Pre-rooted Kindle Fire 6.2.1 software now available

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

This week Amazon pushed out a software update for the Kindle Fire. That’s good news if you were hoping for speedier performance, the ability to remove recently used items from the carousel on the home screen, and the ability to keep your kids from connecting to WiFi without a password.
But if you’ve rooted the tablet, installed the Android Market, replaced the default keyboard app, or made other changes to the software that comes with the tablet (but haven’t installed CyanogenMod 7 or another operating system), then the 6.2.1 software update is bad news. It removes root, removes the Android Market, and makes it tougher to re-root the Kindle Fire.
Fortunately there’s help for those that want the best of both worlds.
stock Kindle Fire 6.2.1 software. You can flash it easily, and relatively safely using the TWRP 2.0 recovery tool.
You get all the new features in the new software such as the ability to customize your home screen. But eldarerathis has removed the bootloader and recovery updates so that you can continued to use the FireFireFire bootloader and TWRP recovery. He’s also pre-rooted the operating system and loaded Superuser, su, and busybox so that you can install the Android Market and make other changes.
While this software is based on the official Kindle Fire 6.2.1 software update, you may lose some data when you install it since it will overwrite your system partition. But you should be able to quickly re-download most of your apps from Amazon. Anything you’ve sideloaded or installed from the Android Market  you’ll probably have to re-install manually.
I’ve found the easiest way to install the Android Market is to first install the using TWRP, and then download and install the latest gApps zip filefrom the CyanogenMod Wiki, copy it to your device, and install it using TWRP. You might want to poke around in the zip file and remove the SetupWizard.apk file from the system\app directory before you flash it. I found that I couldn’t get past the setup wizard the first time I booted the tablet after flashing the gApps update.
To install the pre-rooted Kindle Fire 6.2.1 software you can use the Kindle Fire Utility to install TWRP 2.0 on your tablet, download the and copy it to your tablet, then follow the same steps you’d use to install CyanogenMod or any other operating system.
It’s probably a good idea to use TWRP to backup your system before you start. Once you’ve done that, you can install the new update, try out the Kindle Fire 6.2.1 software, and still revert to your backup if necessary.

Note that this has the stock boot image, meaning it is a secure image. This does not mean you are not rooted, it just means you have to execute 'su' from a shell to elevate to root. Not a big deal. Also, you can boot an insecure image with an older kernel and it should work fine. I tested with paulobrien's boot image and didn't see any issues. Additionally, if you have the Market installed you may need to re-install it after updating since Amazon didn't do this as a patch - it just formats /system and replaces it.

On a related note, if anyone who has successfully made an insecure boot image would want to ping me in PM or something, I'd be appreciative. I wanted to put an insecure image in the zip but my usual unpack/repack scripts seem to leave me with an image that won't boot and I'm not sure why

Edit: Thanks sadlius for pointing me to dsixda's kitchen! I've added a version with an unsecure boot image (so you get root by default on a shell). I'll leave the old one in case anyone would prefer the secure boot image. I've also uploaded the boot image itself for anyone who might have already flashed the secure 6.2.1 zip. I tried it with fastboot and it booted up fine, so you can test it first with:

fastboot boot 6_2_1rootboot.img
If it works, you can flash it (permanently overwrites your current boot partition) with:

fastboot flash boot 6_2_1rootboot.img


Multiupload, courtesy sadlius:
Multiupload, courtesy intel352:
6_2_1rootboot.img (Unsecure boot image)
Original Downloads (best not to use these unless you really need 'em since Dropbox has started throttling me...): Stock rooted update 6.2.1, secure boot image (md5: 525b3e8db98bbe1aef7c3f3fb216e505) Stock rooted update 6.2.1, unsecure boot image (md5: 0b3e50b6ccbf1517bd5139899cfc04de)
6_2_1rootboot.img: Unsecure 6.2.1 boot image (md5: 9fca431eeab54fc1a0645cdbb263041f)


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