Android: adbd cannot run as root in production builds

SyntaxFix
2 min readFeb 5, 2022
Android: adbd cannot run as root in production builds , syntaxfix.com

What is the problem ?

I have an Android-based phone (2.3.6) with unlocked root privileges. Since i’d like to have access to my phone through my computer, today i’ve installed QtAdb and Android SDK. If i open a command prompt and i do

adb shell su

i get

#

And so I am able to copy, remove, push files on my phone (on the phone i get a notification using the app “SuperSU”.)

But if i launch QtAdb — under Windows 7 — i get the following error: “adbd cannot run as root in production builds”. I miss something? There’s something wrong with QtAdb?

The Solution to the problem is …

The problem is that, even though your phone is rooted, the ‘adbd’ server on the phone does not use root permissions. You can try to bypass these checks or install a different adbd on your phone or install a custom kernel/distribution that includes a patched adbd.

Or, a much easier solution is to use ‘adbd insecure’ from chainfire which will patch your adbd on the fly. It’s not permanent, so you have to run it before starting up the adb server (or else set it to run every boot). You can get the app from the google play store for a couple bucks:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.adbd&hl=en

Or you can get it for free, the author has posted a free version on xda-developers:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1687590

Install it to your device (copy it to the device and open the apk file with a file manager), run adb insecure on the device, and finally kill the adb server on your computer:

% adb kill-server

And then restart the server and it should already be root.

More solutions on this question are here syntaxfix

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