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I have never bought a smart-phone, because they are all root-locked/jailed. It's like buying a car with junk in the back and no key to open the rear door. Rooting/jail-breaking risks bricking the system and invalidates the guarantee.

So what I want to know is simply this: will Ubuntu phones be root-locked, root-open, or is it a manufacturer decision and nobody yet knows?

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I don't use Ubutu Touch type things (sort of wish I did, but being me, I would turn the phone into a expensive paperweight), but i believe that like a normal Ubuntu install that you can use the sudo command to do stuff - apparently the default password is phablet for the root user - see here – Wilf Nov 29 '13 at 14:15

It will be up to the OEMs and carriers what ships on their phones

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Alas for the sentiment that they are considered 'their' phones. That, if you'll excuse the pun, is the root of the problem: they are not 'their' phones after poor punters have bought them... manufacturers don't seem to like the concept but the ownership of the property actually changes. – tsuchan Dec 1 '13 at 16:17
I share your feelings, but alas they are in fact 'their' phones up until the point they are purchased by a user. – mhall119 Dec 2 '13 at 17:02

It is simple procedure to make phones rooted. Especially if they have "pure" linux, not this linux+JAVA mixture (android). So all the same ;)

My opinion to question :nobody knows

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However easy it is, it still invalidates the warranty. But as well as that, being able to 'root' a phone is the proof that it's an insecure install to begin with, huh? – tsuchan Dec 1 '13 at 16:21

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