Hacking Alexa or Google devices to install Mycroft

Has anyone attempted to install Mycroft on an Amazon Echo or Google device? Obviously it it void the warranty but who cares! The mic/speaker and form factor are great. Seems like something fun to do with one of these things grandma gave you for Christmas.


I have to Echos sitting here, dooing nothing, and would love to hack them to get Linux and Mycroft running on it. Best information I found were this article

But reading that tells me it isnt easy, and requere lot of work to be usable :frowning:

The echo dot/home mini had 256mb of RAM, which is rather low to run mycroft on. For budget applications a pi 3 and the google aiy voice kit v1 would be a reasonable approach, though not nearly as pretty or compact. The google mini has a similar two-mic system in it as well.


Not exactly what I was was going for… but pretty creative.

step 1 - open it up
step 2 - take the hardware out
step 3 - put a picroft inside


Apart from the warranty getting void, are there any other specs?

As in this: https://techyhost.com/ways-to-highly-compress-files/

i wanna try this too.

Just had a closer look at that Mini tear down and it says 256MB of NAND flash. It’s actually been beefed up to 4 gig of RAM

  • Marvell 88DE3006-BTK2 — (unchanged) This is the multimedia processor SoC, an ARMADA 1500 Mini Plus with a Dual-Core ARM Cortex A7, supporting 1080p HD content.
  • Toshiba TC58NVG1S3HBA16 —(unchanged) 256 MB NAND flash
  • Texas Instruments TAS5720 — (unchanged) The audio amplifier
  • Marvell Avastar 88W8887 WLAN/BT/NFC SoC — (changed from the 88W8897 used in the Google Home) The main difference with this SoC is that instead of a 2x2 wifi radio (meaning it can send and receive on two antennas simultaneously and do wifi beamforming), it only has a “1x1”. This is most likely a cost reduction, also requiring less thermal dissipation and hence a smaller, cheaper design, for a product that may not need the extra bandwidth and antenna strength.
  • SK hynix H5TC4G63CFR-PBA — This is 4Gb DDR3L SDRAM (changed from the Samsung K4B4G16 512MB DDR3 SDRAM used in the Google Home)

Picroft is still an easier and safer way to go! :slight_smile:


Oh damn, was clearly still asleep, definitely a lower case b there…
No 4GB’s of RAM sorry folks.

I got Amazon to confirm that all the echo devices run FireOS, a version of android. I bet that the new echo show has lots of ram, and could probably run mycroft…


Hi guys and lads,

Does anyone have updates about it ?
I’m stuck with à bunch of minis and would like to upgrade them :grin:

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Your best bets are to check Hackaday and XDA. No update that I could find.

No one’s tried it that we know of…

Im stuck with a 1. gen, which has 2 gb of ram. Hopefully i can find something, definatley posting an update in case.

Looks like if you have an Echo v1 you should be able to install Debian on it: https://github.com/echohacking/wiki/wiki/Echo. It does require attaching to the debug pads on the bottom of the device. I’ve not yet found anyone who has actually used this for anything other than listening into the device itself (would love to see if you can still access the speaker and mic etc…). It appears that the echo v1 runs on Linux while all later ones run on Android.


Here’s another how-to on how to root an Echo 1. It’s not simple and looks like it needs specialized hardware.



Well, you can technically install Linux on it, but it’s a hard process, and you can’t really achieve much with it. Alas, the Amazon Echo is also not very strong, with less than a gigabyte of RAM and a very weak processor, since most of the speech processing takes place on Amazon’s cloud.

If you want to create your own personal assistant like a chatbot development services, a Raspberry Pi or another SBC would be a much better option. Since you’re having trouble with Mycroft, you could try to install a different assistant such as Genie, formerly Almond. Almond can also be installed on Home Assistant as an add-on (only available on the OS version).

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What about little “p” pirating the hardware, even plug in a Rapsberry Pi 3 or 4 somehow to make them mycroft?

You can ssh in to a device running mycroft and ask it questions in text and receive responses, maybe you transmit input from the Debian Alexas to a more robust device running actual Mycroft, receive the response and say it on the weak Alexa board with ok mic and speaker?

I just asked the puny Alexa board do both recognition and text to speech in the dream scenario, I can only think of using DietPi with one of the speech recognition kits, or may have already overloaded them.