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KindleOS X (4.1) isn’t worth the money

I've just come across a new OS for the Kindle, and I wanted to pass along a warning. Save your money. KindleOS X (4.1) is simply Duokan, the open source Kindle firmware under a different label. The KindleOS people didn't even recompile from source or change any file names. It's a straightforward copy of Duokan. FYI: Duokan is a replacement firmware for the Kindle that lets you read Epub/Mobi/AZW, download RSS feeds, and do a bunch of other things. It's been getting incrementally better since I first came across it back in November, and I'm pretty sure it will one day pass the Kindle in terms of features. (You can get an English language version here.)

While I don't think that the KindleOS is worth the money, I will say that the KindleOS people have actually contributed something. Their version is a lot easier to install.  They've reorganized the files and provided clear instructions. Their version might actually be worth the $5 for a beginner. You can find it here.

On the other hand, they are a bunch of liars. Here's a few of their claims:

What if we were to tell you that we have designed and released an amazing,  completely new operating system that works on your kindle without changing or deleting your current Amazon Kindle OS?


We request a small donation of $4.99 (£2.99) for the KindleOS. This will enable us to work on the future versions of the Operating System and bring you the very best experience using your Kindle.

Folks, they can't recompile Duokan because (so far as I can tell) the source code has not been released.
In fact, I'm pretty sure that Duokan has not been released under any type of CC or GPL license (I can't find a mention). I'm pretty sure that KindleOSX is not just a copy but a pirated copy.

If you want to try Duokan, the link I provided for the free copy of Duokan has pretty good instructions. They're rather complicated, though.

And as always, this might damage your Kindle so use at your own risk.

About Nate Hoffelder (11117 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

10 Comments on KindleOS X (4.1) isn’t worth the money

  1. Interesting. And the following statement from the website makes it worth giving a point at some point.

    “Duokan works with Kindle 2, 3 and DX and it will install besides the original OS, so you’re able to switch easily between it and the original Kindle OS.”

  2. giving a try at some point

  3. I never even knew there was an alternate Kindle OS. Sheesh.

  4. There’s also at least two ports of fbreader for “jail-broken” Kindles.
    Should be no surprise; the hardware is good, cheap, readily available, and it runs on LINUX. A hacker’s delight.

  5. Levi Golden // 5 July, 2012 at 7:08 pm //

    I find this article to be complete bogus!

    KindleOS has lifelong support a refiled system and is essentially the english version of duokan. Much worth $5 for a much better amazon kindle operating system!

  6. It isn’t essentially the English version of Duokan; it literally is a copy of the English version of Duokan. All these bozos did was slap their own label on it.

  7. Levi Golden // 5 July, 2012 at 9:24 pm //

    Doukan is chinese I believe & open source

    These people converted all of it to english, simplified the installation process and added US support all worth $5 in my opinion.

  8. Nope. The English version already existed. I had it before I came across the knockoff.

  9. Yes but you also have knowledge of coding & the like . like you state in your article kindleos makes it easy for anyone to install a new os on there kindle & have you tried it since the update as this article is over a year old?

  10. No. Why should I? There are any number of stories I can cover. Why repeat one?

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