How To: Jailbreak Apple TV 2G With GreenPois0n RC6

Were you getting sick of your tethered jailbreak for your Apple TV 2G? Tired of SSHing into your ATV to install NitoTV? Why was Seas0nPass only for Mac? What about us Windows users?! Well… not anymore. All that has been changed in one fell swoop yesterday by the triumphant Chronic Dev Team releasing GreenPois0n RC6.

If you have an Apple TV 2G and you’ve found yourself not using it as much as you’d hoped, then I highly suggest unlocking many, many, many (did I say many?) more features by jailbreaking. Think about it: playing high definition .mkv files, downloading torrent files, using VNC to remotely control your ATV. The list goes on and on. Are you interested yet? Let’s get started.

Requirements

  1. Apple TV (duh)
  2. Apple TV remote and power cord
  3. USB to micro-USB cable
  4. GreenPois0n
  5. A computer running Mac or Windows

One

Make sure your Apple TV is running iOS 4.2.1. Go to Settings > General > Update Software to make sure you have the latest iOS. Don’t worry if your software version under the About menu is 4.1.1 (that is iOS 4.2.1 for ATV).

Two

Power off your Apple TV by unplugging the power cord. Keep it powered off until you read below to turn it back on. Grab your micro-USB cable (not mini-USB. Comparison here). For some reason Apple didn’t include a micro-USB cable with the Apple TV so you’ll have to buy your own. I suggest heading over to MonoPrice.com for an $0.85 micro USB cable (no, they didn’t pay me for that).

Three

Download yourself a copy of GreenPois0n RC6 (Download here: Mac Windows).

Four

Extract the .zip file. You should see two files called greenpois0n.exe and README. Right click greenpois0n.exe and click Run as adminstrator.

Right away you’ll see the above screen asking if you’re jailbreaking an Apple TV and a friendly reminder to not unplug the USB cable during the jailbreak process. Of course we are jailbreaking an ATV so click Yes and grab your ATV remote.

Click the Prepare to Jailbreak (DFU) button. Follow the directions on the screen:

Plug the micro USB cable into both your computer and ATV.
Plug in the power cord.
Press and hold the Menu and Play/Pause buttons on your ATV remote.
Then release the two buttons.

It might take you a few times to get it perfect. I noticed you have to follow the countdown times exactly to get it right. Once you successfully put the ATV into DFU mode you’ll notice the Waiting for DFU… will switch to a Jailbreak! button.

Now just wait for GP to work it’s magic. The jailbreak process takes about 40 seconds so try to be a little patient, okay? When it’s all done the button will say Jailbreak Complete! and a Quit button will appear. Go ahead and click Quit.

Five

Your Apple TV should now be jailbroken with GreenPois0n RC6. Congrats! Now plug that sucker into your HDTV to finish up the task. You’ll notice a new menu called greenpois0n. Underneath you’ll want to click Inject Software to install the Cydia payload.

After the Cydia payload is installed, hit the Menu button on your remote to reboot your ATV. When it comes back up you’ll notice another menu called nitoTV. For simplicity’s sake, you can think of nitoTV as Cydia for your iPhone or iPad. It allows you to install third party software onto the Apple TV such as XBMC. If you’re not familiar with XBMC it’s a media player that allows you to play video files, music, and view pictures. So if you’ve been looking to play some high definition .mkv files on your ATV, you might want to install XBMC. I’m still waiting on Boxee to arrive for the ATV 2g.

Six

Enjoy your jailbreak! There are a lot of neat things you can do with your ATV now that’s jailbroken. I’ve been quickly browsing through nitoTV and XMBC and I’m seeing a lot of nice tweaks and apps that will make my ATV a lot more usable.

Found any tweaks/apps for Apple TV you want to share? Did your jailbreak process go as smooth as you’d hoped? Let us know in the comments.

Update: I ran into some issues with XBMC displaying the right time. If you set the region to USA it just displays mountain time which is two hours behind for me. I put an easy fix on my website.

