AppleTV 2 (black) - Jailbreak FAQ

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jd2157 Offline
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Post: #1
README 1ST: XBMC FAQ. NOTE: please don't post JB questions at xbmc.org, use firecore, awkwardtv.org, or modmyi.com.

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Q: How do I jailbreak ATV 5.3 (10B809) and install XBMC?


A: The ATV 5.3 jailbreak is untethered however some prefer ATV 4.3/4.4.4 for performance reasons (version history).
  • update iTunes to the latest version (and reboot)
  • get the latest Seas0nPass and JB according to the guide (NOTE: *ONLY* connect the USB cable, NOT the power cable)
  • disconnect the USB cable from the ATV2, connect the ATV2 to your TV (via HDMI) and plugin the power cord, use a wired network connection if at all possible (especially for HD content)
  • ssh (as root, password: alpine) to your ATV2 to verify it's jailbroken (if you can't ssh it's probably not jailbroken) and to update it's packages, refer to the ssh tutorial at the end of this FAQ if required
    # ssh root@<insert your ATV2 IP address here>
    # apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
    # apt-get -f install
  • install nitoTV (optional):
    # apt-get install com.nito.nitotv ; killall AppleTV
  • install XBMC using nitoTV or the wiki instructions
  • disable updates (ATV2 updates will crash XBMC, the latest NitoTV installs do this automatically)
  • restart the AppleTV
    # reboot
If you didn't backup your XBMC settings from a previous install, you'll want to setup your media (YouTube). If you want to be able to downgrade your ATV2 then save your SHSH blobs with Seas0npass or Tiny Umbrella (Mac, PC).

Q: What are the most common JB DOs and DON'Ts?
A: DO use the latest Seas0npass and iTunes. DON'T plugin power when jailbreaking (only USB). DO use the latest version of XBMC available. DO disable updates. DO backup your SHSH blobs. DON'T leave Apple entries in the /etc/hosts file (created by TU setting Hosts to Cydia on Exit). DO remove Firecore Media Player. DO verify ownership of /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/XBMC (should be mobile:mobile). DO restore the original firmware after a few failed JB attempts. DO try holding Menu/Play for up to 15s to get into DFU mode (7s is often not long enough). DO read the FAQs.

Q: What should I use to JB?
A: Seas0nPass is the most reliable. Others: Greenpois0n (Mac/Windows/Linux), Pwnagetool (Mac only, more complex), and Sn0wbreeze (Windows only).

Q: What iOS/XBMC versions am I running?
A: iOS, and XBMC

Q: What iOS version should I be using?
A: For stability, use the most recent iOS version supported by the official build of XBMC. If you want a newer iOS version for fixes/features you can upgrade as long as there's a jailbreak but you may have issues until XBMC is updated to support that version.

Q: What XBMC version should I be using?
A: You should use the latest version of XBMC (i.e. nightly or beta).

Q: What are SHSH blobs and why should I care?
A: You need SHSH blobs to downgrade to an iOS version Apple's no longer signing. As new iOS versions are released, Apple stops signing older ones to prevent them from being installed since they're easier to jailbreak. Using Seasonpass or Tiny Umbrella to save your SHSH blobs (tutorial) will allow you to downgrade to any iOS version you have saved SHSH blobs for. Plug the ATV2's power cord in and let it boot before plugging in the USB cable (to prevent it from showing as a Recovery Device in TU). iFaith will let you dump your current SHSH blobs even if Apple isn't signing them.

Q: How do I downgrade iOS?
A: If Apple's still signing the version you want, download the iOS firmware file, open iTunes (make sure you're running the latest version), plugin your ATV2 /w USB only (no power), click your ATV2 on the left, Option-click (Shift-click in Windows) the Restore button and select the firmware file to install. If that fails because Apple stopped signing that version (i.e. "this device isn't eligible for the requested build") then refer to these tutorials to downgrade with Tiny Umbrella's help (assumes you've saved your SHSH blobs, see above): Mac or PC. You may need to put the atv2 into DFU mode to install an older firmware (disconnect all cables, wait 10s, connect USB, hold Menu/Play for 15s).

Q: How do I jailbreak an older iOS version?
A: The process here will let you install/jailbreak any version of the ATV2 software that's either a) still being signed by Apple or b) that you have SHSH blobs for. Summary:
  • update iTunes to the latest version
  • save your SHSH blobs if you haven't yet
  • get Seas0npass and follow the guide EXCEPT Right-click the "Create IPSW" button to select an older iOS firmware file or you'll be upgraded to the most recent iOS version, also remember to only plugin the microUSB cable (not the power cable)
  • prevent updates from crashing XBMC
  • if you run into problems, review the troubleshooting tips and try to jailbreak again
Seas0npass may not change the ATV menu. You'll need to ssh to your ATV2 (using Putty under Windows, or Terminal on the Mac, see below) to verify it's been jailbroken and to load additional software, e.g. wget, XBMC, nitoTV (install info below), etc.

Q: Why do I need NitoTV and how do I install it?
A: You don't need it but it can save you some time at the command line by installing various utilities using it's GUI (updatebegone, Overflow, MainMenuWeather, Rowmote helper, Bluetooth, etc). SSH into your ATV2 and enter the following commands:
# echo “deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org ./” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
# apt-get update
# apt-get install com.nito.nitotv
# killall AppleTV

If you run into problems try these then retry the 4 commands above:
# echo "deb http://apt.saurik.com/ tangelo-3.7 main">/etc/apt/sources.list.d/saurik.list
# apt-get update
# apt-get -f install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2

Q: How do I ssh to my ATV2?
A: Get your ATV2's IP address under Apple TV menu > Settings > General > Network > IP Address. Mac: open Terminal.app and enter "ssh root@<insert IP>" then enter alpine for the password (e.g. "ssh root@192.168.1.5"). In Windows, use putty to ssh to your ATV2 (tutorial).
(This post was last modified: 2014-06-14 15:54 by jd2157.)
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Ned Scott Offline
Team-Kodi Wiki Guy
Posts: 22,453
Joined: Jan 2011
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Location: Arizona, USA
Post: #2
See: AppleTV 2 (black) Jailbreaking ATV2 Running 4.4.4 or Less, After Apple Stopped Signing Older Firmware

For help on jailbreaking an existing 4.4.4 ATV, even though Apple stopped signing for 4.4.4. This only helps people on 4.4.4 and lower to jailbreak, and will not help people with ATV OS 5.0 downgrade.
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