- Dec 8, 2010
Like every tweak, hack or rom, use at your own risk.UPDATE - Version 1.1a - 4/27 - NOW WITH MORE ROOT!
I'm happy to announce that I now have a much improved version of apk-enabler all packaged up and ready to install. This version will work much better than the last one, and should provide much better application compatibility.
* Added Edify code to clean up old versions before installing or re-installing (either version)
* Updated su (version 22.214.171.124 - thanks dascud)
* Updated and relocated Superuser.apk (now lives in /data/app so updates will not complian about it being a "system application" anymore.)
* Added Zeam 2.9.2 to /data/app
* Added NookColorTools to /data/app
* Added SoftKeys 3.06 to /data/app (in case anyone needs this - some apps don't display the nook status bar properly.)
* Added latest busybox binary to /system/bin
* Added a crapload of symlinks to busybox functions in /system/xbin. Almost everything works now (grep, mount, etc) without having to run through busybox or toolbox. (thanks RileyGrant)
* I have attempted to perma-enable adb by setting the adb_enabled value in /data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases/settings.db. Unfortunately it appears that this setting is ignored - at least when auto mounting is enabled. See notes below.
Version 1.1a: apk-enabler-1-1a-signed.zip (1.28mb)
Now that we have busybox and a current version of su, we now have what resembles a "normal" android shell environment. More apps should work with the updates, and we can now get a shell (then su) via adb. You can also run the Android Termainl app and su from there.
Also, since Zeam and SoftKeys now baked in, the first boot will now ask for your preference of default launchers (Home, SoftKeys, or Zeam.)
To get ADB working, you need to update your drivers, and play with settings in NookColorTools (development section) to enable USB debugging.
I have validated this install via a fresh install and over-top of existing installs. The only requirement is that the Nook has been turned on and registered. You can flash this over older versions, the script cleans up cruft from prior runs before installation.
So I went about fooling around with the stock 1.2 ROM, and like many I was frustrated by the lack of certain apps in the Nook app store. So here's a little work-around until we get a properly rooted solution in place:
What this hack does:
* Updates the SQLite Settings Database (data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases/settings.db) with a hacked version, enabling the install_non_market_apps setting.
* Installs a version of "su" in /bin and /xbin.
* With these in place, the stock browser is fully capable of downloading, launching, and installing .apk files of your choosing.
Is this safe? What if I brick my Nook?
The Nook Color bootloader will boot anything you throw at it. There are no signature checks anywhere, and even their own code is signed using test keys. If you get a bad flash or whatever, you can always boot your Clockwork SD card and restore from there. Remember - this is not a phone - there is no subsidy or baseband to protect. So, no there's no S-ON, locked boot loader, or any of that other silly crap the carriers do to screw their customers. You can flash forwards, backwards, sideways, whatever you want, as long as you can put it on an SD card.
Overall, this is no more dangerous than running a stock android device with the "Unknown Sources" enabled. Nothing is happening yet that is uncharacteristic of a "standard", vanilla android device.
That said, you should probably make a backup while you are running Clockwork, just to be on the extra-safe-side.
How to install...
First, you must have a microSD card already flashed with ClockworkMod. I'm not getting into that, you can find a good guide over at CyanogenMod. See the section labeled "Install ClockworkMod Recovery" here:
* Once you have Clockwork set up, drop the attached zip in the root directory, and reboot your Nook Color. Once Clockwork is booted:
* Select "install zip from sdcard", then "choose zip from sdcard"
* Select "Yes - Install apk-enabler-signed.zip". The install process will begin promptly.
* Once flashed, you will be prompted to Reboot,
* The Nook OS will almost certainly crash on the first reboot - I'm not sure why as of yet... If it does, hold the power button until the Nook powers off completely, then turn it back on. It should continue to boot normally after this point.
* Once you are back up, you can use the browser to download and run .APK files from anywhere. Some apps do not work, others do. Fortunately for us, Superuser.apk is one that does
(see the links at the bottom of this post to get started.)
As for launchers, you will not see your installed apps in the Extras area of the stock launcher - B&N is doing something shady here... Instead, you will need to install another Launcher. Zeam seems to work well, while ADW doesn't.
Once Zeam is installed, you can hit the "Home" (n) button and select it as your Launcher (permanantly, if you like...) This is where you'll see all of your downloaded apps.
I have attached the flashable zip file, plus links to SuperUser.apk and Zeam. Use the built-in Nook browser to install both of these to your device. Once you download an APK file, tap the notificaiton in the lower left corner and select "Package Installer." The usual Android install screen will appear, and you know what to do from there...
What's not working?
Probably lots of things. I know ADW doesn't work, and the open source Terminal emulator doesn't either... Superuser.apk detects SU, which is a good thing. It isn't "full root access" until I hack /etc/fstab to mount /system r/w (probably tomorrow.) B&N hacked up the frameworks pretty bad for this, so there are probably lots of issues with non-market apps. However, this should open the door to someone willing to port Nookie Froyo (or something similar) over to the stock 1.2 ROM.
Credit where credit is due:
First, thanks to everyone on XDA, the official Nook forum, CyanogenMod, NookDevs, some kind folks on IRC who helped me sort out the partition layout, and probably 20 others that I'm forgetting. This would not have been possible without your help.
Where do we go from here?
I suspect we will have something more like Autonooter in a day or so... However, this is a fully usable solution for the time being. You have su, SuperUser.apk, and a launcher. I'll get /etc/fstab fixed soon, so you could theoretically run Titanium on this. Aside from that, I'll leave it up to the talented people on this forum to take it from here....
Also, someone needs to look into getting side-loaded apps onto the home-screen and/or into the Extras screen. My fear is that B&N is checking signatures there - but hopefully I'm wrong on that one....
apk-enabler-signed.zip (292kb) - apk-enabler-signed.zip (md5sum: 03a9f0f34442699d31e9c2845b59902b)
Superuser.apk (192kb) - Superuser.apk -- Superuser.apk
Zeam-2.9.2.apk (372kb) - zeam-2.9.2.apk -- zeam-2.9.2.apk
Apps known to work:
Amazon App Store for Android (works beautifully)
Collapse (today's free game on Amazon)
Apps known not to work:
Thanks to HamNCheese @ XDA.