SSHing to My Kindle

I know I’m so far behind the game on this one, but I found an instructable that mentioned jailbreaking one’s kindle… and one thing led to another.

SSHing to my Kindle

This is me SSHing into my Kindle 3, the model first released in 2010. So much for reading stuff on it tonight instead of messing around on my computer. Thankfully, jailbreaking it doesn’t stop me from doing that either :)

Some notes…

  • My wifi-only Kindle 3 was running v3.0.2, which required the patch from here - mirrored for posterity.
  • I had to edit the config file to turn OpenSSH and the WiFi on, listed below
  • To get key authentication working, I found a comment in a thread mentioning that the public key has to be in /mnt/base-us/usbnet/etc/authorized_keys because the root user’s home directory is just a temp directory.
  • The root password is generated automagically, I found a link to a kindle root password generator. The options are…
    • mario
    • fiona + md5(device serial).substring(7,11)
    • fiona + md5(device serial).substring(7,10)
    • fiona + md5(device serial).substring(13,3)

The use of “fiona” was not a long lost love, it was the original codename for the Kindle project. A callback to Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, something I wrote about in 2007. The Kindle wasn’t released until three months after that post. Gobsmacked.

/mnt/base-us/usbnet/etc/config - the main config file.

# $Id: config 9680 2013-08-09 20:13:06Z NiLuJe $

# WARNING: Take note that we're essentially a shell script, se we absolutely *MUST* use UNIX line endings!
# WARNING: To avoid leaving your system in an undefined state,
#          do *NOT* modify this file while usb over ethernet is enabled!
#          (That means when the the auto enable feature is in use, too!)

# Tweak these to match your setup (IPv4 only, no hostname aliases)
# NOTE: The K4 has a specific default

# Allow SSH over WiFi
# NOTE: If you set this to true, the SSHD *WILL* check your passwords!
# Make sure you know your root password, or auth via shared keys!
# Leave it to false on non-WiFi devices

# Don't switch to Ethernet over USB, and only launch SSHD
# NOTE: Make sure you're able to properly login over SSH before enabling this...
# It's obviously only useful with WiFi devices, so leave to false on non-WiFi devices

# Use OpenSSH instead of dropbear (somewhat faster login)
# NOTE: OpenSSH *WILL* check your passwords!
# Make sure you know your root password, or auth via shared keys!

# Let volumd handle the low-level stuff (module switching)
# Might help if you get stuck with the "USB Drive Mode" screen even while in usbnet mode,
# especially on some devices... (K4, I'm looking at you!)

# Don't let dropbear print the banner at each login

# Use a custom NIC field for the MAC adresses.
# Will mostly be of use to people needing to plug multiple Kindles on the same computer/network.

#jailbreaking #kindle