Monday, 26 September 2011

Superbug in Superuser 3.0


If you've rooted your phone, you'll have Superuser installed on it.

Superuser is an app that grants Android apps root permissions. Rooted phones can't live without it, because you need a way to control which apps can have root privileges and which apps cannot. Without such a gatekeeper any app would have root access on a rooted phone, which would create more security problems than Microsoft and Adobe combined.

Today the Android Market sports a brand new edition of Superuser, version 3.0. If you update to the latest version you may run into supertrouble. Fat chance that the updated Superuser won't launch at all, or it will force close when you try to open it. Possible reasons: your old copy of Superuser was signed with the wrong key, or it can't write data to your system partition.


If you're lucky you can repair Superuser by going to the Android application settings menu (settings/applications/manage applications) and clear all Superuser data. You'll need to set root permissions for your apps again when you clear the Superuser data, but you'll probably have to do that anyway because the update is likely to ignore your old settings.

But sometimes even clearing the data doesn't help. If that happens you should give SU Update Fixer a shot. This is a sort of bugspray made by the developer of Superuser. It's meant to fix glitches when you update from a third party Superuser version (from custom ROMs and apps to root your phone) to the official Android Market version.

If that doesn't work you should revert to your old Superuser version. Of course you'll need a backup copy for that, so make sure to back up your old Superuser app with Titanium, MyBackup, your file manager, or whatever method you use to create backup copies of your apps. You'll probably need the apk installer file to reinstall your old version of Superuser, because without a working version running your backup and restore app is not gonna get the root permission that it needs to do its job.

Antivirus apps like AVG will probably flash a false positive at you. The solution is simple: just ignore the false alarm.

Superuser at
SU Update Fixer at
Superuser (Android Market)
SU Update Fixer (Android Market)

tweet this reddit digg this StumbleUpon digg this digg this


  1. LOL, I liked the MS/Adobe joke. But how exactly do you create app backups with DroidWall?

  2. Oops! DroidWall and MyBackup sound so alike...