Checklist for the USB patch

by editor @ on July 27, 2007

Are you ready for it? I certainly am.

Anyhow, here’s the checklist for you to get ready for the patch.

  • An ssh-enabled Apple TV. If you don’t have that enabled yet, you can refer to this post to get it enabled.
  • An Intel-Mac or Intel-based *nix. This is needed to run the install script to patch the kernel on the Apple TV remotely. You can certainly try cygwin if you’re on Windows. However, we have not tested this.
  • An installed version of Mac OS X 10.4 Intel. Or a full copy of the contents of the “/System/Library/Extensions” folder from one.
  • An original, unmodified copy of the ‘mach_kernel.prelink’ file from the Apple TV. If the kernel on your Apple TV has not been modified yet, then the install script can just use the one from your Apple TV. Otherwise, you would need to supply one.
  • An external USB drive formatted using “Journaled HFS+”. This is the format the Apple TV expects.

One more important thing. We have only tried running the install script against Apple TV software 1.0 not the current version, which is 1.1.

Oh and if you haven’t backed up your Apple TV yet, please do so. As with all hacks, there is always that possibility of transforming your Apple TV into an expensive paperweight.

Later down the road, we or somebody from the community will probably make this process more user friendly. As for now, this is how it is.


Before this gets out hand, let me explain.

Regarding enabling ssh on your Apple TV, you can definitely do it without opening the case to void the warranty. You can follow this wiki on

The hack requires a copy of boot.efi from Apple TV. This, of couse, was impossible without opening the case and getting the boot.efi out of the drive. However, since the release of the Apple TV software 1.1, you can obtain this file from there. You can obtain the update here.

About requiring an Intel Mac, I can try running the install script under cygwin to see what happens.

Lastly, about the submission not being valid. We think that it definitely qualifies. The patch can be applied without opening the case. Also, there is no mention that the patch or the install script should work on one environment or another.

As previously mentioned, the process will get easier over time. We will refine it. This just the first version of many revisions to come.

  • Die Mystic Boer

    What’s better than a non-working USB patch?

    Well one that works like the rules for the bounty stipulated. Thanks but no thanks, this is not it…

    Let’s see, I need OS X, ssh enabled AppleTV (void warrenty, 🙁 PC user), a UNIX based environment. Definately not just plugging in an external drive.

    Well hopefully this will be what others expected, otherwise there might be a riot.

    Well, thanks anyway.

  • Die Mystic Boer

    What’s better than a non-working USB patch?

    Well, one that works like the bounty stipulated….

    I need OS X, ssh enabled AppleTV, UNIX environment. Definately not just connecting an USB drive.

    Nice, but not for me. Hopefully the other ppl will be happy, otherwise there might be a riot 🙂

  • stuka

    Wow. I’m already bummed and the patch isn’t even out yet. I HAVE to have an Intel Mac just to run the script? (Here’s where I fall to my knees and raise my hands into the air and scream “nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”)

  • wincrasher

    This is bullcrap. Why lead us on that this submission was close to the conditions of the bounty? It’s not even close.

  • Die Mystic Boer

    I must appologize, the patch does what was outlined in the bounty. I was just not expecting to do all these “geekish” things to get it going. Also a copy of OS X is quite expensive, so getting ssh going without opening the appleTv is not an option for me.

    So, in that case then “Well done”, spend the money wisely.

  • luck

    Die Mystic Boer,
    As mentioned, it will get better. Once the patch gets out in the wild, I’m sure there will be people looking into this very problem and maybe have the solution before we can come up with one.

    This is ONLY the first version.

  • Pat

    What’s the point of all this? At one point in the past, I was thinking of buying an Apple TV. However, once I realized how crippled (by design) it was, I bought a Mac Mini. It runs a full version of OS X, I can install any player I want to play back any file format I want to use, I can use it to browse the web on my 42” TV set, it has USB and firewire enabled etc.

    So, tell me again why you would want to buy an Apple TV? So you can save 300 bucks compared to the entry level Mac Mini and then spend hours and hours patching it, opening the box, voiding the warranty etc?

    In my opinion, it’s not worth it.

    I use my Mac Mini to buy TV shows on iTunes and to play them back on my big TV set. I ditched cable 2 years ago (too much crap, too expensive, too many commercials). With the money I save by not paying for cable I can buy all the TV shows I want and then some and I don’t have to watch the commercials.

  • RS1000

    So where’s is the patch? When will it be available?

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