Amazon’s new $50 Fire Tablet has been Rooted and what it means for potential Fire TV rooting


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.

  1. Bill says:

    How can I find out if it will work on New Fire HD8

  2. Jim says:

    Is there any reason why we should ROOT a fire TV 2?

    What is the difference between sideloading apps and ROOTING?

    • Jonathan says:

      Sideloading merely puts the apps onto the device. Rooting allows you to alter the way the device behaves with those apps. For example, allowing Kodi to load as the primary screen instead of the Amazon launcher.

      • RVD26 says:

        Yeah, but Firestarter allows you to bypass the Amazon home screen without needing to root.
        I guess if you’re really hardcore into making changes, but for most people rooting is now unnecessary.

    • Ryan says:

      Most people won’t benefit much from rooting because sideloading is not blocked. When I got the FTV1 a year ago I chose to root to keep my future options open for things I don’t yet know I will want to do. The 3 biggest advantages I’ve found are:

      1) AdAway: installing this software allows me to block ads system wide. No need to pay for YouTube Red. I don’t watch Hulu ads…

      2) Full backup: I can backup the entire device from the ClockworkMod Recovery interface ( This means that I can tinker to my heart’s content safely knowing that I can restore the box to a previous state. In fact, I can downgrade from after an update if I change my mind.

      3) VPN access: Amazon stripped out VPN functionality from the FTV1, but with root, I can once again install and run a VPN client, which enhances my privacy online immensely

  3. Some One says:

    Rooting give you FULL UNPRECIDENTED POWER over your entire file system. The possibilities are endless. In a nutshell…anything you want to do you can now do. Use your imagination. Personally…I mod my game saves, manipulate my wallpapers, disable certain Amazon daemons (such as photos, so they don’t redownload everytime, etc.

  4. Scott Howell says:

    I guess I’ll wait a few more days for to show up and start blocking software updates after that. I’m not using surround sound.

  5. Sunrise 495 says:

    Can you load Kodi on this puppy? Will it run, or bring it to it’s knee’s?

  6. Keith says:

    That was a much more tedious process than i thought. Spent 3 hours with 2 different computers trying to install adb drivers and once i got it it just hung in fastboot.
    If anyone can confirm the drivers provided in the xda thread work please report on it. Otherwise ill try something else… Think someone mentioned samsung drivers worked?

  7. stephen says:

    waste of time rooting, it does nothing

  8. J says:

    I have root on all my firetv boxes! And I have full access to file system, external hard drives of any size, I can edit png icon for my favorite apps. I have Netflix, prime, xbmc, shoebox, popcorn time and tv portal! We never watch regular tv! Getting root has given me total freedom.

    • Gustavo says:

      I don’t quite understand.

      What do you usually do when you have access to full file system other than changing the png icon of your favorite apps?

      • Andrew says:

        Rooting my fire tv allowed me to put stickmount on it. That means I can access my 4gb movie files (that I rip from my owne dvds and blurays). Without stickmount you can only access fat32 on the usb port. Yes you can read across a network, but I do this to have movies at my trailer which has no network installed.

  9. Rob says:

    Can mount ntfs for large file support for media. Have access to customize home screen, make xbmc your home for real not the clanky(but respect) way with firestarter. Can run sickbeard and nzbmobile for a download machine and run scripts for all at boot and for post processing. Anything else anybody would like to add? Endless possibilities with root as stated above.

  10. Don says:

    random dumb question but i cant find this info anywhere. If I buy a Fire Tablet today will it be rootable or has Amazon fixed the root?

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