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How to Root Android O Developer Preview

Users are excited about every new version of Android, but power users like me who like to have a rooted device at all times have mixed feelings. Of course, we are all excited as well, but there’s that worrying about how long it will take for this version of Android to get rooted because, with each iteration, Google patches the loopholes that were used to root the previous versions of Android. It has only been days since Google released the first developer preview of Android O for the Pixel and Nexus devices. Yet, much to the delight of users like me, SuperSu developer Chainfire has already found a way to root Android O Developer Preview.

Chainfire says that in these early stages of development Android O is not very different from Android nougat and hence it was easier to start working on rooting it right away. But before we get into the rooting part, there are a few things you should know.

Some things to consider

  • The rooting method currently only works on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
  • Both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P suffer from a kernel panic. Users will most likely not encounter that but some users might. In case you do, there is currently no solution available other than to restore a previous backup. According to the developer, “this kernel panic may be a kernel issue only Google can solve, or it may be possible to workaround on our end, it is too soon to say.”
  • The Pixel and Pixel XL have a dual partition system which is handled by a patch of code that seems to be causing difficulty for the developer at the moment. There is no definite time frame as to when he might get this to work on the Pixel duo.
  • The Nexus Player and the Pixel C do not have any such partitions so in theory, the method should work on them as well but this has not been tested yet. Hence Chainfire advises against using this root method on any other devices other than the Nexus 5X and 6P.
  • While Android O looks very similar to Android Nougat, some things have changed behind the scene so do not expect each and every root app to work perfectly. Not yet at least.
  • Also, since Android O is in its very early stages of development, things could drastically change in the later developer preview releases thus breaking the root access.

Disclaimer

You must understand the procedure described below is a risky affair. Possibly more risk than involved in the usual root methods since both the rooting method and the OS here are in development. As such, anything that happens to your device is your sole responsibility. Proceed at your own risk.

Prerequisites

  • First off, you will need an unlocked bootloader for your device, which I will assume you already have if you were excited enough to install Android O already.
  • You will also need the latest TWRP 3.1 recovery.
  • And of course, a Nexus 5X or 6P running the Android O Developer Preview.

Download the latest Chainfire SuperSu zip:

Download SuperSU-v2.79-SR4-20170323220017-ODP1-5X-6P.zip 

Root Android O Developer Preview

  1. Transfer the SuperSu zip file onto your phone.
  2. Now boot into recovery. To do this on the Nexus 5X and 6P, Power off the phone. Then press the Power and Volume Down button simultaneously. From the recovery flash the SuperSu zip and reboot.
  3. Tap on Backup and take a complete Nandroid Backup including all the partitions such as System, Data, Boot, EFS, etc.
  4. Return to the main TWRP menu and select Install.
  5. Browse to the downloaded SuperSU zip and select it.
  6. Swipe to install.
  7. Reboot System.

The first boot may take a while so be patient. However, in case things don’t work out, you can go back to TWRP and restore your previous backup.

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