How to Install Android TV on a Fire TV Stick

There are users who are content change the default launcher of the Fire TV Stick and use a custom one. However, there are others who prefer to go a little further and change the system to a non-customized version of Android TV.

Is it a simple process?

Zoom Fire TV Stick

Unfortunately, it is not the case. For now, it is quite complicated to install Android TV on a Fire TV Stick. First, there are few models that allow the process to be carried out. On the other hand, the operation is intended for users who have enough experience in the noble art of DIY and enough computer knowledge.

To follow the tutorial some Familiarity with the use of Linux terminalsas well as a little experience installing ROMs and packages on Android devices.

If you do not have this knowledge, the process itself is not impossible, but we warn you before starting that it is an operation that is not easy. On the contrary, if you have rooted a mobile or even experimented with custom ROMs and kernels on Android, the steps will seem like child’s play.

How to Install LineageOS on Your Fire TV Stick

lineage android tv fire tv

As usual, if we want Android TV on our system, we will have to use Lineage OS, an unofficial system, but which offers us all the features of Android TV —practically, without modifications—, at the same time as we are going to get rid of all the limitations of Fire OS. Thus, you will be the one to decide what to install on the device and you will also have access to the Google Play Store.

At this point, it should be noted that continuing with the steps is a risk for your Amazon Fire TV To stick on that you have to take on. All the tools that we are going to show you below have no guarantee of success. Therefore, an error could render your device unusable. Once you’ve prepared, you can continue.

Which Fire TVs are compatible?

Fire TV Stick remote control on Alexa.

For the moment, this tutorial is only compatible with the Fire TV Stick Lite and Fire TV Stick 3rd Generation. These are the only models in which the community has managed to open the bootloader.

Download Firmware

First, we will download the Unofficial ‘LineageOS 18.1 for Fire TV Stick’ ROM on GitHub. Then we will also download Open gapswhich are the Google apps for this version of LineageOS.

We also leave you the tutorial from the ROM developers themselves on GitHub in case you have any problem, which you can follow the thread of users who have carried out the process. You have it here.

Unlock bootloader

open bootloader fire tv stick

It’s time to get into the mud. The Fire TV is locked by default so we can upload our own firmwares. This limitation has been circumvented by user k4y0z, and has a tutorial en XDA Developers explaining step by step how to do it.

The bone terms to unlock the compatible Fire TV Starter Launcher are as follows:

  • Have a Fire TV Stick with firmware 7.2.7.3 or less.
  • Nail install linux on a computer (a Live CD is more than enough).
  • And Micro-USB cable

The treat to follow is:

  1. dump ‘kamakiri-sheldon-1.0’, which is k4y0z’s Fire TV exploit.
  2. Connect your computer with Linux to the Internet and install python3, PySerial, PyUSB, adb, quickstart. We recommend using Debian-based Linux (Ubuntu, Debian…), which are the most common and easiest to use. In this case, use these commands:
    • sudo apt update
    • universe sudo add-apt-repository
    • sudo apt install python3 python3-serial python3-usb adb fastboot dos2unix
    • sudo systemctl stop ModemManager
    • sudo systemctl disable ModemManager
  3. relax ‘kamakiri-sheldon-1.0.zip’ and open a terminal in this directory.
  4. Run the script:
  5. At some point, the terminal will display the message “Waiting for device”. At this moment, we put the Fire TV Stick (must be turned off) using the microUSB cable.
  6. The device will reboot and you will have already unlocked the fastboot mode.
  7. End the process with this command:
  8. This last step will install TWRP on your device. With this you will already have the bootloader open to be able to follow the tutorial.

Install LineageOS and GApps

Finally, it’s time to install the Google system and apps on the Fire TV. We will place the files downloaded in the first step in the memory of the Fire TV. To do this, we can do it from the Linux itself in which we have carried out the process of opening the bootloader.

Once the files are entered, do the following:

  1. Come into TWRP.
  2. make a wipe a Data, System (y System Root) y Hidden.
  3. Find the ROM file and flash it.
  4. Repeat the same process with the .zip containing the GApps.
  5. Reboot and that’s it. All you have to do is configure the system to your liking, start your accounts and enjoy your modified Fire TV.

Is it worth the change?

hbo max fire tv.jpg

It depends on the type of user you are. If you absolutely hate Fire TV OS customization, first of all, we recommend changing the launcher and enable developer options to install your own apps outside of the Amazon store. For most users, this process is sufficient.

On the other hand, having Android 11 directly on your Fire TV Stick is quite tempting. The developers of the dongle-enabled version of LineageOS claim that it is not as stable as the one that comes default on the device, but it will give you a lot of freedom to customize your device. You just have to keep in mind that the process is tedious and you can load the dongle at any step of the tutorial. Therefore, only proceed if you know the risks.

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