Amazon’s brand new $50 Fire Tablet has been rooted by a fine set of folks over on the XDA Forums. This is the first device running Fire OS 5 to be rooted. The rooting method uses a customized boot.img file to boot the tablet into a state that allows the protected system partition to be modifiable. Once you’re able to modify the system files at will, rooting the device is trivial. Here’s what that means to potential rooting methods for the Fire TV.
The customized boot.img file is specific to the Fire Tablet. This means that this is not a universal rooting method like the towelroot method that rooted the 1st-gen Fire TV and many other Android devices. For this rooting method to work on Fire TV devices, someone will need to modify the Fire TV’s boot.img file in the same manner as has been done for the Fire Tablet’s boot.img file. Even then, you will need an A-to-A USB cable to apply the modified boot.img file via fastboot mode, so it will not be as simple as sideloading and running an app.
The boot.img file contains the device’s kernel and ramdisk. These control how the device’s filesystem will be mounted. I do not know the specifics of how the Fire Tablet’s boot.img file was modified to allow for a modifiable system partition, but if the changes are not specific to the Fire Tablet hardware, there is hope for this method to be applied to the Fire TV as well. If you’re interested in rooting your Fire TV (1st or 2nd-gen) or Fire TV Stick, now would be a good time to block software updates until more is learned about this Fire Tablet rooting method.