Enable AFP Server

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AppleTV 1.0 software

Editing /etc/hostconfig will start Appleshare service on boot.

Simply change:

AFPSERVER=-NO-

to

AFPSERVER=-YES-


AppleTV 1.1 software

  • Copy from you mac Intel computer the binary:
cp -R /System/Library/CoreServices/AppleFileServer.app /Volumes/OSBoot/System/Library/CoreServices/AppleFileServer.app
  • Alternatively you can extract AppleFileServer.app from your Apple TV's recovery partition, this method involves:
    • extracting a dmg from the disk0s2 partition : dd if=/dev/disk0s2 of=recovery.dmg bs=1m
    • transferring that dmg to your Mac (verified on a G4 so no Intel mac required for this).
    • mounting the dmg
    • mounting the "osboot.dmg" found inside the mount
    • Find AppleFileServer.app in that mount, in /System/Library/CoreServices


  • Editing /etc/hostconfig will start Appleshare service on boot.
  • Then change:
    • AFPSERVER=-NO-
    • to
    • AFPSERVER=-YES-

CAUTION: If your AppleTV came with software version 1.1 factory installed then the recovery partition doesn't seem to contain the required binary any longer. Copying it from a mac machine didn't work for me either as AppleFileServer crashed every time on startup with "Illegal instruction" error. The only way I found to obtain the working AppleFileSever was to dump the recovery partition from AppleTV, which originally came with software version 1.0, and copy it from there.

Setting up the server

If you'd like to start appleshare without rebooting, run:

sudo /usr/sbin/AppleFileServer

Once AFP is running, you can mount the OS and Media partitions from the AppleTV as user 'frontrow', with the password 'frontrow'.

AppleTV 2.0 - Now working

Unlike the previous poster, I found I was able to get this working. Here is what I did (in simple steps, assuming everyone is a noob):

1. From my Macbook running Leopard I copied "/System/Library/CoreServices/AppleFileServer.app" using Cyberduck to /Users/frontrow

(edit from CousinCocaine: this did not work from my Macbook running Leopard 10.5.6. What did work was extracting the file from the 10.4.8 install DVD)

2. From terminal,

sudo mv ~/AppleFileServer.app /System/Library/CoreServices/

3. This doesn't seem to work (see discussion): In AppleTV 2.3 you also need to copy /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ByteRangeLocking.framework

sudo mv ~/ByteRangeLocking.framework /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/

4. Then to run it,

sudo /usr/sbin/AppleFileServer

5. From my MacBook, I connect to it by selecting Finder, Ctrl+K, and then "afp://AppleTV.local/frontrow", where "AppleTV" is the name of my ATV.

6. Username and password are, as always, "frontrow"

Update - I find this service is still running after reboots and so there is no need to restart it.

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