Hey everybody! Recently I had the opportunity of poking around a friend’s Kindle Touch to see if I could disable the ads on the “Special Offers” version. And I’m glad to say it was a success, and it’s not that hard if you know your way around a Unix shell. EDIT: This no longer works for the newer Kindle Touch updates! Therefore, I am not allowing comments as I was being bombarded with the same question. First, copy your screensaver (in PNG format with a size of 600x800px) to your Kindle as “screensaver.png”. Now what we need to do is to jailbreak your KT. Yifan Lu was gracious enough to provide us with a jailbreak a couple of days ago. I won’t dive too far into it, but he provides a MP3 whose description in the metadata is a simple shell script. Yes, when the Kindle plays an MP3, it executes any shell script in the metadata. Not only does it execute the script, it does it at root. Huge security risk? Most likely.
un password PASSWORDwhere PASSWORD is what you want your password to be. NOTE: Please make this a secure password. I know the Kindle runs everything as root through metadata, but it’s still a good idea to give it a secure password.
un. The SSH server is now started and we can get to disabling those pesky ads.
rootand whatever password you set up before.
mntroot rwso we can get some write access. Then type the following lines:
rm -f -R /mnt/us/system/.assets/* chmod -W /mnt/us/system/assets/ mkdir /mnt/base-us/ad_backup cp -f /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/* /mnt/base-us/backup/ rm -f /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/screen*.png cp -f /mnt/base-us/screensaver.png /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/screensaver-unregistered.png cp -f /mnt/base-us/screensaver.png /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/screensvr.png rm -f /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/banner*.gif
And that’s it! Your ad-supported Kindle is now free of corporate interference! Now go and support Amazon a little for making such an awesome device by buying some books. No, but really, this is purely for demonstration of how Amazon failed to prevent something so simple.
EDIT 12/21/2011 So I fixed the MP3 installer. Well, I completely rewrote it. It turns out that I was really being an idiot and packaged it up completely wrong, for which I apologize. Here is a link to the new version, which also has a built-in uninstaller. Also, this time to replace the screensaver, you only have to drop in one file (I dropped in a sample for you to use). If you have problems, hit me up in the comments.