Rooting is something essential for most power users, and more so, if it is a Nexus device.
But unfortunately, rooting prevents the phone from installing OTA updates.
This is because the OTA zips, check the /system partition to be intact, and even the slightest modification to it, will cause the update to fail. As a result of this, many users use their device in an unrooted state.
But you don’t need to worry, thanks to a new option called Systemless root. Renowned developer Chainfire, released the new version of the app, a few months ago, to the delight of users. This allows users to get OTA updates on a rooted device.
- Nexus 6 with unlocked bootloader, non-rooted, with stock rom and boot image. Also, enable OEM UNLOCK and USB Debugging from developer options.
- A PC with ADB installed on it.
Disclaimer: Androidpure and the author aren’t responsible for any damage you incur. Proceed at your own risk.
UPDATE: The January 2016 Security Update failed on our Nexus 6. DO NOT try the instructions below. We are currently researching the issue, and will attempt to find a fix.
1. Download the latest version of the Systemless root zip file for the Nexus 6 from XDA. The current version is BETA-SuperSU-v2.66-20160103015024.zip
2. Download TWRP Recovery for the Nexus 6 (currently twrp-220.127.116.11-shamu.img), but do not flash it on the phone. Instead, just boot it temporarily, by connecting the phone to the PC. Run the following commands one after the other, in an elevated command prompt.
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot boot recovery twrp-18.104.22.168-shamu.img
3. This should boot the phone with a temporary TWRP recovery (which will revert to stock recovery after a reboot), and it will ask you if you want to use it in Read Only mode, tap on it. This is a MUST do step.
4. Now, tap on the install button, and select the SuperSU Systemless Root Zip file, and then swipe across the “Swipe to Flash” button.
If TWRP says root is not installed, ignore it. Do NOT install SuperSU, as it will write the data to the /system partition.
5. Reboot the device, and install Busybox free from the Play Store. Open the Super SU app to check if it is installed, and then use any app like Titanium Backup or Root Checker to confirm if the root is working fine.
DO NOT install Xposed Framework, or any other zip which you need to flash from recovery. These zips will modify the system partition (unless they are systemless installers), and you will not be able to get OTA Updates.Also, do not make any changes to the system partition, by editing files.
You can however, use regular root apps like DoubleTapToWake or Light Flow.You will need to un-root using the SuperSU app, to install OTA updates, and then re-root the device after the update.
The current version of Systemless root has been tested to work on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.