The palera1n team used this New Year holiday to announce exciting intentions for the forthcoming 2023 year with respect to palera1n, the checkm8 bootrom exploit-based jailbreak tool for A9-A11 chip-equipped handsets running iOS or iPadOS 15.0-16.x.
In the official palera1n Discord server, team member @itsneblualol announced that the team would work make palera1n into a rootless jailbreak and spelled out the benefits this would have for end users.
In a separate post, we discuss what a rootless jailbreak is and how it compares to more traditional jailbreaks. The primary difference is that a rootless jailbreak doesn’t give the end user read and write access to the OS/root volume, but most jailbreak tweaks and add-ons can be made compatible with this dynamic. That said, ordinary jailbreakers shouldn’t notice much of a difference as far as the user experience goes.
As for the benefits, @itsnebulalol said that the rootless dynamic would address problems that many users have experienced in the current version of the jailbreak where the loader app wouldn’t appear on the Home Screen and issues with the ramdisk would occur.
Another user-friendly benefit of palera1n going rootless, according to @itsnebulalol, is that it would only take a user around 20 seconds to jailbreak their device from entering DFU mode to finishing the jailbreak process.
It also appears that going rootless and re-writing the palera1n jailbreak in Python will make Windows-based ports easier to make. Currently, the palera1n team says a Windows version isn’t yet in the works, but that it could happen in the future (no ETAs have been provided, obviously).
It’s worth noting that not all jailbreak tweaks currently support the rootless dynamic, but as this appears to be the future of jailbreaking because of Apple’s Signed System Volume (SSV) security mitigations, it makes sense that we’re seeing an increasing number of tweak developers add support for the rootless dynamic.
Currently, palera1n is the only non-rootless jailbreak available for iOS & iPadOS 15. It’s worth noting that the Odyssey Team’s not-yet-released Cheyote jailbreak for iOS & iPadOS 15.0-15.1.1 was going to be rootless, and the developer-only XinaA15 jailbreak for A12-A15 chip-equipped handsets running iOS & iPadOS 15.0-15.1.1 is also rootless.
With all of that in mind, bringing palera1n in line with the remaining jailbreaks available to the public makes things easier for tweak developers, a benefit that stacks with the user-friendly benefits mentioned by @itsnebulalol in the Discord server and discussed above.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of the palera1n jailbreak after the switch to rootless. After all, it’s said that a rootless jailbreak is easier to remove from a device than a non-rootless one, which makes troubleshooting issues potentially less hazardous for the end user.