As you may recall, a couple of days ago we reported on an upcoming jailbreak for the Apple TV 4 and tvOS 10, from macOS and iOS internals researcher Jonathan Levin. At that time the tool was undergoing some final beta testing, but as of today the wait is over, and the jailbreak has been made available to the public.

Dubbed LiberTV, Levin’s tool is an adaptation of Luca Todesco’s Yalu jailbreak for iOS. We’ve already discussed the provenance and internals of the jailbreak in the article linked above and in our initial rumours article, so I’ll just focus here on the main facts and new information. Further details can be found on the official FAQ page.

  • The tool supports tvOS 10-10.1 inclusive.
  • It will support tvOS 9.1 in a later update, as it requires a different bug.
  • tvOS 10.1.1 (the current firmware at the time of writing) is not supported. Please, no questions about support for that firmware.
  • It’s semi-tethered, meaning you must re-jailbreak on each reboot. However, compared to an iOS device this is less of an issue, as most people leave the Apple TV on standby when not in use and rarely unplug/restart it.
  • It does not include Cydia as this would require Saurik’s input, but theoretically could run it.
  • It could support Cydia Substrate for tweaks and themes, but again, Levin will not be working on that personally.
  • nitoTV for LiberTV is in the works, but should not currently be installed as it has been causing serious problems. A fix is on the way, so wait for news on that.
  • LiberTV can disable auto-updates for Apple TV when installed, and also features the Dropbear SSH client.
  • The jailbreak is inherently probabilistic, so it may take a few tries to succeed. This is due to the increased amount of RAM in the Apple TV 4. If it fails, keep trying; the success rate is apparently roughly 25%.
  • Whilst the developer is not accepting donations, he does suggest that satisfied users donate to a charity of their choice in order to keep the goodwill flowing.

That covers most of the main details regarding the new Apple TV 4 jailbreak. At present, the average user may not find the jailbreak to be of significant utility, until some developers have had a chance to sink their teeth into it. At the very least, most end users will be waiting for nitoTV’s collection of packages as the incentive to jailbreak. Further down the line I am hoping for Cydia Substrate to make the jump too, if not Cydia itself, to really bring the versatility of a tvOS jailbreak on par with that of iOS.

However, from a research perspective, this release is certainly meritorious and will allow a great deal to be learnt about the inner workings of the Apple TV and tvOS. That is the main objective in making the tool; no doubt the findings will make their way into Levin’s comprehensive OS Internals handbook.

If you wish to try out the LiberTV jailbreak, simply download it and sideload it with Cydia Impactor. I recommend reading the LiberTV FAQ beforehand. Also make sure to read our guide on how to jailbreak your Apple TV 4 with liberTV.

Are you off to jailbreak your Apple TV 4? What tvOS version are you on and what do you want to see from this jailbreak tool?

  • Gregory De Costa

    Anyway to downgrade to tvOS 10.1 ? Any information about that?

    • burge

      No downgrade possible.

    • TechnoBuff

      Not possible as i have learnt.
      Welcome to my world.. i miss the jailbreak boat this time on both Iphone and Apple tv..
      Stuck on my JB iphone 6s on 9.3, my atv4 was mistakenly updated to the latest firmware

  • ShawnTXDFW

    I for one would be interested in a step by step how to JB the AppleTV. Wouldn’t the only thing I red is a USB-C To lightning cable?! And would this be capable of doing on a Windows machine or just Apple only?

    • Joaquim Barbosa

      I’ll put together a guide.

    • Martin

      connect power cable to apple tv then usb-c to apple tv. open cydia impactor then drag and drop the .ipa u just downloaded into impactor and use your apple id if need to be finish. wait for install and there u go

      • Rowan09

        Cydia impactor works for you with the ATV 4? I tried and it never worked for me

      • Martin

        use Xcode then

      • Rowan09

        Explain what you mean please?

    • Joaquim Barbosa

      My guide is up, check the iDB front page!

  • Rondog

    I for one am losing a little bit of interest on jailbreaks due to the fact that they depend on certificates being revoked by apple, I miss the days when jailbreaking was independent of apple. Like the ones for ios 6, 7, and 8, then 9.3, screwed everything up with those certificates being shut down by apple. If and when we ever get those independent jailbreaks ever come back then I will jailbreak again, meanwhile I’m using my Samsung galaxy that makes tweaking so easy.

    • Joaquim Barbosa

      It’s annoying. But apparently a solution is on the way. Though it’s been a while since we’ve had any more news on it. When it comes, it might even be applicable to the ATV as well. We’ll just have to wait and see. The signing thing is less annoying on ATV because if you never unplug it, it will never reboot, so the certificate expiring will not matter. More of a problem for iOS devices…

  • cui bono?
    are there any developements for a jailbroken ATV making a semi-tethered jb worth?

    • Joaquim Barbosa

      Not at the moment. nitoTV needs updating, which may be a good start. After that, who knows?

  • Dennis C

    So..why do we still JB our AppleTV again? Please list some useful JB steaks for it. Thank you iDB Team!

    • Gabriel Schwartz

      KODI

      • Mark S

        I got an android device to do that for me years ago. Not waiting around for a jb on the very limited atv. At least on my android box I can use an external hard drive to store all my content. Can’t use the USB on the atv any more.

    • Wolff

      I want a quick way to change refresh rates. Hoping for a tweak, or a way to remap buttons 🙂

  • rotten4pple

    Sooo will it support 9.2.1 or just 9.1?

    • Joaquim Barbosa

      A good question. I assume all 9.1+, but this is just an assumption. At present it only works on 10.x, so when 9.1 support is added we can investigate whether it is all 9.x or only 9.1. I suspect the former…

  • Mark S

    It’s a shame you can’t connect an external hard drive to the apple tv over usb. Then it would be useful to me. I could store movies and TV shows on it. I don’t like streaming and would rather have offline access.

  • Gauci101

    Public betas killed Jailbreaks