As an example, the post here for rooting the LG G3:


Gives links to posts elsewhere for downloading APKs which do something and then allow su to work, I think:

Stump: http://forum.xda-developers.com/lg-g3/orig-development/root-stump-root-lg-g3-sprint-verizon-t2850906/

PurpleDrake: http://forum.xda-developers.com/tmobile-lg-g3/development/root-twrp-root-twrp-tmo-lg-g3-t2821005

Are there any more details about what these or other root techniques actually do? Are any of them open source?

  • 2
    I'd guess it's unlikely (but just a guess) you'll find a working root method that's open source, simply because it would give the OEMs enough information to fix the loophole. Keeping it close to the vest helps to ensure tinkerers can continue tinkering. Also possible that a root method would have security implications, and could be disclosed privately to Google/OEMs. Sep 24, 2014 at 1:08
  • 2
    I have to imagine that the OEMs and Google have the resources to reverse engineer these binaries. I wonder if it's about the liability the authors are exposed to as a result of a TOS violation or something along those lines.
    – jordanpg
    Sep 24, 2014 at 1:30
  • 2
    Reverse engineering still takes time, though, especially if the code is obfuscated well. Delaying the inevitable fix at least buys time for prospective rooters to take advantage of the exploit. Again, mostly conjecture, but it's common in other modding scenes. The Wii's exploits were often obfuscated (in part) for this reason. Sep 24, 2014 at 2:43

2 Answers 2


I've been battling the same issue. Using closed-source from a private company is a huge mistake if you care about security and privacy. Open-source, though arguably not thst much more secure, has one benefit over closed source from a private company: paid programmers are expensive. What's their motive for paying people to do this? Money. Is the root software free/cheap? Don't use it. Open Source, on the other hand, though while not totally free from malicious additions, is being handled mostly by programmers who, collectively, want to use the software they are helping create. That being said, here's what I've mustered up.

Most actively developed is by this guy, phhusson, who posted an article (https://www.xda-developers.com/the-importance-of-open-source-in-root/) about it in 2015. Then started this (still active) thread (https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/software-hacking/wip-selinux-capable-superuser-t3216394/page246) Here's the repo: https://github.com/phhusson/super-bootimg

Here's another https://github.com/android-rooting-tools

Both of these are still under heavy development.


I've found this: https://github.com/Benjamin-Dobell/Heimdall essentially an open source equalvalent of Odin.

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