[GUIDE][osprey][merlin]How to root ANY Moto G 2015 model on Marshmallow

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leodom01

Member
Nov 17, 2016
9
2
Ravenna
This guide covers ALL Moto G 2015 models (including the G Turbo) that can be bootloader unlocked and have TWRP available, it doesn't matter if it is the XT1540, XT1541, XT1543, etc., the method is identical. In fact, this method will work on all 2015 and 2016 series Moto phones running Marshmallow, including the Moto E, X, G3, G4, and Z.

Please read completely and make sure you understand each step and how to do it, if you don't get something search the thread or ask an open question.

tl;dr version for advanced users: Skip to "How to do it" section

I am writing this tutorial because there are still lots of failed root attempts using older "standard" methods that do not work on this device. I also do not like the "one click" root methods, because they can and do fail (KingoRoot will brick a Moto G3, regardless of what it's web page says), and when they do people have no idea how to fix it. The manual way is not difficult, and it teaches you how to work on, fix, and use your device on a level above that of the average smartphone user.

I will only cover the details of rooting, the prerequisites are covered elsewhere in detail and I will link to reliable sources for the information. Specifics of the prerequisites are outside of the scope of this tutorial, but are open for discussion in this thread.

Prerequisites:

1) Device must have an unlocked bootloader. See Moto - Unlocking the Bootloader for more info.
NOTE: Performing this prerequisite will give you all the tools (fastboot) and drivers needed to continue, and wipe your device, meaning erase all your information and programs. Make sure to backup any important data first. This step will also permanently void your warranty once an unlock code has been issued by Moto, it doesn't matter if you even use it, your warranty is done.

2) You need to have TWRP installed or one-time booted via fastboot. CWM and other recoveries will NOT work at this time. See TWRP for the Moto G 2015 or TWRP for Moto G Turbo.

3) You need a copy of the latest STABLE SuperSU ZIP from Chainfire's site on the internal storage or SD card of your device. As of this posting SR1-SuperSU-v2.78-SR1-20160915123031.zip is the current stable version and it has been tested and verified to work.
NOTE: Version 2.77 BETA is intended specifically for the Note 7 and should not be used for rooting Moto devices, in testing it doesn't brick or stop boot, it just doesn't show up or work.

4) Reboot and start TWRP recovery, the method you use to do this doesn't matter (boot or flash).

How to do it:

Now, the procedure is the same whether you are trying to root the first time, or you did it the old way just flashing SuperSU and are now not able to boot...

In TWRP, go to Advanced and open the Terminal, in the terminal type this EXACTLY as shown:

Code:
echo SYSTEMLESS=true>>/data/.supersu

Now press enter (there is no confirmation returned), then exit and press the Home key. Go to Install and select the SuperSU zip file you downloaded from Prerequisite #3 and swipe to flash it and reboot. No need to clear caches or anything else but you are welcome to if you wish. You can install SuperSU updates normally through the app going forward (as of this posting).

Why do I have to do this???

For whatever reason, the install script for SuperSU does not recognize that this device (like many others) requires a systemless root installation. By creating /data/.supersu in the TWRP recovery environment, the SuperSU install script parses the file and sees "SYSTEMLESS=true" and ignores what it auto-detects and forces a systemless root installation.

Hope this is helpful to someone!

As always, if this is the first time you have booted TWRP or attempted root... BACKUP IN TWRP FIRST!!! Once the system is modified, it cannot be undone (easily) and you will always have a known good starting place if the worst happens.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for anything that happens... Your device, your responsibility, no matter what happens... Although all the information here has been tested and is known to work with no issues except where noted, things occasionally can and do go wrong and we cannot foresee every possible scenario or circumstance.

If you need assistance, we need detailed information about what what's going on and what you have tried to do... Please provide details including:

1) Device model number and Android version
2) TWRP version
3) SuperSU version
4) Output of 'cat /data/.supersu' from TWRP terminal

And a copy of recovery.log if possible, and any other pertinent information you can think of. Without specific information there is nothing that I can do to assist you and request for help may be ignored.

EDIT: Photos added showing what a proper command and flash should look like. Note that in picture 1 the exit command is not needed, you can just back out. In pictures 2 and 3 a proper flash of SuperSU is shown, note that system-less mode is specified and the boot image is patched, this is what should occur. It is normal for it to loop once or twice, but that is it, first boot could take 10 minutes plus.

