How to root your Droid X using OS X

This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to root your Droid X, running Android 2.2 (Froyo) from your Mac.

Note: a much easier and more up to date version of this tutorial is available here. I’m leaving this one up for posterity’s sake, and in case it helps if the updated method does not, for some reason.

The process of rooting your Droid X is actually quite simple, though it can be frustrating as you may have to repeat some of the steps more than once, or change them slightly if they don’t work. This guide will cover as many scenarios as possible.

  1. Before you get started, make sure that USB debugging is enabled on your phone. To do so, select Settings from your Android applications list. In the list of settings, select Applications. Finally, select Development
  2. Make sure that USB debugging is checked.
  3. Plug your Droid X into your Mac, and from the Notifications window, make sure that USB debugging connected is displayed (see #1 in image below). Then tap on the USB Connection entry (#2 in image below).

  4. Select PC Mode, then tap OK.

  5. Leave your phone plugged in, set in PC Mode.
  6. Now for the require files. There aren’t too many, and none of them are particularly large in size. Start out by downloading the Android SDK for OS X. Unzip the file, and then move the folder to wherever you’d like to keep it on your hard drive. I moved the folder to my Applications.
  7. Next, download the file (don’t worry – though the file has “Linux” in the name, this is the correct one for OS X).
  8. Once the download has completed, unzip the file and open the folder that the zip file created (probably called DORootforD2Linux). There should be 8 files inside that folder. Copy all 8 by highlighting them and then selecting Edit -> Copy 8 Items, or by right-clicking them and select Copy 8 Items.

  9. click to enlarge

  10. Navigate to your Android SDK folder (probably called android-sdk-mac_x86 – wherever your put it (again, I put it in my Applications folder). Inside the Android SDK folder, there will be a sub-folder named tools. Paste the 8 files you copied in the previous step into the tools folder by selecting Edit -> Paste Items.

    click to enlarge

  11. Now download the file and save it to (or move it to) the same tools sub-folder in your Android SDK folder that you put the previous 8 files in.
  12. Open a Terminal by going to your Applications -> Utilities and then double-click Terminal. Enter the following command:

    cd /Applications/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools/

    That command assumes that you put the tools sub-folder of the android-sdk-mac_x86 folder in your Applications folder. If you put the android-sdk-mac_x86 folder somewhere else, for example your Desktop, you would enter:

    cd ~/Desktop/android-sdk-mac_x86/tools/

    Now enter the command:

    chmod 0755

    Finally, type:


  13. click to enlarge

  14. At this point, a bunch of text will fly by in your Terminal window.

  15. click to enlarge

  16. If everything went perfectly, you’ll end out with a message saying Congratulations, you should now be rooted. If that’s the case – you’re done! It’s a good idea to reboot your phone (power it off and then back on again) at this point. Though not absolutely necessary, I noticed my phone was a bit sluggish after I rooted it, until I restarted it.

  17. click to enlarge

  18. If you did NOT get the “success” message, here are some troubleshooting suggestions that have worked for other people:

    1. Run the:


      command again. Then again, then again. Try it 5 or 6 times before moving to the next step.

    2. Exit out of the Terminal – not just ‘close’ the window, but completely quit it. Then open it again, and start over from step #11 (above)
    3. Exit (quit) the Terminal. Unplug your phone from your Mac. Plug the phone back in, but this time set it to Charge Only (step #4 above). Then return to step #11 and proceed from there.
    4. When all else fails.. reboot everything. Unplug your phone, power it off and back on again. Restart your Mac. Start all over again (except you don’t need to re-download the files).

    Home » Mobile Phones » Android » How to root your Droid X using OS X

26 thoughts on “How to root your Droid X using OS X”

  1. I had the same thing happening … Turned off the phone, pulled the battery for a couple minutes … booted back up, ran the app again, and it worked

  2. i tried the z4 root and its stuck on the screen that says “running exploit in order to obtain root access” anyone help?

  3. okay thanks but im not sure, i think the problem is is that my mac is not reconizing my droid when i put it in pc mode. does anyone have a solution for that?

  4. lngbch456 – Did you follow the tutorial or do the z4root method. If you followed the tutorial, see my comments above. Also, I found Super Manager is a better app for installing z4root as you can use it for a bunch of other stuff like moving apps to sd, uninstalling crapware, performing backups, or just plain old file exploring. Plus, super manager is free (for now at least).

