How to Partially Unlock the Amazon Fire TV Bootloader

amazon-fire-tv-bootloader-unlock-header
The great rbox has done it again. He has just released a method to partially unlock the Fire TV’s bootloader. It’s only a partial unlock because it does not enable fastboot flashing, which means it requires that your Fire TV already be rooted. Sorry, but this release does not help those with unrootable Fire TVs gain root. What it does do is make the Fire TV a little more modding friendly, which will hopefully lead to even cooler mods in the future. For the time being, the most important thing to know is that an unlocked bootloader will be a requirement to installing future updates to ClockworkMod custom recovery. Starting with ClockworkMod version 6.0.5.1.4, your Fire TV will need to have an unlocked bootloader to install ClockworkMod for the first time or to install ClockworkMod updates.

Important
If your Fire TV software is…

  • Any of rbox’s Pre-Rooted Custom ROMs, then you DO NOT need to downgrade. You may proceed with this guide and unlock your bootloader.
  • Stock Version 51.1.0_user_510047320, 51.1.0.1_user_510055620, or 51.1.0.2_user_510058520, then you DO NOT need to downgrade. You may proceed with this guide and unlock your bootloader.
  • Stock Version 51.1.1.0_user_511069920, or 51.1.1.0_user_511070220, then you DO need to downgrade before unlocking your bootloader. Follow my downgrade guide and downgrade your Fire TV to version 51.1.0.2_user_510058520
  • Stock Version 51.1.2.0_user_512073320 or Newer, then you cannot unlock your bootloader and cannot follow this guide because there is currently no way to root your Fire TV.

Guide

  1. Be sure your Fire TV is rooted and that you’ve read the section above to determine if you need to downgrade your Fire TV before proceeding with this guide.
  2. Download the aftv-unlock file from rbox’s XDA Post. The download link is near the bottom.
  3. Connect to your Fire TV via ADB
  4. Transfer the file you downloaded in step 1 to your Fire TV by running the following ADB command:
    adb push aftv-unlock /data/local/tmp/
    (Note: This assumes the file you downloaded is in the same directory as ADB, otherwise enter the full path to the file, like this:
    adb push C:\full\path\aftv-unlock /data/local/tmp/
  5. Run the command:
    adb shell
  6. Run the command:
    chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/aftv-unlock
  7. Run the command:
    su
    (Note: If this is the first time you’ve ever run the command su, a pop-up will appear on the Fire TV screen where you will need to select “Grant” within a few seconds before it disappears. If you miss it, then run this command again.)
  8. Run the command:
    /data/local/tmp/aftv-unlock unlock
  9. If done successfully, you will see the following message:
    Attempting to unlock…
    All done!
  10. Run the command:
    exit
  11. Run the command (yes, again):
    exit

You should leave the aftv-unlock file on your Fire TV incase you ever need to lock your bootloader, which you do by running the command: /data/local/tmp/aftv-unlock lock

SourceXDA-Developers

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25 comments
  1. barryst says:

    At the risk of sounding stupid and annoying (sorry!), what is the potential in future mods this allows? Are we talking something like an Android TV rom for example?

  2. BoomSchtick says:

    Wait… didn’t the old procedure for rooting unlock the boot loader? I’m fully rooted after a firmware downgrade mod and then upgrade with the pre-rooted firmware.

    So this is something that I still need to do?

    • AFTVnews says:

      No, rooting did not unlock the bootloader. As of now, the only reason to unlock your bootloader is to update ClockworkMod beyond version 6.0.5.1.3 since version 6.0.5.1.4 requires your bootloader to be unlocked. In the future, there will likely be more things that require you to first unlock your bootloader.

  3. pmcd says:

    Are there any negatives to this procedure? What is missing to make it a full unlock?

    • AFTVnews says:

      The only real negative is yourself. Meaning, the more modifiable you make your Fire TV, the greater the chance you’ll do something wrong and mess something up. As long as you take care not to try untested modifications, there’s no harm in unlocking your bootloader.

      A full unlock would allow you to flash images via USB using fastboot. And preferably not require root.

  4. tuxen says:

    To be able to unlock it without root..

