SamPWND Brings Root to the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ Snapdragon Variants

SamPWND Brings Root to the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ Snapdragon Variants

A few days ago, news broke of root status finally being achieved on the Snapdragon variants of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. The posted news was a progress report on the months of work that culminated in getting root access on the US variants of Samsung’s flagship. Unlike their Exynos counterparts who could unlock the bootloader of their devices, Snapdragon-based Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ devices could not do so, leaving them without any real options except waiting on the community to work up its magic.

With SamPWND, users of the G995U/G955U1 Samsung Galaxy S8+ [Snapdragon variants] can finally enjoy root functionality on their devices. The currently posted work is restricted to the Galaxy S8+, but we reckon we should be seeing the files for the S8 making their way to the forums soon too.


The team working behind SamPWND mentions that they are essentially flashing a modified 4-file firmware package in ODIN, utilizing a few binaries with the SU binary and a permissive kernel and running a few ADB commands. There are a few more steps to get a wider use-case support for root, steps which would involve flashing a stock system.img and a root script through FlashFire. If you are interested in the further nitty-gritty details, the developers invite interested parties to take apart the distributed files to learn more.

There are a few downsides with this root method though. For starters, the bootloader status of the device remains untouched, i.e. it remains locked. This completely defeats modifications that rely on changes to the boot.img, including but not limited to Magisk, SUHide and systemless root. You will also fail SafetyNet, so you will also lose out on several apps and services that call for SafetyNet checks. Samsung also added a few more limitations on the device to dissuade users from trying out such hacks, such as limiting battery charging to 80% only on permissive kernels. The engineering firmware utilized also contains other tools and binaries that could harm your device if you do not follow the steps to the dot, so it is absolutely essential that you understand the gravity of what you attempt. We were also unable to find any instructions on reverting back to a completely-stock device, but this could be an oversight on our end (but nonetheless worth mentioning in the interest of all readers).

If there are so many limitations to this root method, why did the developers release the root methods in the first place? The answer to that lies in the power of the community to achieve what individuals and small teams of individuals could not on their own. The issues faced in these methods would invite other developers to attempt to fix them in the collective interest of achieving stable and distributable root for the device. This particular root solution in its current format is not the end goal, it’s another step towards the end goal.

For complete and detailed instructions for rooting the Snapdragon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S8+, head on over to the SamPWND forum thread. We recommend a thorough reading of the instructions and the first post before attempting the procedure.

What are your thoughts on SamPWND root for the Samsung Galaxy S8+? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out SamPWND in our Samsung Galaxy S8+ forums!

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

A journalist at XDA-Developers and the current Editor in Chief, I have been writing for XDA since 2015, despite being a qualified business-litigation lawyer. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news and tutorials, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected] or on Twitter (@aamirsidd94).

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