Android + Linux: Mistakes! Unlocking and Rooting the 2013 Nexus 7 from Arch Linux

I had an embarrassingly difficult time rooting the new Nexus 7 from my Linux installation. It wasn’t the fault of the stickied guide on XDA that I used; that’s a good guide, albeit for Windows. It wasn’t the Nexus line’s tools; those are terrifically simple to use. It was I who made several (Arch-Linux-specific) mistakes:

  • I failed to install the android-udev AUR package, so while “adb devices” would find devices, “fastboot devices” would not.
  • I didn’t boot into the OS after unlocking and before rooting. As a result, my sdcard never got populated with the default folders and files, remaining at 0MB. Apparently, symptoms of this problem include being unable to factory reset from recovery, being stuck on the splash screen, and having TWRP demand a password. Worse, had I read through the thread like a good girl, I would have been clearly warned. Luckily, though I wasn’t bright enough to read through the thread before starting, I was bright enough to do so after I bootlooped, so did eventually find a solution.

Thankfully, XDA is as always a great resource. So in short, if you want to unlock and root a 2013 Nexus 7 (and probably other devices, but I only did this on a 2013 Nexus 7) on Arch Linux (and probably other distros, but you need to figure out the relevant packages yourself), you need the android-sdk-platform-tools and android-udev packages. Also, you need to boot into the OS after unlocking and before rooting.

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5 thoughts on “Android + Linux: Mistakes! Unlocking and Rooting the 2013 Nexus 7 from Arch Linux

  1. Bill says:

    Thanks for this, I would have made exactly the same mistakes or just bottled it and borrowed a windows machine. I would have been a lot more ham fisted in windows and probably would have broken something. I haven’t touched a windows box for years.

  2. UnaX says:

    Thanks for this, I kept getting it wrong as well.

    Although I do have Windows installed, I’m stubborn and want to do it in Linux. So cheers for making it so I actually got it done!

  3. will says:

    Yep. Thanks. I actually screwed it up in windows somehow, but fixed it in my Arch.

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