Like so many, we’re eagerly waiting for the day a rooting procedure gets released for the Amazon Fire TV. Whether you’re new to rooting or a seasoned expert, here is everything you need to know about the current state of rooting the Amazon Fire TV.
What is Rooting?
To understand what “rooting” is, you first need to know just a little about the operating system running on the Amazon Fire TV. The Fire TV is running a modified version of Android, which is nothing more then a modified version of the Linux operating system. One key characteristic of Linux, and in turn the Fire TV operating system, is that an application must have permission to access certain aspects of the operating system. There are different tiers of access permission; the highest of which is called “Root Access”. And that is where the term “Root” or “Rooting” comes from. Rooting is the process of giving yourself or an app the highest access permission known as “root”. With root access, an application has the permission to access the entire operating system and make any changes it wants.
The Benefits of Rooting
While granting an app root access can be dangerous if that app has malicious intentions, there are many benefits to giving well written apps root access. One key feature that we expect to be unlocked once the Amazon Fire TV has been rooted is the ability to plug an external storage device, like a hard drive or flash drive, into the USB port on the rear of the Fire TV and expand the internal storage. This will allow you to store more games and apps locally and not have to uninstall apps as often due to running out of storage space. Another key feature that we would expect to come from rooting the Amazon Fire TV is the ability to customize the main menu, including the ability to add side loaded apps to the home screen. These are just two of the many features we’re sure will be unlocked in the near future when rooting the Fire TV becomes a reality.
Current State of Rooting
The Amazon Fire TV has been rooted. Unfortunately, the procedure to obtain root has not been released. The forum member jcase at the xda-developers forum has demonstrated a rooted Fire TV but has stated that he is waiting for Google to release version 4.4.3 of Android before he is comfortable releasing his rooting procedure because it uses a particularly abusable vulnerability to gain root access. Unfortunately, this likely means that by the time this specific root procedure is released, most of us will have patched our Fire TVs with an over the air update that blocks this root procedure. jcase, and I’m sure others, are currently looking for a less abusable vulnerability to use for root access.