Magisk

Developer Guides

BusyBox

Magisk ships with a feature complete BusyBox binary (including full SELinux support). The executable is located at /data/adb/magisk/busybox. Magisk’s BusyBox supports runtime toggle-able “ASH Standalone Shell Mode”. What this standalone mode means is that when running in the ash shell of BusyBox, every single command will directly use the applet within BusyBox, regardless of what is set as PATH. For example, commands like ls, rm, chmod will NOT use what is in PATH (in the case of Android by default it will be /system/bin/ls, /system/bin/rm, and /system/bin/chmod respectively), but will instead directly call internal BusyBox applets. This makes sure that scripts always run in a predictable environment and always have the full suite of commands no matter which Android version it is running on. To force a command not to use BusyBox, you have to call the executable with full paths.

Every single shell script running in the context of Magisk will be executed in BusyBox’s ash shell with standalone mode enabled. For what is relevant to 3rd party developers, this includes all boot scripts and module installation scripts.

For those who want to use this “Standalone Mode” feature outside of Magisk, there are 2 ways to enable it:

  1. Set environment variable ASH_STANDALONE to 1
    Example: ASH_STANDALONE=1 /data/adb/magisk/busybox sh <script>
  2. Toggle with command-line options:
    /data/adb/magisk/busybox sh -o standalone <script>

To make sure all subsequent sh shell executed also runs in standalone mode, option 1 is the preferred method (and this is what Magisk and the Magisk app internally use) as environment variables are inherited down to child processes.

Magisk Modules

A Magisk module is a folder placed in /data/adb/modules with the structure below:

/data/adb/modules
├── .
├── .
|
├── $MODID                  <--- The folder is named with the ID of the module
│   │
│   │      *** Module Identity ***
│   │
│   ├── module.prop         <--- This file stores the metadata of the module
│   │
│   │      *** Main Contents ***
│   │
│   ├── system              <--- This folder will be mounted if skip_mount does not exist
│   │   ├── ...
│   │   ├── ...
│   │   └── ...
│   │
│   ├── zygisk              <--- This folder contains the module's Zygisk native libraries
│   │   ├── arm64-v8a.so
│   │   ├── armeabi-v7a.so
│   │   ├── x86.so
│   │   ├── x86_64.so
│   │   └── unloaded        <--- If exists, the native libraries are incompatible
│   │
│   │      *** Status Flags ***
│   │
│   ├── skip_mount          <--- If exists, Magisk will NOT mount your system folder
│   ├── disable             <--- If exists, the module will be disabled
│   ├── remove              <--- If exists, the module will be removed next reboot
│   │
│   │      *** Optional Files ***
│   │
│   ├── post-fs-data.sh     <--- This script will be executed in post-fs-data
│   ├── service.sh          <--- This script will be executed in late_start service
|   ├── uninstall.sh        <--- This script will be executed when Magisk removes your module
│   ├── system.prop         <--- Properties in this file will be loaded as system properties by resetprop
│   ├── sepolicy.rule       <--- Additional custom sepolicy rules
│   │
│   │      *** Auto Generated, DO NOT MANUALLY CREATE OR MODIFY ***
│   │
│   ├── vendor              <--- A symlink to $MODID/system/vendor
│   ├── product             <--- A symlink to $MODID/system/product
│   ├── system_ext          <--- A symlink to $MODID/system/system_ext
│   │
│   │      *** Any additional files / folders are allowed ***
│   │
│   ├── ...
│   └── ...
|
├── another_module
│   ├── .
│   └── .
├── .
├── .

module.prop

This is the strict format of module.prop

id=<string>
name=<string>
version=<string>
versionCode=<int>
author=<string>
description=<string>
updateJson=<url> (optional)

Update JSON format:

{
    "version": string,
    "versionCode": int,
    "zipUrl": url,
    "changelog": url
}

Shell scripts (*.sh)

Please read the Boot Scripts section to understand the difference between post-fs-data.sh and service.sh. For most module developers, service.sh should be good enough if you just need to run a boot script.

In all scripts of your module, please use MODDIR=${0%/*} to get your module’s base directory path; do NOT hardcode your module path in scripts. If Zygisk is enabled, the environment variable ZYGISK_ENABLED will be set to 1.

The system folder

All files you want to replace/inject should be placed in this folder. This folder will be recursively merged into the real /system; that is: existing files in the real /system will be replaced by the one in the module’s system, and new files in the module’s system will be added to the real /system.

If you place a file named .replace in any of the folders, instead of merging its contents, that folder will directly replace the one in the real system. This can be very handy for swapping out an entire folder.

If you want to replace files in /vendor, /product, or /system_ext, please place them under system/vendor, system/product, and system/system_ext respectively. Magisk will transparently handle whether these partitions are in a separate partition or not.

Zygisk

Zygisk is a feature of Magisk that allows advanced module developers to run code directly in every Android applications’ processes before they are specialized and running. For more details about the Zygisk API and building a Zygisk module, please checkout the Zygisk Module Sample project.

system.prop

This file follows the same format as build.prop. Each line comprises of [key]=[value].

sepolicy.rule

If your module requires some additional sepolicy patches, please add those rules into this file. Each line in this file will be treated as a policy statement. For more details about how a policy statement is formatted, please check magiskpolicy’s documentation.

