There’s a lot to like about Tesla’s Model 3, but as with most things with prepackaged entertainment (or infotainment) systems, even this beautiful electric car leave people yearning for a bit more. In the case of one reddit user, Tesla’s infotainment system didn’t satiate his/her entertainment hunger, so they decided to do what’s perhaps one of the most interesting dual-OS installs ever, installing Ubuntu alongside Tesla’s OS in their own car.
Explicit details about how this mod was pulled off are not clear, but it’s not going to be one for the faint of heart you can be sure. Digging deep into a car’s OS means that a breaking something could lead to an essential bricking, although something tells us Tesla itself would have the capabilities to restore the OS in the event something went way wrong. But, as with most things outside the warranty if this was your doing, don’t expect a modest bill.
Nonetheless, redditor trsohmers managed to get Ubuntu installed, and has done quite a bit with it. The OS appears to take advantage of the car’s connectivity without issue, which is something impressive in itself, though it might helped by the fact that the Intel Atom-powered computer is already friendly with Linux, and thus drivers were apparently available.
In tests, this install of Ubuntu could play back YouTube videos without lag. Opening up the popular HTOP monitoring tool, trsohmers could see their own Ubuntu running, as well as Tesla’s internal apps. To be even able to see those processes means you’ve stumbled somewhere you shouldn’t have, but according to trsohmers, simply knowing how to log into your car (really…) via SSH can get you close. Though that’s making it sound easier than it actually would be. If it were that easy to access a Tesla’s root account, then it sounds like an OS update needs to be rolled out, stat. The fact an end-user has managed it at all is still questionable, though.
Where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way with hardware hackers. We still think there might be better victims than a $35,000 car, but at least those who can do such things give the rest of us some cool projects to marvel at.