How-to jailbreak your Kindle

I posted a picture over on my Facebook page of my Kindle with a screensaver of the Vaultec boy and my friends really wanted to know how to do it on their Kindles. It's pretty easy and takes just a couple minutes to do!

First, download the Kindle jailbreak from the links below. To find out what version of firmware your Kindle is running just hit Menu -> Settings and it will say at the bottom right of the Kindle's screen. This jailbreak is 99.9% safe to do but please don't hold me responsible if your hardware bricks because of this. Each .bin file also has an uninstall version of itself to remove the jailbreak and other hacks. I take no credit for creating these hacks.

Second, each zip file has a series of .bin files correlating with Kindle versions. For example the one with k3w is for the Kindle 3 Wifi-only model and the k3g is for the Kindle 3 3G model. This is the same naming scheme through all three zips. You have to do them one at a time and can't do them all at once. You'll extract the .bin file for your Kindle and put it on the root folder of your Kindle (the folder that comes up when you plug it into your computer via USB). The first .bin file you'll want to put on first is the jailbreak one with _install.bin at the end. Then, unplug your Kindle from your computer and go to Menu -> Settings then once in settings hit Menu -> "Update Your Kindle". It can take a couple minutes to update and it will also reboot your Kindle. There's no obvious way to tell that you Kindle was jailbroken beyond the update being successful.

Finally, Once your Kindle has rebooted from the jailbreak install, you'll want to plug it back in to your computer via USB. Next, you'll want to extract the proper screensaver .bin file to your Kindle and repeat the steps above to to apply the "update" to your Kindle. Once your Kindle is rebooted, plug it back in via USB and you'll notice a couple new folders on your Kindle - /linkss being the most important one right now.

Inside /linkss there's the /screensavers folder. Here you can dump any appropriately formatted image file to be used as a screensaver for your Kindle! The image has to be a greyscale, 8-bit image with a resolution of 600x800 (width x height). If you have a Kindle DX, the resolution needs to be 824x1200. Most any image can be cropped and greyscaled. I tend to save the images as 8-bit PNGs instead of JPGs for quality purposes. The /linkss/backups folder contains all of the original screensavers if you want to include any of the originals in your rotation. Personally, I kept Jules Verne and Heracles. It's pretty simple to make your own out of your favorite images!


If you'd like a few different fonts to read in, there is a font hack available. I'm still on the fence about the options as I actually quite like the default Kindle font. Try it out and see how you like it!

Additionally, all of the hacks are undo-able using the _uninstall.bin files and going through the update software motions. You'll have to do it individually for each one.

The below provide files, links, or extra instructions if you need them. The zip files also contain credits to the authors in the readme.txt files.

Yifan Lu and Serge Levin for the 3.2.1 jailbreak
How-to Geek

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