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Revision as of 22:07, 29 March 2007 by Probono (talk | contribs) (How to enable USB ports)
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USB port not functional by default

According to Apple, the USB connector on the Apple TV is reserved for Apple support only. However, given that Command-S will boot it into single user mode it seems unlikely that they've disabled the port at the hardware level.

How to enable USB ports

Initial progress has been made to enable USB. (Initially, some people have tried swapping IOUSB files, but that didn't work, because there is another set of files in mach_kernel.prelink which also need to be changed.)

Turbo claims "USB success". His procedure has been verified by lpp.

USB port visible in the OS

The system_profiler included with the AppleTV sees the USB, and has a 1.1 and 2.0 driver attached. USB devices attached to the port are also seen by system_profiler:


    USB High-Speed Bus:

      Host Controller Location: Built In USB
      Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBEHCI
      PCI Device ID: 0x27cc
      PCI Revision ID: 0x0002
      PCI Vendor ID: 0x8086
      Bus Number: 0xfd

    USB Bus:

      Host Controller Location: Built In USB
      Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBUHCI
      PCI Device ID: 0x27c8
      PCI Revision ID: 0x0002
      PCI Vendor ID: 0x8086
      Bus Number: 0x1d

        Bluetooth HCI:

          Version: 5.25
          Bus Power (mA): 500
          Speed: Up to 12 Mb/sec
          Product ID: 0x0001
          Vendor ID: 0x0a12

        IR Receiver:

          Version: 2.42
          Bus Power (mA): 500
          Speed: Up to 1.5 Mb/sec
          Manufacturer: Apple Computer, Inc.
          Product ID: 0x8241
          Vendor ID: 0x05ac  (Apple Computer, Inc.)

Mounting filesystems from USB Mass Storage Devices

Obviously this is the number one thing we'd like to get working with USB. I need to trace how diskarbitrationd works and how new USB storage devices get probed and mounted.

One possibility is that the diskarbitrationd distributed with the AppleTV is limited to mounting filesystems off the boot device of the unit, or the IDE interface. If someone with MacOS 10.4.7 could run 'md5 /usr/sbin/diskarbitrationd' and compare it to the appletv's:

MD5 (/usr/sbin/diskarbitrationd) = 493e88e3db210ef0557a2c48e1214a8b

we could begin to narrow things down.

Mac OS X 10.4.7 Comparisons

Mac OS 10.4.7, Intel Mac mini basic install. For more information see the discussion page.

md5 /Volumes/Bootcamp\ Master/usr/sbin/diskarbitrationd 
MD5 (/Volumes/Bootcamp Master/usr/sbin/diskarbitrationd) = ac17cc6c4d0e795b44fb1120f508c23a

Command-S boots single user mode

However, the USB port is fully functional hardware-wise:

Plug a keyboard in and press Command-S during startup will start up in Single-User mode.

Boot from USB drive

Connect bootable USB drive and press "menu" and "-" on the remote while you restart. Thanks Ozy for finding this out (Video) (YouTube)

Ozy used a cloned internal drive where he changed the boot picture in order to distinguish it from the internal drive. Since the Apple TV OS disables USB during the boot process, it doesn't fully boot. But hey, it's a start, isn't it? Next we'll make a Darwin mini USB drive image...

Restore from USB drive

phoem has instructions for restoring the contents of the internal hard drive and enabling SSH from an external USB drive using an image.