I'm a beginning Android Developer trying to learn the file system, etc. I'm hoping to eventually delve into Home Automation and traffic analysis using phones/GPS, but I'm in the beginning arc of this learning curve. My background is mostly C/C++, though I've done some work in Java. I'm not so great with Linux, but semi-familiar. Ditto with security. I have a Computer Science degree and have been programming for years. Currently I have been trying to figure out what goes where in Android and have been running into a lot of permissions issues when trying to list directories using the "ls" command in an adb shell window and trying to access the SQLite databases. I currently have four Android phones. One is my actual phone and the others I am using to experiment with, ping each other, etc. I'm self-teaching myself
I write the above paragraph so folks understand my background. I'm not someone who is going to accidentally wipe out my filesystem with a mindless recursive "rm" command or give important files non-root access for others to exploit. At the same time, I'm not very knowledgeable about hacking phones, exploits, etc. I need to "root" my phones in order to get the elevated permissions to experiment around, fine-tune a few things, but most of it I am going to leave alone. I've been browsing the web and there are a bunch of articles warning me not to do it, but I don't think they're really aimed at developers like me. It appears that most of the solutions involve backing up the system, then "flashing" it or replacing the ROM or something that seems overly extreme to me. I either need to pay money to get a "one click" solution and/or I have to download some executable file that does it all for me and simply trust the author of this software. Over and over again I'm told that I'll probably screw it up and turn my phone into a brick.
Has anyone done this before? I try not to run other people's executables on my phone or laptop if I can help it and I have no idea whether the source is reliable. I figured there'd be a superuser option under Developer Options on my phone, but alas, there is not. Anyway, again, I'm no expert, but I'm not a complete newbie either. Is this something I can do myself or should I plan on paying forty bucks for some online solution that may or may not infect me with malware or brick my phone. I don't need a one-click solution, but at the same time I don't want to have to invest hundreds of hours of time into this thing since I just want to be able to explore the filesystem like I can with regular Linux. Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks.