[APP] Voodoo OTA RootKeeper (and temporary un-root)

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supercurio

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
May 31, 2010
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Hi Everyone :)


Because I'm lazy and was tired re-rooting manually my devices after installing manufacturers OTA updates, I wrote an app that protects root in one touch event.
It is available for free on Android market and its source code is Open Source under WTFPL (github).

Translations and code contributions are welcome.

Features: :

- Backup root before OTA & Restores it right after.
- Temporary un-root your device.

Requirements:

- Device must be already rooted.
- Protection is effective only for devices with Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 /system partition
- Non ExtFS devices will still be able to use the temporary un-root feature

OTA RootKeeper will detect what's possible or not and display available options accordingly.

Typically works for: Nexus S, Every Honeycomb tablets.
On ExtFS partition, root survives anything but true formating or partition wiping.
It means some update tools like KIES/Odin for Samsung device will wipe the whole thing anyway because they write complete new partition.

I needed this app so I wrote it, hopefully it will be useful to you too!

Android 4.3 Notes:

Based on Android 4.3 release notes, on Enterprise and Security, Restrict Setuid from Android Apps, su binaries and Superuser apps designed for previous Android generation will simply not work on 4.3:

Restrict Setuid from Android Apps

The /system partition is now mounted nosuid for zygote-spawned processes, preventing Android applications from executing setuid programs. This reduces root attack surface and likelihood of potential security vulnerabilities.

It means preserving root with OTA Root Keeper won't be possible anymore as new rooting techniques rely on more than just a setuid su binary in /system.
I'll look into solution of course to preserve the functionality if possible, but until then please follow Chainfire's job on SuperSU betas.
 
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supercurio

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
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Aw, so its a no go on my sgs2..

Thanks for the amazing work as always anyways!

You're welcome :)

On Galaxy S II, temporary unroot is working and allows you to "hide" root from stupid apps refusing to work as expected after detecting root.
Its not really hidden but so far, those stupid apps (like Google movies) use stupid detection routines.
 

crypticc

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2009
1,101
114
London
Supercurio. do you think you can backup Superuser.apk too please. I can see where it needs to be done in github but I'm no expert in compiling apk. or Will apkmanager work for that and i Will have a go at that.
 
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supercurio

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
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Supercurio. do you think you can backup Superuser.apk too please. I can see where it needs to be done in github but I'm no expert in compiling apk. or Will apkmanager work for that and i Will have a go at that.

Why backup Superuser.apk?

If it's not installed, you already get automatically a button to access the market page automatically.
When you update your device via an OTA, Superuser.apk is not uninstalled.

Please describe your need ;)
 
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crypticc

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2009
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London
Why backup Superuser.apk?

If it's not installed, you already get automatically a button to access the market page automatically.
When you update your device via an OTA, Superuser.apk is not uninstalled.

Please describe your need ;)
Thanks for replying.

Busybox because is part of xbin and could be lost.

superuser apk because that would be a full unroot and reroot in one app. E.g. If I want to unroot during work hours and reroot after say if work sync calendar app doesn't like root.

Or do you think this will be a nice way to cut my teeth on android development? I see two java code places that seem to backup and then restore.
 

supercurio

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
May 31, 2010
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Thanks for replying.

Busybox because is part of xbin and could be lost.

superuser apk because that would be a full unroot and reroot in one app. E.g. If I want to unroot during work hours and reroot after say if work sync calendar app doesn't like root.

Or do you think this will be a nice way to cut my teeth on android development? I see two java code places that seem to backup and then restore.

I never noticed an OTA that destroyed xbin directory? Do you have an example? (please show me the updater-script so I can study it)

Why I made this utility is because /system permissions are reset via recursive chmods during OTAs: what causes su binary to not be efficient anymore.
But saving files in not the main purpose. As long as you're rooted, you can re-install busybox in /system anyway.
 
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crpeck

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2011
100
13
Williamsburg, VA
Any reason not to backup su to /data instead of /system? I've tried this on a Bionic and it works just fine. I tried this:
adb shell
su
cp -p /system/bin/su /data/su
rm /system/bin/su /system/xbin/su
exit - reboot phone
adb shell
/data/su
I'm root.
Seems like /data has a better chance of being untouched and as long as it's mounted correctly that copy of su will be there and executable.
 
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supercurio

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
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Any reason not to backup su to /data instead of /system? I've tried this on a Bionic and it works just fine. I tried this:
adb shell
su
cp -p /system/bin/su /data/su
rm /system/bin/su /system/xbin/su
exit - reboot phone
adb shell
/data/su
I'm root.
Seems like /data has a better chance of being untouched and as long as it's mounted correctly that copy of su will be there and executable.

