Hacking the Apple TV – Patchstick & SSH

Apple TVThe first thing I wanted to do was add SSH so I could log into the Apple TV and see what was going on.

The Apple TV hacks sites around the web seem to be fairly out dated, and the main pages that show up on Google are all from 2007.

Once I sorted through the cruft, I found that figured out that:

  1. I don't have to crack the case and void the warranty. (good so far, but I may want to put a bigger hard drive in later.) and
  2. hacking the Apple TV is MUCH easier than I expected.

The best thing to do is start with one of the projects on Google Code: ATVusb-Creator and ATV-BootLoader

I chose ATVusb-Creator because it's an instant start. It had ssh and a few other things I don't care about.

Anyway the installation went without a hitch from the base instructions on the ATVUSB-Creator site so I'm not going to retype them here.

Anyway, after creating the patchstick, I powered off the ATV, inserted the patch sitck, turned it back on, the patch sitck did it's job. I powered down again, removed the USB Stick,  and powered back up.

That's it. I had ssh. A quick terminal command:

$   ssh frontrow@appletv.local

confirms that everything went well. Next thing is VNC, and looking at the extras on the ATVUSB-Creator install. More on that tomorrow.

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