Rooting your Pre, it strikes fear into your heart yet it infuses you with excitement and curiosity because you see all the apps and cool things you can do by rooting your Pre.To start off I should explain the term rooting and tell you why it may not be the best term.
"Root" is a special user account within most, if not all linux/unix based Operating Systems. This root account gives you access to EVERYTHING nothing is off limits. You can do virtually anything on the root account.
Why isn't "rooting your Pre" a good term?
It is really quite simple, believe it or not, root access comes enabled by default on the Palm Pre. To get your Pre into the root mode is actually as simple as turning on developer mode, which is used by developers to test their applications, and using a terminal client such as Terminal within Mac OS or Command Prompt in Windows to access your Pre.
If you just want to see what exactly root access is without changing anything just put your Pre into developer mode and open a terminal client and type "novaterm" without the quotes. Of course you need the SDK installed to do this. And there you have it, you are in as root on your Pre.But what does that change? It seems like that was wayyy too easy.
Honestly, you changed nothing on your Pre. Well actually you opened a few ports by enabling dev mode, but other than that nothing is changed.Then what is all this talk about "rooting your pre" and why is it so exciting?
Well when people use the phrase "rooting your Pre" They are actually talking about something a bit more in depth than what "rooting your Pre" actually means.
Once you have logged into root on your Pre you have limitless access as I said before. The things that are so exciting about this is what you do while logged in as the root user. The Palm Pre hacking/modding/homebrew community has developed a bunch of packages and standards which expand on the Pre's capabilities. The main one is referred to as the optware package. Once this is installed via root it adds a bunch of utilities and frameworks and such that give developers greater access to the Pre and allow them to program much more complicated things such as the app that enables tethering on your Pre or the app that allows you to use the camera's flash as a flashlight. The mojo SDK does not provide the right tools to enable things such as this but the optware package does so if you have that package installed you can use these apps that require it.
Now please don't get me wrong, if you do something wrong while logged in as root it is very possible to mess up your Pre but it is highly unlikely you will mess anything up as long as you follow the directions exactly. To be honest most of the things done in root can be done by copying and pasting the commands in the instructions, there isn't much, if anything that you HAVE to type yourself.
So my suggestion is read up a little on the possibilities of what you can do with root access. Follow the directions EXACTLY as they say and copy and paste when possible and you won't have any problems.
The Palm Pre hacking/modding/homebrew community exists mostly on the following wiki:http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Main_Page
Check it out, read up a little and don't be scared to try it out. It truly is very easy.
If you have any other questions please feel free to ask me.