Turn Amazon’s First TV Stick Into an Unofficial Android TV Device with LineageOS 18.1


Amazon’s Fire TV devices run a custom version of Google’s Android software called Fire OS that includes Amazon’s app store, Amazon Prime Video, and other Amazon apps and services instead of Google’s.

But hackers have found a way to replace Fire OS on Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite 2020 with an unofficial version of Android TV…thus turning an Amazon media streamer into a Google streamer.

Before you get too excited, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first, and most important, is that to unlock the bootloader and switch operating systems, you’ll need a Fire TV Stick running an older version of Fire OS. If your device has already received an over-the-air update to Fire OS, you’re out of luck as it fixes the vulnerability that allows you to unlock your device.

If your device is running an older version of Fire OS and you want to install Android 11, you can turn off the internet connection until you’re ready to upgrade. Of course, this will make the Fire TV Stick much less useful in the short term.

The next thing to keep in mind is that the method used to unlock the bootloader and install a custom ROM is only compatible with the 3rd Gen Fire TV Stick and the 1st Gen Fire TV Stick Lite, both released in 2020. Although these 1080p media streamers are a few years old at this point, they are still current-gen devices that are still available from Amazon. I wouldn’t necessarily buy a new one hoping to turn it into an Android TV device, because chances are a brand new model will run the latest firmware and therefore not be compatible with the latest unlocking methods bootloader and custom firmware installation.

Anyway, if you do have a compatible Fire TV Stick running a compatible version of Fire OS, you can find instructions and download links on the xda-developers forum:

The first link will require a bit of Linux know-how, as you will need to run some command-line utilities using a Linux distribution. The second link provides an unofficial version of the open-source Android-based LineageOS operating system that can run on Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 2020 devices. You can use the TWRP recovery installed in step one to flash LineageOS to your device, replacing Amazon’s OS with a new Android-based one.

Keep in mind that if you want to access Google apps and services, including the Google Play Store, you’ll need to install it separately, but you should be able to. Another thing to keep in mind is that this version of LineageOS leaves SELinux in permissive mode, which can be a bit of a security risk, so proceed with caution.

via xda-developers

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