Video Demo of Rooted BlackBerry PlayBook!

By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Nov 2011 07:53 pm EST

If you been following the twitter the past little bit, you'll know there's been some good working being done by three guys who want to give you the power to root your BlackBerry PlayBook (which then leads to all sorts of fun stuff by having root access to the PlayBook OS).

The exploit was found xpvqus who has been working hard with neuralic these past few months to further the initiative, and with cmwdotme recently joining the team things look to be ramping up to the release of the awesomely-named DingleBerry tool.

Watch the video above by neuralic to see some video proof of gaining root access to the PlayBook OS. You can also check out another video below where cmwdotme shows Hulu running again on the PlayBook thanks to the DingleBerry tool. We'll be watching these guys anxiously to see what comes next. We'll also be watching to see how fast RIM gets a patch out the door for this.

Reader comments

Video Demo of Rooted BlackBerry PlayBook!


wow, this is the most incredible thing i've ever seen! first? great job! your mother must be proud

moving on... so does that mean it might be possible in the future to install a completely different OS on the playbook? eg. install android for 100% compatibility

Blackberry playbook is nothing but an overpriced $200 internet browser at this point so glad these guys are finding ways to make it run something useful.

Need Skype video, remote desktop, and real VPN (Cisco Enterprise) capability. Anyone know of a way to get Skype video to work ? (NOT IM or

Its already over a year old, so even with 2.0 I do not think Playbook is worth more than $200 anymore. BB developers would do well to listen instead of flaming others sharing their opinions.

You know what? You are the type of person who loves buying the next update of a model currently on the market. The Ipad 2 replacing the Ipad 1 or the Motorola Zoom 2 replacing the Zoom 1 with no real shelf life for the prior models. Its America so you can spend what you want. Me, I love the fact I have a product that has a real shelf life that is similar to the Video Game systems like the Xbox 360 or PS3. You get to truly use the system to its full potential as time goes on. Besides troll, Ipad 2 intro date was 3/11/11 and Playbook intro date was 4/19/11. You can't even mark time well.

real shelf like? Its the 1st and last playbook, RIM is not going to make another one. Which means good luck with getting updates in about a year from now. waste of money if you ask me.

Been waiting for this since the playbook was launched..

this opens up SO many opportunities to make this device even more useful, although knowing RIM, they'd probably put everything else on hold and divert all their attention to ensuring they patch the exploit that made this possible..

there is a app called desktop browser (not in app world) which can change its browser agent... you dont need to root a tablet for something like this

Primary colors in light are Red, Green and Blue.
Primary colors in print are Cyan, Magenta and Yellow (Black is only added for more contrast)

What would be interesting is whether it can hack into email displayed via bridge....(obviously OS 2.0 with native email will have additional security parameters in the software)...if it is able to do so, then this is a huge security problem. If not, not so much (for OS 1.08 anyways).

Obviously once the root is released into the public, RIM's going to patch it up fast...

I thought QNX Neutrino was designed to give third-party access to root level commands while still protecting the kernal?

So much to look forward to - I just wish it would come.

Got 2X $199 Playbooks for family - they are going to love!!

Guys, if u want to watch hulu or netflix from your Playbook browser, you can always download an app called Desktop Browser. You wont find it in App World since RIM refused the app but you can always sideload it into your Playbook from the crackberry forum and its free. It basically camouflages your Playbook browser into a desktop browser so the website thinks that you are surfing from a desktop. No need to root for that!
I personnally dont see the use to root my Playbook YET! or ever!

Neither Hulu nor Netflix work on KermEd's Desktop Browser app, as he freely admits. Hulu recognizes the Flash player as being from the PB, and the browser app can't do anything about that. And Netflix requires Silverlight, which doesn't exist for the PB. So stop spreading misinformation!

So this browser has Silverlight support? Or how does it play Netflix? It doesnt. Nor does it play Hulu, atleast last time I tried it, which I admit was when it first got introduced to these forums.

Edit: Nope, still no Hulu.

all i can say is HOLY SHIT BATMAN...Dark Knight...whoever you guys are!

GOOD FREAKIN WORK RIGHT THERE! open a donate account and you will have some funds by the end of the week to hire a 'droid team.


I'm enough of a nerd that this is cool, but like a lot of others I'm not sure I really see myself using it. Hulu isn't available in Canada, and I'm not sure how often I'd use Netflix from my PlayBook anyway - I usually don't need to watch on the go so having it on my TV and computer is good enough for me. Loading Android Market would again be cool, but anything you try to install you'd be risking that it is PlayBook-compatible, and a lot of them aren't without slight modifications, so I'd mostly rather stick to those which the developers port over.

