For the select few individuals that have been lucky enough to get their hands on Google Glass Explorer Edition, renowned jailbreak developer and Cydia founder Jay Freeman has already managed to exploit a bug and jailbreak the wearable peripheral. Freeman detailed the process, from the day he picked up Glass, in a recent blog post. A comprehensive look at how to root Google Glass follows.
Before I summarize the step-by-step instructions that Freeman has been courteous enough to provide, it’s important to note that Google has always acknowledged Glass as an open product. While jailbreaking your iPhone displeases Apple, because iOS is a closed platform, Google is very open the whole rooting process of Glass. In fact, they encourage developers to show off their skills.
Condensed Instructions on Rooting Google Glass
- You will need the Android SDK installed and two files (exploit.ab and su) from Jay Freeman
- Backup all personal data using the Android Debugging Tool (adb)’s backup command. Run the following:
$ adb backup -f backup.ab com.google.glass.logging
- Glass will display a dialog through the prism, so make sure you’re wearing Glass and use its touchpad to scroll to “back up my data,” and then select it by tapping
- The next step involves setting up the race condition. Run the following command in the adb shell to create a symlink:
$ adb shell “while ! ln -s /data/local.prop \ /data/data/com.google.glass.logging/a/file99 \ 2>/dev/null; do :; done”
- The previous step will take some time, so open up a new window and start the restore process of the modified backup payload using adb restore. Run the following command, and a new dialog will pop up on Glass:
$ adb restore exploit.ab
- Scroll to the “restore my data” option and select it.
- The previous symlink process should now be completed.
- Restore the backup of the personal data that was made before by running this command:
$ adb restore backup.ab
- Reboot your Google Glass. If you encounter Bluetooth errors, this is expected. Continue to the next step.
- Copy the su binary to Glass by running this command:
$ adb reboot
$ adb shell “mount -o remount,rw /system”
$ adb push su /system/xbin
$ adb shell “chmod 6755 /system/xbin/su”
$ adb shell “rm /data/local.prop”
$ adb reboot
- Reboot your Google Glass again. At this point, it should be rooted with all errors resolved.
- You can now have fun and experiment with installing more complex su utilities.
The instructions above, as mentioned, are provided in a condensed format. There is a wealth of information that Jay Freeman has provided about rooting Google Glass, in addition to next steps and security issues, in a lengthy blog post that he wrote. If you are confused with any of the steps above, or want a more technical explanation of the process, be sure to give that article a good read.