Magisk Module Installer

A Magisk module installer is a Magisk module packaged in a zip file that can be flashed in the Magisk app or custom recoveries such as TWRP. The simplest Magisk module installer is just a Magisk module packed as a zip file, in addition to the following files:

The module installer script will setup the environment, extract the module files from the zip file to the correct location, then finalizes the installation process, which should be good enough for most simple Magisk modules.

module.zip
│
├── META-INF
│   └── com
│       └── google
│           └── android
│               ├── update-binary      <--- The module_installer.sh you downloaded
│               └── updater-script     <--- Should only contain the string "#MAGISK"
│
├── customize.sh                       <--- (Optional, more details later)
│                                           This script will be sourced by update-binary
├── ...
├── ...  /* The rest of module's files */
│

Customization

If you need to customize the module installation process, optionally you can create a script in the installer named customize.sh. This script will be sourced (not executed!) by the module installer script after all files are extracted and default permissions and secontext are applied. This is very useful if your module require additional setup based on the device ABI, or you need to set special permissions/secontext for some of your module files.

If you would like to fully control and customize the installation process, declare SKIPUNZIP=1 in customize.sh to skip all default installation steps. By doing so, your customize.sh will be responsible to install everything by itself.

The customize.sh script runs in Magisk’s BusyBox ash shell with “Standalone Mode” enabled. The following variables and functions are available:

Variables
Functions
ui_print <msg>
    print <msg> to console
    Avoid using 'echo' as it will not display in custom recovery's console

abort <msg>
    print error message <msg> to console and terminate the installation
    Avoid using 'exit' as it will skip the termination cleanup steps

set_perm <target> <owner> <group> <permission> [context]
    if [context] is not set, the default is "u:object_r:system_file:s0"
    this function is a shorthand for the following commands:
       chown owner.group target
       chmod permission target
       chcon context target

set_perm_recursive <directory> <owner> <group> <dirpermission> <filepermission> [context]
    if [context] is not set, the default is "u:object_r:system_file:s0"
    for all files in <directory>, it will call:
       set_perm file owner group filepermission context
    for all directories in <directory> (including itself), it will call:
       set_perm dir owner group dirpermission context

For convenience, you can also declare a list of folders you want to replace in the variable name REPLACE. The module installer script will create the .replace file into the folders listed in REPLACE. For example:

REPLACE="
/system/app/YouTube
/system/app/Bloatware
"

The list above will result in the following files being created: $MODPATH/system/app/YouTube/.replace and $MODPATH/system/app/Bloatware/.replace.

Notes

Boot Scripts

In Magisk, you can run boot scripts in 2 different modes: post-fs-data and late_start service mode.

In Magisk, there are also 2 kinds of scripts: general scripts and module scripts.

All boot scripts will run in Magisk’s BusyBox ash shell with “Standalone Mode” enabled.

Root Directory Overlay System

Since / is read-only on system-as-root devices, Magisk provides an overlay system to enable developers to replace files in rootdir or add new *.rc scripts. This feature is designed mostly for custom kernel developers.

Overlay files shall be placed in the overlay.d folder in boot image ramdisk, and they follow these rules:

  1. All *.rc files in overlay.d will be read and concatenated AFTER init.rc
  2. Existing files can be replaced by files located at the same relative path
  3. Files that correspond to a non-existing file will be ignored

To add additional files which you can refer to in your custom *.rc scripts, add them into overlay.d/sbin. The 3 rules above do not apply to anything in this folder; instead, they will be directly copied to Magisk’s internal tmpfs directory (which used to always be /sbin).

Starting from Android 11, the /sbin folder may no longer exists, and in that scenario, Magisk randomly generates a different tmpfs folder each boot. Every occurrence of the pattern ${MAGISKTMP} in your *.rc scripts will be replaced with the Magisk tmpfs folder when magiskinit injects it into init.rc. On pre Android 11 devices, ${MAGISKTMP} will simply be replaced with /sbin, so NEVER hardcode /sbin in the *.rc scripts when referencing these additional files.

Here is an example of how to setup overlay.d with a custom *.rc script:

ramdisk
│
├── overlay.d
│   ├── sbin
│   │   ├── libfoo.ko      <--- These 2 files will be copied
│   │   └── myscript.sh    <--- into Magisk's tmpfs directory
│   ├── custom.rc          <--- This file will be injected into init.rc
│   ├── res
│   │   └── random.png     <--- This file will replace /res/random.png
│   └── new_file           <--- This file will be ignored because
│                               /new_file does not exist
├── res
│   └── random.png         <--- This file will be replaced by
│                               /overlay.d/res/random.png
├── ...
├── ...  /* The rest of initramfs files */
│

Here is an example of the custom.rc:

# Use ${MAGISKTMP} to refer to Magisk's tmpfs directory

on early-init
    setprop sys.example.foo bar
    insmod ${MAGISKTMP}/libfoo.ko
    start myservice

service myservice ${MAGISKTMP}/myscript.sh
    oneshot