KindleOS X (4.1) isn’t worth the money

KindleOS X (4.1) isn't worth the money e-Reading Hardware e-Reading Software 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.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

10 Comments

  1. elmonica22 May, 2011

    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.”

    Reply
    1. elmonica22 May, 2011

      giving a try at some point

      Reply
  2. Mike Cane23 May, 2011

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

    Reply
    1. fjtorres23 May, 2011

      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.

      Reply
  3. Levi Golden5 July, 2012

    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!

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 July, 2012

      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.

      Reply
      1. Levi Golden5 July, 2012

        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.

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder5 July, 2012

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

          Reply
  4. Levi Golden5 July, 2012

    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?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder7 July, 2012

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

      Reply

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