If you’re considering rooting your Chromecast, you’re once again in luck as a method has been devised that allows breaking the protection on the device, thereby allowing you to push a custom Chromecast ROM.
The current method involves a few pieces of hardware in order to work – you’re going to need either a Teensy 2 or a Teensy 2++, a powered USB OTG cable, a one gigabyte or higher flash drive you don’t mind erasing, and a few minutes time. You can read the entire details on where to purchase the Teensy and how to root the device at the source link below.
Rooting the device will cost you about $30 ($24 for the Teensy, $5-6 for the powered USB OTG cable), and for a device that’s only $30-35 to begin with this might seem to be silly, but to the root enthusiast and those who look for potential, it might be your only chance before Google patches the breach.
The question when rooting is generally: How will this benefit me? For Chromecast, there are not a lot of root options evident other than the ability to change DNS servers and ignore Google’s whitelist and use unapproved applications with the Chromecast. One of the reasons for so relatively few evident options is there’re not a lot of people who managed to get their Chromecast rooted, and thus not a huge base of users for root development.
What is possible, however, is the ability to load codecs on the device that are not currently supported, the ability to start a movie streaming from a torrent (no, really, there are legal torrent movie distributions … just very, very few), a potential where you could map a share and play movies directly from your computer without the need to transcode or run server-esque software, save copies of what you’re viewing to a remote device, a world without the potential for being Rick-Rolled at any moment.
But whether that potential will be realized is unknown, and whether it is worth the investment is up to you.
I’m not attempting this root method, mostly because I have root on one of the two Chromecasts I use and the other I want to keep stock, but I’m interested in knowing if anyone tries it out how it works for them.
Keep in mind, this root method probably has a very limited time before Google patches it. If you’re considering rooting a Chromecast, you’d be advised to unplug the power from it now until you’re ready to download. Since Chromecasts auto-update themselves, keeping it plugged in could get you a release of the firmware that breaks this root method.
Also, as we’re dealing with Google, we can assume their response to an exploit will be to patch it and find several others to patch and release an update quickly.