Even though the device hasn't even hit the street, noted Android developer Chainfire has obtained root on the Samsung Galaxy S III. Chainfire doesn't actually have the device in hand, so don't start berating him with questions on that matter. Rather, he got root on a firmware build that was leaked to him, and has a few juicy tidbits to share with everyone.

root remount

It appears that the Galaxy S III isn't going to be locked down in any significant way. All Chainfire had to do was repackage the kernel with a modified adb binary and install SuperUser manually. Samsung chose to use the standard boot.img kernel format as well. Previous phones used the much harder to modify zImage kernel. There is a recovery partition available in this firmware that should allow recoveries to be flashed separately from the kernel. There is, however, a counter in the bootloader that detects the modified kernel, but that is par for Samsung devices and doesn't negatively affect things.

Chainfire has decided against releasing the insecure kernel for the time being. He worries that the build he is working with could be traced back to the individual that leaked it. Additionally, this was all done with release candidate software, and things could technically change in the final firmware for devices. Carrier-specific versions of the Galaxy S III might also be more locked down.

[XDA Forums]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Murphy

    "It appears that the Galaxy S II isn't going to be locked down in any significant way."Galaxy S II?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Pinged Ryan, thanks.

    • RyanWhitwam

      It turns out I have a computer gremlin that hates roman numerals. 

  • http://twitter.com/strifejester Justin Ellenbecker

    Meh all done remotely so he knows someone who has one in hand.

  • sgtguthrie

    Nice! I think I'll possibly get this baby on t-mobile as I leave the greedy bastards at VZW ;-)

    • Nick Klenchik

      Same here, but AT&T

  • Rovex

    This, among other reasons, is exactly why i pre-ordered an S3.  I love HTC as a company, but all the locked boot loader rubbish and other stupid stuff puts me, and devs off. I expect a wholesale moving of the brilliant S2 devs over to the S3. Given how brilliantly my S2 runs now (smoother and faster than a One X, easily), i cant wait for the S3.

    • Daniel

      Umm... have you tried HTC bootloader unlocking tool?

      • Rovex

        I dont have the One X, and yes i know the bootloader can be unlocked, but its only one of many things that put me off. The One X just doesnt seem that much of an upgrade over the S2 for me. I would say its worse in many ways.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MPR3KPSSSXL2ZBPL7OA4V4B62U DanielG

        Yeah, but using their tool also voids your phone warranty, which means that even if your phone breaks due to  clear manufacturing defect that had nothing to do with your running a custom rom, they won't cover it.  Which would be awful considering all of the issues I've had with my nexus one's power button and touch screen digitizer. 

        • http://www.freshnewsarea.com/ Harkunwar Singh Kochar

          And what about relocking bootloader and getting the warranty back