Amazon opens Kindle DX source code

Amazon has publicly released the source code for its Kindle DX eBook reader, paving the way for hacks and upgrades from the amateur development community.

Source code for the original Kindle has been available since 2007, but code for the new Kindle DX, which was unveiled in May this year, has now also been released.

However, using modified source code on a Kindle is likely to void the device’s warranty. A notice on Amazon’s website states that the company will not be liable for “any damages of any kind arising from use of the source code”.

The Kindle operating system is heavily based on the standard Linux kernel, version 2.6.22, with additional drivers and code to support its unusual hardware. The code does not include the actual Kindle application that sits atop the kernel, though, which makes up the user interface.

Earlier this week Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made it clear that the firm sees its eBook readers as a separate business from eBooks sales. He said that it is investigating new business models for distribution.

“The device team has the job of making the most remarkable purpose-built reading device in the world,” he said at the Disruptive by Design conference. “We are going to give the device team competition.”

The new source code can be downloaded as a 137MB zipped file from Amazon’s website.

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