Last Updated: November 5th, 2013

Some Moto X owners weren't particularly happy to learn that a recent OTA with improvements to the camera also had the undesirable consequence of breaking root acquired through PwnMyMoto. Fortunately, the creator of PwnMyMoto, Justin Case, is back with an updated root method that works on the latest Moto X update and should be compatible with all recent Motorola firmwares.

Update: RockMyMoto is confirmed to also work on the latest firmwares for the Droid Maxx, Ultra, and Mini.

Disclaimer: Android Police isn't responsible for any harm to your device - proceed at your own risk.

If you're eager to get started, swing by the RockMyMoto thread on XDA. The process is more manual than the previous one-click solution, but it looks more intimidating than it really is. You'll need to have Cydia Impactor installed, a working version of adb on your machine, and device drivers for your phone, if necessary. This process does require some command line usage on your computer, which may be foreign to some users, but it's not too tough if you go slowly and follow the instructions carefully. To alleviate some questions and confusion, jcase has also recorded a video to demonstrate the command line steps used while rooting his Moto X.

Since Motorola has applied Google's patches to close up the original "Master Key" bugs (1 & 2), Justin's new root tool relies on yet another, more recently discovered vulnerability. The new bug was found by Jay Freeman (a.k.a. saurik), probably best known for his work developing Cydia for use on jailbroken iOS devices. As described in Jay's blog post, this new member of the "Master Key" family is very similar to the second variant, but plays on a slightly different set of circumstances which somewhat limit its capabilities. Thanks to the source drop for Android 4.4 KitKat, we already know a patch is in place to fix the bug, which makes it perfectly suited for exploitation on Motorola phones until they are updated to KitKat or another security patch comes out to close this hole.

At least for now, Moto X owners don't have to choose between getting better photos or having root access. However, the odds are pretty good that future OTAs will break this root as well, especially if it's for the recently confirmed Android 4.4 update. If you have rooted your phone, be sure to do proper research before installing anything. In the meantime, enjoy the rooted goodness!

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Damon

    You could provide a link to this thread, too. I couldn't make heads nor tails of JCase's thread, as I've never used Telnet, but this other thread helped A LOT!:


    • Justin Case

      I link to that in my thread, for windows users

      • Damon

        Yeah ya did. I just missed it and panicked initially. Thanks for supporting us and our phones, Jcase! :)

      • Firmino

        I dont use a Moto, but thank you for the awesome work!

  • Jeffery Keel

    Whatever happened to the Play Store version of the Moto X?

  • Jasmine

    Will this work for Droid Maxx as well? I upgraded mine with root and it got stuck in a restart loop every 30 secs. I ended up getting a certified replacement and update to latest 12.1.2XXX please let me know. Thank you, Jasmine

  • mas1205

    For those on Republic Wireless, be careful with this root method because you may be unable to do a factory reset or update to 4.4 when it becomes available. Additionally, it is not clear whether there is a method for RW members to unroot their phones in the event they need a warranty repair/replacement.

  • Jared Fulton

    I am pretty frustrated and would appreciate any help for someone who can figure out what I'm doing wrong. I have adb, I can telnet no problem, but when I push the exploit, it just scrolls, not at all like in the video. I have all drivers up to date, no ap isolation problems, although that's not even where my problems are. I have rooted og droid and bionic with every firmware update, using all the methods available with no problem, even rooted my Xoom. For some reason, I am not getting this thing to work. Any help would be most appreciated thank you:)