Kindle and Eduroam

Edit again. Beware: the procedure doesn’t work on Kindle 3.1 firmware. 3.1 can surely be jailbroken, see the MobileRead forum., but the wpa_supplicant configuration described here is not working anyway on 3.1. My advice is just “don’t upgrade” now. If you have a good way of preventing the firmware to be upgraded while on the net (Amazon likes to push new firmware without asking users), share it in the comments. Modifications necessary to make this hack work on 3.1 firmware, see the MobileRead forum.

Kindle is a wonderful piece of hardware. I love it. It has nothing to do with liking Amazon, I’m only surprised they haven’t still deleted the dictionaries or the bible as they also contain “incest.” But to the business. I love my Kindle to be connected to the network.

Edit: Blimey, maybe I don’t like having my Kindle on the network as much as I originally thought. Anyway, the howto follows.

And now to the business.

There are speculations whether Kindle can be connected to Eduroam networks. The answer is simple: yes, it can. The process was described by my colleague Jiří Matela who gave me the permission to publish it.

The only problem is that the Kindle configuration interface doesn’t support WPA infrastructure network directly, therefore some hacking is necessary. Disclaimer: I take no responsibility of your device. The procedure described may brick it, it may turn off electricity in your town for a month, it may make your hamster to eat your grandmother. All of that is your fault, not mine. You have been warned. It has been tested on the Masaryk University network mostly, so if the configuration doesn’t work for you, don’t blame us. The firmware tested is 3.0.2 on Kindle “Latest Generation aka 3.”

For the start, install Jailbreak and USBNetwork hacks from the mobileread forum. Get familiar with the process of running commands on your Kindle. I suppose you run a decent Linux distribution on your computer.

  • Connect to Kindle’s shell via usbnetwork like this. On your Kindle, go Home, press Del, type “;debugOn” and Enter. Type “~usbNetwork” in the same way. Your Kindle is now switched from mass storage to USB network mode. Connect it to the computer via cable.
  • On your computer, run
    modprobe usbnet
    modprobe cdc_ether
    ifconfig usb0
    ssh root@

    You can also store ssh keys into /etc/base-us/usbnet/etc/authorized_keys, but if connecting without password is OK, skip it.

  • Run following commands on your Kindle:
    mntroot rw
    cd /usr/local
    mkdir wpa-enterprise-hack
    cd wpa-enterprise-hack
  • On your computer: find the AddTrust_External_Root.pem certificate (somewhere in /etc/ssl usually), and
    scp AddTrust_External_Root.pem \
  • Put this script to your Kindle’s /usr/local/wpa-enterprise-hack, make it executable (chmod u+x) and use correct user name and password in it.
    Well, a bit of explanation: one cannot fiddle with wpa_supplicant configuration directly on a Kindle. This works by adding the Eduroam connection to the list of allowed connections. Ugly, but working.
  • On your Kindle:
    cd /etc/init.d/
    cp wpa_supplicant wpa_supplicant-orig
  • In Kindle’s wpa_supplicant, add following line to do_start() section
      /usr/local/wpa-enterprise-hack/ &

    so that the section reads

      do_start () {
              start-stop-daemon -o -S -b -m -p $WPA_PIDFILE -x $WPA_SUP_BIN --
              msg "wpa supplicant started" I
              /usr/local/wpa-enterprise-hack/ &
  • Run mntroot ro on your Kindle, turn USBNetwork off (e.g., by rebooting), and use Eduroam hapilly.

This entry was posted by D.A. on December 15, 2010 at 23:04. It is filed under Informatics. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Feel free to read the comments, or leave one of your own!

Sites that reference this post:
  1. Installing USBNetwork on Kindle 3 via Windows 7 | TechBrief

One Comment for “Kindle and Eduroam”

Leave a Comment