Patrick is the founder and editor-in-chief of pinglio. He works as a system administrator and studied at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He currently lives in Chicago with his girlfriend and two dogs.
  • http://twitter.com/Chrome262 Chrome262

    I was thinking about getting ATV but i hear it has issues with hdmi to dvi, which is what my tv is, or composit

    • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

      Or just save the $100 and put it towards a new TV with HDMI ;)

  • Kathy

    Okay guys, what am I missing with Step 2? I cannot figure out (what a bozo) what end goes in what port on what device? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a mil.

    • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

      @Kathy, you’ll need to plug your micro USB cable (this side: http://bit.ly/fJ4xiu) into your Apple TV (this port: http://bit.ly/gAozC7). The other end of the micro USB cable will plug into your computer. Hope it helps.

      • Kathy

        Patrick, wow, you responded. Thanks. I have taken pictures of the cable connections following directions (the connections needs to be USB > micro USB) but what I have doesn’t look like what you have shown me (which looks like USB to USB cable). My email is hlcsanta@aol.com, sorry I don’t know how to embed a link to this reply.

        • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

          Of course I responded. I’m here to help :)

          You can upload your pictures to an image host and post the links here. I suggest trying imgur.com. They make it really easy to upload and link images. Try that, or email me at pat[at]pinglio.com.

        • Kathy

          I was just reading ahead while I’m waiting for help with my connection question and I see this mention…

          Now plug that sucker into your HDTV to finish up the task. You

          • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

            You’ll need an HDMI cable (http://bit.ly/eJrAAY ) that will plug into your Apple TV and HDTV.

            It will plug into the port called HDMI on your Apple TV: http://bit.ly/hMa2g0

  • Eddie

    I have done the whole process 5-6 times… my computer is in one room and once the JB process is over and i hit quit, I wait a few minutes.. then I unplug everything and take the atv to my living room and plug it to my tv, it starts up normally and looks the same.. no greenpoison.. any suggestions?

    • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

      What firmware are you running? Go to Settings > General > Update Software and make sure it’s 4.1.1 in the About menu.

      • Eddie

        no it is 4.2.1

        • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

          You have the latest software version and cannot jailbreak it with Greenposi0n. Fortunately, you can jailbreak it still. You’ll have to jailbreak with the iPhone Dev Team’s PwnageTool. Hopefully you have a Mac as PwnageTool is only available for OS X.

          You can find it here: http://blog.iphone-dev.org/post/4332841631/three-years-of-pwnage-tool

          • Eddie

            is that as simple or as stupid proof as greenpoison is? can you add all the same apps such as xbmc or plex.. pretty much i just want to be able to stream video and everything from my mac to my tv

          • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

            I haven’t updated my ATV yet, so I’m not sure how easy the process is. From the looks of it, I don’t think it’s that difficult. And yes, you will still have XBMC and Plex. By the way, have you ever used Plex? I forgot to install it and was wondering how it is.

            Here’s more info: http://appletvblogr.com/2011/02/pwnagetool-4-2-now-available-for-apple-tv-2g-untethered-jailbreak-for-ios-4-2/

          • Eddie

            no i have not used it yet, but i have read great things about it!! lets see how this one goes… and i will let you know how it goes..

          • Curtis Gambill

            Hello Patrick,
            I was wondering if you had performed the pwnagetool mod/hack on an apple tv 2 running ios v 4.2.1?  I get through the entire process however when attempting to restore the custom firmware onto the device I am receiving error “The Apple TV “Apple TV” could not be restored.  This device isn’t eligible for the requested build.

            I then found an article suggesting to run TinyUmbrella using the TSS Server which i did during the restore process however it returned the following error “The Apple TV “Apple TV” could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (1600).

            Do you have any suggestions?

            Thanks
            Curt

          • http://www.pinglio.com Patrick Bisch

            Hey Curtis. Thanks for stopping by. I haven’t used PwnageTool to jailbreak my Apple TV 2. Have you checked out my latest post on jailbreaking an Apple TV 2? http://pinglio.com/2011/05/how-to-jailbreak-apple-tv-2-with-seas0npass/

  • Patrickcoleman

    can you jailbrake AppleTV 1 with the same USB to micro-USB cable?

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