Gooogle’s Nexus line is incredibly popular for community developer support and many were hoping the Pixel would carry on this tradition. However, due to increased prices and system complexities, community developer support has been rather slow on these devices. Even with the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL we’re seeing slow progress. Luckily, root is now available on the Pixel 2 XL with Magisk using version 14.4 that was just released this afternoon.
The original Pixel phones added complexity to the platform in a couple of different ways. Community developers were not familiar with the newly-implemented A/B partition system, and so some of them had to learn the ins and outs of it before they could release root methods and custom recoveries. The file-based encryption also added some difficulties for some developers, and it took a while before everything was ironed out as well.
While these two changes aren’t new anymore, there are still some reasons why community developer support has been slow on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. As of right now, there is only an alpha version of TWRP available for the two new Pixel phones because the decrypt feature doesn’t work right now. This is due to the Pixel 2 using a new embedded secure element chip from NXP, but it’s currently being worked on. For Magisk, it took longer than normal to get it available on the Pixel 2 XL because it uses a completely different cmdline than any other device.
Once that was figured out, problems were resolved and now Magisk is available for the Pixel 2 XL thanks to XDA Recognized Developer and Contributor topjohnwu. Magisk for the Pixel 2 XL starts with version 14.4, and so far the developer has only tested it on Android 8.0 OPD1.170816.010 but says that, in theory, it should work on the 8.1 beta as well. Since TWRP doesn’t handle decrypt yet, you’ll need to grab the stock boot image and follow these instructions. . . (from the thread)
- This method does not need root, and also does not require a custom recovery.
- Press Install > Install > Patch Boot Image File, and select your stock boot image file
- Magisk Manager will now patch your boot image, and store it in [Internal Storage]/MagiskManager/patched_boot.img
- Flash the patched boot image to your device and reboot. Voilà!