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Enable USB on the Apple Tv


This guide only applies to the original silver Apple TV and not to the newer, black model.

The AppleTV is sort of a piece of junk unless you hack it so if you intend to actually get any use out of your apple tv you better do it. Here is how you enable USB so that you can play media off of attached storage (novel concept eh!).

Note: This Tutorial assumes you’re using AppleTV TakeTwo or the latest update (3.0). If you’re not sure run Apple TV’s update before starting

Step 1: Hack your ATV

This is a pretty easy process, you can find instructions here. You don’t actually have to install Boxee but follow the instructions except instead of creating a boxee USB you can just select “SSH”. Great, now to enable USB

Step 2: Install NitoTV

There are lots of ways to enable USB, trust me this is the easiest. SSH onto your AppleTV, download NitoTV and install it. Heres the code:

Valencia:~ ronin$ ssh [email protected]
Welcome to the AppleTV (via atv-usbcreator)
[email protected]'s password:
-bash-2.05b$ wget http://nitosoft.com/nitoTVInstaller_tt.zip
-bash-2.05b$ unzip nitoTVInstaller_tt.zip
-bash-2.05b$ cd "nitoTV Take Three"/
-bash-2.05b$ sudo ./installme

This will install NitoTV and then restart your AppleTV’s finder, in other words you will have new options on your ATV menu.

Step 3: Prep for USB

Because the apple tv is purposely neutered you’ll need to snag the USB drivers from the 10.4.9 combo update. Heres the code

-bash-2.05b$ cd ~/Documents/
-bash-2.05b$ wget http://supportdownload.apple.com/download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/Mac_OS_X/downloads/061-3165.20070313.iU8y4/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg

Step 4: Install USB support

Great, now the combo update has been downloaded to the Documents folder. Go to your Apple TV menu and go NitoTV -> Settings -> Install Software -> Smart Installer

This will take a minute but when its done you can plugin USB drives and your Apple TV will recognize it. Volia!

If your Apple TV doens’t recognize your drive try restarting your appletv either by typing “sudo reboot” or unplugging and plugging in your ATV.

Posted Monday, March 9, 2009
64
126 comments
techa76
techa76

it there a step by step version of this page anywhere, i dont know how to "SSH onto your AppleTV"

Dan Awesome
Dan Awesome moderator

@techa76 First you need a ssh client. If you have a Mac or Linux ssh is built into terminal. Just open terminal and type ssh frontrow@[ATV IP address] If you're on windows Google a program called Putty, it'll handle ssh. To get the IP address of your apple TV you might login to your router.

techa76
techa76

it there a step by step version of this page anywhere, i dont know how to "SSH onto your AppleTV"

Dan Awesome
Dan Awesome

@techa76 First you need a ssh client. If you have a Mac or Linux ssh is built into terminal. Just open terminal and type ssh frontrow@[ATV IP address] If you're on windows Google a program called Putty, it'll handle ssh. To get the IP address of your apple TV you might login to your router.

teamofvass
teamofvass

Have already installed NitoTV as a zip file from xbmc. Now I am trying to enable the USB port but have 2 problems...

 

1. I can not find the Smart Installer in NitoTV

and 

2. with ssh user: frontrow the password frontrow is access denied !!!

 

Thank you for your time....!!!

teamofvass
teamofvass

Have already installed NitoTV as a zip file from xbmc. Now I am trying to enable the USB port but have 2 problems...   1. I can not find the Smart Installer in NitoTV and  2. with ssh user: frontrow the password frontrow is access denied !!!   Thank you for your time....!!!

RemiiRivers
RemiiRivers

is there any new updates for how to enable the USB on the ATV gen 1?

Dan Awesome
Dan Awesome moderator

@RemiiRivers No update. It still works you just need the right combo update.

RemiiRivers
RemiiRivers

 @Dan Awesome  @RemiiRivers I couldn't follow the procedure that you had laid out because the link for the gizmodo has an old setup for the 2.1, where it would give me an error for not being able to find the source for it was not found.  So I searched around and was able to at least get XBMC on my ATV.  I figured from there, I would be able to follow your terminal directions, but I get stuck w the point of the password.  I tried entering in alpine to see if that would work, but that didn't.  Do you know anything I can do or help me along my way to use the USB port.

