Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rooting the Kindle Fire - It is possible!

This is a guest post by Calvin Scott.

Amazon’s latest tablet Kindle Fire with a 7” multi-touch display and 1024x600 resolution is definitely much more than just an e-book reader. It features Amazon's cloud-accelerated web browser, and apart from just reading you can use it for music, moves, games, apps, etc., and it’s price is unbelievable - $200!

Rooting - Possible?
Rooting for the Android device is equivalent to jailbreaking for an iOS device. It is the process through which you are able to obtain a full access as a device administrator. Even though Android is open source, you are still not able to do what you want and don’t have a complete “root access”.

Just a couple of days after the release of Amazon’s latest Android-based device - Kindle Fire, Android users started posting on forums that rooting this device is possible. Rooting of Kindle Fire would definitely assist developers to start brainstorming on how to create alternative firmware specific for this device, also known as a ROM. Recently an Android Forums user claimed he has succeeded in rooting the device by using a tool known as a SuperOneClick 2.2. and Google’s software development kit (SDK) for Android.

Why Would Your Kindle Device Need Rooting?
If you’re new to this topic, one of the biggest advantages to rooting a device such as Kindle is the possibility to add a custom ROM, which would be compatible with your device. Rooting is a popular occupation among some Android users who like to replace custom overlays with new and different interfaces. ROM is also used to provide additional functionality and apps that otherwise would not be available to your device.

Rooting offers:
  • Control over your system
  • Ability to change system files
  • Possibility to run additional apps
And more.

How It’s Done?
According to the Android Forums user post, before you can actually start rooting your Kindle Fire device, you need to use Google's Android software development kit and create an Android Debug Bridge (ADB) access to your tablet. Android Debug Bridge is a tool made for developers which establishes communication with a device by using your computer to run shell commands, copy files, and install applications.

After creating an ADB access to your tablet, the next step is said to be modifying a couple of files in the software development kit before engaging a SuperOneClick tool to start rooting your tablet.

First you need to edit adb_usb.ini file. To do that go to: %USERPROFILE%\.android and add this code at the end of the file:


Save. Now you need to go to the location where you have the software development kit. Once there, open the google-usb_driver folder and make the changes to android_winusb.inf file.

And the following code to the [Google.NTx86] and [Google.NTamd64] sections:

;Kindle Fire

%SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_1949&PID_0006

%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_1949&PID_0006&MI_01

Save the file.

According to the Android Forums user, if your kindle has been already plugged into the USB, you need to open device manager and under other devices locate "Kindle" and then go to the android_winusb.inf file.

You need to enable installation of apps from unknown sources. To do this, tap the top bar, choose more...(+), device.

Open command prompt. Run adb kill-server. After you’re done, check under ADB devices and you should be able to see the device on the list.

Download SuperOneClick. After you run it, choose the "root" option.

What About Non-Amazon Approved Apps?
If you are just interested in installing non-Amazon approved apps (sideloading), you can do this with your Kindle Fire by going to device settings and checking a box that allows installation of applications from sources that are unknown. When this option is checked, you will be able to install various apps and some other useful Android tools.

Amazon’s Source Code
Another new things coming from Amazon is the recent release of the source code for Kindle Fire. This release was a part of their obligation to give a source code for free due to using an open source software and free software in their devices. At Amazon’s source code page you are able to download the source code for Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, as well as for some other Amazon devices.

About the Author
The post is contributed by Calvin Scott. Calvin has passion for teaching, learning, reading and writing. Visit his site for adsl kpn and draadloos internet.