I used the 2.65 stable version un supersu, what should i do if the devie is locked on the screen which says "bootloader ulocked"?
 

acejavelin

Recognized Contributor
Sep 3, 2009
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Google Pixel 5a
I am still getting the same message please help. @acejavelin
You are going to have to be more specific here... I don't know exactly what your talking about.

The process is very well documented and tested thoroughly, where is it failing for you?

- Bootloader unlocked and absolutely pure, stock Marshmallow ROM
- TWRP booted from the threads mentioned in my first post
- Current stable SuperSU or v2.62-3 beta ONLY
- Go to terminal and enter 'echo SYSTEMLESS=true>>/data/.supersu' without the quotes and press enter
- Flash SuperSU ZIP
- Reboot, it will bootloop twice by itself and then boot normally
 
Last edited:

banng

New member
Oct 3, 2010
4
1
Great tutorial acejavelin!
Works excellent on Moto G xt1548 virgin/sprint Android 6.0.1-24.61.82.osprey_sprint.sprint.en.US.
Thank you for your work!
 

sanchith.hegde

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2015
105
12
You are going to have to be more specific here... I don't know exactly what your talking about.

The process is very well documented and tested thoroughly, where is it failing for you?

- Bootloader unlocked and absolutely pure, stock Marshmallow ROM
- TWRP booted from the threads mentioned in my first post
- Current stable SuperSU or v2.62-3 beta ONLY
- Go to terminal and enter 'echo SYSTEMLESS=true>>/data/.supersu' without the quotes and press enter
- Flash SuperSU ZIP
- Reboot, it will bootloop twice by itself and then boot normally
While flashing SuperSU 2.78 it said creating ramdisk backup and then said failure, aborting even after you said to enable writes to system. Never mind I tried again with 2.62-3 beta. And then updated via Play Store to 2.78.

And one more info for other members, on XT1550 Indian model bought from Flipkart, only 2.62-3 BETA worked for me. This is for other Indians planning to root their phones
 

acejavelin

Recognized Contributor
Sep 3, 2009
6,837
3,325
Lincoln, ND
Google Pixel 5a
While flashing SuperSU 2.78 it said creating ramdisk backup and then said failure, aborting even after you said to enable writes to system. Never mind I tried again with 2.62-3 beta. And then updated via Play Store to 2.78.

And one more info for other members, on XT1550 Indian model bought from Flipkart, only 2.62-3 BETA worked for me. This is for other Indians planning to root their phones
Hmm... Starting to see a pattern here I think.

What Android version and build are you running?
 

sanchith.hegde

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2015
105
12
Hmm... Starting to see a pattern here I think.

What Android version and build are you running?
Android: 6.0.1
Build Number: MPI24.107-55
Android Security Patch Level: 1 March 2016

Any more info needed? Ask me, I'll tell you.

---------- Post added at 02:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:10 PM ----------

Weird. The betas and forced systemless stable ones always worked for my XT1550.



Broadcasted from Zeta Reticuli
Oh I see. Yours is Indian phone? I used 2.62-3 BETA and then updated from Play Store.
 

acejavelin

Recognized Contributor
Sep 3, 2009
6,837
3,325
Lincoln, ND
Google Pixel 5a
Android: 6.0.1
Build Number: MPI24.107-55
Android Security Patch Level: 1 March 2016

Any more info needed? Ask me, I'll tell you.

---------- Post added at 02:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:10 PM ----------


Oh I see. Yours is Indian phone? I used 2.62-3 BETA and then updated from Play Store.
No... That information is sufficient.
@Gravemind2015 You have used my method on XT1550, 6.0.1,same build?
 

acejavelin

Recognized Contributor
Sep 3, 2009
6,837
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Google Pixel 5a
Anything else required?
No. As I said that information is sufficient.

Others have used this method on that same build and device... It seems you had a fluke, or are doing or not doing something prior to rooting that is causing a problem. We know a clean XT1550 with that Android version and build, freshly unlocked and booted once, works fine using the standard systemless method with current stable SuperSU.

I still can't explain why it failed, and this occasional problem that seems to effect some users has no replicatable pattern.
 

Gravemind2015

Senior Member
Dec 1, 2015
1,846
862
@sanchith.hegde : I Apologize. I didn't know you were running stock, because this conversation sarted halfway in this thread (found the first portion here - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=3396555). I only reported about the custom ROMs. And yes, mine is an Indian variant.


