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Root [GUIDE] Root Nexus 9


I like turtles!
Jul 25, 2012
***Backup your internal storage*** If you are not rooting straight out of the box, backup the contents of your internal storage. Unlocking the bootloader will wipe EVERYTHING.

Proceed at your own risk. I, nor Android Forums, is responsible for what you do with the following information. You will have full access to all partitions and thus the ability to mess something up. Have a plan; know what you are flashing and why. Make nandroid backups, always! Now, have fun!! :)


1.) Enable OEM unlocking:
This option is hidden in the Developer Options. To unlock the hidden developer options menu go to Settings>About Tablet. From there, scroll to the bottom and tap on "Build Number" seven (7) times. Press the back button and you should now see "Developer Options" in your settings menu.

Once in the developer options, you will need to make sure to check the boxes next to two (2) items: "Enable OEM Unlock" and "Enable USB Debugging".

2.) Working ADB and Fastboot:

If you do not already have these, you can download our forums "Mini-SDK" HERE or you can alternatively download the entire SDK here. If you need the drivers, you can find them here.

3.) Files:
The preferred method is now CF-Auto-Root which can be downloaded HERE.
You will need Chainfire's SuperSU v.2.18 and patched kernel. You can download his files HERE.

Step 1 - Unlock Bootloader:

1.) Reboot into bootloader:
With the phone attached to the PC, issue the command:
adb reboot bootloader
Alternatively, you can power off the device, then hold volume down + power until you reach the bootloader screen.
NOTE: Upon using adb for the first time, you may need to check your phone display for a promt asking you to allow this computer.

2.) Place the device in fastboot/fastboot usb mode:
In case it isn't already in fastboot mode when you enter the bootloader, use the volume keys to navigate to "fastboot" and press the power key to select it.

3.) Unlock the bootloader:
I warn you once again, if you have any data on the device (pictures, music, etc.), backup your internal storage before this step.

Issue the command:
fastboot oem unlock
After issuing the command, check your device for a prompt. Confirm the bootloader unlock by pressing volume up.

Step 2 - Install SuperSU & Patched Kernel:

Update: Run CF-Auto-Root
Basically just extract the zip file to your desktop (or anywhere you prefer) and place the tablet in fastboot USB mode. Double click the file and let the auto root tool work it's magic.
1.) Place files in your adb/fastboot directory:
Extract the two .img files from Chainfire's SuperSU zip linked above. Place them both in the same directory as your adb and fastboot tools.

2.) Inject SuperSU:
Issue the command:
fastboot boot inject.img
When finished, make sure you are still in fastboot usb mode.

3.) Install Patched Kernel:
Issue the command:
fastboot flash boot patched.img

Step 3 - Reboot the Device and Enjoy (Sort of...):
1.) Reboot:
Since your device is still in fastboot mode issue this command:
fastboot reboot
Alternatively, you can navigate the bootloader menus and find the reboot option, or simply hold the power button for about 10 seconds until the device reboots.

2.) Enjoy:
I'm sure it won't be too long until you are fully taking advantage of your rooted Nexus 9, but root is pretty limited for the time being. A note from Chainfire about it:
Chainfire said:
Your device is now rooted, though most root apps will probably not work yet because they are not ready yet for Android 5.0 or 64-bit, or both.

Extra Stuff:

1.) Thank Chainfire for rooting the N9:
If you can, hit the donate link on Chainfire's download page. He works hard to benefit the entire android community free of charge. If you can afford to thank him for making this possible, please do!

2.) Returning to stock:
If for whatever reason you need to return to stock, you can download the factory images HERE.
Please see jhawkkw's excellent guide for flashing factory images:

3.) Don't know how to set up your adb/fastboot directory?
Instructions for setting up our forum's mini SDK are HERE.

4.) Having issues with adb/fastboot connectivity/drivers?
Here are some troubleshooting tips from scotty85:
troubleshooting connectivity issues:
*make sure you have changed to your adb/fastboot directory!
*make sure usb debugging is enabled(checkmarked) to use adb in the OS
-try a reboot of the PC
-try different usb cables and ports
-dont use a usb hub
-dont use usb 3.0
-make sure nothing capable of comunicating with the phone is enabled and running. htc sync,pdanet,easy tether,and even itunes have all been known to cause issues.
-windows 8 has been known to have issues. try a windows 7 or older machine

failing the above,
-i use these drivers for fastboot and adb(donwload and run as admin): http://downloads.unrevoked.com/HTCDriver3.0.0.007.exe (mirror)

failing that,try manually updating the drivers in the following manner:
-put the phone in fastboot mode(select fastboot from the hboot menu)
-open device manager on the PC
-plug in phone,watch for it to pop up in device manager.
-update drivers with device manager,pointing the wizard to the extracted
driver download folder from above

note that you can check the connectivity of the phone,and make sure drivers are working by in the following manner:
-open cmd window. change to directory containing adb/fastboot utilities

-adb with the phone in the booted OS,usb debug enabled,enter:
adb devices in a cmd window

-fastboot with phone in fastboot(not hboot!),enter:
fastboot devices in cmd window

in either case,a properly connected phone with working drivers installed should report back the phones serial number.
5.) Did I forget anything?
Shoot me a private message.
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