Just in case you may have been holding off on your plans to pick up a Motorola Atrix 4G upon release based on the fact root possibilities were unknown you can now rest easy.  Yes, the Motorola Atrix 4G can now be rooted as demonstrated above. Now all you have to do is wait until either your pre-order shows up or AT&T starts stocking them in store. Mind you, February 21 and 22 are still a few days away so patience is a virtue here and you'll also have to wait for the method to be revealed. Anyone grabbing one now based on root being available soon? [Android Central Forums via XDA]

There are 46 comments

rockerjockey says:

All over that!!

Does this mean custom ROMS can be flashed?

Can I run stock if I root it?

El Jefe says:

Yes & yes

goblueboy says:

NO you can't, Motorola locks their bootloader. just like droid x and the droid 2. until you get a bootstrapper you will not. and you wont be able to switch the kernels.

gtg465x says:

Unless they find a way around the locked bootloader, you will most likely be limited to modified versions of the stock Motorola ROM (themes, little hacks, different system apps). Running stock Android (AOSP), CyanogenMod, Miui, etc. probably won't ever be possible. Thus if Motorola never updates the Atrix past Froyo or Gingerbread, you won't be able to run the latest version of Android on your phone. Just look at the Droid X and Droid 2 sections in XDA for examples of what kind of stuff you'll get.

TuxDotKing says:

1. Yes and no; AOSP ROMs can't be *easily* flashed, these are ROMs like CyanogenMod, Bugless Beast, etc. that are compiled from Android's official code repos. Other ROMs, and the most common ROMs for Moto's locked device though still offer great features and are built off of Moto's provided versions of Android. It's a tradeoff, but nothing large in my opinion.
Also, it has been said and is true that running CyMod is possible in spite of the bootloader; TD tends not to exert themselves too much for any non-HTC device that poses what they see as too much trouble though, so they won't port it themselves (Ask Samsung owners), but CyMod was ported to the Milestone a while ago, and its bootloader is locked as well. I wouldn't count on getting CyMod though, really.

2. Yep.

spary says:

Good news is that the full instructions for root have now been posted by DG:

At present I was having to choose between the LG Optimus X2 or the Motorola Atrix 4G and I live in europe. But the fact that you cna now root the Atrix 4G definantly roots it in my favour :P. But I was rooting for the Atrix 4G anyway due to its double amount of ram and internal storage.

But this just adds another nail in the coffin for the LG :P

robertw0925 says:

I don't know if the maunfactures are trying anymore . Although this phone is on att I cannot leave Verizon. Verizon needs to step its game up. So far the iPhone has been a fail on Verizon IMO. The atrix is the it phone at the moment

What about the bootloader?

El Jefe says:

Yeah, what about it? The Atrix can be rooted, roms will be made, life will go on. All a locked bootloader means is no custom kernel, which isn't necessary for a great rom.

hoosiercub says:

Wrong.. locked bootloader means this phone wont be getting Cyanogenmod at least not for a long long time, if ever.

behnaam says:

Invalid argument is invalid. Cyanogenmod can run on devices with locked bootloaders, though there will be some restrictions. A locked bootloader doesn't necessarily mean that all partitions are locked down, or that you can't interfere the boot process to allow sideloading of custom roms like Cyanogenmod.

You could do the following:
- Interfere the boot process by exploiting security holes
- Make a script that tells the system to mount .img's that are on the SD card, instead of on the NAND.
- Voila! you have another system booting, i.e. CM!

Now the con here is that there is a lot of work, but definetly not impossible as you say. So please next time, do some research. And I'm pretty confident that the bootloader isn't too hard to get around, since the ability of getting superuser binary and app onto is already done.

EDIT: and no, there is no desperate need of having a custom kernel flashed onto the device for CM to boot. Though some kinks might be hard to solve without kernel, i.e. stuff like bluetooth etc.

goblueboy says:

just because they are able to somewhat make a rom on the atrix doesn't mean Cyanogenmod will do it. they never did it for the droid x or the droid 2.

and this will not be available to do without a bootstrapper. you will just mess up your phone without it

hoosiercub says:

^^^ This! ya anus-muncher.. Yes of course you can get an AOSP Rom to run on said device, with lots of working around the stock kernel and such. Also like goblueboy said.. doesn't mean they're going to work on a rom, if they can't use standard vanilla AOSP, they're probably not going to bother.. Look at the D2/D2G/DX. Great hardware, but just not what they could've been because of the locked bootloader. I don't care about custom roms for making things 'pretty' with themes and crap, I use CM because its vanilla at its tweaked finest.

behnaam says:

A lot of ignorance in that reply. You argument: the device won't be getting cyanogenmod. Now that's what I meant was wrong. Anybody can build cyanogenmod, in the same way that anyone can build AOSP. It doesn't make the ROM less "cyanogenmod" because it wasn't built by the Cyanogenmod team. Remember that CM is a open-source project, and nothing that the CM team has a exclusive license on. Which means that the local build you compile yourself is as much CM as the builds CM team builds and distributes.

So to be more precise next time, rather than just throwing out half-baked statements as a reply to those who might not know as much as you. Say "Cyanogenmod team won't be supporting a build for the device as it has a locked bootloader", and not "Atrix won't be getting CM".

Last but not least, there is quite some difference between a encrypted bootloader and a locked one. A encrypted one is pretty much impossible to get around, due to the private encryption keys, which is encrypted on high-level. Most devices comes with a locked bootloader, and that my friend is something that actually is hackable.