Yes. Every Android device is supposed to mount /data with "nosuid" option, which makes su permissions inoperative.
The modded test device you used miss that; it's kind of a bug ;)
 
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supercurio

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
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Do you have to install this program after reverting to stock? Or can you install it in any custom rom before the OTA update?

You need to install this app, make the su backup before applying your OTA.
Then, the app will be able to restore su.

If it's an OTA, this app and Superuser apk will still be installed after applying it.

Do you need to revert to stock or not before applying an update? That I don't know; depends.
 

cbb77

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
483
133
Massachusetts
Wow, this may be the app I have been looking for. I have an app for work that will not work if it detects root. Really would like to keep my phone rooted as some apps I have require it, such as Titanium Backup (which I love). I am going to give this a shot tomorrow and see if this works for me.
 
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jangst123

Senior Member
Dec 18, 2010
1,214
874
Bucks County, PA
www.allformailers.com
Thank you!


  1. Playing Rented Movies that you rent from the Android Market WORK AROUND confirmed working!
  2. Playing UltraViolet Digital Copy Movies in the Movies aka Flixster App WORK AROUND confirmed working!
  3. pocket BLU WORK AROUND NOT confirmed working Yet! If you try it let me know
 

supercurio

Retired Senior Recognized Developer
May 31, 2010
3,546
5,041
Chambéry
spectrastudy.com
Thank you!


  1. Playing Rented Movies that you rent from the Android Market WORK AROUND confirmed working!
  2. Playing UltraViolet Digital Copy Movies in the Movies aka Flixster App WORK AROUND confirmed working!
  3. pocket BLU WORK AROUND NOT confirmed working Yet! If you try it let me know

Thanks for the feedback about the "plus" feature which is not the main aka temporary un-root ;)

How to test pocket BLU?
 

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  • 79
    Hi Everyone :)


    Because I'm lazy and was tired re-rooting manually my devices after installing manufacturers OTA updates, I wrote an app that protects root in one touch event.
    It is available for free on Android market and its source code is Open Source under WTFPL (github).

    Translations and code contributions are welcome.

    Features: :

    - Backup root before OTA & Restores it right after.
    - Temporary un-root your device.

    Requirements:

    - Device must be already rooted.
    - Protection is effective only for devices with Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 /system partition
    - Non ExtFS devices will still be able to use the temporary un-root feature

    OTA RootKeeper will detect what's possible or not and display available options accordingly.

    Typically works for: Nexus S, Every Honeycomb tablets.
    On ExtFS partition, root survives anything but true formating or partition wiping.
    It means some update tools like KIES/Odin for Samsung device will wipe the whole thing anyway because they write complete new partition.

    I needed this app so I wrote it, hopefully it will be useful to you too!

    Android 4.3 Notes:

    Based on Android 4.3 release notes, on Enterprise and Security, Restrict Setuid from Android Apps, su binaries and Superuser apps designed for previous Android generation will simply not work on 4.3:

    Restrict Setuid from Android Apps

    The /system partition is now mounted nosuid for zygote-spawned processes, preventing Android applications from executing setuid programs. This reduces root attack surface and likelihood of potential security vulnerabilities.

    It means preserving root with OTA Root Keeper won't be possible anymore as new rooting techniques rely on more than just a setuid su binary in /system.
    I'll look into solution of course to preserve the functionality if possible, but until then please follow Chainfire's job on SuperSU betas.
    7
    First post updated!

    OTA RootKepper future is very compromised with /system mounted as nosetuid for apps, so please stay tuned.

    You can consider OTA RootKeeper as not capable of preserving root for 4.3 OTAs until further notice, thanks for your interest ;)
    5
    Aw, so its a no go on my sgs2..

    Thanks for the amazing work as always anyways!

    You're welcome :)

    On Galaxy S II, temporary unroot is working and allows you to "hide" root from stupid apps refusing to work as expected after detecting root.
    Its not really hidden but so far, those stupid apps (like Google movies) use stupid detection routines.
    3
    If people care testing, latest version always here:

    http://dl.project-voodoo.org/apps/VoodooOTARootKeeper.apk

    Need report with Motorola phones.
    2
    Ah. I am thinking odin not ota

    Ta

    With Odin the whole partition is wiped, I can't backup/restore root − and as a result restore busybox either because it would require root to do so.