[Hack] The Tizen Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo get Root access

The Tizen based Samsung Gear 2 Smart watch gets root access. You only need to download a simple firmware file, execute a sdb command and then your in. Head on over to Tizen Experts now.
Jun 8, 2014

Recently the Samsung Galaxy Gear 1, got a Tizen update and got Rooted. Now it is the turn of the Tizen Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo to also get the root treatment, thanks to XDA member fibs.

Root is attained by flashing a Packed rootfs.img file onto the device, and then using the sdb tool to execute the root on command. You need to understand what you are doing as there is always a chance you could damage your Smart watch, but whatever happens it will void your warranty.

What is Root?

Root can be thought of as getting full system access to the device, like an Administrator has on a desktop PC or in loose terms what iPhone users consider Jailbreaking their phone or tablet.

Root for Samsung Gear 2 SM-R380

R380XXU0BNE5rootfs_root.tar (Needs Gear 2 R380XXU0BNE5 installed)

R380XXU0BNDDrootfs_root.tar (Needs Gear 2 R380XXU0BNDD installed)

R380XXU0BND8rootfs_root.tar (Needs Gear 2 R380XXU0BND8 installed)

Root for Samsung Gear 2 NEO SM-R381

R381XXU0BNE5rootfs_root.tar (Needs Gear 2 NEO R381XXU0BNE5 installed)


Here are some instructions on how to Load into Odin and flash your device with the downloaded firmware

  1. Download Odin 3.09, and extract it to its own folder
  2. Download the rootfs.img file from the above links
  3. Put your Gear 2 device into download mode
  4. Launch Odin
  5. Connect Smart watch to your PC
  6. Make sure the settings are the default ones ie Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time selected
  7. Select the AP Button
  8. Navigate to where you downloaded the file and select it
  9. Click on Start
  10. Wait for it to finish.

In order to activate root you need the sdb.exe from Tizen-SDK, or equivalent file depending on your OS.

Some sample use cases

Disable camera sounds

sdb root on
sdb shell mount -o remount,rw /
sdb shell mv /usr/share/sounds/mm-camcorder/ /usr/share/sounds/mm-camcorder_bak/
sdb shell mv /usr/apps/ /usr/apps/
sdb shell mount -o remount,ro /

Custom ringtones

sdb root on
sdb push your_ringtone.ogg /opt/share/settings/Ringtones/
reboot watch
Keep in mind free diskspace is 80MB for /opt/ don't fill it up!


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21 comments on “[Hack] The Tizen Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo get Root access”

  1. Seems like a lot of work for ringtone changes. I have the Neo and I only utilize the vibration functionality. Wake me when there's a real use for it. ;-]

    1. i agree this is bull s h i t unless someone finds out how to add keyboard and google now search and internet!!!!!!!

  2. That's it?!!! I agree with BigDinTX call us when there is a reason to root.... when someone figures out how to get google now and keyboard and internet searching on gear 2!!!!!!!

    1. I agree. I would love google now and search...

      In terms comparing Gear 2/Neo vs Gear Live, I personally like the looks of the 2/Neo better but do like Android Wear somewhat more w/ G'Now & features but w/ out the home button, seems like a lot of swiping...

      Also, does 2/Neo's battery last longer than the Live?

      1. I hear it's because Tizen is less of a battery hog than Android Wear that Live has a shorter battery life. I can use my Gear 2 actively for around 2-3 days before I have to put it back on the charger, whereas Live supposedly has to be charged daily to stay alive.

      2. Android wear lacks...alot. I had an original Gear, then a Gear 2 Neo and sold the Neo to go with the "top of the line" Moto360 thinking it would be soooo much better. The Moto360 watch is a great WATCH. Thats it. It can tell time like nobody's business with tons of awesome watch faces. Wireless charging? Awesome! Every 12 hours. Whereas my Gear 2 can go a few days easy. Who cares that I have to plug in a charger every few days? I have to hook up my phone and tablet too, its not the end of the world ( if it is, then your world is very small).

        But man o man look at those awesome watch faces!

        Not to mention - No IR blaster, no keyboard, no music controller that didn't involve 15 swipes, cant see full emails, cant easily reply to text. And while google now seems great, I felt pretty stupid yelling "ok google" at my watch. I see the Gear / Gear 2 tizen watches to be more "standalone" and have some pretty useful apps. With my bluetooth headphones and my Gear, my phone never leaves by bag. No headphones, just answer the call right on the watch. You cant do any of that with the Android Wear devices.

        I sold it on ebay and picked up a Gear 2 from another poor soul jumping ship to buy a watch with Android Wear. With the fleksy keyboard app and some tweaks, I enjoy having a Gear again. Just my $0.02, actually more like $1.00 but you get the point.

        1. Thanks for the feedback. Great to know that you have found a friend in Tizen 🙂 Look forward to hearing more about your $1 in the future 😉

    1. I installed USB driver. Still 'target not found' when I execute the command 'C:>sdb root on' what I need to do.... I want to remove camera sound in my gear 2

  3. I rooted mine but I can't get Samsung apps for the watch via the gear manager, is that normal?

  4. Hi! I have SM-3800VSAXEH framework. Is there any framework that is equal with mine? Or is there any chance to root my device? Thanks.

  5. Awesome instructions. Any guidance on where I can get an img file for Gear 2 R380XXU0BOA2 or how I could downgrade my Gear 2 R380XXU0BOA2 back to ND8 so that the root will work?

  6. i have a Galaxy Gear 2 with R38XXU0BOA2 software and i'm trying to root it. i can't find the right a img file for it, can some one please help?

      1. I had the same problem but a week ago and hears about here's how I fixed it What you're going to have to do is go to and download the old firmware before the update then flash that over using ODIN. Once back on the old firmware restart your watch. Next flash the root or rom.


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