Google’s Chromecast is a $35 device designed to let you stream music, videos, and other content from the internet to your TV.
That’s all it’s supposed to do at the moment. But the Chromecast has the guts of a cheap Android or Linux computer, and hackers are hard at work trying to teach the new device new tricks.
Unsigned code, Android, and root
While Google says the Chromecast is running a simplified version of Chrome OS, the folks at GTV Hacker say it’s actually running a version of Google’s Android operating system.
That could just mean it loads a simple Android environment designed to do little more than support the Chrome web browser — the video player is basically a Chrome browser tab.
But it means that independent developers can use some of the same tools to gain root access and run unsigned code on the Chromecast that they would use for other Android or Google TV devices.
GTV Hacker says it’s already managed to run unsigned code, and promises that a method for rooting the Chromecast will be made public soon.
Google releases some source code
Not all the software running on the Chromecast is open source — but since at least some of the components are based on open source software, Google is required to release the source code.
And that’s just what they did. You can find the code online at Google Code.
CNX-Software has already started playing with the toolchain to try building the Linux kernel for the Chromecast. Theoretically you could use these tools to build custom kernels and other software as well.
Leapcast: a Chromecast emulation app
Want to pretend you have a Chromecast? Leapcast is a new tool that emulates ChromeCast on a computer. It’s a work in progress.
via Hacker News