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[DEV] Rooting Blackberry Playbook

43 posts
Thanks Meter: 14
By skoperst, Member on 13th May 2011, 03:08 PM
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I've been diggin into the Playbook for a few days now, trying to figure out who against who here. the goal of course is gaining root.

The things we know so far, is that the device is dual-core 1Ghz cortex-A9, armv7 architecture using OMAP4 platform. On top of it runs a QNX linux that uses Adobe air sdk for application.

Its possible to set the device into Development Mode in the security settings, and use the 'blackberry-connect' utility that comes with the Blackberry TabletOS SDK .
First thing you need to be connected with the pc and playbook on the same wifi.
You will need a private key, and a public key created with the ssh-gen utility or you can use the keys I attach in

Use the utility to connect the device on port 4455:
blackberrysdk\blackberry-connect -targetHost <ip> -devicePassword <pass> -sshPublicKey <>
Then the device will start the ssh server on the ssh port.
In order to connect it, I used 2 utilities: Peagent, and Putty.

By starting Peagent, load the private key (or .pkk in the zip). and use putty to connect the device.
The username is : devuser

There is also a way to execute native code on the device as first discovered by @b3ll.

The idea is to compile the code in the QNX ide for armv7, making them runnable by : chmod +x nativeapp
and zipping them.
Then connect the device using the Blackberry desktop, copy the zip to "Downloads" directory and use the ssh to unzip the files and run them(in /tmp directory).
The Download directory will be located somewhere under the /accounts directory. I added the native app that @b3ll originally published.

Also, the device has 3 connections in the bottom, the most right is the magnetic charger- which cannot transfer data.
The middle one is micro-USB, and the left one is mini-hdmi.
Leaving the micro-USB the only connection that can transfer data.

Key combinations

POWER - turning on the device

Turning on using POWER + Volume-UP - gives unknown special mode for few seconds.

Thats all i figured out so far
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Last edited by skoperst; 14th May 2011 at 11:58 AM.
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29th May 2011, 12:47 AM |#2  
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Clean work, man!

One thing though: bb-connect must be running all the time while you want to have the SSH open.

(working on Qt now)
6th June 2011, 12:21 AM |#3  
Thanks Meter: 3
and I have some news re Qt:

All the best
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6th June 2011, 12:49 PM |#4  
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Will look into it now, I also found a twit from @cmwdotme that posted this.
The updates download process is not secured, getting it in though its all different story
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25th June 2011, 07:47 AM |#5  
-]Megacharge[-'s Avatar
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Interesting stuff guys, keep up the good work, looking forward to your progress.
22nd July 2011, 08:45 PM |#6  
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Android is running on playbook.... finally
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3rd October 2011, 10:37 PM |#7  
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So is anyone working on Blackberry Playbook hacking ..etc?
23rd November 2011, 05:08 PM |#8  
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with the recent drop in price to $199 for the 16gb model... any action going on in this regard? I'd be all over this if there was even a glimmer of hope. Devs! Where you at?!
24th November 2011, 02:36 PM |#9  
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watch @cmwdotme
prob best bet right now.
27th November 2011, 10:39 PM |#10  
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looks like he's doing a great job, props
28th November 2011, 07:50 AM |#11  
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Nice, I'd love to see some mods for the Playbook. Especially with the sales on now, it's going to be in a lot of people's hands!

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