Is Magisk better than SuperSU

How to roll your Android phone with Magisk (to make Android Pay and Netflix work again)

Android users have rooted their phones since the operating system began, but it's gotten a lot more complicated in recent years. More recently, a new method of managing roots called Magisk has been developed.

What is magisk

Traditionally, rooting an Android phone has been this: unlock the bootloader (or find an exploit), do a custom restore, and then install SuperSU. And that worked very well for years.

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But starting with Marshmallow, Google essentially blocked the most common root methods from previous versions: put the "su" daemon in the / system partition and run it with the necessary permissions at startup. This led to a new type of root access called "systemless" root access, as the / system partition is not changed in any way.

As part of this increased security like things, Google SafetyNet was set up to keep services like Android Pay secure, so users have to choose between root access and valuable services. It's a bummer.

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But that's where Magisk comes in. This is basically the evolution of root access and management on Android. SafetyNet is left untouched, so users can still access Android Pay and Netflix, but still use powerful root tools like Xposed. It really is the best of both worlds.

It's completely open source development under constant conditions and getting better every day. Perhaps now is the time to move on to this new root solution if you are concerned about losing things like Android Pay.

Getting started with Magisk

First of all, you need the Magisk file. You can read about all the benefits of Magisk and get the download by going to this thread on XDA. Get Magisk Manager while you're at it - you'll need it later. Copy both to your phone's internal storage or SD card.

Note: If you have previously used any other root method, you will need to completely disconnect your device from the root directory before using Magisk. We recommend the unSU script for this.

You will also need a custom recovery like TWRP to flash Magisk on your phone. I do this process with a fully stocked Nexus 5 unlocked by the bootloader so your mileage may vary.

To start the process, start your custom recovery. This is different for every phone. For example, you may need to press and hold the power and volume down keys at the same time, and then use the volume up keys to enter recovery mode. Google instructions for your particular model to see how it works.

From your custom recovery, flash the Magisk ZIP that you transferred to the phone earlier. In TWRP, this means tap "Install" and then find the Magisk file. Tap "Install Image".

Here, confirm all the details, and then swipe to confirm the flash.

Flashing the file takes a few seconds. Then tap the "Restart System" button. Done.

Once the phone boots up again you will need to install Magisk Manager which you should download from the XDA thread above. You must turn on "Unknown Sources" before you can install this app. Go to Settings> Security> Unknown Sources, click the switch, and accept the warning.

After that, you can install Magisk Manager from the Downloads folder if you downloaded it directly to your phone, or with a file explorer if you transferred it from your computer.

Once installed, light the bad boy. It should start up on the status page which shows you are running the latest version and properly rooted. You can also do a SafetyNet check here, which I would like to recommend.

NOTE: Your device will fail the SafetyNet exam with the bootloader unlocked unless you are using Magisk Hide, which we will talk about below.

With this you can start using Magisk right away.

Use Magisk

Magisk is kind of an all-in-one solution for root management, installing root apps, and more. Think of it like SuperSU mixed in with Xposed, all in one neat, tight package. So good.

The app is very straightforward and easy to use, especially if you've previously used a rooted phone. Here's a quick breakdown of the menu, which you can access by swiping from the left side of the app:

  • Status: The currently installed version as well as the root and SafetyNet status are displayed here.
  • To install: For Magisk installation directly from the app. Useful if you've already gone through the initial setup and want to keep Magisk up to date.
  • SuperUser: This is basically the SuperSU section of Magisk.
  • Modules: Currently installed Magisk modules.
  • Downloads: Here you can download Magisk modules.
  • Log: Root request log.

If you dive into the Settings menu, you'll find some really nice but advanced options too. Here's a breakdown of what they all do again:

  • Dark topic: Changes the app design.
  • Update notification: Receive a push notification when a new version of Magisk is available.
  • Clear repo cache: Updates the app repository.
  • Magisk Core Only mode: Magisk in its simplest form, with only superuser, hide, systemless hosts and busybox. Enable this option if your device fails the SafetyNet exam.
  • Activate busybox: Activates the busy box.
  • Magisk Hide: Hide Magisk from known detections that certain apps use to block access based on root status.
  • Systemless hosts: For adblock apps.
  • SuperUser access: Select which services are allowed to request superuser access. Apps, ADB, or both completely disable SuperUser.
  • Automatic answer: Automatically prompt, approve, or deny superuser request.
  • Request timed out: How many seconds does Magisk wait before automatically rejecting a request.
  • SuperUser notification: Toast or none. Appears when an app has been granted superuser permissions.
  • Enabled advanced debug logging: Verbose logging enabled. Probably not necessary for most users.
  • Enable debug logging for shell commands: Activates the logging of shell commands and their output. Again, this is unlikely to be necessary for most users.

Most of these are passively enabled (meaning they are enabled, working in the background), with the exception of Magisk Hide. Once activated, a new option will appear in the menu: Magisk Hide. Here you can tell Magisk which apps it should hide its presence (and status) from. Android Pay is selected by default. However, you can also choose any other device that will not work on a rooted device, e.g. B. Netflix and Pokémon Go.

If your device fails the SafetyNet exam, apps like Android Pay won't work (like mine won't at first) only after you've fixed this - regardless of Magisk Hide status. If you're using a device with June security patches, you'll need to enable Magisk Core Only mode in Settings (and then restart) before the device can pass SafetyNet. This will deactivate all Magisk modules, but all root functions and the BusyBox will still work. If that doesn't fix the problem, check out this troubleshooting thread.

Overall, Magisk is the answer to many of the root questions users have had since Marshmallow. It is the solution to most (if not all) of the problems root users have with modern handsets and services. When set up correctly, Magisk should strike the perfect balance between using Android with all the services you love, without sacrificing the root tools that you have become accustomed to.