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Android Handhelds Open Source Operating Systems Technology

Amazon Releases Kindle Source Code 153

Posted by timothy
from the use-the-forks-luke dept.
MackieChan writes with a piece of news that slipped past earlier this month: "Barnes & Noble receives a lot of credit from the Slashdot community for standing up to Microsoft and for allowing the Nook to be so easy to root, but perhaps Amazon releasing the source code to the Kindle will help it gain back supporters it lost after remotely removing ebooks."
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Amazon Releases Kindle Source Code

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  • All of 'em (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @09:57AM (#38201446) Journal

    Not just the source to the recent Kindle Fire, but code for all of them back to the original. Nice move.

    I wonder if they held any bits back?

  • Nook easy to hack? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mystikkman (1487801) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:06AM (#38201532)

    The new Nook tablet comes with a locked bootloader, unike the Nook touch.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:06AM (#38201534) Homepage

    I downloaded the source for Kindle_src_3.3_611680021.tar.gz (randomly picked).

    The contents of their tarball is the below list of files. Which of these sub-tarballs contains the Amazon reader and interface software? Or are they just releasing the bare minimum required by the GPL and keeping their stuff proprietary? Can Kindle owners blank their devices and use the published tarball to restore all functionality?

    Put another way: is there a contribution here, or are they just doing what's necessary to avoid getting sued?

    • alsa-lib-1.0.13_patch.tar.gz
    • alsa-lib-1.0.13.tar.bz2
    • alsa-utils-1.0.13_patch.tar.gz
    • alsa-utils-1.0.13.tar.bz2
    • atk-1.26.0.tar.bz2
    • base-files_3.0.14.ipk
    • base-passwd_3.5.9.tar.gz
    • busybox-1.7.2.tar.bz2
    • cairo-1.8.6.tar.bz2
    • DirectFB-1.2.0.tar.bz2
    • dosfstools-2.11.tar.bz2
    • e2fsprogs-1.38_patch.tar.gz
    • e2fsprogs-1.38.tar.gz
    • enchant-1.4.2.tar.bz2
    • fuse-2.7.1_link.tar
    • fuse-2.7.1.tar.gz
    • gdb-6.6.tar.bz2
    • glib-2.22.2.tar.bz2
    • glibc-2.5.tar.bz2
    • gnutls-2.8.4.tar.bz2
    • gst-plugins-base-0.10.17.tar.bz2
    • gst-plugins-base-0.10.6.tar.bz2
    • gst-plugins-good-0.10.6.tar.bz2
    • gstreamer-0.10.17.tar.bz2
    • gtk+-2.16.5.tar.bz2
    • ifupdown_0.6.8.tar.gz
    • iptables-1.3.3.tar.bz2
    • libgcrypt-1.4.4.tar.bz2
    • libgpg-error-1.4.tar.bz2
    • libltdl-1.2.tar.bz2
    • libol-0.3.18.tar.gz
    • libproxy-0.2.3.tar.bz2
    • libsoup-2.30.0.tar.bz2
    • libvolume-id_092.ipk
    • linux-2.6.26-lab126.tar.bz2
    • lrzsz-0.12.20.tar.gz
    • module-init-tools-3.2.2_patch.tar.gz
    • module-init-tools-3.2.2.tar.bz2
    • mtd-utils-1.0.0.tar.gz
    • pango-1.24.5.tar.bz2
    • pango-1.6.0.tar.bz2
    • picocom-1.4.tar.gz
    • powertop-1.10.tar.gz
    • procps-3.2.7_patch.tar.gz
    • procps-3.2.7.tar.gz
    • syslog-ng-1.6.11.tar.gz
    • sysvinit-2.86.tar.gz
    • taglib-1.5.tar.bz2
    • uboot-1.3.0-rc3.tar.bz2
    • udev-112.tar.bz2
    • util-linux-2.12r.tar.bz2
    • webkit-1.1.7.tar.bz2
    • wireless_tools.29.tar.gz
  • Re:Remote removing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:12AM (#38201620)

    Those already exist for most kindles, with the only requirement being a jailbreak. The kindle is built upon a linux system, with a java framework and a bunch of shell scripts. The shell scripts are the important bits which handle downloading the ads & and there was also a mod to revoke amazon's control entirely.

    Source: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=150

  • On the bright side, there seems to be enough stuff in there to port any Linux (including Android) system into the Kindle (or, saying that in another way, all the drivers seem to be there).

    On the bad side, no the reader is not there, and you won't be able to remove their capacity of remotely excluding your books (except if you remove the reader). It is also not more than they are required by the (L)GPL, and there is nothing telling if the boot loader will accept a user supplied system, or if you'll need to root it like any other tablet.

