These are the steps I take to mod the AppleTV. There are a ton of howtos out there and this is mainly a resource for myself to remember how to do it. I hope it helps someone else mod their AppleTV. Please send me anything I missed!
Mine factory restores back to 2.0.1
Optionally Update to AppleTV version 2.2
When I attempted upgrade to 2.2, I lost the ability to mount external USB. I have since reverted to 2.0.1. I’d like to get back to 2.1 somehow.
Edit: Nito showed me how: Howto Upgrade to 2.1
Use the Patchstick
This USB Patchstick enables SSH on the AppleTV and also does some kernel patches.
(TODO: link needed to USB file)
Edit: Check out atv-usb creator here
Connect to SSH
Test that SSH is working. Exchange ssh keys for easier logins
Upload NitoTV via SCP.
scp nito056 frontrow@AppleTV.local
Run the NitoTV installer
ssh to the AppleTV. change dir into the nito folder and run the installer with sudo privileges or as root
Upload ~/Documents via SCP
Here, some important disk images need to appear in order for NitoTV’s Smart Installer to work. Smart installer is a script within NitoTV which installs 50+ mods/patches that you definitely want working.
The disk image file names are:
Run Nito Install Software
Up to this point, all of these things are done on your PC or via SSH on the AppleTV. Now is where you switch over to your AppleTV remote. You should have NitoTV on your AppleTV main menu now. Go over there and run it.
We’re going to run Install Software from within NitoTV. I think the option is somewhere down in Settings. Run Perian install. Run mplayer codec install. Run Smart Installer.
At this point, AFP file sharing, External USB Disks and all media codecs should be set up. You’re pretty much fully modded. After this point are just extra nice stuff.
Install XBMC (failed)
General Modding Snippets
Mount drive as Read/Write
root@appletv# mount -o remount,rw /dev/disk0s3 /
This link has a lot of general purpose low level AppleTV modding information. However, do not follow it step by step. Nito has done most of this work for you and it is much easier to use NitoTV to do all these mods automatically.