Here are some of the most important terms regarding rooting and what they mean.
Root: Rooting means you have root access to your device—that is, it can run the
sudo command, and has enhanced privileges allowing it to run apps.
ROM: A ROM is a modified version of Android. It may contain extra features, a different look, speed enhancements, or even a version of Android that hasn’t been released for your phone yet.
Stock: “Stock” refers to a few different things, depending on the context. When we refer to “Stock Android,” we mean the Google-built version you’d find on Nexus devices, with no extra UI chances like HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz. Many ROMs are based on stock Android with some additions, like CyanogenMod, while others are based on the version that came with your phone. In other cases, “Stock” can also mean the version of Android that came with your phone—e.g., if you want to get rid of your ROM and return your phone to factory settings, you might say you’re “going back to stock or back to stock rom”
Kernel: A kernel is the component of your operating system that manages communications between your software and hardware. There are a lot of custom kernels out there for most phones, many of which can speed up your phone and increase your battery life, among other things. Be careful with kernels, though, as a bad one can cause serious problems with your phone and possibly even brick it.
Radio: Radios are part of your phone’s firmware. Your radio controls your cellular data, GPS, Wi-Fi, and other things like that. You can sometimes find custom radios for your phone that you can flash yourself, but beware as sometimes these can cause problems.
Flash: Flashing essentially means installing something on your device, whether it be a ROM, a kernel, or a recovery that comes in the form of a ZIP file. Sometimes the rooting process requires flashing a ZIP file, sometimes it doesn’t for some flashing tools.
Brick: To brick your phone is to break it during flashing or other acts. There is always a small risk with flashing, and if your phone becomes unable to function—that is, it basically becomes a brick—you’ve bricked your phone. The risk is very small, however, and more often than not people say “brick” when they really mean “it turns on but doesn’t boot properly,” which is a very fixable problem.
Bootloader: Your bootloader is the lowest level of software on your phone, running all the code that’s necessary to start your operating system. Most bootloaders come locked, meaning you can’t flash custom recoveries or ROMs. Unlocking your bootloader doesn’t root your phone directly, but it does allow you to root and/or flash custom ROMs if you so desire.
Recovery: Your recovery is the software on your phone that lets you make backups, flash ROMs, and perform other system-level tasks. The default recovery on your phone can’t do much, but you can flash a custom recovery—like ClockworkMod or TWRP—after you’ve unlocked your bootloader that will give you much more control over your device. This is often an integral part of the rooting process.
Nandroid: From most third-party recovery modules, you can make backups of your phone called nandroid backups. It’s essentially a system image of your phone: Everything exactly how it is right now. That way, if you flash something that breaks your phone, you can just flash back to your most recent nandroid backup to return everything to normal.
ADB: ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge, and it’s a command line tool for your computer that can communicate with an Android device you’ve connected to it. Many of the root tools or flashing recovery tools you’ll find use ADB, whether you’re typing the commands yourself or not. Unless the instructions call for installing the SDK and running ADB commands, you won’t need to mess with it—you’ll just need to know that it’s what most of the tools use to root your phone.
If there are any other terms you want us to explain we will do that,just comment your questions below.
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