How to jailbreak the Surface RT

first_imgThroughout our coverage of Surface RT, a single complaint has repeated itself over and over again: There are not enough apps in the Microsoft Store to offer a complete experience. What could fix this if Microsoft remains unable to win over developers? Jailbreaking of course.Calling what happens in this tutorial a “jailbreak” is generous when compared to the recent iOS 6 jailbreak process. Jailbreaking your Surface RT will not violate your warranty, and the risks associated with running the software are fantastically low. In fact, all you are really doing is running a program that tricks Windows RT into allowing you to install programs that you have downloaded instead of just limiting you to the Windows Store.The jailbreak softwareTo get started, you’ll need to download the RT jailbreak zip. Unzip the file you just downloaded, and then shut your Surface RT down entirely.This jailbreak is to be run when you first start the Surface RT. Tap your power button and boot the tablet, and once you have reached the Start page you will need to navigate to the Desktop. Locate the file you unzipped from the Desktop and double click on the runExploit.bat sitting in the folder. This will open a DOS prompt to execute the exploit. You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to run the exploit by pressing “R” on your keyboard.Once the exploit has started running, the dialogue box will ask you to press the Volume-Down key on the Surface. Press the button once, and a few seconds later the DOS prompt will disappear. At this point, you are now able to install apps that are not signed by the Windows Store.Run it once or at startup?This exploit needs to be run every time you reboot Windows RT, unless you install a script that tells the jailbreak exploit to run at startup. If you’re only interested in trying the jailbreak, or if you are concerned that malicious software can now be installed on your Surface RT, you can continue to use the jailbreak tool as a one-off utility.If you know you are going to want to be jailbroken all the time, you can use the runExploit.bat again and select option “I” with your keyboard, which will install the script needed to keep your Surface RT jailbroken every time you reboot the computer. If you should ever need to uninstall this jailbreak tool, option “U” in runExploit.bat will remove the jailbreak entirely, but it will not remove the apps that you have side loaded.Can it run Quake?Jailbreak complete: Now what?Now that you have a freshly jailbroken Surface RT, what can you do with it? Unfortunately, not much yet. Since Windows RT is built for ARM processors, you need apps that are either built for ARM or built entirely on Microsoft’s .NET 4.5 in order to install them on the Surface RT and actually use them.There’s currently a group of developers over at XDA that are maintaining a list of apps that have been ported, which include gems like Quake 2 and the PuTTy SSH app. There’s the .NET based IceChat for you IRC fans and of course 7Zip is floating around, but the list is fairly slim.Any apps that are closed source are unlikely to make it to the Surface RT unless they are ported by the developer, but if you know of an open source app you’d like to see ported to the Surface RT you can leave a comment over at the XDA forums for Surface.last_img

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