In case you hadn't heard, Samsung is making a little extra effort to secure the Galaxy S4 via tougher software kernels, which aren't susceptible to some of the more common root methods from previous Galaxy models. But where there's a will, there's a way, and noted Android developer/modder Chainfire has found a way around the security on the stock kernel for the Galaxy S4 i9505 - that's the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered LTE variant, and the model sold for AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States.

This root exploit works via a newly-modified version of the CF-Auto-Root tool and the popular SuperSU permission manager app. You'll need a Windows computer and the latest version of Samsung's Odin flashing software to apply the MD5 file. The root method should work just fine with T-Mobile's Galaxy S4, and AT&T's model as well, assuming that you've unlocked the bootloader via Dan Rosenberg's method. Some users have reported that the modified CF-Auto-Root works on Sprint models (SPH-L720), but this has not been verified, and caution is advised for the present.

Unfortunately, this root exploit will not work on the international HSPA Exynos-powered Galaxy S4 (i9500). Chainfire mentions on Google+ that he's working on a root solution, but since he doesn't have physical access to one of these models, it could take some time.

XDA - [GT-I9505] CF-Auto-Root

Via Chainfire

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Randy Magruder

    Correction, the Gecko quote was: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good". The qualifier is important.

    • fixxmyhead

      wrong article

  • RajivSK

    For the first time I actually don't feel the need to root and rom. Everything runs smooth, battery lasts a full day and I even find some of the TW features to be really useful. What is this strange reality I stepped into?

    • EH101

      This is how I felt about my Note 2 until I saw JellyBeans rom. It's basically the same thing at TW with a much better theme imo. I think I've reached the point in my Android experience where the only reason I'll root and/or rom is to change my theme.

    • Matthew Fry

      Touchwiz certainly has evolved into something much less awful since the Galaxy S days. I've been using it on the S3 recently because of the multi-window update but... well... multi-window is cool but does not have a lot of use cases on the S3.

    • Jarrod

      I understand to not feel the need to root and ROM and I too like some features of the TouchWiz interface. Chances are that I will root at some point because I would like to have more room. By getting rid of the bloat Touchwiz and carrier stuff and then eliminating TW I bet we get 2+ GB back of internal storage.

  • http://williamjudd.com/ William Judd

    So - what's the best rooting solution for the i9500 thus far?