How To: Jailbreak Apple TV 2 With Seas0nPass

Apple’s latest version of iOS recently updated for Apple TV with build 8F305. This build, which is also known as 4.2.2 (AKA iOS 4.3) on your Apple TV’s About menu, was released two weeks ago and fixes a number of issues including audio not playing when video content is playing (here’s a full list of changes). Today we are going to be walking through how to jailbreak the latest Apple TV software.

This guide is a bit dated. It’s still relevant, but if you’re looking to jailbreak iOS 5 on your Apple TV, check out our more recent article.

Warning: Just like every other iDevice jailbreak, your Apple TV preferences will be reset.

Requirements

  • 2nd-generation Apple TV
  • 2nd-generation Apple TV remote
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Latest version of iTunes
  • Seas0nPass: Windows | Mac

One

Extract the Seas0nPass .zip file. Windows: Double-click file > Extract All. Mac: Double-click file.

Two

Power off your Apple TV by unplugging the power cable. Grab your micro-USB cable (not mini-USB, comparison here). Plug the USB cable into both your Apple TV and computer. Do not plug in the power cable.

Now run the Seas0nPass.exe by double clicking on it. The first thing you’ll see is two options: Create IPSW or Boot Tethered. If your Apple TV is already jailbroken, you can choose the Boot Tethered option. In our case, we’ll be selecting Create IPSW.

Three

Unlike previous jailbreak software (i.e. GreenPois0n), Seas0nPass has a great feature that automatically downloads the latest IPSW for you. No longer do you have to scurry the web in search of the right IPSW for your device. Seas0nPass will use this IPSW to create a custom restore firmware to upload to your Apple TV.

Four

Seas0nPass will go through a series of steps such as Installing Software and Compressing IPSW. The process should take about 2 minutes.

Five

Finally you will be faced with the screen below. As it says, you must put your Apple TV into DFU mode by holding the Menu and Play buttons on your remote for 7 seconds. It’s important that you point your remote at your Apple TV while doing this otherwise your device will not receive the remote’s signal. We found that you must release the two buttons after 7 seconds for your device to go into DFU mode – it will not go into DFU while you’re holding down the two buttons.

Six

Once your Apple TV is in DFU mode, Seas0nPass will display the screen below.

Seven

Now we’re done with Seas0nPass. Click OK and close out of it. The rest of the process will be handled by iTunes.

Eight

If it’s not already open, open iTunes. Navigate to “Apple TV” under Devices in the left column. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and left click the Restore button in iTunes. A window will pop up asking for a .ipsw file. Browse to your documents and double click the folder called “Seas0nPass”. Select the newly created .ipsw file. iTunes will pop up telling you it will erase and restore your Apple TV. Just click Restore.

Nine

iTunes will now be restoring your Apple TV with the Seas0nPass IPSW. Be patient and within 10 minutes your Apple TV will be jailbroken. Hook up your Apple TV to your TV. You’ll notice that all your preferences have been reset and you’ll have to re-enter them. Once you’re in the Apple TV main menu, you’ll notice a new menu called Seas0nPass. If you don’t see that menu, then you’re Apple TV is not jailbroken.

Ten

Now that your Apple TV is jailbroken, we’re going to install third-party software such as XBMC and VNC. First, we have to find out what IP address your Apple TV was assigned by your router. From the Apple TV homescreen navigate to the right to the Settings menu. Select General and then Network. Next to IP Address is your Apple TV’s (you guessed it) IP address.

Eleven

You won’t be able to SSH into your Apple TV from your TV, so jump back on your computer and download an SSH client. We suggest using Putty for Windows and the terminal application on Mac OS X. We’ll be using Putty in this example. Type in your Apple TV’s IP address in the Host Name (or IP address) field. Click Open and you will be prompted to log in as a username. Type “root” as the username and type “alpine” for the password.

Twelve

It’s always in good practice to change the default passwords for root and mobile users. After you’ve logged in as root, type the following commands:

passwd

Type your new password for the root username twice.

passwd mobile

Type your new password for the mobile username twice.

Thirteen

Now type the following commands right after each other. Be sure to type the commands as we had issues with copying and pasting them into Putty. Press Enter after each line:

echo "deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org ./" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
apt-get update
apt-get install com.nito.nitoTV
killall Lowtide
reboot

After you run the third command, you will notice it will ask if you want to continue. Of course you do, so just type “y” and hit Enter. Finally, the last command will obviously reboot your Apple TV.

Fourteen

When your Apple TV restarts you will see that you installed nitoTV, which acts like Cydia on a jailbroken iPhone; nitoTV is a package management system that allows users to download packages via a user interface. From the homescreen, scroll over to nitoTV and open it. You’ll see a list of packages that you can install. I suggest installing XBMC Media Center. If you’re not familiar with XBMC, I think you should acquaint yourself now.

That’s all folks! This jailbreak is much easier than the previous GreenPois0n jailbreak for Apple TV. What do you think? Will you be using Seas0nPass again in the future? Let us know in the comments.

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.
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  • http://twitter.com/Chrome262 Chrome262

     Great post!!! you are right use to be a pain to JB these, not easy but better that for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/Chrome262 Chrome262

     still waiting for Apple HDTV so i don’t have to get this

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  • Maconbraves

    Awesome post..no problem exists between keyboard and user.  Thanks Patrick!!

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

      Glad to hear it. Enjoy your jailbreak!

      • Osamanani

        There’s a command that I cant write on the SSH which is this one > I can copy paste it only.. Its there on my laptop but when I click it it shows this `
        I hope you understood me and I hope you reply, thanks!

  • Juslartin

    thanks mate! easiest jailbreak ever

  • M1200

    Thanks mate. very clear and detailed instructions.

