Android users have been rooting their phones since the beginning of the operating system, but in recent years it has gotten much more complicated. More recently, a new method for handling root management has emerged, and it’s called Magisk.
What Is Magisk?
But starting with Marshmallow, Google essentially blocked the most popular root methods of previous versions—dropping the “su” daemon into the /system partition and running it with the required permissions at startup. This resulted in a new sort of root access, called “systemeless” root, named such because it doesn’t modify the /system partition in any way.
As part of this increased security, things like Google SafetyNet have been put in place to keep services like Android Pay secure, which leaves users having to choose between root access and valuable services. It’s a bummer.
But that’s where Magisk comes in. This is a basically the evolution of root access and management on Android. It leaves SafetyNet untouched, so users are still able to access Android Pay and Netflix, but still allows for powerful root tools like Xposed to continue working. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
It’s completely open source, under constant development, and getting better every day. Now may be the time to make the switch to this new root solution if you’ve been concerned about losing things like Android Pay.
How to Get Started with Magisk
First, you’re going to need the Magisk file. You can read about all the benefits of Magisk and grab the download by heading over to this thread on XDA. Go ahead and grab the Magisk Manager while you’re at it—you’ll need it later. Copy both to your phone’s internal storage or SD card.
Note: If you’ve used a different root method before, you’ll have to completely unroot your device before using Magisk. We recommend the unSU Script for doing so.
You’re also going to need a custom recovery like TWRP to flash Magisk on your phone. I’m doing this process on a completely stock, bootloader-unlocked Nexus 5, so your mileage may vary.
To start the process, boot into your custom recovery. Doing this is a bit different on every phone–for example, you may have to hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously, then use the volume keys to boot “Recovery Mode”. Google instructions for your specific model to see how it’s done.
From your custom recovery, flash the Magisk ZIP you transferred to the phone earlier. In TWRP, that means tap on “Install,” then find the Magisk file. Tap on “Install Image.”
Confirm all the details here, then swipe to confirm the flash.
The file will take a few seconds to flash. Once it’s finished,…
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