So I've come to a situation with my phone (to be explained later) that has all but required me to root it. Well, basically it HAS required me to root it because I have yet to find an actual solution that doesn't involve rooting. Anyway...

I've been reading root info and stuff for the last few weeks and all I can say is that the way these people write these things, it doesn't seem as easy as they make it out to be. I have yet to find clear, explicit instructions for someone like me who knows very little about it. Don't get me wrong, I can learn this stuff pretty easily - but I think it's more of a problem with terminology than anything else. Not sure.

Anyway, there are a few helpful threads on XDA that you'd want to read through. To start with there's the Easily Root Your SGS2 thread. It's a good read - but to me became pretty confusing - especially when my patience was at a minimum already thanks to the days' frustrations. And then there's another problem... I have a Mac. It looks to me like most of that info is for Windows users.

Ya, go figure. The Apple user wants to root an Android device.

Luckily I found some help in that thread above... and it pointed me to another thread. It was time to get down to business... except for one thing: I AM IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING YOU DO TO YOUR PHONE OR ANY OTHER DEVICE. YOU FOLLOW ANY OF THESE STEPS AT YOUR OWN RISK AND ASSUME ALL RESPONSIBILITY. I only have to say that because people are dumb. Keep that in mind...

Also worth noting, if you currently are not rooted and have the stock software from AT&T/Samsung, these specific instructions and files will basically be exactly the same - but with root privileges. All of your data and apps should remain intact. But again, not responsible, your own risk... blah blah blah. If you somehow manage to lose everything, it's just not my problem.

So, if you have a Mac and want to root your AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II, here we go:

1. Download:

2. Install on your Mac:

  • Install Heimdall
  • Install EZ 7z for Mac

3. Extract:

  • Extract PDA.tar from UCKH7_stock_odin.7z using EZ 7z
  • Extract zImage & factoryfs.img from PDA.tar using the Mac's built-in Archive Utility

4. Move Files:

  • Move zImage and factoryfs.img to an easily accessible folder (Desktop?)

5. Prepare Phone:

  • Power Off your phone (pull battery if needed)
  • Connect USB cable from your computer to the phone
  • While holding Vol Up AND Vol Down, turn on the phone
  • Press Vol Up button to Accept custom OS notice
  • It should now show the Android guy and say "downloading" (don't worry, it's not downloading anything yet)

6. Root Phone:

  • Open a Terminal window
  • Change the directory to where you moved zImage/factoryfs.img
  • Type the following command in the Terminal window, press Enter and wait (you should see a status bar start moving on your phone after running it):

heimdall flash --kernel zImage --factoryfs factoryfs.img

Let the phone reboot when completed. You're done. Well, more done when it finishes booting and you click Allow on the superuser access request.

This is exactly how I did it just a few short hours ago. Now you can go download Titanium Backup or whatever other SuperUser app you want to use. And in my case, immediately go into Titantium and Freeze the AP Mobile app. POS that one is...

So just to be clear - I can't take any credit for this. Any of it. I've really just put it all together and ordered it in such a way that for me, made it extremely easy (yes, even easier than it was explained on the forum). I like things simple and straightforward... I just didn't feel like I was feeling that from the other threads and didn't want to clog them up with even more questions.

In any case, all of the thanks goes to those guys on XDA for their hard work and providing the necessary information. Seriously, go thank them.

Some possibly related posts...

10 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Root Your AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II with a Mac, Easily”

  • CPare

    November 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I am interested in doing this, but not sure what I gain (or lose) once I root the device – Could you list the “Value Add” (other than shaking a fist @ AT&T for locking us out of our devices).

  • ack154

    November 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

    To my (limited) understanding, the biggest thing you gain on the device is absolute, full control. In the Unix world the “root” account is bascially the overall system administrator and that’s where the term comes from. You also then gain the ability to install custom ROMs and software that you wouldn’t normally be allowed to. I can’t think of anything you’d “lose” by doing this – but I’m not any sort of authority on the subject. The one catch is that if you root your device and try to warranty it, they will not cover it… of course there are ways to get back to a stock setup so you can take care of warranty issues. I just did a quick Google search for “why root android phone” and got a ton of results. There is a lot more info out there from people who know more than I do, I’d suggest taking some time to read some of it if you’re at all unsure. Good luck! 🙂

  • tavis2205

    November 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    there is just one part that i don’t understand: Change the directory to where you moved zImage/factoryfs.img what is a directory exactly

  • ZS

    November 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks a lot for the instructions. It worked fine and was really easy to follow.

    Suggesting a small edit to step 5:

    5. Prepare Phone:

    A. Power Off your phone (pull battery if needed)
    B. Connect USB cable to phone and computer. While holding Vol Up AND Vol Down, turn on the phone.

    Thanks again!

  • ack154

    November 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks! That’s probably a good change to provide a more direct explanation.

  • lunalax

    November 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Im getting stuck on part 6. I’m not sure how to change the terminal and how to make it bring up the file where I saved factoryfs.img/zimage which is right on my desktop.

  • ack154

    November 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Maybe this will help… you have to have some knowledge of working with a command prompt (DOS being the Windows equivalent). If you don’t have that, I’d suggest a quick Google search of “terminal commands.” Here’s one example of some of the basic commands:

  • saha kehau

    December 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    this isn’t working for me, i type in “cd Desktop” to change the directory. then heimdall flash –kernel zImage –factoryfs factoryfs.img and I get “Claiming interface error”. Any clue what’s wrong? The phone is connected to my computer and in ODIN Mode.

  • ansje

    December 30, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Does this work for galaxy s with 2.3.3?

  • ansje

    December 30, 2011 at 4:24 am

    EZ7 doesnt work on my mac 10.5