How to remotely control ClockworkMod on the Amazon Fire TV using ADB

control-clockworkmod-over-adb-header
ClockworkMod Custom Recovery adds some great features to the Amazon Fire TV. However, sometimes it’s inconvenient or not possible to connect a keyboard to the Fire TV to control ClockworkMod. For example, you may need to plug a USB drive into the Fire TV’s only USB port and you don’t have a compatible hub. Or maybe you simply don’t have a spare USB keyboard laying around. Whatever the reason, this guide will show you how to control ClockworkMod remotely over a network from any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

There are a couple of important things to know before you get started. At this time, ClockworkMod does not support wifi connections, so your Fire TV will need to be connected via ethernet for this to work. Second, the IP address of your Fire TV while in ClockworkMod may be different from the IP address it normally uses. If you cannot connect to your Fire TV via ADB, then you are likely using the wrong IP address. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine the IP via ClockworkMod. You will have to use your routers configuration interface. Look for either a “Connected Devices” or “Logs” or similar area in your routers configuration interface. You should be able to determine the Fire TV’s IP address from one of those screens.

Windows (scroll down for Mac or Linux)

  1. Download ADB enhanced Putty. Using only a command prompt will not work. You need to use ADB enhanced Putty in addition to a command prompt.
  2. Connect to the Fire TV via ADB.
  3. Reboot into ClockworkMod by running the following command:
    adb reboot recovery
  4. Once in ClockworkMod, reconnect via ADB.
    cmd-adb-connect
    Note: You may need to press Ctrl+c to get back to an empty command prompt after rebooting. Also, you may need to first run adb kill-server to end your previous connection. And remember, your Fire TV’s IP address while in ClockworkMod may not be the same IP address it normally has (see my comments above).
  5. Run the command: adb shell
    cmd-clk-adb-shell
    Note: Leave this command prompt open as you continue the guide. You will come back to it in step 10.
  6. Launch ADB enhanced Putty that you downloaded in step 1
    adb-enhanced-putty
  7. Select Adb as the connection type. Ensure the port is set to 5037. Type transport-IP:5555 into the Host Name field, being sure to replace IP with the Fire TV’s IP address.
    putty-connection-settings
  8. Click the Open button at the bottom. You should see the following empty prompt:
    putty-blank-prompt
  9. Type the following into Putty and hit enter: /sbin/recovery-input
    putty-sbin-recovery-input
  10. Go back to the command prompt that you left open in step 5 and run the following command:
    killall recovery
    cmd-killall-recovery
  11. Your Fire TV screen will go black and/or flicker for a short time. Wait for ClockworkMod to reappear.
  12. Now return to the Putty screen and you should be able to use your keyboard to remotely navigate through the ClockworkMod menus. Use Up and Down to highlight a menu item. Instructions for which keys to use will be printed in the terminal window.

 

Mac or Linux

  1. Open a terminal and connect to your Fire TV via ADB. Follow my guide if you don’t know how.
  2. Run the following command to reboot into ClockworkMod: ./adb reboot recovery
    clockworkmod-terminal-03
  3. Once in ClockworkMod, reconnect via ADB.
    terminal-adb-connect
    Note: You may need to press Ctrl+c to get back to an empty command prompt after rebooting. Also, you may need to first run ./adb kill-server to end your previous connection. And remember, your Fire TV’s IP address while in ClockworkMod may not be the same IP address it normally has (see my comments above).
  4. Run the command: ./adb shell
    terminal-adb-shell-clockworkmod
  5. Run the command: /sbin/recovery-input
    terminal-recovery-input
  6. Leave this terminal open and open a second terminal window.
  7. In the second terminal window, run the command: ./adb shell
    terminal-adb-shell-clockworkmod
    Note: There is no need to run ./adb connect … first.
  8. In the second terminal window, run the command: killall recovery
    terminal-killall-recovery
  9. Now return to the first terminal window and you should be able to use your keyboard to remotely navigate through the ClockworkMod menus. Instructions for which keys to use will be printed in the terminal window.

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8 comments
  1. Dave says:

    I’lll add that this works perfectly using a WIRED network connection.
    Wireless does not seem to load and connect in recovery mode on a firetv.

  2. jon says:

    I am guessing that if your network requires a static address you are basically SOL if trying to do this since it seems CWM does not let you change the address or configure anything. i tried logging in using my static address but no joy. Thats okay, but just to let anyone know. If there is a workaround, that would be great cause I am as lazy as anyone else who doesn’t want to have to use the usb keyboard.

  3. Wangster says:

    Can anyone help me out with this? I am trying to get it set up so I can control cwm with my laptop but after I reboot into cwm recovery I can’t get back into my shell. This is the error it gives me “error: device unauthorized. Please check the confirmation dialog on your device” Any ideas how to fix this? I am able to connect to the device using adb connect but can’t get any further. Thanks for any help.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Try running:
      adb devices
      to see what is connected. If anything is connected, run
      adb disconnect IP_ADDRESS
      (replace IP_ADDESS with the actual IP listed) then run ‘adb devices’ again. Keep repeating until the list is empty.
      Then run:
      adb kill-server
      Then run:
      adb start-server
      Then finally run the connection command:
      adb connect IP_ADDRESS

  4. westcoast says:

    will i lose anything a have previously installed?
    like xbmc,llama…etc.

  5. chriss says:

    getting the same message on mac :

    mac:~ chriss$ adb start-server
    * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
    * daemon started successfully *
    mac:~ chriss$ adb connect 192.168.1.179
    connected to 192.168.1.179:5555
    mac:~ chriss$ adb shell
    error: device unauthorized. Please check the confirmation dialog on your device.
    error: device unauthorized. Please check the confirmation dialog on your device.
    mac:~ chriss$ adb devices
    List of devices attached
    192.168.1.179:5555 unauthorized

  6. chriss says:

    Figured it out:

    Start up your firetv normally, connect via adb shell.
    Type:
    su
    rm /data/misc/adb/adb_keys
    reboot recovery

    then you should be able to connect!

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