The Nexus 7 is already available in the US for some time now. Two days ago (Monday August 27th) Google officially started to sell the device in some European countries as well. One day after placing the order I had already received my parcel. This is an amazingly quick service, thanks a lot Google! After playing around with it for a while (to make sure everything is working fine) I have rooted my Nexus 7 today. While I was at it I decided to sum up everything in this little guide. So here we go…
* Please note I don’t take any responsibility for possible damages!
Download required binaries
1. You need to install the Android SDK (or at least the “fastboot” and “adb” tools) on your PC. When playing around with Android devices and root you probably have it already. Otherwise, a quick Google search will point you to a download for the operating system you are using.
2. Download ClockworkMod recovery. There are maybe other recoveries available but I prefer to use the original one. There are two versions available, one for touch and one for non-touch. I see no reason why you would not want the Touch-recovery, so just go to http://www.clockworkmod.com/rommanager, scroll down to the Google Nexus 7, and download the touch recovery.
3. In the meanwhile SuperSu (instead of SuperUser) is used on many Android 4.x devices. I prefer SuperSu as well. Just go to the official thread on xda (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1538053) and in the first post you will spot a “CWM installable ZIP” called CWM-SuperSU-v0.95.zip and that’s what we need.
Prepare your device
1. The Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.1 however there’s also an update available for 4.1.1 so make sure that you have installed this prior to rooting. If you are rooted then OTAs might not install and you have to flash them manually.
2. Enable USB debugging mode. This is needed so you can access your Nexus 7 from your PC. Go to Settings –> Developer options and toggle USB debugging.
Unlocking your Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 is a Google developer device and that means that you can easily unlock the bootloader. When unlocking then your whole device is erased so it’s good advise to do this while your device is still fresh so you don’t need to re-install too much stuff. On your PC open a command line terminal and go into the directory where you have placed “fastboot” and “adb”, then type the following:
adb reboot bootloader
When your Nexus 7 is in bootloader mode then continue:
fastboot oem unlock
This will show a warning that all your data is erased. Confirm it and when it’s finished then flash ClockworkMod in the next step.
From your PC just type:
fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-126.96.36.199-grouper.img
Hint: When you are on Linux then you have to call fastboot as “su”.
Then change into recovery mode. Use the volume rockers to select “recovery” and hit the power button to confirm.
We can’t flash anything from here because the device has just been erased by the unlock command. So we first need to boot up. Select “Reboot” in the recovery. ClockworkMod will ask you to disable the stock recovery. Confirm with YES. If you are not doing this then CWM will be overwritten the next time you reboot.
When Android has fully booted up then go into Settings and enable USB debugging again. Then type from your PC:
adb push CWM-SuperSU-v0.95.zip /sdcard/
Yes “sd card” is right. Actually the Nexus 7 doesn’t have a SD card but for app compatibility the internal memory is usually still known as “sd card” nevertheless!
Reboot back into recovery:
adb reboot recovery
Now in the recovery select “Install zip from sd card”, browse to CWM-SuperSU-v0.95.zip and confirm. Reboot back to Android and you’re done.