Is it possible to run custom software on an Airport Extreme base station?

I've read it has a MIPS processor inside. So, can one put some software compiled for MIPS (addtionally to the already present printing and file-sharing services) on a connected hard drive (or install it), and then run it in the base station?

I'm thinking about the possibility of running a torrent-client on the base station, or an FTP-server, or, perhaps, a Coda filesystem server, and the like.

2 Answers 2


Currently there is no way to jailbreak either an Airport Extreme or a Time Capsule.

Whilst they are probably in the same order of difficulty as jailbreaking as say an iOS device, no one has really spent any effort on doing so.

Personally I think this is probably for the following reasons:

  1. limited target audience (low numbers of product in the world)
  2. limited 3rd party development support
  • 3
    3. no real need because a lot of linux-based wlan routers are available for anybody interested in hacking/extending his router
    – nohillside
    Apr 23, 2012 at 11:47
  • One obvious reason for a need is to run linux on the device (like Arch linux or Debian) and host an Airprint server (print to any printer from iPad or iPhone. You could also potentially run Plex Media Server with Media from an attached harddrive. The options are endless—and most importantly still have a beautiful, shiny Apple Product on your cabinet. May 5, 2013 at 17:45
  • @macmadness86 Isn't that possible with a non-Apple router? That was the point of that comment: no need to hack this one, because one can get another one. Jun 5, 2013 at 23:35

You can already ftp to it without hacking it.

  • 2
    How do you enable ftp on an APEx?
    – nohillside
    Nov 25, 2012 at 10:13
  • 1
    AirPort extreme has no filesystem nor ftp access. Are you perhaps confusing another product or using a modified base station with alternate software loaded on it?
    – bmike
    Nov 30, 2012 at 23:41

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