Well its good to see someone is working on the Playbook because RIM isn't doing much with it. The security conscience part of me is shocked it was able to be done, but based on that I'm seeing a lot of the government is getting ready to go to iOS and hardened Android while RIM can't get basic features deployed on the device or allow third party apps to fill the void then this may be the only future this device has.

Amazing, I really look forward to your tool and Im willing to donate without hesitation If it means we can run Android games without having to convert..

hmmm Not sure that this is a good thing......Part of me says GOOD JOB GUYS!!!

The other part has me worried that RIM's critics will jump on this in a co-ordinated effort to discredit BlackBerrys :(

I'm really excited about this, having an Android Market would be awesome, you have to keep in mind there are still tons of free apps & games, so you don't have anything to lose unless you purchase and app and it ends up not working.. But as far as I can remember RIM did say that all apps/games up to Android OS 2.3 would work, if that is in fact true then I don't see it being an issue at all..

I'm hoping for a Jailbreak equivalent to come out of this.. Would be pretty awesome..

This is a great thing. Amazing job guys! If anything I would use the browser hack so I could use Netflix and Xfinity.

Well, this might be a blow to all those security certifications that are part of the appeal to business and government. Curiously, the rooted PB appears one day before the webcast for business and government.

That's exactly what I was thinking. If this can be done while the Playbook's screen is password locked, and used to unlock it, RIM, pardon the language, is screwed.

BBX just lost its biggest advantage in the corprate market, and every security certificate, like you said, will go right out the window. For the playboook all the data is stored on a BBOS phone, so no data can be compromised, but a BBX phone isn't so lucky.

I really don't think BB fans should cheer this. This may just be the beginning of the end of RIM (no matter how much I don't like to say it)

Great Job. Rim seem incompetent, hope these guys can get Ice Cream Android Os on it. I'll have spell check / autocorrection and native email. WOW...

At least they're not as incompetent as those who make devices that can be jailbroken with a web browser (ios), or have security breaches almost every other week (android).

Personally, I would rather have OS2. So could this jeopardize the release? And as a corporate user i am also a little worried.

There goes your 2.0 upgrade a few months from now! They'll spend every waking hour trying to prevent the root and your 2.0 will turn into 2.1 before you know it. I'm thinking we get upgraded maybe by August!

Agreed. RIMs future depends on the personal data on a device being unatainable if password locked. If it can be rooted, BBX does not match the "secure Superphone" motif they desprately need.

RIM is going to quicky patch up this hole, but they are going to audit every part of the BBX operating system to make sure it cannot happen again. RIM only has so many people working on BBX 2.0, and security will almost definately trump "early" os 2.

I don't think this is a bad thing, at $199 i think we will see the general user buying this more so then business users, and the device can't be much use to business users without a blackberry phone, as its missing the essentials like email client and calender..

On the bright side this tool might be more of a reason to buy a Playbook, I know for a fact one of the reasons people buy iOS devices is so they can jailbreak them..

Only time will tell..

Meh. If I understand QNX, this is not that big of a deal.

If they accessed the bootloader, I'd be worried. the Playbook...which hasn't even been out for a year already gets rooted...and one to date has managed to "root" or otherwise gain "root-level access" on a normal Blackberry smartphone for the past 5+ years....

_______________good show_____________________________________________

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

To the Canadians having trouble with Hulu:Setup a VPN, my requests come out of LA and Hulu works fine.VPN=Virtual Private Network. Need a compatible router to get it working on the Playbook.


noun /ˈdiNGəlˌberē/
dingleberries, plural

vulgar. A particle of fecal matter attached to the anal hair of an animal

vulgar. A foolish or inept person


I don't know if I would classify this as root. All I see is remote command line prompt, just like a DOS box in windows. There is a lot of difference between running a command line and running dual operating systems. You guys are doing great work, it will be interesting to see where this goes.

I think you have yourself a little confused here. Rooting is not the process of gaining access to the boot-loader and installing other Operating Systems. 'Rooting' is the process of granting access to core features that are not necessarily enabled for use within the standard operating system. Rooting and installing a ROM are separate things which are not to be confused. It has also been stated that a more user friendly interface is being worked on to replace the Command Line Interface(Not DOS) methods currently used.

Hope you understand,

Crwblyth :)

I am hoping that this development, together with the firesale prices, will get a lot of developers on board and lead to things like Ice Cream Sandwich on Playbook.

I won't be upgrading my OS if this thing gets patched.

Here is the thing, look how long it took them to find an exploit. Playbooks been out since April/May. Ipad 2 and android tabs are generally rooted within 2 weeks of release. Right now any comments as to how the device was rooted are moot. We don't know yet. As for how useful this is? Thats yet to be seen. I am curious to know when os2 official drops with enterprise app world if the perimetered data would be accessible and decryptable.