Ps. I expected a better start to your reply than "anus-muncher". Sadly it reflects your level of matureness.

kubernetes says:

Yes, but Moto devices are encrypted. No one has managed to break the D2/DX and they never will. 2048-bit. Better call your friends at the NSA.

Mariodroid says:

(noob comment warning)

I just rooted my N1 without unlocking the bootloader using the SuperOneClick method, and I was able to flash CyanogenMod 7.

Can't be the same way for MAtrix?

TuxDotKing says:

We're guessing the answer is no here based on the DX/D2/Milestone. It *could* possibly be different this time around based on the T2 chip, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. There will be other ROMs available, but they'll be based only on the official Moto updates, and not from the upstream Android source code, which is what CyanogenMod uses.

El Jefe says:

So you are saying that I am wrong about the Atrix getting Roms just because it may not get 1 specific Rom? Haha!

Ok, that makes a lot of sense.

IceDree says:

With Root access can we download Non-market apps ? Or the is it still locked

The ability to not being able to install apps not from market is an ATT restriction, and not one being natively restricted on the phone.

I do hope that us europeans won't have that issue since noone of our providers are reknown to actually restrict peoples ability to install apps not from the market.

But I do hope that there will be an answer as to what the bootloader can and will do considering that I would most likely flash my Atrix 4G when I get it and then push Vanilla Gingerbread, or Vanilla Ice cream to it.

ayoo456#AC says:

That just sealed the deal on my next phone.
Can some one tell how the screen does in the day light compared to the nexus one?

TuxDotKing says:

From my experience, LCD (Which the Atrix has) isn't very good in sunlight, but I don't think it'll be any worse than the AMOLED on the N1. Super AMOLED screens are the best in direct sunlight though, miles ahead of LCD and AMOLED.

bobbiac says:

Hahaha .. what was that? locked boot loader you say? You cant root this device you say? Way to motivate the geek community. I mean , I have said it before ...
Saying "You can't ..." is basically saying "I double dog dare you to .." for the developers that crack these devices.

Yet another fail from Device makers and service providers....

Edit: Does anyone else think that they should just give up on investing in bootloaders that are "locked?" I mean how many millions in wasted effort... I mean if they offered an unlocked ROM on their site and shipped with a normal one they wouldn't be in this position.

goblueboy says:

they have been trying to crack the bootloader already. but haven't seen much hope

kubernetes says:

Sorry, but you are wrong. Moto's bootloaders are encrypted, and no one has managed to break the D2 or DX. Short of Moto coughing it up or XDA devs getting a few days to use NSA supercomputers, it ain't gonna happen.

loooney2ns says:

I wonder what this means for the Bionic? Since they are similar, does it mean root will be possible? If so, my mind is made up-the Bionic will be my next phone!

Jonneh says:

The 22nd can't come fast enough.

Cthugha says:

Great news :)

Anyone know when the Atrix will be available in Europe (and Sweden)?

Btw, been wondering about its name?
MOTOROLA ATRIX => MATRIX (with the M being the Motorola logo)

Thisguy89 says:

Locked bootloader doesn't mean squat. D2 and DX users have some great custom ROMs to choose from.

mjneid says:

Correct but they have a bootstrapper, to help them with that. Until the MAtrix gets one, it's stock motobloat for a ROM.

You are however also assuming that it will be hardware encrypted like it is on the past motorolas. Those Motorolas used the Texas OMAP chip which had that lock build in. The Tegra2 architecture does not have that kind of support.

So you would more likely be looking at a bootlock much simular to the one on the Desires etc, rather then a encrypted one that you can not change.

TuxDotKing says:

Great freakin' news! I'm not going Atrix myself, but this pretty much guarantees I will be buying a Droid Bionic. There had been rumors going around that root would be impossible on Moto's next gen devices (In addition to the locked 'loader); great to see it's not true.

Didn't Moto say that they were working on a "solution" to their own locked bootloaders? Total crap. Looks like the Thunderbolt or whatever comes out in the fall from HTC is what I'll be getting. I'm not going through three extra steps of bootloader bootstrap recovery just for a Motorola.

deis says:

After working with the Viewsonic G-Tablet (which is also Tegra2), there are a fair amount of people that are familiar with how Nvidia handled the bootloader to begin with. If it is in any way similar, we are in for an easy time not only with rooting, but for recovery. The G-Tablet was unbrickable short of a true hardware failure.

hail2030#AC says:

This is awesome and radio shack will be selling it for $150 with instant rebates so that makes this even better!!

TuxDotKing says:

Source? I really want to believe you, but I don't want to get my hopes up. :p

youareme7 says:

Here's radio shack's facebook page saying it's $150 on 2/22/2011


TuxDotKing says:

Oh, stupid me... I was still in a 'DroidBionicDroidBionicDroidBionicDroidBionicDroidBionic' state of mind, now I remember I'm on an Atrix post ^^;

blopez24 says:

their face book page. Its an instant rebate so final price is 150 plus tax. Same price as Amazon i believe.

hail2030#AC says:

Radio shack is also selling the phone and laptop dock bundle for $329.99 which is ridiculously cheaper than at AT&T!! I was happy but then I read it requires the tethering plan which I don't want!!

I heard this thing can't flash custom kernels but can still flash custom ROMs

TuxDotKing says:

More or less, that's it. Read above for some explanations of what is and isn't possible.