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I am wondering about what rooting my android device actually does. I know quite a lot about linux and android, so I think it just uses an exploit to install a su binary onto the android rootfs. I'd like to know what it actually does to make sure that I actually want to root my android.

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    That depends on how the rooting is done. If you use the at the moment common rooting method for devices that allow to be OEM unlocked is patching the boot image using Magisk and then flashing it using the common flashing method of the device. So it does not involve exploiting anything, it is just like installing a new boot image into grub. Exploiting is only necessary on devices that don't allow bootloader unlocking.
    – Robert
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 15:04
  • Good starting point for details on that: our root-access tag wiki ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:37
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    See How Magisk works? and How to manually root a phone? Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 23:27

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I am not an expert but I can tell you what I know. It depends on what method of rooting you use. You can have a system root or a systemless root. Basically the only difference is that a system root modifies the system partition to obtain root access.

All rooting does is either use an exploit or a third party bootloader to gain root access to then install binaries that can then grant other processes root access. I find flashing a custom bootloader a bit more invasive to the system and I'm not sure how easy it is to get the stock bootloader back.

You can always revert a rooted device to it's original state by flashing the original image provided by the manufacturer. Installing the original software should not affect the data on the phone, only the system. Just make sure to use the correct version, you can find information on your system and model version in settings.

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