  5. The directions for this are really great. they were easy to follow, although my only problem is is that when i finished rooting it and it said congratulations i tried to download wireless tethering on my droid x (an app for rooted phones) the app then told me my phone was not rooted… is there any thing you suggest to fix this ?

  6. Chris is correct, and the z4root.apk works perfectly. Install the first App Installer on the market, from cdroid i think. Thanks Chris.

  7. After googling around, it seems that 2.3.340 broke the above root method. However… I’m rooted!!!! Here’s how I did it:

    Erase all the files, if any, this root method created on your card (su, busybox, superuser.apk). I’m not sure this is totally necessary, but that’s what I did.
    Download z4root.apk and put it on your sd card
    Install App Installer (not “AppsInstaller” as it force closes right now) from the Market
    Use App Installer to install z4root (it’s blocked in the Market)
    Open z4root, follow the instructions, and let it work its magic

  8. I have no luck. So I have to take my battery out and put it back in to connect to my device again via adb after running your script. I also tried running ./ and then running the rageagainstthecage it creates. However, afterwards, my device isn’t listed with adb anymore. So when I run ./, it doesn’t work. If I pull the battery and restart to then run ./ it complains about things being read only. I’m assuming the previous steps prepare the phone for doroot2, but resetting the phone makes that all nil. My guess is that the new 2.3 software update (not android 2.3) may have broken this rooting method.

  9. Ok. I looked at the script and it was trying to get to ./adb, which doesn’t exist in the tools folder in the new sdk. I ran “./android update” and it created adb in the platform-tools folder. I then copied it to the tools folder and ran with no success. I also tried unzipping all the above files to the platform-tools folder and running from there and now it always hangs while checking for devices… BTW, I do have to put the phones usb mode in charge instead of pc mode because it’s the only way to get debugging to work. I guess my next step may be to download a previous SDK to see if that works.

  10. Chris – try it again. I did get a similar message rooting one of my friends phones, when I did it again (and got the same confirmation window) – the second time Wireless Tether For Root worked.

    In the meantime I’ll see if the folks who created the files and scripts have an updated version I should be linking to.


  11. It does not work on the new firmware update. I have Android 2.2.1 and Firmware 2.3.340.MB810.Verizon.en.US on my Droid X. It says “you should now be rooted,” but Wireless Tether for Root Users says it’s not rooted :(

  12. how can you test to see if your phone is rooted or not? i did exactly what you said in the tutorial (which is great btw). and it says Congrats….. and all. but how can i tell if my phone is actually rooted or not?

    i found some people say to install a terminal emulator and type in the command= su and if it returns a number your rooted. mine returns “permission denied”. any suggestions?

  13. If running MacBookPro set cell to USB storage, not PC. Took me way too long to figure that one out. Had a highly resistant Droid X 2.2. I advise never to OTA/ lose root, it makes your droid a Droid does not phone.

  14. I’m just curious how to undo the root, if there is such a process??? Just in case I need to restore the phone…for warranty returns, etc.

  15. well it went successfully but…i found this other website that list ways to make sure you are rooted…and well it seems like is not. like installing titanium backup… as soon as you open it it says is not rooted, and then it says this “” To fix this is pretty simple actually. You don’t need to reinstall su, etc. Just boot up your custom recovery, do “ADB shell chmod 6755 /system/bin/su” (assuming you have ADB installed on your machine (Google it) and your root should be fixed.”” what does that mean!!

  16. yea mine takes forever on both, when i use the pc mode, and charge only. so i dont think is rooted, the first time i didnt it someone worked, until it said: could not kill pid 9972: No such process, i tryed it again and since then i is been taking too long in the:
    Checking for devices…

    * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
    * daemon started successfully *


  17. If the following command takes too long to connect, close your terminal.
    Disconnect your phone and make sure debugging is enabled, and you are set to PC mode.

    Checking for devices…

    * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
    * daemon started successfully *

  18. for some reason I cannot root my phone, I’ve been trying for almost a month, every time I put in the /android-sdk/tools/ it says “/android-sdk/tools/ is a directory” and it won’t let me do anything, I’ve tried doing it many other ways as well but it never works… I really want to figure out how to do this, but I can never get it to work

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *