tchigher / rootbeer

Simple to use root checking Android library and sample app

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RootBeer image


A tasty root checker library and sample app. We've scoured the internets for different methods of answering that age old question... Has this device got root?

Root checks

These are the current checks/tricks we are using to give an indication of root.

Java checks

  • checkRootManagementApps
  • checkPotentiallyDangerousApps
  • checkRootCloakingApps
  • checkTestKeys
  • checkForDangerousProps
  • checkForBusyBoxBinary
  • checkForSuBinary
  • checkSuExists
  • checkForRWSystem

Native checks

We call through to our native root checker to run some of its own checks. Native checks are typically harder to cloak, so some root cloak apps just block the loading of native libraries that contain certain keywords.

  • checkForSuBinary

Disclaimer and limitations!

We love root! both Scott and Mat (the creators) own and use rooted devices (albeit not as daily driver). However we appreciate it can be useful to have an indication your app is running on a rooted device. Plus as hackday style project we wanted to see if we could beat the root cloakers at the time in 2015.

Remember root==god, so there's no 100% guaranteed way to check for root! treat this as an indication of root.

Root cloakers

In 2015 we successfully tested Rootbeer and it flagged an indication of root when testing with the following root cloak apps. However Rootbeer was defeated when using a combination of the root cloakers activated at the same time.

Tested cloakers:


RootBeer rootBeer = new RootBeer(context);
if (rootBeer.isRooted()) {
    //we found indication of root
} else {
    //we didn't find indication of root

You can also call each of the checks individually as the sample app does. It is advisable to call isRooted() from a background thread as it involves disk I/O.

False positives

Manufacturers often leave the busybox binary in production builds and this doesn't always mean that a device is root. We have removed the busybox check we used to include as standard in the isRooted() method to avoid these false positives.

If you want to detect the busybox binary in your app you can use checkForBinary(BINARY_BUSYBOX) to detect it alone, or as part of the complete root detection method:


The following devices are known the have the busybox binary present on the stock rom:

  • All OnePlus Devices
  • Moto E
  • OPPO R9m (ColorOS 3.0,Android 5.1,Android security patch January 5, 2018 )


Available on maven central, to include using Gradle just add the following:

dependencies {
    implementation 'com.scottyab:rootbeer-lib:0.0.9'

Or use this link


The native library in this application will now be built via Gradle and the latest Android Studio without having to resort to the command line. However the .so files are also distributed in this repository for those who cannot compile using the NDK for some reason.

Sample app

The sample app is published on Google play to allow you to quickly and easier test the library. Enjoy! And please do feedback to us if your tests produce different results.

Get it on Google Play



There must be more root checks to make this more complete. If you have one please do send us a pull request.


Other libraries

If you dig this, you might like:


Apache License, Version 2.0

Copyright (C) 2015, Scott Alexander-Bown, Mat Rollings

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.


Simple to use root checking Android library and sample app

License:Apache License 2.0


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