Magisk is a popular tool for rooting and customizing the look, performance, and behavior of Android phones. And when the lead developer took a job at Google earlier this year, there was some concern that he might not be allowed to continue working on Magisk.

Now John Wu has explained that he’s been given the green light by Google to continue developing Magisk – but there will be some changes moving forward. Since Magisk continues to be open source software though, anyone uncomfortable with some of those changes is welcome to create their own plugins or fork the code and create their own Magisk-based software.

Magisk consists of a few different parts, including MagiskSU, which provides applications access root (or SuperUser) permissions, Magisk Modules which are plugins that allow you to customize your device, and MagiskBoot for tweaking Android boot images.

Historically there’s also been a feature called MagiskHide that attempts to trick certain apps into not realizing that your Android device has been rooted, which will prevent Google’s SafetyNet from kicking and stopping you from streaming video from certain apps, using certain banking apps, or running other applications that might not ordinarily work on rooted devices.

But since Wu now works for Google and has access to most Android source code, he acknowledges that it would be a conflict of interest for him to continue developing MagiskHide, so it will not be a feature included in the official builds of Magisk moving forward. But he does anticipate that third-party developers will pick up the torch and create “hiding modules” that users can install.

Another change is that Wu will no longer maintain an official repository for Magisk Modules. Users will still be able to download and install ZIP files for the modules they want to install and then install them manually using the Magisk app. And it’s possible (maybe even likely) that third-party repositories will pop up for folks that want a one-stop shop for finding, downloading, and installing modules.

Wu notes that while Magisk has been open source software for a long time, over the past year or so he’s started “receiving a higher volume of serious external contributions to the core components,” which means that there are a growing number of developers working on bug fixes and ensuring that the software is compatible with a growing number of devices.

All of which is to say that while John Wu will continue developing Magisk, the future of the software is not solely in his hands.

via /r/Android

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2 replies on “Magisk is alive and well after lead developer joins Google (Utility for rooting and customizing Android devices)”

  1. While this is both sad and exciting, it doesn’t matter anymore. Magisk or superuser will continue to exist or thrive on Android with or without Wu.

    Magisk hide… well, it doesn’t work as well as it did initially. Many Apps have since been updated so that Magisk Hide doesn’t trick them. And in some aspects, Magisk Hide is obsolete.

    Now some/many Apps are relying on the Widevine status. If it’s L1, great. But if you’re rooted you will lose your Digital Keys and be demoted to L3 status. This is because it is one of conditions for Google Services Certificate, and all phones must be shipped unrooted and with a locked bootloader. To root it is not possible until you unlock the bootloader, and that process now wipes the phone and erases your keys.

    Some very few lucky individuals were able to unlock their bootloader, get rooted, re-lock their bootloader, use Magisk and Magisk Hide, and still keep their L1 Digital Keys.

    Until there’s a way to inject your keys, fool the process, or backup your firmware… we’re shif outta luck anyways.

    1. Maybe. It may depend on what apps you use.

      I’m still using MagiskHide and I have yet to encounter the issues you have. Some apps have stopped working and may trip SafetyNet, but they’ve often had replacements that don’t.

      YMMV. I only use a few apps that look for root, and I don’t use Netflix. MagiskHide works just fine for me.

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