After all the reading yesterday and a little more today, I felt reasonably confident that I could get the USBNet hack to work, thus allowing me access to the Kindle file system.
The whole process turned out to be less painful than I had anticipated and I was logged into the Kindle in no time.
The basic steps I took are as follows:
  1. Install the network drivers for the Kindle on your machine. I had difficulty installing the ini file from the wiki, so for Windows 7 I did this while in the diagnostics menu
      • Go to Device Manager in Windows
      • Choose the unrecognized device from the list
      • Choose update driver/install driver
      • Choose "Let me pick from a list..."
      • Choose Network Adapter
      • Choose Microsoft Corporation
      • Choose Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device
  2. Next is determining if SSH is on the device or not. The wiki has a good tutorial here
If you determine that SSH is not running on your device, like I did, you'll need to do the USBNet hack. The file can be downloaded from this forum post (kindle-usbnetwork-0.XX.N where XX is the latest version number).

Read the README.txt for instructions and details. These steps are outlined in the README. The README also has more detail on what you need to do than what is below. The basics steps are:
  1. Plug Kindle into computer, place the appropriate update .bin file onto your Kindle.
      • Note: If you don't know your root password, write down your Kindle Serial Number found under the 2nd page under Device Info (Menu-->Settings). Input that serial into Kindle root password tool, and it will give you a list of few possible passwords.
  2. Eject the Kindle and install the usbnetwork update (Menu-->Settings-->Menu-->Update Your Kindle).
  3. Wait for the update to install and for the Kindle to reboot (took just a few minutes for mine to install and reboot).
  4. Review the config file on the Kindle under src\usbnet\etc and make any changes as necessary. As noted in the config file, this MUST be done in a UNIX/Linux environment and not Windows. (Line endings). 
      • Aside from adjusting USE_VOLUMD to true for the Kindle 4, I would recommend leaving the default settings for now to ensure that everything is working properly before editing the config file.
  5. Make sure the Kindle is not plugged into your PC. If it is, eject the device. 
  6. On the Kindle keyboard (you can use the keyboard key on the Kindle 4) type: 
      • ";debugOn" (with no quotes). Choose "search my items" to enter this information into the Kindle. You will see no changes. 
      • Next type "~usbNetwork". Choose "search my items" again. 
        • Side note: I noticed after typing the last command that the battery icon at the top of the Kindle has a lightning bolt through it (the charging symbol) appears. I'm not sure if this is an indicator on all Kindle versions, but it did indicate on my K4 that it was now in "usbnetworking mode". 
  7. Plug the Kindle into your computer. It should be recognized by your OS as a Network Adapter.
  8. Set the IP address on your computer to the address defined under "HOST_IP" in the config file. Subnet should be Everything else can be blank. 
      • NOTE: When you plug the Kindle into your computer you should see two network adapters. You are changing the IP address for your Kindle network connection and not your regular ethernet/wifi connection.
  9. Launch your preferred SSH application (ex Putty). Type in the IP address that was listed under KINDLE_IP in the config file.
  10. You should now see the login screen. Login! 
      • If you enabled SSH over Wifi or made some changes other options, you will need to know your password for root. This is where your Kindle Serial Number comes in handy. If you didn't retrieve your password earlier, simply visit the Kindle root password tool, and it will give you a list of few possible passwords.


Thank you very much. Will try when my kindle 4 comes.

I just tried this method and it worked, Thanks a lot!
BTW. I did it in W7 and I used the driver .inf file in the wiki and It worked. I just had to skip the warning about installing a driver without certificate or something like that.

Works, except that I can't activate the network adapter and don't get access to ssh via usb. But if I set
in the config, I can access via WLAN, Putty and the regular LAN-IP of the Kindle.
You wrote "this MUST be done in a UNIX/Linux environment and not Windows." Pretty good idea, but you can do this under Windows as well, just use Notepad++ - you can use the line endings of your choice.
And if anybodys intersted, heres a link to a step-by-step-guide in german:

Where is the README file?

It should be in the zip you download for the USBNet hack.

when you connect to wifi for ssh-over-wifi, amazon nukesh the jailbreak :(

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