@iKrYpToNiTe made the awesome TowelPieRoot which makes this method easier to use. You can still use this thread to root your phone, but I will be using his method from now on. Happy rooting!
Geohot's original post.
What is Towelroot?
Towelroot is a rooting method for most android phones, and it uses an apk to obtain root (dead simple too, push one button, no need for other tools and workarounds). (source)
Why do we use Towelroot in conjunction with PIE?
PIE nor Towelroot disables write protection. Both of them offer a temporary root that has to be applied after a reboot. The advantage to Towelroot is that it is an APK that sits on device, so unlike PIE, Towelroot can be run later, non-tethered to a PC, should you have to power off/on. So you use PIE first while tethered and initially rooting, then Towelroot allows you to continue rooting "on the go" in the future without needing a PC.
How does it work with the Moto X?
It works the same as PIE. It gives root access but the device is still write protected. It is also temporary and must be reapplied after a reboot. However, a soft/hot reboot can keep the root access, due to soft/hot reboots only rebooting the graphical Android shell.
What does it work on?
XT1049 - Republic Wireless, not confirmed, should work.
XT1052 - European
XT1053 -T-Mobile US, not confirmed, should work.
XT1055 - US Cellular, not confirmed, should work.
XT1056 - Sprint, not confirmed, should work.
XT1058 - AT&T, Rogers, Claro, Movistar, Vivo, Oi, TIM
XT1060 - Verizon
How do I use this tool?
Remember to apply PIE first!
1. On your device, go to here.It will start to download the .apk
3. On your device, go to Settings>Security>Unknown Sources and tick the box.
4. Run the downloaded apk, tr3.apk
5. Press "welcome to towelroot" 3 times.
6. Replace the last 0 with a 1, due to modstrings.
7. make it ra1n
Your device should now be rooted and you should be able to use apps such as Greenify and Titanium Backup.
Some applications that should work with root, might not work with this method.
Some people have experimented with using Superuser apps, but I have not seen a consistent method to use one.
How are we keeping root after reboots?
We aren't rebooting! Seriously, we soft/hot reboot which allows us to keep root after a graphical reboot. And even if you do reboot, you can always reapply the root with Towelroot. You just need to make sure you have applied jcase's PIE before hand.
jpond83 posted up some instructions in the PIE thread about how to get Xposed to work:
Make sure you have installed PIE before you try to use Xposed or it will NOT work. View jcase's PIE thread for more details.
1) install towelroot. Xposed installer, Busybox installer, power menu
2)run towelroot, click "welcome to towelroot", replace 0 with 1, make it rain.
3) run xposed and click install
4) run busybox installer and click install
5) run power menu and click "hot reboot"
6) enjoy root without using a PC.
Warning about using this exploit
Myself or anyone that has helped develop this are not responsible for anything that occurs to your phone by using this method.
As for this thread, feel free to post your experiences with this tool or any supplements to add.