RemiiRivers
RemiiRivers

is there any new updates for how to enable the USB on the ATV gen 1?

Dan Awesome
Dan Awesome

@RemiiRivers No update. It still works you just need the right combo update.

RemiiRivers
RemiiRivers

 @Dan Awesome  @RemiiRivers I couldn't follow the procedure that you had laid out because the link for the gizmodo has an old setup for the 2.1, where it would give me an error for not being able to find the source for it was not found.  So I searched around and was able to at least get XBMC on my ATV.  I figured from there, I would be able to follow your terminal directions, but I get stuck w the point of the password.  I tried entering in alpine to see if that would work, but that didn't.  Do you know anything I can do or help me along my way to use the USB port.

AdamRodriguez1
AdamRodriguez1

This is a good guide - but I still want to know how to then copy the files from my USB to the AppleTV hard drive. Any advice?

And FYI, the only time the AppleTV recognized my USB drives was when I used a mac formatted drive.

AdamRodriguez1
AdamRodriguez1

This is a good guide - but I still want to know how to then copy the files from my USB to the AppleTV hard drive. Any advice? And FYI, the only time the AppleTV recognized my USB drives was when I used a mac formatted drive.

Buddy101
Buddy101

It says "right click to patch recovery partition" in the smart installer option. Click "yes" to that also?

Buddy101
Buddy101

It says "right click to patch recovery partition" in the smart installer option. Click "yes" to that also?

dolanpatrick
dolanpatrick

Can you use Ubuntu or a windows PC to do this? Will it work with hfs +

Dan Awesome
Dan Awesome

@dolanpatrick Yes, yes and yes. With windows you need to use an SSH client like Putty.

dolanpatrick
dolanpatrick

@Dan Awesome@dolanpatrick and you are telling me also that this is just for Apple TV Gen 1?

doog
doog

Thanks, mang. That worked perfectly and was super easy.

doog
doog

Thanks, mang. That worked perfectly and was super easy.

Greg
Greg

I have been reading the comments about appleTV not recognizing external hard drives.

I noticed a comment that aTV only recognizes fat32.  My external drive is 1T and is NTFS

Can I format that to fat32?  When I clicked on format it said NTFS or exFat

Thanks Greg

Greg
Greg

I have been reading the comments about appleTV not recognizing external hard drives. I noticed a comment that aTV only recognizes fat32.  My external drive is 1T and is NTFS Can I format that to fat32?  When I clicked on format it said NTFS or exFat Thanks Greg

Clyde Emmanuel
Clyde Emmanuel

my apple tv does not recognize my usb external.. i have done every step :( help????

Clyde Emmanuel
Clyde Emmanuel

my apple tv does not recognize my usb external.. i have done every step :( help????

Freezinmn
Freezinmn

Thank you so much, this was a breeze to follow. 100% successful on three different apple TVs. I only wish I had found your directions first before wading through all the other BS.

Freezinmn
Freezinmn

Thank you so much, this was a breeze to follow. 100% successful on three different apple TVs. I only wish I had found your directions first before wading through all the other BS.

Asfd
Asfd

simpler nitoTV Take Three installation instructions:
apt-get install wget
wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16129573/com.nito.deb
dpkg -i com.nito.deb
apt-get update
apt-get install com.nito.nitotv
Thanks!!!

Dan Awesome
Dan Awesome moderator

The problem with this is that a normal hacked appletv doesn't have apt-get installed.

Asfd
Asfd

simpler nitoTV Take Three installation instructions: apt-get install wget wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16129573/com.nito.deb dpkg -i com.nito.deb apt-get update apt-get install com.nito.nitotv Thanks!!!

giovannizero
giovannizero

The problem with this is that a normal hacked appletv doesn't have apt-get installed.

Kkclstuff
Kkclstuff

will this also work with adding Apple's external USB optical drive? i would like to be able to put in CDs (like a stereo)

Dan
Dan

I doubt it, this installs the drivers needed for usb mass storage devices. But if you try it and it works let me know.

Kkclstuff
Kkclstuff

will this also work with adding Apple's external USB optical drive? i would like to be able to put in CDs (like a stereo)

Dan
Dan

I doubt it, this installs the drivers needed for usb mass storage devices. But if you try it and it works let me know.