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Preserving the Xposed Framework through a ROM flash

The Xposed Framework is a neat Android program that enables user-made modules to change the behaviour of the lower-level Android OS. It does this by modifying /system/bin/app_process to add some hooks into it.

The issue is that when flashing a new ROM, the modified app_process is reverted back to the original version, disabling the Xposed Framework until it's restored.


The Xposed Framework installer now includes the option to flash a zip file to install the framework instead of patching app_process directly. The method detailed in this post will still work, but the new way to make sure the framework is installed after flashing a new ROM is to simply flash the Xposed installer zip right after flashing the ROM.

The solution to this is a script that will automatically back up the existing app_process before a flash, then restore it after the flash completes.

The script does exactly that. To enable it, download it to the Android device, move it to /system/addon.d/, and give it executable permissions.

This can be done on the device with a few different programs, but it's much easier to do from a computer with adb.

Download the script and push it to the SD card of the Android device with

adb push /sdcard/

Once the file is on the device, log into it (using adb shell) and run the following commands:

su  # Get root permissions
cp /sdcard/ /system/addon.d/  # Copy the file to the correct folder
chmod 755 /system/addon.d/  # Make the file executable

After logging out of the device, the Xposed framework will stay installed and active even after flashing a new ROM. Note that this should only really be used in situations where the ROM isn't changing too much (like flashing a new nightly ROM).

In situations where app_process would actually be changed by the flash, this script could cause issues as it would restore an incorrect version of the file. If this happens, delete app_process and app_process.orig in the /system/bin/ directory, then reflash. The script won't interfere, allowing the flash to update app_process to the correct version. After rebooting, install the Xposed Framework again.

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