because Magisk is so good, that there is less need for alternatives?

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    you have answered the question yourself. android unlocking is official supported (except for huawei, amazon and some carrier locked phones). apple does not support development scene at all (closed-source)
    – alecxs
    Feb 10 at 12:32
  • I'm not sure I answered the question myself. As you said, since android unlocking is officially supported, then why don't more developers create alternatives for android rooting? Many people prefer to just use magisk or to developer modules for magisk? Feb 15 at 15:10
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    got your point. but there is no company with commercial interest, only some geeks spending free time. there is no benefit of reinventing the wheel. these four common solutions are more or less just improvements of each other. Ask yourself why don't you develop another root solution? ;)
    – alecxs
    Feb 15 at 15:32
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    origin systemless-root method was formulated by chainfire, until he lost interest and abandoned. so we can see topjohnwu as successor, luckily he decided to keep all open source so others may take over one day. dees troy also becomes more and more busy with real life. customizing scene will flatten because lack of geeks and benefit of rooting, finally die when google decides to ignore linus torvalds rules completely and follow the apple strategy
    – alecxs
    Feb 15 at 16:23
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Magisk is not comparable to an iOS jailbreak, because Magisk simply relies on an existing possibility to access a device on root level so that it can access and modify the flash memory directly (e.g. on an bootloader unlocked device via custom recovery ROM or an existing su/root access).

Instead iOS jailbreaks first have to execute complicated exploit chain just to get root access. Furthermore current jailbreaks are non-persistent, which means the bootloader and the kernel can't be permanently changed. Therefore an iOS jailbreak requires way more effort for reaching a same "state" at run-time that Magisk provides on Android.

This means in the end the jailbreaks have to be adapted to the iOS version and every jailbreak also has some disadvantages depending on the way the device is exploited.

Such problems are unknown to Magisk and therefore Magisk is way simpler to install.

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  • Thanks for the informative answer, Robert. But that still leaves the question I asked - why don't we see more alternatives for android rooting out there? Why not other systemless root eco-systems out there, that might be comparable to magisk? Is it a case that the challenge of iOS jailbreaking just attracts more talent/interest for people who are inclined to work on such projects? Feb 15 at 15:13
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    @auspicious99 My personal opinion is that is simply because Magisk is an open source project so everybody can collaborate and changes by the community are accepted. Where as on iOS side the Jailbreaks or usually only partially open source and to my experience releases are more "fire and forget" - which means that user feedback and changes are ignored (may be different among the different jailbreaks). Therefore on iOS the different jailbreak teams do not collaborate much at least this is how it looks to me.
    – Robert
    Feb 15 at 15:24

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