September 18, 2012

The big talk around Android regarding the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is that the bootloader can’t be unlocked. For regular people who don’t intend on doing some serious hacking on their Kindle Fire HD, this doesn’t mean all that much. If you like to run at the bleeding edge of Android development, though, an unlocked bootloader is much more important. The first steps to get a bootloader unlocked have been taken, as the Kindle Fire HD already has root.

That’s not bad for a tablet that is still in the pre-order stage of its life cycle. Even if it were already released, you cannot do much with root access just yet. It is also worth noting that there is no custom recovery like ClockworkMod or TWRP available yet. So, essentially, there won’t be any ROM flashing going on after this method, you’ll simply have root access.

How do I root the Amazon Kindle Fire HD?

To start, you will need the Android SDK installed on your machine as well as some knowledge about simple command line actions like changing directories. From there, you’ll need the root files, which you can pick up from the root thread over at RootzWiki. After that it’s a matter of entering in some commands in your Terminal or Command Prompt –depending on if you have Windows or Linux– and installing root.

You can read the steps in the RootzWiki thread linked above, but if you’d like a sneak peak at what you’re up against, here it is. We should mention that any harm that would befall your device is your responsibility and yours alone:

adb shell
rm -r /data/local/tmp
ln -s /data/ /data/local/tmp

adb reboot

adb shell
echo 'ro.kernel.qemu=1' > /data/local.prop

adb reboot

adb shell mount -o remount,rw /system
adb push su /system/xbin/su
adb shell
chown 0.0 /system/xbin/su
chmod 06755 /system/xbin/su
rm /data/local.prop

adb reboot

adb install Superuser.apk

Despite the long list of commands, this root method actually isn’t overly difficult. In English, you’ll be deleting a few files, linking a few files, adding the ro.kernel.quemu=1 variable into the local.prop, mounting the system, pushing the SU files onto the Kindle Fire HD, then installing the Superuser application.

If you are not a fan of ADB or are too overwhelmed, never fear. Now that there is a method, it is only a matter of time before someone creates an automated process. Once the device is released, developers can also get started on custom recoveries for flashing ROMs and unlocking that pesky bootloader. Does having root make the Kindle Fire HD a more attractive sale? Let us know in the comments!

Joe Hindy
Hi everyone! I'm Joe Hindy the Android Authority app guy!
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