Galaxy Nexus – unlock the bootloader and get root [Windows, OSX, Linux]

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices' started by InsaneNutter, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Yorkshire, England
    Unlocking the bootloader and rooting your Galaxy Nexus is easy, when you know how!

    Why would i want to unlock the boot loader and root my Galaxy Nexus?

    With an unlocked bootloader you can flash custom roms, which add additional functionality to your phone. Popular roms that will be released for the Galaxy Nexus include CyanogenMod 9 and Miui. You can also root the phone, which will allow applications to request Super User permissions (SU) this is basically Administrator access to your phone. With this you can modify system files, delete unwanted system applications and use applications like Titanium backup to backup your phone, applications and settings.

    Note: This guide will focus on Windows, however if you have basic knowledge of OSX or Linux then you should be able to follow it easy enough.

    Unlocking the bootloader - Part 1

    You will need to download Superboot for the Galaxy Nexus you have (GSM or LTE)

    Download Superboot r4 GSM
    Download Superboot r4 LTE

    Once downloaded, unzip this folder somewhere, your desktop would be the easiest place.

    You than want to open a command prompt window and navigate to this folder.

    The easiest way to do this is to press the Windows Key + R and type CMD in the run box


    You can probably just type “cd r4-galaxynexus-gsm-superboot” if you unzipped superboot to your desktop


    Now if your phone is on switch it off.

    You want to turn the phone on by holding both the “up / down” buttons down (press in the middle) then powering the phone on.

    Your phone should boot to the fastboot menu.

    Now you want to connect the USB cable to your computer, Windows will try install drivers, this will likely fail. On OSX and Linux this shouldn't be a problem (so i'm told - not tested by me)

    Installing the Drivers (Windows): (OSX / Linux users can skip to "Unlocking the boot loader - Part 2")

    If it does you want to download the Universal Naked Driver Beta 0.5. Unzip this to your desktop.

    Press Windows Key + R and type in devmgmt.msc


    You should see a device called Android 1.0 under Other Devices


    Right click on this and select update driver software


    Browse for the Universal Driver Naked Beta folder


    Windows will say it cant verify the publisher, select install anyway


    The driver should install and the “Samsung Galexy Nexus BootLoader Interface” should be installed.


    Driver installed and working fine:


    Unlocking the boot loader - Part 2

    Now we can go back to our command prompt window and type “fastboot-windows oem unlock”

    OSX / Linux users would navigate to this folder in the terminal and type either:

    "fastboot-mac oem unlock"
    "fastboot-linux oem unlock"

    Depending on which OS you are using.


    If you look on your phone you should see a message asking if you wish to unlock the boot loader.


    Using the volume keys to move up and down, move over to yes and confirm by pressing the power button.

    You will now be returned to the boot menu, you should see it now says “Lock State Unlocked” Your boot loader is now unlocked!


    Rooting the phone:

    Now to root the phone simply open click on the “install-superboot-windows.bat” file in the r4-galaxynexus-gsm-superboot folder, your phone will be rooted and load back in to Android.


    Note: Mac users can just run "" and Linux users "" the process will be exactly the same as it is on Windows.

    Leave the USB cable selected until your phone has fully booted.

    If you look through the applications on the phone you should now see you have the super user application.

    If an app requests SuperUser permissions you will now be asked if you wish to grant that application SuperUser rights.


    That’s it, enjoy your unlocked and rooted Galaxy Nexus :)

    Attached Files:

    Rick likes this.
  2. Shabbypenguin

    Shabbypenguin New Member

    Aug 18, 2012
    Likes Received:
    while the superboot works great for things like ICS it installs a "rooted" kernel which when things like jellybean come out, you need a new jellybean compatible superboot. im a bit of an android lover and i use teh sprint galaxy nexus (toroplus). what is normally suggested for rooting is flashing cwm and then a that will install superuser. jellybean needs jellybena kernels and ics needs ics kernels so relying on the kernels to root only does that "branch"

    if you have a nexus device (nexus 7, galaxy nexus, nexus s, nexus s 4g) then you can use the tool i made,i have the whole thing up on my github. it detects what device you are using and downloads the required recovery (CWM or TWRP 2.2) automatically for ya.

    edit couldnt post a links?

Share This Page