@acejavelin : Practically, I have never used stock so I haven't tried it. Maybe it's a device specific isolated incident.

Broadcasted from Zeta Reticuli
 
Last edited:

sanchith.hegde

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2015
105
12
@sanchith.hegde : I Apologize. I didn't know you were running stock, because this conversation sarted halfway in this thread (found the first portion here - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=3396555). I only reported about the custom ROMs. And yes, mine is an Indian variant.


@acejavelin : Practically, I have never used stock so I haven't tried it. Maybe it's a device specific isolated incident.

Broadcasted from Zeta Reticuli

Ok thank you for the info.

---------- Post added at 03:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:42 PM ----------

No. As I said that information is sufficient.

Others have used this method on that same build and device... It seems you had a fluke, or are doing or not doing something prior to rooting that is causing a problem. We know a clean XT1550 with that Android version and build, freshly unlocked and booted once, works fine using the standard systemless method with current stable SuperSU.

I still can't explain why it failed, and this occasional problem that seems to effect some users has no replicatable pattern.

I did everything as specified. This is what I did:

1. Freshly unlocked bootloader.
2. Then restarted once and transferred twrp and SuperSU files to phone from computer.
3. Flashed TWRP from computer.
4. Entered echo SYSTEMLESS... command and then flashed SuperSU 2.78. It said this:
"Creating ramdisk backup
---Failure, aborting"
5. Allowed writes to system partition on mounts page as you said in this post replying to this one.
6. Tried flashing it again. But no positive results.
7. Then flashed 2.62-3 BETA according to your second post but I think it still took the systemless command. I think so because that's what I saw later in the SuperSU app.
8. Rebooted and set up all things from the first on my phone.
9. Cleaned up for a clean install from Google Play Store and updated to 2.78

If you want me to send screenshots/logs, I can send them.
 

acejavelin

Recognized Contributor
Sep 3, 2009
6,837
3,325
Lincoln, ND
Google Pixel 5a
Ok thank you for the info.

---------- Post added at 03:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:42 PM ----------



I did everything as specified. This is what I did:

1. Freshly unlocked bootloader.
2. Then restarted once and transferred twrp and SuperSU files to phone from computer.
3. Flashed TWRP from computer.
4. Entered echo SYSTEMLESS... command and then flashed SuperSU 2.78. It said this:
"Creating ramdisk backup
---Failure, aborting"
5. Allowed writes to system partition on mounts page as you said in this post replying to this one.
6. Tried flashing it again. But no positive results.
7. Then flashed 2.62-3 BETA according to your second post but I think it still took the systemless command. I think so because that's what I saw later in the SuperSU app.
8. Rebooted and set up all things from the first on my phone.
9. Cleaned up for a clean install from Google Play Store and updated to 2.78

If you want me to send screenshots/logs, I can send them.
That all look right... Except the ram disk error... I don't know why it fails sometimes and not others. Thanks for the info though.
 

Bruaca

Senior Member
Aug 3, 2011
129
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  • 21
    This guide covers ALL Moto G 2015 models (including the G Turbo) that can be bootloader unlocked and have TWRP available, it doesn't matter if it is the XT1540, XT1541, XT1543, etc., the method is identical. In fact, this method will work on all 2015 and 2016 series Moto phones running Marshmallow, including the Moto E, X, G3, G4, and Z.

    Please read completely and make sure you understand each step and how to do it, if you don't get something search the thread or ask an open question.

    tl;dr version for advanced users: Skip to "How to do it" section

    I am writing this tutorial because there are still lots of failed root attempts using older "standard" methods that do not work on this device. I also do not like the "one click" root methods, because they can and do fail (KingoRoot will brick a Moto G3, regardless of what it's web page says), and when they do people have no idea how to fix it. The manual way is not difficult, and it teaches you how to work on, fix, and use your device on a level above that of the average smartphone user.

    I will only cover the details of rooting, the prerequisites are covered elsewhere in detail and I will link to reliable sources for the information. Specifics of the prerequisites are outside of the scope of this tutorial, but are open for discussion in this thread.

    Prerequisites:

    1) Device must have an unlocked bootloader. See Moto - Unlocking the Bootloader for more info.
    NOTE: Performing this prerequisite will give you all the tools (fastboot) and drivers needed to continue, and wipe your device, meaning erase all your information and programs. Make sure to backup any important data first. This step will also permanently void your warranty once an unlock code has been issued by Moto, it doesn't matter if you even use it, your warranty is done.