  • Guest

    After Step Three, Seas0nPass is stuck at “Unzipping IPSW”. May I get some help? Did anyone experience the same problem?

  • http://twitter.com/ChiJake8907 Jake Johnson

    How do you like the apple tv?

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

      I really think the A4 processor is the limitation of the device. After jailbreaking and installing XMBC, I’ve noticed it barely supports 720p videos. And playing 1080p videos is just out of the question. Overall, I’d say it’s a really good device if you enjoy paying for content. Hah.

      • Chris

        I have a large collection of 1080p mkv files my ATV2 plays without problem via XBMC. I have found a few AVI files that it stutters with though, so as long as your files have the right codec, it works great.

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  • Ppug

    Hey great instructions… but step 13 isn’t working…  I keep getting the error of Type ‘.deb’ is not known on line 1 in source list
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list

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

      Try using: echo “deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org/ stable main” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list

  • Fuzzytulp

    Hi, my apple tv 2 doesn’t go into DFU mode! What can i do?

  • Fuzzytulp

    actually, itunes sees it going into DFU mode but seasonpas doesn’t.
    What am I doing wrong?

  • Fuzzytulp

    I don’t know what i did wrong the first six times, but the seventh time it worked ;-P
    Thanx man!!!

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

      Hah! You made me laugh, Fuzzytulp. Glad you were able to fix your issue!

  • Kenilik

    Hi I get up to the point where I’m trying to restore the newly created .ipsw file to the ATV but iTunes keeps throwing “The Apple TV could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (21)” Help!!!

  • Chris

    Great instructions, thanks Patrick! The reason the copy and paste doesn’t work in section 13 is your post has curly quote marks (ie the ones that face into what they surround).  If you change them to the regular quote marks it works.

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

      I don’t think I would’ve ever spotted that one! I updated the post now with those changes. Thanks, Chris!

  • bcboyle12

    I’m having a problem with step 8.  I tried to hold the shift key down while clicking “Restore” and it didn’t give me the option to use the .ipsw file I downloaded, it just went through the traditional Apple restore.  Has this happened to anyone else?

  • Trapcomoj

    Hi, ive got an error from itunes… 1600 or so.. The device can not be restored..

  • spark

    after restore from itunes step, I unplugged my unit from my mac and conenct it to my TV but there is no seasonpass or anything, just the same mane and everything. Did I do something wrong? Tried it at least 5 times now.

  • Jack

    Did anyone find out how to get around the  error #21 during the apple restore (step eight)?

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  • Dumpop

    Hi,
    everything works great till restoring in iTunes. After clicking restore on the icon created in Documents (the one with SP) my itunes say :”ITunes is preparing to restore the software on this AppleTV” and nothing happens…I have the last versin of Itunes for windows 10.5.1 for64bits. I have ATV with 4.3.3 software version. I downloaded the corect firmware versin.
    Please help.

  • Ambercat

    Sounds easy but i get to the restore point I have to have the power plugged in !
    Then at the end I get a 1600 fault I’m at 4.3 2557
    Help I don’t like paying for films

  • Quinto1982

    why is my season pass is on right bottom on screen?

  • Bruce

    Hi Patrick,
     I’m new to all this, so please bear w/ me.  After following these instructions and installing Season Pass, what else do I need to do so I may access free movies?

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

      Who said anything about free movies?

  • Mollochay

    a made step to step and i just cant do the jail break, in the main menu, right down it appear the seassonpass logo, but aint appear on the main manu, i did it 4 times and i cant!

  • Joek

    Thank you so much. Well explained and easy to follow. Much Appreciated

  • Md16v

    Just seeing if anyone can help me please. Got atv 2 on 4.2.2 jailbroken all working fine but can’t up date it in any way. I’m not new to this so is bugging me went through jb till verified keeps giving error coads was gs.apple.com sorted that then was 1600 1604. Tryed apple update through iTunes same pluged back into tv went to menu update says its up to date. Went to bottom and reset and up date same thing.

  • Hoyas

    not able to log in to putty

  • Pattykate7

    I have jailbroke my apple tv 2. i have the SeasOnPass logo in the bottom right hand screen. I am able to type in the first command in putty but after I type in the second command, it gets to 99% and then tells me that I am unable to connect to the host. Help please

  • Brian420smith

    i jb my apple tv and when i trune it on i dont have movies in the front 

  • Joef07

    apple tv will not let me ssh into it on a mac keeps bouncing back su sorry when “alpine” is entered into the password??

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SYS4CD272Y5VWWVX4BXLRSTQCQ R

    awesome! but now that it’s jailbroken (4.4.4) and I have downloaded XBMC, there’s no movies available? How do I get free movies?

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

      Who said anything about free movies?

  • Soul66sick

    Hi Patrick! I did 10 of the 13 steps. In the 11 step I put my IP adress and I get this message: Unable to open connection to #_ _ _ _ _ Host does not exist. When I connect the Apple TV I have the FC logo in the bottom right corner of the screen but (of course) I don’t have the nito TV, xbmc, etc. in the menu. If you can help me I will appreciate your advice. Thanks!

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

      It sounds like you succesfully jailbroke your Apple TV. The reason you don’t have any of the apps like NitoTV or XBMC is because you didn’t complete step 13 in this guide.

      If you have a router and know how to access its web UI, log in and look for the Apple TV’s IP address in a DHCP list. Use that IP address to access the Apple TV with PuTTY.

  • Pottsy1664

    Brilliant guide the best one I have seen yet

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

       Thanks! I appreciate that!

  • GARYMADAN

    i tried so many times the same procedure, help me out. its not working for me. when i connect to hdmi cable in the end, its telling me to connect to itunes 

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  • Neenah

    How long should step 9 take?

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

      10 minutes. If it’s taking longer than that, start over.