You can now install Android TV 11-based LineageOS 18.1 on your Fire TV Stick | #android | #security


Not for the faint of heart, though

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick lineup is among the most popular streaming dongles out there. Unlike other devices, they do not feature Android TV. Instead, they run a fork of Android maintained by Amazon dubbed Fire OS, with the Alexa integration and app library support being a key highlight. That’s not to say the Fire TV interface is perfect, as it’s loaded with clutter, filled with ads you cannot turn off, and lacks Play Store support in lieu of Amazon-supported apps and channels. Now, if you are willing to take matters into your hands, you can run Android 11 TV on your 3rd gen Fire TV Stick and the Stick TV Lite, all thanks to an unofficial LineageOS 18.1 ROM.

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This process is not for the faint of heart, and it becomes even more complicated due to the lack of an official tool to unlock the bootloader of the Fire TV Stick. Because of this, you have to rely on an exploit discovered by XDA member k4y0z (via XDA) for the third-gen Fire TV Stick and Stick Lite that allows you to install TWRP on them. Another catch is that the streaming stick must be running FireOS v7.2.7.3 or lower. Additionally, you must have access to a PC running Linux. The bootloader unlocking process is a bit convoluted and risky — you risk potentially bricking your streaming stick if you erase the wrong partition.

Once you get around to installing TWRP, though, the actual process to flash the unofficial build of LineageOS 18.1 made by developer Rortiz2 is relatively easy. Note that the Android TV 11 ROM is compiled in 32-bit mode, so ensure that you flash the correct Google Apps package. Don’t expect an entirely bug-free experience, as Netflix is known to crash after a movie is played; thankfully, a simple reboot fixes this issue. There will likely be a few other bugs and issues that are yet to be reported. Perhaps the bigger problem is that SELinux is set to permissive, which is one of the critical security features of Android.


Nonetheless, if you are desperate to get Android TV 11 on your Fire TV Stick or Stick Lite, you now at least have a way of doing so. For some users, this process might even make up for the removal of third-party launchers.

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