Next version of Android will break most of the root apps

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 21 Jan 2014


With Android 4.3 and Android 4.4, Google made it tough for root access to work properly, thanks to some major underlying security changes and SELinux. It looks like the next version of Android are going to make things even worse. 

Some commits found in AOSP by SuperSU developer — Chainfire — suggests that most root apps, in their current form, are going to break under the next version of Android.

The technical issue right from the horse’s mouth is below -:

The issue
A recent commit to the AOSP master tree prevents the unconfined domain(everything you run through su by default) from executing files located on the /data partition.

A lot of root apps (though by no means all of them) include binaries or scripts that they extract to their app-specific files or lib directory (located on the /data partition) and execute from there as root. This will no longer work out-of-the-box, and generate an access denied error.

Security wise — this change makes sense as it stops malicious apps from harming your device by running a script from the /data partition.

The problem for root app developers is that there is no unified fix for this problem. Thankfully, Chainfire has listed multiple solutions to this problem which can be found here.

Google has been working on improving the security of Android and as it makes further advances, root access and root based apps will also have to change accordingly since in their current form, they can be easily used to harm and steal data from an Android device.