[Guide]Access to /system, wireless dual mount, wireless root shell

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By AdamOutler, Retired Senior Recognized Developer on 10th April 2011, 09:18 PM
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Here is how you can obtain unrestricted file access to your phone.

Most of the time you don't need to access the restricted areas of your phone. Sometimes it's required. I like to use SSH/sftp as it is very compatible with everything.

Here are some of the benefeits of using this technique:
  • Dual mount ( you can copy to and from the phone while using the sdcard)
  • wireless mount (copy to your sdcard without cable)
  • wireless root shell (root terminal access)

This guide will allow you to do the following things:
  • modifying data partition
  • grabbing APKs from your phone
  • unlimited access to all data
  • full, unrestricted access on your /system partition

By using the techniques available in this thread, you will have unlimited access to your phone. This will give you the ability to destroy your phone. Realize that you must be careful of performing any modification as there are thousands of files on your phone and trying to find the problem can be a nightmare. It's a good idea to keep a written log and a backup of any files you modify so that you can go back and restore them.

You will need:
  • Root access
This guide expects your phone to be rooted at the start. The easiest way to make the root account available on your phone is to use Super1Click.


1. mount system rw
a. mount system RW with market app sgs tools
b. mount system RW with market app "mount system r/w"

2. enable a SSH/SFTP server
a. enable sshd server with market app "QuickSSHd" -paid $1, and very much worth it.
b. enable sshd server with market app "SSHDroid" - free, limited features
Make sure you select a SECURE password so that it cannot be brute force hacked over the cell network.

3. Make a shortcut on your desktop to your phone's ssh and sftp addresses
a. under linux:
sftp://[email protected]
gnome-terminal -x ssh -X [email protected]
b. under Mac:
sftp://[email protected]
terminal -x ssh [email protected]
c. under Windows:
use WinSCP -for help with setting up winSCP, see post #4
or putty (thanks boardsportsrule)

Shortcuts make things easier to access. Creating shortcuts will allow you one-click wireless dual mount, or one-click root shell. This basically makes your phone like a USB drive attached to your computer at all times.

4. copy to or from "/system/app" or "/data/app" freely
NOTE: Any SFTP Client can be used like "root explorer", the paid market app
a. use a filemanager like Astro to network sftp into loopback address (sftp:// and copy the file
b. use your computer to SFTP into your phone and copy the file

5. reboot the phone after applying battery mods or new system apks.
This should get you going in the direction you want.

Why use SSH instead of ADB?
SSH is a tunneling protocol, meaning SSH itself is not a protocol, but rather a transport mechanisim. It's an encrypted and password protected tunnel from one computer to another. ADB is unencrypted and designed for a USB connection. Using ADB Wireless allows anyone on your network to push applications and run commands on your phone without authentication. This is a huge security hole. While ADB wireless can do the same things, it's not equipped to do the job properly. As a rule, use ADB for debugging applications or for wired connections. SSH, because of it's small footprint and no processor usage when idle is perfect for an always-on, password protected, encrypted, secure connection.

Hit me up with any suggestions or comments. I will happily add your information in here.

Disclaimer: All materials presented are for informational purposes. This video is not an authorization, advertisement, nor a suggestion to flash your phone with custom firmware. In no event shall I be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, spcial, exemplary, or concequential damages, including but not limited to loss of data, business interruption or damage to equipment. This information is released AS-IS with no written or express warranty or liability.
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10th April 2011, 11:46 PM |#2  
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quite impressive! May try that..! i use PuTTY to SSH into my linux server from my windows machine, not 100% certain it'd work for this but i dont see why not!
11th April 2011, 02:56 AM |#3  
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i use swiFTP on my phone with windows. super easy to config but no root writing even if mounted R/W. But i dont often drop files into root area. when i do ill use swiftp to get on phone then root explorer to copy to root area. it uses a simple ftp connection no special windows software needed,

setup login/ password in SwiFTP app.
on PC:
right click my computer > add network location > ftp://PhoneIP:port > enter login name > first connection will ask for password.
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18th April 2011, 10:02 PM |#4  
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ok got bored tried things your way.
i really liked WinSCP, even more when i got it setup nicely.
it definatly wasnt made BY windows users but was made FOR.
with a few tweaks, in the setup and options it is really easy to use.

WinSCP even INTEGRATES into windows to handle all Sftp and SCP addresses automatically!

on my android phone i am using " QuickHSSd" has 2 nice desktop widget toggles.

  1. use Root Explorer to mount system (or other method)
  2. turn on QuickSSHd
  3. and WinSCP does the rest!
created a little guide for noobies to use this really good program and understand through familiarity.
hide/disable un-needed things, show familiar parts, and optimize for our phones with flash memory! (eg. one file at a time)

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18th April 2011, 10:10 PM |#5  
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will try later, you always have the best threads!
19th April 2011, 04:40 AM |#6  
TRusselo: I usually keep my ssh server running all the time. According to my calculations it would take a few million years to hack my phone and a SSH daemon does not use much resources when idle.
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19th April 2011, 05:43 AM |#7  
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nice to know. thanks.. was that in response to one of my settings? or just a F.Y.I?
10th May 2011, 09:49 PM |#8  
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im running mint 10 kde and my phone is on jvh gingerbread (continuum 5.4 actually) and the quicksshd app (the free one detected continuums add blocking and told me to buy it if i didnt want to see ads.)

well i dont know if it is an app update or kde is weird but your link/shortcut takes me to /data/data/... it doesnt matter. but for some reason i could only back it up to /data on my phone i had no root access, it didnt make much sense.

well i changed the shortcut url to "sftp://[email protected]:22/ "
for newbs
22 is the port the app listens on. you may have to adjust that if you use a different app or changed the port for what ever reason. where xxx is the last part of the phones ip adress. the ssh app will report this if you dont know it.

now all is good. i thought id add this incase someone else has issues reaching root on there phones
14th May 2011, 05:49 AM |#9  
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will try this tonight, and let you know..

14th May 2011, 07:01 AM |#10  
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awesome, works great and thanx for the helpful post on how to set it up.
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14th May 2011, 07:06 AM |#11  
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Thanks a lot Adam & TRuss very useful post I already have this up and running.. Should be very handy
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