I think I found a bug with the systemless installer: if you have SuperSU Pro installed it ends up pushing the SuperSU 2.56 APK over top of it, which confuses a few things in /data/app/ until you uninstall/delete both, reinstall Pro from the Play Store and then sideload the extracted 2.56 APK.
Also, since I've been installing and uninstalling SuperSU so frequently to test things on Lollipop and Marshmallow, I made a little zip to help with uninstalling the old system-modifying version (Lollipop+). It properly restores all the original files the SuperSU installer backed up (so, OTA friendly!) and removes any files added by the installer/app. I figured other people might find it handy as well so it's attached below. Be aware, if you flashed SuperSU twice mistakenly, the SuperSU installer wasn't written to recognize that and so you've lost your originals; a system.img flash WILL be necessary in your case.
This should allow people to switch between the system-modifying and systemless versions more easily/readily, and hopefully improve people's ability to test, so I didn't see the harm in automating this portion. If @Chainfire disagrees then I'll remove it, of course.
Note, to completely remove all traces of the systemless version, all you need to do is uninstall SuperSU, delete /data/su.img and flash a different boot.img, which is pretty cool and easy so I felt no need to add support for that. Also, if you want TWRP to shut up about the system not being rooted, create /system/etc/.installed_su_daemon with a filemanager or with the command "touch /system/etc/.installed_su_daemon" from a root prompt. This doesn't appear to trip up SafetyNet at the moment either, so nothing to worry about but less nag until TWRP gets updated. Happy testing!
Depends. If you're using a device which launched with Lollipop or later (ie. has system.dat patch OTAs) you probably want to keep /system RO so that you can still flash OTAs (provided your root apps also don't alter /system). If you have a device that didn't launch with Lollipop or later (ie. has file patch OTAs) it doesn't matter, your choice; OTAs will flash fine as long as you don't modify the files it tries to patch.
Just a thought on the "systemless root " method. What do users do when they achieve root? They immediately modify
/system anyway with adaway, exposed, or change build.prop or whatever.
Also, TWRP doesn't make a clean backup of /system either. It splits it, thus breaking dm-verity verification upon restore.
Hmm actually I seem to pass Google SafetyNet CTS test with standard Adaway host file modification. I'll test if Android Pay works.
If I wanted to remove systemless root though, would I just uninstall SuperSU or are there other files that I need to delete on my phone? If I "Disable Ad Blocking" does that revert my host file to default and my system partition will be stock?
Since there's a disclaimer about possible issues with encrypted devices I wanted to join the other users who have reported success.
I've had a bootloader unlocked Nexus 5 which was fully stock and encrypted. By flashing the systemless boot image and the SuperSU 2.56 I was able to achieve root (with Android Pay still working) on MRA58N.
To be honest, I don't really see any big advantages on Nexus devices because they have full stock images available, and it is trivial to return to stock.
In order to use the advantages of system-less root, you can't make modifications to /system. For example, if you install busybox, you need to install it in /su/bin not /system/bin. There can be no changes to /system.
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