Android isn’t very hacker friendly. Reasons to hack, or “root,” your Android handset: Custom OS upgrades, PC tethering, full-phone SD backups.
An Android app that does all the rooting legwork, a process that used to range from mildly intimidating to headache-inducing.
• Download “Recovery Flasher” From the Android Market (or sideload it)
• Run it
• Tap “Back up recovery image”
• Tap “Flash Cyanogen Recovery 1.4″
The biggest draw to rooting is the ability to install a new ROM—viz. replace the operating system on your phone. The first is to go with a super-customized community ROM. Practically, this means multitouch—since the G1 and MyTouch already support this on the hardware side—app storage on SD cards, tethering, more home screens, new system keyboards, and perhaps most importantly, vastly improved performance.
An overview from Android and Me:
• Power off your phone.
• Boot into recovery mode.
• Before you flash a rom file, perform a wipe.
Press Alt+W to wipe the data and cache folders. You must wipe when going form different builds of Android.
Flash the zip file of your choice.
A few more reasons to root that don’t involve totally flashing your phone
If you have an old iPhone 2G laying around (and chances are if you do have one, it's laying around, right?) and want to run Android on it like we saw the other day, instructions are now available. It's definitely not for the casual jailbreaker, and it's gonna take you a little while. But the instant karma you gain by putting the world's best smartphone operating system on the world's most ubiquitous phone is gonna be worth it. Video of how it's done after the break. [AndroidaLot via Redmond Pie]
And if you're looking for even more resources, check out linuxoniphone.blogspot.com and the idroidproject.org wiki, brought to you by the guys who got this done in the first place.