With the Android SDK it is possible to run the "adb shell" command to shell into an Android device plugged in via USB. I would like to know:

  1. Is there another way to log into an Android device and gain root access to all its files and folders without having to install the Android SDK, for instance using Putty somehow once the device is connected via Wi-Fi to a router on a common network?

  2. On Unix there is a program called "last" allowing you to see the most recent logins and the associated times. Is there a similar utility that can be run on Android once root access is gained that would allow you to view the most recent times when the device was used or unlocked?

  • These seem to be rather unrelated questions. You may want to consider separating them into separate posts. Also note that your rooting options are very much dependent on the device you own and its currently installed firmware (although for the particular scenario you seem to be describing I believe the answer is "No", there are other ways that don't require ADB). Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 23:54
  • @JohnGoche I answered your first question below. As eldarerathis already suggested, so do I: Please separate your second question.
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 16:24
  • regarding the 2nd question: This is most probably up to the app only. There's no virtual tty you use or anything as it's a phone/tablet OS where all is stripped down.
    – ce4
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


There are several ways to achieve root access on an Android device -- and they differ a lot, depending on manufacturer, device, Android version, and even Linux kernel version running. Unfortunately, devices don't ship with "root" accounts (as we are used to from our desktops and laptops) -- but there's no common way to "root" them.

Rooting is mostly done via Exploits. Some require ADB installed and an USB-Session established. Others do not require ADB. And again others ship as a single .apk to be copied to the device and started there (so-called "one click root"). And again another method might involve a custom recovery being flashed...

So many methods. But to explain them all in detail, this is not the right place -- while your question should be answered already, as it required only a "yes" or "no" :)

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