  • Nothing to see here. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kufat (563166) <kufat@3.14kufat.net minus pi> on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:18AM (#38201694) Homepage

    It's just a minimal GPL drop. No application level source. Unlike (for example) Netgear or Linksys, they don't even provide the object code and build tools to let you build your own usable device ROM image from a combination of proprietary and OSS components.

  • Re:All of 'em (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:19AM (#38201706)

    It looks like this is just the GPL software. Nothing terribly exciting but maybe it has kernel drivers for the e-ink display. AFAIK the Kindle uses a locked bootloader so there is no way to actually get your ROM image running anyway. The Fire is a bit more promising, and the source release does seem to have kicked off a bit of interest in hacking it a bit, it's been rooted and Android market runs [eetimes.com]. I'll save you the 148MB download; here's the contents of Kindle_src_3.3_611680021.tar.gz:

    gplrelease/
    gplrelease/picocom-1.4.tar.gz
    gplrelease/util-linux-2.12r.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/atk-1.26.0.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/uboot-1.3.0-rc3.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/pango-1.24.5.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/gstreamer-0.10.17.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/taglib-1.5.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/e2fsprogs-1.38_patch.tar.gz
    gplrelease/fuse-2.7.1.tar.gz
    gplrelease/libltdl-1.2.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/libol-0.3.18.tar.gz
    gplrelease/syslog-ng-1.6.11.tar.gz
    gplrelease/busybox-1.7.2.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/webkit-1.1.7.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/e2fsprogs-1.38.tar.gz
    gplrelease/wireless_tools.29.tar.gz
    gplrelease/mtd-utils-1.0.0.tar.gz
    gplrelease/pango-1.6.0.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/lrzsz-0.12.20.tar.gz
    gplrelease/gst-plugins-base-0.10.17.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/libvolume-id_092.ipk
    gplrelease/ifupdown_0.6.8.tar.gz
    gplrelease/gst-plugins-good-0.10.6.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/gst-plugins-base-0.10.6.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/linux-2.6.26-lab126.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/gnutls-2.8.4.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/module-init-tools-3.2.2.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/libgpg-error-1.4.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/DirectFB-1.2.0.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/libproxy-0.2.3.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/module-init-tools-3.2.2_patch.tar.gz
    gplrelease/glib-2.22.2.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/udev-112.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/alsa-lib-1.0.13_patch.tar.gz
    gplrelease/enchant-1.4.2.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/gtk+-2.16.5.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/libgcrypt-1.4.4.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/base-files_3.0.14.ipk
    gplrelease/alsa-lib-1.0.13.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/fuse-2.7.1_link.tar
    gplrelease/dosfstools-2.11.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/libsoup-2.30.0.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/procps-3.2.7.tar.gz
    gplrelease/procps-3.2.7_patch.tar.gz
    gplrelease/base-passwd_3.5.9.tar.gz
    gplrelease/powertop-1.10.tar.gz
    gplrelease/iptables-1.3.3.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/glibc-2.5.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/alsa-utils-1.0.13_patch.tar.gz
    gplrelease/alsa-utils-1.0.13.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/gdb-6.6.tar.bz2
    gplrelease/sysvinit-2.86.tar.gz
    gplrelease/cairo-1.8.6.tar.bz2

  • by daid303 (843777) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:33AM (#38201812)

    Which is funny, because a minimal GPL drop requires:

    The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable.

    (from GPLv2 section 3)
    How I read it, if I cannot reproduce the binary you produced, then you didn't really give me everything I needed by GPL.

  • Re:All of 'em (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:34AM (#38201816) Homepage

    "If the PDF's don't display correctly, use Calibre to convert them to mobi format."

    This is downright funny.

    Anyone that has used Calibre knows that it's convert PDF to anything else is so horrible that you end up with a complete mess that is unreadable.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:38AM (#38201880) Homepage Journal

    I think you're reading it wrong. The code drop looks to be enough to get the /operating system/, but not the Kindle /application/.

    If we did a naive reading of the GPL as you did, then it wouldn't be possible to run proprietary software without released source code on Linux.

  • Re:All of 'em (Score:5, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @01:23PM (#38203962) Homepage Journal

    (And yes, the Amazon version was noticiably blurrier as it was scaled up to the screen, whilst the Tablet was scaling down a higher-quality stream).

    I think the HD stream is encoded with a higher bitrate (per pixel), and perhaps the Amazon scaler is crap. The HD/SD distinction isn't so much about resolution.

    Good SD video with competent upscaling ought to be plenty for a 7" screen. I watched a few DS9 episodes on my Nook Color (CM7 w/Netflix) and there was quite a bit of block aritfacting and quantization noise (and ... buffering delays). Playing a DVD-ripped AVI (mplayer IIRC) looked great.

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