How to Root Nexus Q (Temporarily)

July 1, 2012 21:53 by docbliny 

Do the following at your own risk!

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some caveats:

  • The internal “SD card” will be erased (mine only contained empty folders).
  • You will unpair the device from your other Android devices and will need to set it up again.
  • I wouldn’t flash the boot ROM I’m providing below. I know I haven’t. 


  • Nexus Q
  • Android Development Kit, including the adb tool and fastboot.


  1. Plug your USB cable between your computer that contains the Android developer kit and the Nexus Q.
  2. Run adb reboot-bootloader . The LED ring will stay solid red. You should also be able to do this by holding your hand over the mute LED when it boots. Just let go when the ring turns red.
  3. Run fastboot devices to make sure you’re connected.
  4. Run fastboot oem unlock to unlock the bootloader.
  5. Within five seconds, run fastboot oem unlock_accept . The Q will erase user data and reboot.
  6. Pair your Android device again with the Q.
  7. Turn on debug mode again.
  8. I also put together a new boot.img file that modifies default.propwith the following values:

  9. Download nexusq-boot.img.
  10. Run adb reboot-bootloader .
  11. Run fastboot boot nexusq-boot.img to start the Q with root permissions.
Now you can upload su and back your regularly scheduled Android hacking. 


adb reboot recovery results in pulsing red LEDs. Touching the mute LED flashes white. I didn’t see anything show up via the HDMI connector. The only way to get out of this mode was to tap the mute LED repeatedly (about five times).

Add comment

  Country flag

  • Comment
  • Preview