Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook rooted, Android Market is a free for all

After a brief lead-up period, the Dingleberry jailbreak for the BlackBerry PlayBook is now publicly available, though still in a very early beta. The exploit used to gain root access is actually pretty simple. PlayBook backup files used in the BlackBerry Desktop Software apparently aren’t signed, which means those files can be used to launch just about whatever you want on the device. So what can you do with it? Well, not too much yet, and the three guys behind Dingleberry are hoping that the developer community at large will run with this and do all sorts of neat stuff, but for now one of the devs have posted instructions on how to get the Android Market up and running on the PlayBook.
How to get the Android Market working on the BlackBerry PlayBook:
1. Install the 2.0 beta on your PlayBook.
2. Root your PlayBook using the Dingleberry tool found at dingleberry.it
3. Download the Google apps package from http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?title=Latest_Version/Google_Apps
4. Install and launch an Android app packaged as a .bar file in order to set up the Android system. I would recommend installing a launcher app of some kind since you will need one to launch the Market and related apps. A bunch can be found at http://playbookbars.com/
5. Log into your PlayBook as root with an scp client (eg: WinSCP for Windows). Copy the system folder in the Google apps download to the root of your PlayBook and merge it with the system folder there.
6. Open up a root ssh shell and remove “/system/app/SetupWizard.apk” (this can by done by typing in “mv /system/app/SetupWizard.apk /system/app/SetupWizard.apk.bak”.
7. Kill the running Android player “cd /apps/sys.android.XXXX.ns/native/scripts” (XXXX will be different for each device) and run “./android-player-cmd.sh kill-android-core.sh”
8. Launch a launcher app of some kind. Start up Android Market (or any other Google app), enter your account details and it will start working. This trick will also install Google Chat and a few other goodies. The Android Market works and will install things after you do this.
9. Play around with the Android player and find other cool things!
The dream here is to be able to dual-boot into BBX and Android operating systems, and though that might take a lot of work, this is a good start. Android apps have been sideloaded into the PlayBook for a few months now in a variety of ways, but until RIM officially launches PlayBook OS 2.0 in February, this will be the most painless way to go about it. It does sort of suck that you’ll have to kill the native Android app player in order to get this hack to work, but seeing as it’s still in beta anyway, that’s fine by me.
Now, RIM has a huge concern for security, and they’ve already issued a statement that they’ll be looking to patch up holes like this. It strikes me that it would be easy enough to do something like require signed keys for backup files, but I’m no programmer – maybe there’s something significant that would prevent RIM from being able to pull this off right away.
PlayBook owners can head on over to Dingleberry to get started. I’ll get started on this now and let you guys know if I can get the Android Market up and running.

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