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Hardware Hacking The Internet Apple Build Hardware

An Apple TV-Based Webserver 45

Posted by timothy
from the but-for-how-long dept.
Wyvere writes "The folks over at Mac Mini Vault jailbroke an Apple TV, stuck lighttpd on it, and connected it up to the internet in the name of fun hacking. 'This project was a fun way to see how far we could take the A4 powered Apple TV. The Apple TV is running iOS 4.2.2 (obviously jailbroken) with lighttpd for a web server.'"
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An Apple TV-Based Webserver

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Moments after making it to the front page of Slashdot.

    • by dch24 (904899)
      Tracking the damage... it's currently taking from < 1 to > 30 seconds for parts of the page to load.
    • It went down before it made the front page - it was incommunicado when it was still a preview story. Hence either it was down before then, or it was taken down by just the traffic from slashdot subscribers who were able to see the link before the story was on the front page.
  • by DWMorse (1816016) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @10:28PM (#36174160) Homepage

    The links are pretty useless, if you're looking for more information. They simply put you on the actual site being hosted on the ATV. While that's interesting, and it'll be great to see if we can Slashdot it, it's not informative, nor does it really discuss the project or talk about a how-to.

    Which is really too bad, surfing around Mac Mini Vault doesn't yield anything about the project, just -that- it exists. Can anyone else find info on the thing?

    • by muphin (842524) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @10:50PM (#36174282) Homepage
      umm, jail break it, install ssh, ssh into the box, install httpd server. done theres your how-to manual.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by mjwx (966435)

      The links are pretty useless, if you're looking for more information. They simply put you on the actual site being hosted on the ATV. While that's interesting, and it'll be great to see if we can Slashdot it, it's not informative, nor does it really discuss the project or talk about a how-to.

      Which is really too bad, surfing around Mac Mini Vault doesn't yield anything about the project, just -that- it exists. Can anyone else find info on the thing?

      Besides a DD-WRT based router will do pretty much the same job without having to fight the manufacturer every step of the way.

      Not to mention it's half the cost and there's a long list of supported devices [dd-wrt.com].

      • by muphin (842524)
        so can a laptop, pc... thats not the point, the point is using an Apple device (locked down by manufacturer) to use it to serve files.
        like using a toaster to fry an egg
        • Rule 57 [bestpricesbuy.com]
        • so can a laptop, pc... thats not the point, the point is using an Apple device (locked down by manufacturer) to use it to serve files. like using a toaster to fry an egg

          Instructions for using a toaster to cook an egg (ok, I can't figure out how to fry it without ruining the toaster). Place egg balanced over bread slot on toaster. Push lever down without bread in it. Once the 'nothing' pops up, rotate egg 180 and repeat to cook other half of egg. Done.

          But seriously, this got a link on the front page of slashdot because it's apple and no other reason. As mentioned, DD-WRT can do the same and routers are locked down by manufacturers in a similar fashion. It's just because it'

    • Quote from the first link if you didn't RTFA:
      Helpful Hints:
      Check out Seas0npass for an easy way to jailbreak the Apple TV
      - SSH in and change the root password
      - Use apt-cache and apt-get to find and install lighttpd
      - Use SFTP to upload a /etc/lighttpd.conf config file for lighttpd
      - Within /usr/sbin/ run lighttpd-angel -f /etc/lighttpd.conf to start lighttpd
      - Write a plist file in /Library/LaunchDaemons to launch lighttpd on boot
    • I have an old original version of the Apple TV (came with a stripped down version of Tiger, I believe, rather than iOS). Cracked it open, replaced the hard drive with a larger one, used atv-bootloader to create a bootable USB disk, and installed LinHES (MythTV distro based on Arch). It was a PITA to do, but it's working reasonably well now. Cool little machine - the original had both HDMI and component out, new one is just HDMI, and doesn't have a standard USB port, I think.
    • by sootman (158191)

      On the main it says "Read our blog post about how we did it and why" and below that is a big blue button takes you to said blog post. Which, admittedly, is short, but there's not much to say: get an ATV, jailbreak it, put on lighttpd. The only thing that could use expanding is the step "Write a plist file in /Library/LaunchDaemons to launch lighttpd on boot."

  • by mirix (1649853) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @10:33PM (#36174190)

    Future note: when putting apache on a toaster, don't post a link to it unless you want it to burn the toast.

    • The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long and you have burned so very, very brightly.

      Gentlemen, what we have just witnessed is the power of the /. effect.

      • Gentlemen, what we have just witnessed is the power of the /. effect.

        Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a glorified cell phone is insignificant compared to the power of the Force.

    • Present note: They didn't install Apache.

      • by mirix (1649853)

        Nor did they install it on a toaster. That's missing the point, though.

        • Store the hosted files in memory, don't use server side scripted pages, serve tiny files, dump logs to /dev/null.

          No problem.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            It all depends on your site.

            Once upon a time, an AppleTV would have been thought of as very respectable machine to host a web server on.

  • Poor thing is trying so hard to load. I almost feel bad for hitting refresh so many times. Almost.
  • If a commodore 64 can do it http://www.c64web.com/ [c64web.com], i think an apple TV could do it ....
    • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @11:54PM (#36174720) Homepage

      I did this several years ago with a Mac SE (vintage 1989). 8MHz CPU, 4MB RAM, 40MB HD, no built-in ethernet controller, no TCP/IP stack in the OS... but to be honest, it was no great feat, requiring only the right combination of off-the-shelf hardware and bits of existing gratis and libre software. Compared to the AppleTV, which ships with a an IP-enabled fork of BSD already pre-installed, I think it was a bit more of a challenge.

      Upgrading another Mac SE to run OS X itself was even more of a challenge....

      • by GrahamCox (741991)
        Upgrading another Mac SE to run OS X itself was even more of a challenge....

        What, like this one? Mac SE/X [apptree.net] A project I did a few years back now.
        • by tverbeek (457094)

          My Mac SE X is similar, but not quite the same. A G4 Mac Mini was an essential component of the upgrade of course, in order to run both OS X (Tiger) and contemporary apps such as Photoshop 3. But I replaced the original 10" B&W CRT with a 10" monochrome CRT with VGA input (max resolution 800x600), which was a perfect-fit drop-in replacement. And {ahem} I used the case from an actual Mac SE, and an early ADB mouse and keyboard (via a Griffin USB/ADB adapter). :)

    • Just tried it, no reply... seems that a link from a /. article was enough to put this out of action. Shame. Poor little machine.

    • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @11:58PM (#36174744)

      Great... you just /.'ed a C64...

  • The page loaded (they probably moved it off the ATV), and it looks like just an advertisement for colo of Mac Minis.
  • How hard to use usb port (is it accessible?) or network port to add big hard drive and config for a personal drop box?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Web hosting on Apple TV's isn't all that new.

    http://www.mythic-beasts.com/appletvdedicated.html

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