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If you purchase a new PC, it comes preloaded with some software, this is mostly just a convenience. You could reformat the drive, remove all the windows software and load Linux or similar software, as your operating system.

An ereader is essentially a computer built to specialize for the specific task of reading. In theory the same rules would apply. Is there anything preventing my from reformatting my kindle and installing an operation system that is not an Amazon product?

  • possibly a duplicate of this ebooks.stackexchange.com/questions/196/are-there-any-free-open-source-custom-firmwares-for-e-ink-devices – Sekhemty Jan 30 '14 at 22:31
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I do not think that there is any measure to stop you. Maybe except for the fear that you end up bricking the device by not being able to connect to it from your PC.

I do however not see a reason to do this. The only alternative firmware that I know of is Duokan, which works fine in dualboot. So there is no need to remove the original system.

Also since the Kindle is already running a Linux (without an X server though). So you could just install the programs you want without having the trouble of missing drivers etc.

So all in all it should be possible and I do not think anything would stop you. But lacking any alternative options, I do not see why one should do it.

  • 1
    One reason for doing it would be The answers to this question – James Jenkins Jan 27 '14 at 14:25
  • @JamesJenkins True, but you would be fine with just installing Duokan and not booting the original system. I think really removing the original system has far more disadvantages. I would not trade the possibility to repair the system in case of problems for a few additional MB of additional space. – Tim Jan 27 '14 at 14:35
  • One nitpick, the Kindle does use an X server (and the awesome window manager). – Thedward Mar 9 '15 at 20:29
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I am pretty sure that altering the software running on a Kindle device is a violation of the Kindle Terms of Service, in particular the "Additional Amazon Software Terms" part: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=footer_cou?ie=UTF8&nodeId=508088#GUID-45366177-ACDC-4474-9D20-9B8E71933D9C__OL_658C4FBD43F046EB89C79D68049816DD

  • As best I can tell, that only address modification to the Amazon software, I don't see any restrictions on using a 3rd party software, did I miss something? – James Jenkins Jan 30 '14 at 23:18
  • I think that "full OS replacement" and "reformatting my kindle" imply removing the Amazon one, which is forbidden by the above ToS. Maybe sideloading another OS is not. – Alberto Pettarin Jan 30 '14 at 23:26
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    @AlbertoPettarin I really doubt that removing software is altering it. Steam's subscriber agreement also states that it is forbidden (among other things) to "modify [...] the Software or any software accessed via Steam without the prior consent". Following your logic it would be illegal to uninstall Steam without asking Valve for permission. – Tim Jan 31 '14 at 8:44
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    To make clearer what the ToS state: The Kindle Keyboard browser allows you to download .mobi and .azw, but not .pdf. It would be forbidden to modify Amazon's browser in a way that allows you to change to download .pdf files as well. It does not forbid installing a daemon that scans the browser's logfiles for files that have not been downloaded due to these restriction and downloads those for you. – Tim Jan 31 '14 at 9:07

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