USB flash drive creator released

by editor @ on October 1, 2008

The atv-bootloader team have today launched atvusb-creator, which creates USB flash drive based installers that include patchstick, factory restore and various Linux distributions.

This version is comes with ssh, bin tools, and two plugins (XBMC for Mac and Boxee for Mac). That’s right, two full blown OSX applications with their own AppleTV plugin to launch and get updates.

Currently, it is only available to run on OS X, but Linux and Windows versions should be following within the week.

Download it

  • Brindy


    This sounds pretty awesome, but I’m a complete newbie at this kind of thing and am yet to do anything with my ATV other than just watch it!

    I really want to be able to watch x264 files, specifically those with the suffix “.x264-2HD.mkv”. Will this allow me to do that?

    If so, how I do I get the files on to ATV? iTunes doesn’t seem to like them.

    Thanks in advance,

  • Alan Shore

    Wait a minute! XMBC ist already included on the patchstick? I thought XMBC for Apple TV wasn’t even finished?!

  • Jonathan

    I tried downloading the ATVUSB-Creator but it opens and then stops responding immediately. WHat is made for 10.5.5 or 10.5.4? Any body actually get it to work yet? tell me what i’m doing wrong

  • davilla

    @Jonathan -> more info please. It should be fine under 10.5 and 10.4 Intel OSX platforms.

  • The release info includes “factory restore”. Does this mean that their patch stick will repair a borked restore partition for people who stupidly used ATVPatch 2.4? I couldn’t find any info or contact info at the official page.

  • davilla

    @Dasme -> Yes, a complete factory restore will be a future option.

    I can be reached using the sdavilla gmail account listed at the google code project page.

  • new2appletv

    I have a ATV with v2.2 s/w and an Intel mac mini running Leopard. I tried this utility on this mac mini with a 4GB USB stick. It completed all the steps successfully. Is this utility supposed to work on a mac running Leopard? I connected it to my ATV and tried patching. On reboot, I saw the apple logo flash on the screen and the display going blank a few times in between with the LED flashing amber and then finally come back to select “language” screen followed by ATV Recovery screen. I ran diagnostics and restarted the ATV, but didn’t see any changes in the menu of the ATV. Is this how it should work? If it didn’t is it due to the fact that I am using a 4GB USB stick?

  • Petronio

    “….Currently, it is only available to run on OS X, but Linux and Windows versions should be following within the week.”

    I am a windows user unfortunatly 🙁 when the patchstick for us?
    Thanks in advance

  • new2appletv

    It Worked! I created the patchstick on a 2GB USB drive instead of the 4GB that I used the first time. Guess, the bootloader in the ATV can’t handle a SDHC flash drive.

    It installed the pluggins for XBMC and Boxee as well at the same time.

  • cramer

    i installed the new beta of xbmc and boxee on my apple tv 2.2. it runs fine from what i can tell. the question is: how can i access media off of my computer or how do i add media to the xbmc? i am a bit confused. thanks

  • Watts

    Is there a trick to this? I’ve tried both the b2 and b3 releases, and the consistently crash when I’m trying to open the drop-down menus to tell it what it is I want it to put on the USB stick. I’ve never had either run for more than 60 seconds.

    (This is on a MacBook Pro, 2.2 GHZ Core 2 with 4 GB of RAM, OS X 10.5.5.)

  • These are not surprising my anymore, but thanks..

  • Good news, downloading now!

  • davilla

    There seems to be some unresolved issue with some users running 10.5.5 resulting in atvusb-creator crashing when opened. I’m not sure why but is could be related to the specific version of QT4 that I’m building against.

    There will be a new version posted in a few days that will be built against a newer version of QT4. In addition, a OSX PPC version will be released.

  • ripe_md

    I’ve tried the tool (Beta 3, OS X 10.5.5) with the following USB sticks without success:
    – Corsair Flash Voyager 2GB
    – Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB
    – Adata 2GB
    – Kingston Data Traveller 1GB
    – Kingston Data Traveller 512GB

    The patchstick was created but the ATV doesn’t boot from a single one. With my home made patchstick based on scripts from awkwardtv I was able to boot from all those sticks.