  5. andy b says:

    can you please show a more specific way of installing this using adbFire. when i get to chmod it tell me no such file. thanks

    • AFTVnews says:

      No, sorry, but it would take too much time to write individual guides for all the different Fire TV utilities. Jocala, the developer of adbFire, is aware of this bootloader unlock. He does a great job keeping adbFire feature rich so I’m sure he’ll release an update soon that includes a 1-click option to unlock the bootloader.

  6. Edgar says:

    So sad I can’t do this anymore. My firetv updated on its own last night. I thought blocking those 2 links on my router would’ve been fine. NOPE. Disable on the firetv people or risk being sad like me.

  7. J says:

    I disabled the updates right away using the adb guide people had posted. It worked great. My never updates. Only problem I have is when I need a reboot, the fire tv box is stuck on amazon. So I must unplug the usb hub 1st before a reboot. Question? Would the fast boot unlock take care of the usb hub issue on booting?

    • AFTVnews says:

      No, it wouldn’t. The fire TV is detecting power coming from your USB hub. That’s why it is putting itself into fastboot. Unlocking the bootloader wouldn’t help that.

  8. Chris says:

    Hi, it says no such file or path when I try to use the above guide to install it on. When you download the aftv-unlock it downloads to my Windows download folder like every other file I download. I don’t understand how you can download it to an ADB folder (what is that?) or where that path above is located on the computer. I wish you could make a more simple guide where the average download path would be for the average user, such as desktop or the download folder. There isn’t enough explanation as to how to put the file in that location so that it will be successful on the ADB command.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Just enter the full path to the downloaded file in the ADB command. You don’t need to move it.
      If you’re on windows and using the default download folder, it’s probably something like: C:\Users\Chris\Downloads\aftv-unlock

      So your ADB push command will be something like this:

      adb push C:\Users\Chris\Downloads\aftv-unlock /data/local/tmp/

      • snow716 says:

        I am having the same problem.

        I have put the aftv-unlock in the same folder as my adb program: C:/Users/name/Downloads/adbfw114 as well as leaving a copy at: C:/Users/name/Downloads/

        Every time I try and push the file using those exact commands (either one) I get the directory not found. Should I be using temp instead of tmp like the other user?

        • snow716 says:

          Also, I wanted to add I was putting Backslashes except for the /data/local/tmp/

          • snow716 says:

            So I still can’t make this push in terminal, but using adbfire, I just unlocked the bootloader from the menu and am ready to install cwm. I have never done this before, but it is my understanding that installing cwm, boot kernel, and updating to the latest pre-root update will let me get the latest software changes while staying rooted? I would still want to maintain the block on auto updates on my router and my fire tv correct?

            Do I even need to update past the current one I have? 55620? Or will everything work fine? My goal is to use this primarily as an xbmc box with other apps/amazon prime tv, etc.

  9. Jason says:

    When I try to push the aftv-unlock onto my fire tv I get permission denied. When I look into the data folder on my aftv the folder doesn’t have a local folder and I can’t add one. I don’t know what to do to get past the permission denied.

  10. Brade says:

    How do the commands work for Mac?

  11. Brade says:

    It’s not locating my directory at all… I’m using a Mac …. Can I use fireadb for this? If so, how?

  12. Mark says:

    I think I’m doing everything correctly, but I getting the following error message.

    u0_a97@flo:/ $ adb push /storage/emulated/0/Download/aftv-unlock /data/local/tmp/
    505 KB/s (39010 bytes in 0.075s)
    u0_a97@flo:/ $ adb shell
    shell@android:/ $ chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/aftv-unlock
    shell@android:/ $ su
    root@android:/ # /data/local/tmp/aftv-unlock unlock
    /data/local/tmp/aftv-unlock[1]: syntax error: ‘<' unexpected
    1|root@android:/ # /data/local/tmp/aftv-unlock unlock
    /data/local/tmp/af

  13. Cody says:

    I can’t get it to push. I am on a Mac and have tried everything.

    The file aftv unlocker is in my download folder.
    My hard drive is called Macintosh HD

    I thought this would work but it doesn’t. Can someone look at it and fix it…

    adb push aftv-unlock /Macintosh HD/Users/Cody/Downloads/

    Thanks, Cody

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