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How to: Stop AppleTV from detecting updates

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AppleTV UpdatePhoto credit: mightykenny (Flickr)

You’ve jailbroken your AppleTV and don’t want it to keep bugging you about that new iOS update since you’re a) not bothered about a new feature, b) are happy with how you’ve got your ATV configured, or c) are sick of being told every few minutes that there’s an update available. Regardless of your reason, thankfully there is a way to stop your AppleTV from looking for updates, and by having already jailbroken your AppleTV, the process is relatively simple. You have two options:

Complete Manual Edit

On Mac:

  • Open Terminal (Under Applications > Utilities)
  • Type in ssh root@apple-tv.local
  • (If apple-tv.local doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to find and then enter your Apple TV’s local IP address)
  • If prompted, accept the certificate
  • Enter password “alpine” when prompted (without the quotes)
  • Backup your hosts file using the following command cp /etc/hosts /etc/hosts.bak
  • Type in the following commands pressing return after each
  • sudo bash -c ‘echo “127.0.0.1 appldnld.apple.com” >> ../../etc/hosts’
  • sudo bash -c ‘echo “127.0.0.1 mesu.apple.com” >> ../../etc/hosts’
  • sudo bash -c ‘echo “127.0.0.1 appldnld.apple.com.edgesuite.net” >> ../../etc/hosts’
  • To exit the Putty session, type logout and press enter

On PC:

If you have a PC, then grab Putty and use it to SSH on to your AppleTV and follow the above steps.

Performing an update at a later date?

If you wish to perform an update at a later date you can either connect, via USB, to your Mac/PC and perform a restore/update or alternatively SSH on to your AppleTV and remove the line you added above.

To remove the line:

  • Mac users: Open Terminal (Under Applications > Utilities)
  • PC users: Open Putty
  • Type in ssh root@apple-tv.local
  • (If apple-tv.local doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to find and then enter your Apple TV’s local IP address)
  • If prompted, accept the certificate
  • Enter password “alpine” when prompted (without the quotes)
  • Type in the following commands one at a time each followed by pressing return
  • sed -i ‘127.0.0.1 appldnld.apple.com/d’ /etc/hosts
  • sed -i ‘127.0.0.1 mesu.apple.com/d’ /etc/hosts
  • sed -i ‘127.0.0.1 appldnld.apple.com.edgesuite.net/d’ /etc/hosts
  • To exit the Putty session, type logout and press return
  • Reboot your AppleTV and it should detect and offer updates again

Alternatively, if you kept a backup of your hosts file like the first set of instuctions suggested, type the following command after entering your password

  • cp /etc/hosts.bak /etc/hosts

Partial Manual Edit (Uses NitoTV)

It is also possible to stop AppleTV from detecting updates by installing a package from NitoTV. To do so:

  • Mac users: Open Terminal (Under Applications > Utilities)
  • PC users: Open Putty
  • Type in ssh root@apple-tv.local
  • (If apple-tv.local doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to find and then enter your Apple TV’s local IP address)
  • If prompted, accept the certificate
  • Enter password “alpine” when prompted (without the quotes)
  • Enter the following command: 
  • echo “deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org ./” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
  • Followed by:
  • apt-get update
  • Followed by:
  • apt-get install com.nito.nitoTV
  • ATV will install nitoTV. Once it’s complete your SSH client will return to a prompt. You need to force a reboot of your ATV so type the following command:
  • killall Lowtide
  • Once ATV reboots you’ll have a new menu item, nitoTV. Browse to it and then choose to install the package “UpdateBeGone“. This makes the necessary tweaks we’ve described above.

If you haven’t already jailbroken your AppleTV then we’ve a guide for that. We’ve even got a guide for how to put the rather excellent XBOX Media Centre (XBMC) on there too.

  • James Mcguiness

    When I try entering the sed commands to re-enable updates, I just get the following-

    sed: -e expression #1, char 4: unknown command: `.’

    Any suggestions?

  • Rob

    I wonder if the reason it’s failed is down to characters being replaced by others during the cut n paste of the command. I have seen apostophes changes to speech marks before.

    Are you cutting and pasting or are you manually typing the command?

  • Rebecca Klass

    Oh god, I just updated my brother’s jailbroken apple TV – it now is frozen on the “apple icon” load screen. I have tried to restart it several times, to no avail. Please tell me (in lay man’s terms, I am an apple user but by no means a techie) how to fix this!

    Rebecca

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