Google Chromecast Rooted, Modified Google TV OS Within

The folks at iFixit had their way, tearing down Google's latest media streaming invention and now it seems the team at the GTVHacker blog has exploited the little fella known as Google Chromecast and rooted it with shell access on port 23 of the device. Google is known for stopping well short of locking things down, almost tempting developers and hackers to see what they can do with a new device. This "exploit" will give the community access to the Google Chromecast's environment with a chance to test custom software on the device, much like the community has done with Android smartphones over the years.

Google Chromecast tear-down
Under the hood with Chromecast hardware - the software side is next... 

It turns out, the underlying operating system is more akin to Android than it is Chrome OS.  In fact, it's a "modified Google TV release" stripped down for light application specific implementation in the Chromecast usage model.  This makes sense, actually.  You don't really need all the extra hooks of a full ChromeOS instantiation when, really, the goal is a simple media streaming device.

Google Chromecast has been rooted
Google's Chromecast device undergoing root access...

Unfortunately, the system firmware isn't Android enough to allow the install of APKs or the like but hey, the device has only been out in the wild for a week or so.  Folks are just getting warmed up... 

It's likely a matter of time before we see someone cook up custom firmware for Chromecast.  Where there's a will, there's a way.  And when platforms are open, people with imagination skills can do some pretty interesting things.

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