Root Nexus 5 running Android 5.0 Lollipop

by 4 years ago

Root Nexus 5 running Android 5.0 Lollipop

The new Android 5.0 update brings some new security enhancements at the kernel level. With this new Android OS update, SELinux is now set to enforcing (permission denied automatically for 3rd party apps) which is supposed to be good for the Android ecosystem. This new permission is causing new problems in rooting our Nexus 5. While it is possible to set the SELinux back to permissive mode, it can’t be achieved without modifying the kernel.

From security point of view, enforced permission is best for SELinux, thus, Chainfire, a legend in the field of rooting, has provided us with modified kernel which makes the SELinux for Nexus 5 permissive only within the scope of rooting, not system wide. Thus, this way of rooting is more secure since Chainfire’s custom kernel sets the SELinux permission to permissive, partially thus retaining the security of most of the system as default enforcing.

May be in future Chainfire will provide us with a way to root our Nexus 5 without modifying the kernel. But until then, all we can do to root Nexus 5 running Android 5.0 Lollipop is to flash the modified kernel on our device, then flash the SuperSU app (in a zip) via a custom recovery (TWRP).

Following this procedure may void your warranty. You yourself are responsible for your device. We can’t be held responsible for what happens to your device.

Before you begin following this guide, make sure that you read the following points. They are essential and you must follow them.

Things to remember

  • 1
    Install Device drivers

    This procedure requires you to connect your device on your PC. Thus, it is essential that your device is recognized properly by your computer. If your device isn’t detected by your PC or you don’t know how to install the drivers on your pc then follow our guide to install Nexus 5 ADB and Fastboot drivers.

  • 2
    Unlock your Bootloader

    Your Nexus 5’s Bootloader must be unlocked to flash the modified kernel image onto your device. Without unlocked bootloader, you can’t run any Fastboot commands needed to flash the kernel. We have created a guide to unlock Nexus 5 Bootloader, just follow it carefully to unlock your Nexus 5 bootloader.

    Skip, if your device’s bootloader is already unlocked.

  • 3
    Install TWRP Custom Recovery

    Install TWRP custom recovery to flash the SuperSU binary files and app on your device. Installing the SuperSU app, allows/deny you to grant root permissions to 3rd party apps easily. Follow our guide to install Nexus 5 TWRP recovery on your Nexus 5.

  • 4
    Maintain proper battery level

    This procedure could go horribly wrong if your device’s or PC’s battery dies suddenly in the middle. Thus, make sure that both your device and PC has atleast 50% battery level before you try to root your device.

Guide – Root Nexus 5 Running Android 5.0 Lollipop

  • 1
    Download and transfer the SuperSu zip ( file to your device’s internal memory.
  • 2
    Download and extract the to a separate folder on your PC.
  • 3
    Download and extract the on your PC, you’ll find a boot.img file inside the extracted folder. Copy this file to the extracted folder in Step 1.
  • 4
    Follow steps below to enable USB debugging on your device.
    • Enable Developer Options – Go to Settings > About Phone and tap on the build number seven times.
    • Enable USB Debugging – Now a new Developer Options menu should appear at the bottom of the Settings menu. Open Developer Options and tick the USB debugging box (under Debugging section).
  • 5
    Open the folder where you extracted the file. Press Shift + Right click on any empty space inside the folder, a new context menu should open, select Open command window here.
  • 6
    Now connect your device to PC via USB cable. A popup menu will appear on your device asking for permission to allow USB debugging option. Tick the Always allow from this computer and then press OK.
  • 7
    To ensure that your device is detected on your PC, in command prompt, type in the following command

    adb devices
    If your device doesn’t appear on the list of available device then there is a communication problem between your device and your PC. Read our guide to install the Nexus 5 device driver once again and make sure that you are following the guide properly. If the issue still persist, post a comment below.

  • 8
    Boot your device in Bootloader Mode by typing in the following command on command prompt
    adb reboot bootloader
  • 9
    Now flash the modified Nexus 5 boot image (kernel) on your device by typing in the following command on the command prompt.

    fastboot flash boot boot.img

  • 10
    Once boot.img is successfully on your device, your Nexus 5 is not rooted. Congrats, but we still have to flash SuperSu App on your device. To do so, press the Volume Down button twice followed by Power button, this will enter your device into TWRP recovery.
  • 11
    Once in TWRP recovery, follow the following procedure to flash the SuperSU zip on your device.
    • On main menu, select Install.
    • Browse the folder where you save the file on your device and select it.
    • Swipe on Swipe to Confirm Flash button to confirm the flashing of the SuperSU zip file.
    • Once the flashing procedure is complete, select Reboot System.

Done! Your Nexus 5 is now rooted.

If you have faced any problems while following this tutorial or want any clarification, feel free to mention in the comment below. We would also love to hear some success stories from you.



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