Apple TV Generation 2 - Windows Jailbreak and XBMC Install

Ok, I know this one is way off topic but I thought I would share it anyway, I picked up an Apple TV Gen 2 yesterday. After doing some research and talking with a friend that had already jail broken a few of them, I planned on jail breaking it.

Note: All links to software utilities are listed at the end of this post
Software needed for this guide....
  • Greenpois0n 
  • Seas0nPass 
  • Firmware(ipsw) 
  • iREB 
  • iFaith 
  • Putty

The process was supposed to be pretty straight forward, I downloaded the latest Greenpois0n jail break utility and thought I would be on my way. Don't bother following this as I only mention it because this is what I first tried and wanted to share my results.

I wanted to jail break mainly because with the stock ATV you have to play everything in Apple's approved formats, I like to keep my movies in AVI (mostly xvid) and don't want to have to convert them to view them through the ATV.

First thing to do when jail breaking an ATV is to back up the SHSH Blobs, I used a utility called iFaith. This will allow you to create signed ipsws (with iFaith) and return to previous versions of ios software.

Backing up SHSH Blobs - Open iFaith and select the Dump SHSH Blobs

Place these files in a secure location, they will be needed if you ever want to downgrade you ipsw version

So I started on the jail break, first thing I realized is that getting the ATV into DFU mode (the mode it has to be in for applying a jail break) is a little hard at first. Following the on screen instructions in Greenpois0n failed more times than it succeeded. Finally I got it and started with the jail break...

Now getting the ATV in DFU mode holding in the two small buttons on the remote


Once the ATV gets into DFU mode the bottom left button will say jail break.


So after clicking jail break and watching as the progress bars work their magic it would finish saying that the jail break was applied successfully. I disconnect the ATV and connected it to my TV and nothing had changed from the out of the box screens. I tried this several times even using earlier versions of GP and even on another computer, all had the same result. 

So my next Google search leads me to another utility called Seas0nPass

Seas0nPass works a little different, instead of modifying your existing ipsw (software) it actually will either automatically download the latest version of ios that is jail breakable or you can hold the shift key down and select an ipsw version that you have previously downloaded. Unlike Greenpois0n, Seas0nPass will only jailbreak your ATV so that you can install software to it, it will not install any software for you. Greenpois0n would have been nice because it gives you the option of inject software from the ATV menu. 

So I downloaded the latest version of ios that I knew could be jail broken which was AppleTV2,1_4.3_8F202_Restore.ipsw, and I proceeded to let Seas0nPass modify it.

Once Seas0nPass has modified the ipsw you can either let it automatically launch iTunes and install the custom firmware for you or you can manually do this. I tried both methods with no success, for the most part I kept getting the 3194 error which means that iTunes realizes this is not a correct ipsw that you can install on your device. I also saw error codes 21, 1600 and a few others. I struggled with these errors for hours trying every utility in every order and could not get past these errors.


In the end there were three key things that got me past all of the errors, the first was to rename the custom ipsw that Seas0nPass creates, basically remove the SP from the filename so that it looks like the stock file name for that particular version of ios. 

The second was to get a utility called TinyUmbrella

Select the Advanced Tab and ensure that your checkboxes match mine...

Once your checkboxes are set to match mine from the General tab you will be able to start the TSS server, this will need to be running when you perform the last step of importing the ipsw into iTunes. (Note) that each time you attempt this I would recommend stopping and starting the TSS server as it seemed to have issues if I didnt do this.

The third step was to use a seperate utility called iREB to put the ATV into DFU mode, apparently it does matter how you do this and it can help get past some of the errors when restoring an ipsw in iTunes.

Launch iREB and select Apple TV 2

Follow the instructions to get the ATV into DFU mode

Now launch iTunes and you should immediately see the ATV screen with the restore button, hold down the shift key and select Restore. Browse to the modified ipsw file that Seas0nPass created, make sure you have removed the SP out of the title of the file and let iTunes restore the ipsw. 

When the installation is complete plug the Apple TV into a television and you should see a new menu item in the top navigation bar. 

Install Software

Now that your ATV is jailbroken, we’re going to install third-party software such as XBMC. First, we have to find out what IP address your ATV was assigned by your router. From the ATV homescreen navigate to the Settings menu. Select General and then Network. Next to IP Address is your ATV's IP address.

Download Putty for Windows and launch. Type in your ATV's IP address in the Host Name (or IP address) field. Click Open and you will be prompted to log in as a username. Type “root” as the username and type “alpine” for the password.

Now type the following commands right after each other, press Enter after each line:

echo "deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org ./" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
apt-get update
apt-get install com.nito.nitoTV
killall Lowtide

After you run the third command, you will notice it will ask if you want to continue. Type “y” and hit Enter. 

When your ATV restarts you will see that you installed nitoTV, which acts like Cydia on a jailbroken iPhone, nitoTV is a package management system that allows users to download packages. From the homescreen, select nitoTV and open it. You’ll see a list of packages that you can install. I suggest installing XBMC-ATV2, updateBeGone and Overflow at a minimum, you can highlight these and it will give you a description of what each is.



Greenpois0n -  http://greenpois0n.com/

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