Logitech Revue UART root

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Although the information we release has been verified and shown to work to the best our knowledge, we cant be held accountable for bricked devices or roots gone wrong. GTV_Hacker:General_disclaimer


Updates and other change log notes are available Revue Root Notes. Check these out before getting started.

Any previous device updates will disable the UART1 pins necessary for this hack!

Demonstration video.

Shows Filesystem access, Apps and the Market, as well as previously blocked websites. Check it out http://www.youtube.com/user/gtvhacker

The Exploitee.rs Guide to installing applications and rooting your Logitech Revue

This is being brought to you right before CES, we all worked hard and here it is.


ADBD Running for adb access. Custom boot logo. Flash Plugin Update to allow previously blocked content providers.

Experimental method to block automatic updates (We would appreciate feedback on this as we we've been unable to confirm its success so far.)

About the Hack

The reason this is possible is due to the "out of factory" state of the Logitech Revue boxes not disabling the UART port on the board and allowing access to a root shell in recovery mode. After discovering this we were able to reverse the update files and manually upgrade the Revue to the most recent update. The attached files are our output of all the effort put forward by our team. Also as a notice to anyone performing the update, we are not responsible for any harm that may come of your box as an outcome of running our scripts. We will attempt to help you with any issues you may experience and have tried to make the process as safe as possible. Also if you have any suggestions or ideas on how we can make this process better please feel free to drop by our IRC channel and tell us.

About Manual Update

The manual-update.sh script is our attempt at duplicating the process done by the GTV scripts that update the box in recovery mode. There are also a few miscellaneous tweaks done to assure applications load correctly, backups are made, and that the box doesn't auto-update. Some portions of the script do things such as flash parts of the NAND so make sure you do not short circuit your box or accidentally remove power during the manual-update process.

Required Tools

Soldering Iron

USB->TTL or similar board/setup (An Arduino in tristate mode works great)

4 wires to attach board to TTL board

Terminal program (Minicom for Linux or Putty for Windows) A USB Drive (At least 1gb, 2+gb Recommended)

Hardware Portion

In order to complete the root you will need an un-updated box, it seems as if the first or second update to the box closed the serial access hole. If you have a "virgin" box then you are ready to proceed.

1.) Open your box, there are 4 screws (1 under each of the soft legs on the bottom of the box), the rest of the box un-clips very easily. A better explanation is available at http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Logitech-Revue-Teardown/3788/1

2.) After opening your box you will need to remove the led bar and look at the top front of the board. Locate the pins labeled UART1. These are the pins you will be sodering to.

3.) Solder 4 wires to your board. The appropriate pins can be view here: http://Exploitee.rs/index.php/File:XJHay.jpg . You MAY only need to solder to TX, RX, and GND.

4.) Attach wires to appropriate pins on your USB->TTL device

5.) Connect to the USB->TTL device on your computer using a program like Minicom or Putty. The appropriate settings are speed is 9600 baud with 8n1, make sure flow control is set to none.

6.) Reboot Revue into recovery mode by holding the pair button on the back of the board until the box shuts down and comes back up. Then press Alt+L (On the revue keyboard, not through the console) until "FORMATING DATA:" shows and stays, a menu should appear shortly after system is done clearing partitions. (More info: Logitech_Revue_Technical)

7.) If setup is correct so far you should be seeing logcat output through your terminal program (Putty/Minicom). Shortly after you will be presented with a # sign which is your console.

8.) Proceed to software portion.

NOTICE: If you have not properly completed step 6 you may risk having the Revue automatically reboot while you are flashing new firmware resulting in a bricked Revue. The video output should show the recovery menu before proceeding to the software portion.

Software Portion

1.) Place all files in manual update on USB (preferably formatted to ext3) device keeping all the files inside of the "updatec99" folder for easiest installation.

2.) Insert the USB and run the following command for an ext3 USB device "mount -rw -t ext3 /dev/sdb1 /sdcard" substitute ext3 for vfat for a fat32 device (Also remove quotes). If you choose to use a fat32 drive you will probably have problems with Netflix. Please format the drive to ext3 for best results!

3.) In minicom/putty browse to the /sdcard directory with "cd /sdcard/updatec99".

4.) Execute the update with the following command "sh manual-update.sh". If you chose a fat32 formatted usb drive you will receive "Permission denied" errors during the chmod process of the manual-update script, this is normal.

5.) If the process ends prompting "Complete" you are finished and may restart (regardless of the permission denied errors on fat32). You will then have adbd running on your Revue and can connect using "./adb connect LogitechRevue". If the process does not prompt you with "Complete" but some other error you will need to make sure you do not reboot your Revue or it may be bricked.

You are now complete and free to install applications on your box remotely through adb.

Note: when booting in normal mode, you will not see any console output. If you want a serial console again, go into recovery.

Installing Apps

After reboot, the Logitech Revue will now be running the Android Debug Bridge (adb) daemon to allow remote connections on port 5555. If you already have the Android SDK tools installed you are ready to begin installing applications with the standard 'adb install' commands or accessing shell via 'adb shell'. In case you are not familiar with using the Android Debug Bridge (adb), the following steps will help you get started:

1.) Follow the steps outlined here to install the Android 2.1 SDK to the computer you wish to install apps from. Don't worry about USB drivers as you will not be using this with the Revue. (Newer SDK tools should work also, but keep in mind that the Revue is at SDK 7 when building apps.)

2.) Determine the IP address of your Revue by checking with your DHCP server or viewing 'Network Information' in the Revue Settings app. This will be referred to as <GTV-IP> in subsequent steps.

3.) Open a shell (i.e. bash/cygwin/dos/etc) on the machine with the SDK installed.

4.) Verify that the sdk tools directory is in your PATH (Google can help if you don't understand this step.)

5.) Run 'adb connect <GTV-IP>:5555' and you should see:

  $ adb connect
  connected to

6.) Change to the directory containing the Android packages (APK) you wish to install and run 'adb install app.apk' (where app.apk is the app's filename)

  $ adb install Maps.apk
       pkg: /data/local/tmp/Maps.apk
  1062 KB/s (3993846 bytes in 3.672s)

7.) If adb did not report any errors, your app should now be available in your Logitech Revue applications list. Please note that some Android apps make use of native code which runs outside of the DalvikVM. These native pieces will need to be rebuilt for the Revue's x86 architecture. Refer to the Toolchain Support page for help rebuilding native code.

Building the code

The Exploitee.rs team has a script to simplify the download/configuration/installation of unofficial NDK/toolchain support which is documented here.


If you experience any issues, please check wiki as we will be updating it with the most common problems then visit our IRC or the Exploitee.rs forums if the wiki does not assist you. If you stop by IRC to ask a question please give us time to respond, we are not always at the computer so there may be times that no one will respond immediately. Also, feel free to send zenofex an email at zenofex at Exploitee.rs with questions.

About Us

This package is brought to you by the Exploitee.rs team over at irc.freenode.net #Exploiteers.

Exploitee.rs Team Members:

Thanks to everyone in the community who made this all possible. The Exploitee.rs Team

Related Files:

Logitech Revue Modified Updates

Version number Update link Update link 2 Date Features
b54202 http://www7.zippyshare.com/v/84320220/file.html 08-25-2011
b49116 http://www.multiupload.com/SSV46RGX44 04-05-2011
b47773 http://www.multiupload.com/ANOWNDJ4IS 03-20-2011
b42732 http://www.multiupload.com/NWXIUNZEF3 01-26-2011
b42449 http://www.multiupload.com/REVEQS6HII http://bit.ly/gtvuc99 01-05-2011

Script to simplify tool chain and sdk building : Beta1 or Beta2