As we are now post November 3rd we are officially in the Android 5.0 Lollipop era. Back in the days of pre-Lollipop (last week) one of the big concerns with such a dramatic change in the operating system was whether or not rooting would be possible. Until the final source code was let-loose, no one knew for sure if those out there who like system access to their device would be able to achieve it. One of the influencers of rooting is Chainfire who is the developer of SuperSU. Which in short, is the tool needed to root your device. In even shorter terms - if you have SuperSU running you are rooted. As little as two weeks ago Chainfire posted on his Google+ page the issues and concerns he had with rooting Lollipop. To briefly recap, Lollipop comes with additional layers of security which in themselves prove a hindrance to the breaching needed by the rooting procedure. Not to mention the stricter SELinux demands have placed additional pressure on Super SU's initialization. That said, two weeks is a long time in rooting terms.
Yes folks, within 24 hours of Google releasing the final version of Lollipop, by way of the source code. Chainfire has managed to root the Nexus 9. More importantly, he has already posted files needed online so that you too can root your new Nexus tablet. So for those out there who were worrying about what the future would hold for rooting, there is no need. Now, for the more adventurous out there who plan to root immediately then you do need to be aware of a couple of points. Firstly, there is no custom recovery currently in effect for Lollipop i.e. no CWM or TWRP. As such the rooting procedure is slightly different. For those new to this sort of thing. Typically, you would flash a custom recovery first and from this recovery simply flash SuperSU and therefore gaining root privileges As there is no Lollipop recoveries released yet the rooting procedure is a little more manual. The second point to note is that although you can now root your device that does not mean that root apps will work. They too will obviously need to be updated to work with Lollipop, by their respective developers. That said, rooting is here and this is how you do it.
Note you do need to understand ADB and fastboot to get this working
The first thing you will need to do is download the necessary Chainfire files so click here. These files are ONLY for the Nexus 9 and as such should not be used on any other device (Lollipop or not). They will not work. Following this, there are four main steps. The first is to make sure you enable oem unlocking via Android's developer options (allow USB debugging). Following this and with your device connected (and a command window open) you will need to unlock the bootloader using the typical fastboot oem unlock command. Once this is complete you need to run a fastboot boot inject.img command. Lastly, you will need to run a fastboot flash boot patched.img command. Once the patch file has finished running, you are rooted. Simply enter the command adb reboot (or fastboot reboot) and your device should boot back up. As per normal with rooting you can verify that you are rooted by checking in your app tray for the SuperSU app which will now be there. Need more proof? Fine, use the typical root checker apps available on Play for full verification. So how many of you early Nexus 9 owners will be rooting? Wonder if the Nexus 6 will take as long to root? You took your time Chainfire.