And thats the other thing some people are missing. When deployed in the enterprise/government sector the functionality that allowed the root will probably be able to be disabled.

My money right now is on RIM patching this as soon as the patch is public released.

This all makes sense apart from the first bit regarding Android and iOS exploiting. Consider the user base of the PlayBook vs. Android phones/tablets and iOS devices - a minority. You cannot expect a fast exploit when there are only 3 people working on it. Take Android rooting for example - if a new phone comes out that is worth rooting, you can bet your house on more than 15 developers working on it from the very start. It's a very unfair comparison, however, I do believe you may be right about RIM patching this fairly quickly.

Crwblyth :)

Well i rather get OS2 later but been able to say i got a secure device, I got an iPod Touch just to have it jailbraked and get "all the apps" (that never really use).

This is very bad for RIM's publicity and they should get our beloved Playbook (and future BBX phones) at least as secure as current Blackberry phones. Only they keyboard wont hold the ship together this time...

This is kind of pointless and retarded. Most of you people who are like "oh my god this is amazing i have a boner" are PROBABLY haters typically. But now that you have root access... Which is pretty damn pointless... You're like "oh my gaaahhh". Just because you have the pointless ability.

It's just messed up. The consumer is whack anymore. Watching that video was the geekiest shit ever - I don't care about sending root commands to change a goddamn LED. Honestly, WHEN would this EVER be beneficial? And don't tell me Hulu because a) I'm in Canada and b) it's JUST Hulu.

The majority of this comment makes no sense. LED changing is NOT the only feature this gives you - it opens a wide windows of opportunity, such as access to other 'disabled' core features, like the Android Player.

There is huge potential to change the Android Player in the 2.0 Beta so that it is the full Android. (You may say it's pointless getting Android fully running, but it really helps with the range of apps available).

Not to mention the fact that they already have Android Market working - meaning that Android apps can be installed directly without any of the conversion process. So, if you look at it from an 'above normal' users point of view, it can actually be VERY beneficial.

Remember that Kindle Fire tablet that came out? Yeah, they rooted it and now you're not restricted.

Remember the Touchpad running WebOS? They unlocked the boot-loader and now that runs Android too. Sure, these people only have root access, but it's a step in the right direction to learning how to access the boot-loader.

Think about it from another person's point of view first, and then criticise the need for such a feature.

Crwblyth :)

"meaning that Android apps can be installed directly without any of the conversion process"

Just because you can run some Android apps on Playbook, doesn't mean you can run all. Nor would I imagine you can run full function Android on Playbook. The phone functions at least are probably quite different.

In fact anything that requires low level access to the device is potentially different.

It may be mildly interesting to play around this way but I'm not sure there's a practical use for the regular user.

If you had read this correctly, you may have realised that I said it would be useful for above normal users. I also never claimed that all Android apps would work. Nor did I mention the full version of Android including the phone features. My reference to full Android was to the video, in which he says that even though it would be hard work, they might get full Android running.

Please interpret what you're reading to make sure you know what I'm saying before you jump into making such comments.

My comment about low level access was not about extremely low level access, just a lot deeper into the core OS than we are currently.

Crwblyth :)

Just because they have root access, does that mean they have access to the information on a bridged BB or a locked PB? If so, then THAT is a problem. Having root access to the data on an unlocked PB is meaningless since you can just as easily get the info from the PB itself.

I have no idea how I feel about this... my face looks like ":D" by my heart is more ":'(" there goes every last bit of RIM's "we're the securest ever" tag line when BBX phones come out. Say goodbye to guaranteed government and other high end contracts that were based on RIM security.

this is the single greatest blow that RIM has ever sustained in my honest opinion.... great day for us, sad day for RIM

So were they root QNX, or root on Android?

Personally I've always thought having an Android "player" (essentially just a crippled Android OS running on QNX) on Playbook was crazy and an invitation for just such exploits.

I'm guessing that either they were root Android (couldn't see well enough to be sure but seems most likely) or using Android to exploit QNX.

The Playbook just won some kind of approval for government use. I guess that will have to be reassessed if they were root QNX.

QNX was rooted which gave access to more of the Android Player functions/settings as well as QNX functions/settings. At this moment it is not obvious where the exploit took place (Android player or otherwise).


I dont get why most of you want netflix and hulu Sooooo bad? can you not use google? ive been streaming tv and movies since it was available and ive never had to spend more tha 5 10 min to find what ever I wana watch free lol try tv links.. project free tv.. most of these sites have 10x the content netflx has.. waste of money imo.. I did a netflix trial and it was mostly garbage old movies and not even fast streaming..