    2) You need to have TWRP installed or one-time booted via fastboot. CWM and other recoveries will NOT work at this time. See TWRP for the Moto G 2015 or TWRP for Moto G Turbo.

    3) You need a copy of the latest STABLE SuperSU ZIP from Chainfire's site on the internal storage or SD card of your device.

    4) Reboot and start TWRP recovery, the method you use to do this doesn't matter (boot or flash).

    How to do it:

    Now, the procedure is the same whether you are trying to root the first time, or you did it the old way just flashing SuperSU and are now not able to boot...

    In TWRP, go to Advanced and open the Terminal, in the terminal type this EXACTLY as shown:

    Code:
    echo SYSTEMLESS=true>>/data/.supersu

    Now press enter (there is no confirmation returned), then exit and press the Home key. Go to Install and select the SuperSU zip file you downloaded from Prerequisite #3 and swipe to flash it and reboot. No need to clear caches or anything else but you are welcome to if you wish. You can install SuperSU updates normally through the app going forward (as of this posting).

    Why do I have to do this???

    For whatever reason, the install script for SuperSU does not recognize that this device (like many others) requires a systemless root installation. By creating /data/.supersu in the TWRP recovery environment, the SuperSU install script parses the file and sees "SYSTEMLESS=true" and ignores what it auto-detects and forces a systemless root installation.

    Hope this is helpful to someone!

    As always, if this is the first time you have booted TWRP or attempted root... BACKUP IN TWRP FIRST!!! Once the system is modified, it cannot be undone (easily) and you will always have a known good starting place if the worst happens.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for anything that happens... Your device, your responsibility, no matter what happens... Although all the information here has been tested and is known to work with no issues except where noted, things occasionally can and do go wrong and we cannot foresee every possible scenario or circumstance.

    If you need assistance, we need detailed information about what what's going on and what you have tried to do... Please provide details including:

    1) Device model number and Android version
    2) TWRP version
    3) SuperSU version
    4) Output of 'cat /data/.supersu' from TWRP terminal

    And a copy of recovery.log if possible, and any other pertinent information you can think of. Without specific information there is nothing that I can do to assist you and request for help may be ignored.

    Photos added showing what a proper command and flash should look like. Note that in picture 1 the exit command is not needed, you can just back out. In pictures 2 and 3 a proper flash of SuperSU is shown, note that system-less mode is specified and the boot image is patched, this is what should occur. It is normal for it to loop once or twice, but that is it, first boot could take 10 minutes plus.

    EDIT: I no longer own or use this device, but will keep this thread open and will check it periodically for assisting the few people left out there who haven't rooted their Moto G 2015 yet. :)
    2
    I have no doubt whatsoever, I did something wrong through the process, that why I wanted to make sure everyone knew regardless the systemless install, and echo command would be needed, also SuperSu updated the binary, from within the apk app to the aforementioned version as soon as I restarted.

    So do we not need "Busybox Installer"?
    installed as it would not install from the apk app, I also had read elsewhere that if you wanted "Xposed" would have to be flashed within my recovery, rather than installed as I always had with the apk previously

    Sent from my MotoG3 using XDA-Developers mobile app

    I am able to install busybox from the busybox (stericsson) app, though not tried in stock rom. And, the xposed is needed to be flashed from the recovery, the xposed installer also says that.[emoji4]

    Broadcasted from Zeta Reticuli
    1
    After successful flashing super su it is not showing in app drawer , should I flash it again
    SuperSU should show up in the app drawer after a successful flash.

    Make sure you enabled changes to system, did the terminal command, and when you flash the zip for SuperSU watch the recovery log, it should say something about "systemless". If not, please attach a copy of recovery.log file
    1
    See this.i don't know
    Hmm... looks like it patched the boot.img successfully. Try installing the SuperSU app from the Play Store and see if it says the binary is properly installed.

    I haven't tried this with the 2.77beta yet, I know it had some changes specifically for the Note 7 because Samsung tried to make it unrootable (but failed), I have been using the latest stable build of 2.76
    1
    but you can still get rid of the ads right?
    Partially and temporarily... Each update "fixes" it so they are back. Honestly, most people just pay the extra $50 to avoid the hassle.

    There are specific threads describing the ins and outs of removing the ads in the G4 & G5 areas.