  • davilla


    how are your partitions organized. Are you using atv-bootloader or OSX bits in constructing the patchstick?


  • ripe_md

    I’m using OS X parts to create the patchstick, with your Linux based tool it doesn’t work at all and I have no clue why. In the meantime I’ve tried it with a 4GB Verbatim USB stick, also without success.

  • davilla

    Just picked up another Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB for testing. These are high quality USB flash drives, very fast read/write times. I’ll test it out tonight.

    I know it will boot using atv-bootloader because I have another Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB on that’s running a MythBuntu install and it can boot fine under the AppleTV using atv-bootloader. The partitioning is a different order, I believe recovery is the 1st partition where as atvusb-creator is placing it second (long story why).

  • davilla

    Well this is interesting;

    New out of the plastic, Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB

    atvusb-creator b3 fresh pull from googlecode

    MacBook 10.4.11.

    Worked first time, got tux/atv icon on powerup.

    I cannot explain why your Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB did not work.

  • ripe_md


    The only difference seems to be the version of OS X. I’m using 10.5.5 and you are using 10.4.11.

  • davilla

    Must be some sort of 10.5.5 thing that only effect some OSX boxes. I have access to another MacBook and MacPro running 10.5.5 as well as a MacMini that do not wave the crash on launch symptom.

    If you could email me (this username, I can give you a private ftp server location and login. You can also try the b4 test version which is Universal and handles the create using a different method.

    I’d like to get a dd image of one of your flash drives that will not boot.

  • Rmy

    It works fine with the usb stick from HEMA 4gb. Im just downloading XBMC update.

    No problem so everyone can use it.

  • davilla

    atvusb-creator-1.0b7 released for intel/ppc OSX.

  • Paul Harvey

    Hey I patched my AppleTV with this program and logged in through SSH. How do I copy files such as other plugins to the AppleTV Hard Drive through SSH. Do you have to enable AFP, and if so how do i enable AFP. Thanks Paul

    PS I am a newb at all this stuff 🙂

  • davilla

    scp is used to copy files. google “appletv scp” for more info.

  • James

    I have tried this with the 2 USB flash drives I have laying around. 1 a 512 mb ipod shuffle and the other a 1 gb sandisk.

    I downloaded the patchstick program to my ibook G4(I own it but never really learned how to use a mac)

    Now when I insert either flash drive and start the ATVusb-creator it starts and then quickly gives me this error

    ‘unable to partition device: there do not apear to be enough arguments for the patition_disk failed’

    What am I doing wrong?

    on a side note what is the difference between ATV-Patchstick and ATV-Bootloader?

  • davilla

    ‘unable to partition device: there do not apear to be enough arguments for the patition_disk failed’

    that is a sure sign that your not running a recent 10.4. diskutil does not know about GPT format in early 10.4.x OSX.

  • James

    Thanks. I think I will wait for the PC version before I attempt to update my Mac diskutility.

  • davilla
  • Dooge

    Just a quick question because I appear to be confused: Does this work if you have leopard installed? I’ve read some places that it doesn’t and some places that it does. I’ve just ordered my Apple TV so I’m unable to test this out for myself.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Great.. It works too.

  • thanks a lot but more info please!

  • Ozmozztour02

    i uploaded the patch from my mac for boxee, all worked fine but now i dont have any volume and cannot see the display menu screen. please can someone help me to fix this problem or even no how to restore it to factory settings…

  • dil okullari

    that's ok now downloading thank you…

  • ingiltere dil okulları

    very nice web site. My English is not so good, so I do not understandt it well, but it seems very good. Thanks

  • Great deals for usb flash drives.I'm very interested in it. It would be better if there are more detail steps for installing it.

  • USB Flash Drive

    Great information for usb flash drive
    ! I will download atvusb-creator and try to use it.

  • I have downloaded the atvusb creator and installed it, personally, It’s woth for us to use!

  • Best USB Flash Drive

    A simple artice but including very useful informations, I like it! it’s a good software for the best usb flash drive.I’ll download the atvusb creator and install it.

  • Great article! It would be better if there are more details about installation information.

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