The 2015 Amazon Fire TV has a 64-bit quad-core processor, support for 4K video playback, 802.11ac WiFi, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It’s an upgrade over the 2014 model in just about every way.

But what if you want to root the TV box? Now you can do that.

Xda-developers forum member zeroepoch has managed to root his 2nd-gen Fire TVBut it takes more than just a software patch to root the Fire TV: you’ll also need to make some modifications to the hardware.

Update: While that was true for the initial work done to root the TV box, now it’s possible to root the new Amazon Fire TV by connecting it to a computer and running a series of commands.

amazon fire tv 2

The first step involves opening the case and soldering a connection for a TTY UART device. Make a wrong move and you could damage the $100 TV box.

Once that’s done though, it should be possible to connect to the Fire TV from a computer and run a series of commands to root the device, giving you the ability to run software that requires root access.

The good news is that once the Fire TV is rooted, you won’t need to worry about Amazon sending out an over-the-air update that breaks root, because once the system partition is modified, the Fire TV won’t be able to install automatic updates anyway. The bad news is that this means that in order to gain access to new features of Fire OS, you’ll need to install updates manually in the future.

Right now zeroepoch has posted the basic steps for rooting a 2nd-gen Fire TV, but more details should be coming soon. Note that the final step is a doozy: it reportedly takes about 2 hours to complete.

via AFTV News


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6 replies on “2nd-gen Amazon Fire TV can be rooted”

  1. Good news for the very few that actually bought and regularly use this POS.

  2. Unfortunately AFTVNews reported the story a bit early before everything was understood. I required UART access to debug some of my hacking attempts but you can do it just with a USB cable and software now.

  3. I am half tempted to start a kickstarter campaign to sell mt8173 boards, but I would settle for a quad-core a53 raspberry pi 3 with 2GB ram. I see lots of linux kernel activity for the mt8173, which could mean that it is well supported. I can’t believe that they marketed the mt8173 as a tablet chip… it is on 28nm (which makes it fine for chromebook/set-top).

    1. I am waiting to see what happens with the chromebooks next year, but a development board would be pretty nice too

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