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When developing apps that requires root, the most common method is to run some commands in the su shell. For example, there is an app that uses the pm enable/disable command to enable/disable components.

This method has very big disadvantages:

  1. Extremely slow (Multiple process creation)
  2. Needs to process texts (Super unreliable)
  3. The possibility is limited to available commands
  4. Even if ADB has sufficient permissions, the app requires root privileges to run

Shizuku uses a completely different way. See detailed description below.

User guide & Download

How does Shizuku work?

First, we need to talk about how app use system APIs. For example, if the app wants to get installed apps, we all know we should use PackageManager#getInstalledPackages(). This is actually an interprocess communication (IPC) process of the app process and system server process, just the Android framework did the inner works for us.

Android uses binder to do this type of IPC. Binder allows the server-side to learn the uid and pid of the client-side, so that the system server can check if the app has the permission to do the operation.

Usually, if there is a "manager" (e.g., PackageManager) for apps to use, there should be a "service" (e.g., PackageManagerService) in the system server process. We can simply think if the app holds the binder of the "service", it can communicate with the "service". The app process will receive binders of system services on start.

Shizuku guides users to run a process, Shizuku server, with root or ADB first. When the app starts, the binder to Shizuku server will also be sent to the app.

The most important feature Shizuku provides is something like be a middle man to receive requests from the app, sent them to the system server, and send back the results. You can see the transactRemote method in rikka.shizuku.server.ShizukuService class, and moe.shizuku.api.ShizukuBinderWrapper class for the detail.

So, we reached our goal, to use system APIs with higher permission. And to the app, it is almost identical to the use of system APIs directly.

Developer guide

API & sample

Migrating from pre-v11

Existing applications still works, of course.


  1. ADB permissions are limited

    ADB has limited permissions and different on various system versions. You can see permissions granted to ADB here.

    Before calling the API, you can use ShizukuService#getUid to check if Shizuku is running user ADB, or use ShizukuService#checkPermission to check if the server has sufficient permissions.

  2. Hidden API limitation from Android 9

    As of Android 9, the usage of the hidden APIs is limited for normal apps. Please use other methods (such as

  3. Android 8.0 & ADB

    At present, the way Shizuku service gets the app process is to combine IActivityManager#registerProcessObserver and IActivityManager#registerUidObserver (26+) to ensure that the app process will be sent when the app starts. However, on API 26, ADB lacks permissions to use registerUidObserver, so if you need to use Shizuku in a process that might not be started by an Activity, it is recommended to trigger the send binder by starting a transparent activity.

  4. Direct use of transactRemote requires attention

    • The API may be different under different Android versions, please be sure to check it carefully. Also, the has the aidl form in API 26 and later, and$Stub exists only on API 26.

    • SystemServiceHelper.getTransactionCode may not get the correct transaction code, such as$Stub.TRANSACTION_getInstalledPackages does not exist on API 25 and there is$Stub.TRANSACTION_getInstalledPackages_47 (this situation has been dealt with, but it is not excluded that there may be other circumstances). This problem is not encountered with the ShizukuBinderWrapper method.

Developing Shizuku itself


  • Clone with git clone --recurse-submodules
  • Run gradle task :manager:assembleDebug or :manager:assembleRelease

The :manager:assembleDebug task generates a debuggable server. You can attach a debugger to shizuku_server to debug the server. Be aware that, in Android Studio, "Run/Debug configurations" - "Always install with package manager" should be checked, so that the server will use the latest code.


The code for this project is available under the Apache-2.0 license.


  • You are FORBIDDEN to use image files listed below in any way (unless for displaying Shizuku itself).

  • For the project as a whole, it is not free. You are FORBIDDEN to distribute the apk compiled by you (including modified, e.g., rename app name "Shizuku" to something else) to any store (IBNLT Google Play Store, F-Droid, Amazon Appstore etc.).