Android is an Open Source operating system which means the source code is available for everyone to tweak and modify. So, there are a lot of eyes looking to modify, exploit and root Android ecosystem for achieving something bigger.
Google is making Android more secure every iteration making it difficult for the developers to gain root access on Android devices and alter system partitions. Systemless root is the latest thing in custom Android development which allows users to gain root access without altering system partition. So, you can enjoy OTA updates and other root-restricted apps even on rooted Android devices.
Magisk is the new face of Systemless interface on Android which is aimed to make custom mods go systemless. It’s the brainchild of the XDA developer topjohnwu and is the short name for “Magic Mask” which aims to overcome the difficulties with Systemless mods. Once you install Magisk on your device, you can choose from many modules to go entirely systemless.
Here’s the entire feature list of Magisk:
- Magic Mount: This feature will not only allow you to replace existing file and directories but also support adding new files and directories into the system. This means all existing mods should be possible to work systemless.
- Multiple Entry Points: If “Magic Mount” itself is still not powerful enough to accomplish your goal, Magisk provides several entry points for developers to run scripts at different boot times, making developers do whatever they want at any time. It reliably blocks the boot process to continue before your scripts are done.
- Magisk Manager: This app helps you manage your root status, and manage all your installed Magisk Mods (mod management is still WIP), just like Xposed Modules.
- Remove verity / force encrypt (both are configurable through .magisk file, same as SuperSU), patches SE policy (to run scripts and support multiple root methods). This means developers won’t need to worry about boot image modifications in the future!
- Important mods like Root, Xposed etc. can all depend on the Magisk interface.
- magisk.img (the place to store all your systemless mods) will resize automatically to support large mods, and reclaim the space after removing contents.
Magisk requires boot image modifications, so unlocked bootloader is required to install Magisk. It is recommended to restore your device to the stock system and boot before installing Magisk.
If you can’t do that, you must completely remove everything related to root (/system/xbin/su, /data/su.img, /sbin/su) and Xposed on your device. A custom recovery is needed to install Magisk on your Android device. Download the Magisk from below links and install it on your device using the below guide.
How to Install Magisk from TWRP Recovery
- Download and transfer the Magisk file from the above link and transfer it to your device’s storage.
- Boot your device into TWRP recovery. If you’re not sure about the process, just google how to boot into your device’s recovery mode.
- As you’re in the TWRP recovery, make a complete nandroid backup of your device. You can follow our definitive guide for nandroid backup from here.
- Tap on Install button and select the Magisk file. Swipe to confirm the flash.
- Once Magisk is flashed, reboot the device from the Reboot menu in TWRP.
How to Uninstall Magisk on your Device
- Download the Magisk uninstaller from the downloads section and flash it from TWRP. This will remove Magisk from your device.
- If your custom recovery cannot access data, the uninstaller will still work but you need to remove few modules manually.
- To completely remove Magisk, you need to restore stock boot image and manually remove /data/magisk.img, /cache/magisk, /data/busybox from your device.
That’s all. Once you’ve installed Magisk, you can use several mods to go completely systemless. We will cover more Magisk mods soon. So, stay tuned to us.