4 Multiboot from HDD or USB memory stick

To try out other images, Dreambox' multiboot capabilities come in handy. You'll have to download Dreamflash 1.3b as v1.3 is not compatible with the latest image. Then copy tools.tar.gz to /tmp on your Dreambox, and copy both flash_setup.so and flash_setup.cfg to /var/tuxbox/plugins. For more detailed instructions please refer to the readme file of Dreamflash.

4.1 HDD multiboot setup

An installed harddisk is automatically recognized, but unless you bought your Dreambox with a harddisk, you'll have to format the harddisk first before you can use it. Not all harddisks are compatible with the Dreambox, so make sure you can bring it back to the shop and have it exchanged for another model if needed. 5400 rpm discs are less noisy and require less power so you might want to chose a low rpm disc rather than the latest and fastest. To format your harddisk, telnet to your Dreambox, then type:

unmount /hdd
mkfs.ext /dev/ide/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1

Then you have to mount it again and create a directory for recordings:

mount /dev/ide/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1
mkdir /hdd/movie
Now your harddisk is ready to be used.

4.2 USB memory stick multiboot setup

Once the Dreambox has booted, plug in your USB memory stick, then telnet to the Dreambox and type:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/disc
mount /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/disc

This will format, then mount your USB memory stick. Be aware that formatting deletes all data on the stick. After mounting, the stick is accessible via /var/mnt/usb.

4.3 Managing Images

Press the blue button on your remote control. One of the plugins that are now listed should be "Dreamflash setup". Select it, then press OK, then select either USB or HDD (depending on what you have available), upon which the Dreambox will reboot. If you press the blue button now, a new option called "Dreamflash administration" will be available.

You can now add new images, that will be stored on the USB stick or the HDD, rather than in the flash memory on your Dreambox. Having multiple images in the Dreambox flash memory is risky, thus using the HDD or memory stick is to be preferred. To upload a new image, transfer the image via FTP to either /var/mnt/usb (for the memory stick) or /hdd (for the harddisk), and using your remote control, select add new image, then select a name for it and wait until the file has been created. Note that you cannot use Internet Update, as this would result in the new image being written to the Dreambox, rather than your harddisk or USB stick. You'll also have to boot the standard Dreambox from the flash memory before adding or deleting an image to / from the HDD/USB stick.

As an example, I'll show you the MisterX image. You can find alternative images on sites like Dreambox Net Australia. As previously mentioned, upload the image via FTP to the appropriate location, install it using the plugin menu and reboot your Dreambox. Note that the boot process from the USB stick will take a bit longer.

5 Image example : MisterX installation

5.1 Basics

I use the misterX-140204_107_fix2 image, which I got from the Digisat.net site. Install the image as described in section 4.3. After the installation, you once again have to select a language, TV standard and configure your satellite dish(es). You have to reset the satellite settings, as the format in which satellite settings are saved has changed in between image 1.07.3 and 1.07.4. The latest image uses a text file, but many modified images are still based on the 1.07.3 image, where the satellite settings are stored differently. When installing a 1.07.4 based image, all you have to do is paste the configuration line into /var/tuxbox/config/enigma/. Here is a sample configuration line:


Copying the entire configuration file is not such a good idea, as other settings can vary in between images. For reasons unknown, the "copy settings from flash" option to copy rotor positions can corrupt the data. In such a case, remove the configuration line, then reconfigure the satellite(s).

After loading an image, you'll also have to reconfigure the network settings as previously explained. Then you can import the channel list and favorites again.

5.2 Emus

To receive PayTV channels, you have to install a softCAM. Such a piece of software allows you to use the official PayTV decoding card in one of the readers of the Dreambox, without having to buy an expensive adapter card. Alternatively, you can grab the decoding keys from the decoding card, and decode PayTV without having to insert the decoding card using a decryption card emulator (EMU) (note that if you don't own the card, the use of an EMU is against the law and the author of this guide will neither help you, nor point you in the right direction on how this can be achieved). On MisterX, you can install Emucenter 1.07 for that purpose. You can download and install this software directly from your Dreambox via the add-on menu in the setup menu. Alternatively, download Emucenter from your PC, unpack and upload it to /var on your Dreambox. You then have the change the file permissions on the uploaded file to 755. You can either change the file permissions in your favorite FTP program (if it is supported, in FlashFXP you have to select a file, right click, then select Attributes to change the file attributes), or you can do it by logging in to the Dreambox via Telnet, change to the appropriate directory (/var/bin) and typing chmod 755 gbox.

You then just need to update the key files in /var/tmp and /var/keys :
SoftCam.Key (CASE SENSITIVE !!) for the Radegast EMU
conax,irdeto,nagra,seca and via files for Gbox/Scam EMUs
Other EMUs like NewCamD TNG-8 have a file converter from SoftCam.Key.

When editing files on your PC, you must use an editor that is UNIX compatible or your Dreambox won't be able to read the files. UltraEdit is one of the Windows editors that can create UNIX compatible output.

5.3 Configuration Customization

As EMsU require a lot of memory, we will set up a swap file for the Dreambox. You should not use the USB stick as swap space as the swap partition has to be always accessible (so you can't remove the stick), and the frequent access wears out the stick hardware.

Without harddisk

You first have to set up an NFS server on your PC. SuperNFS is an easy to use NFS server, but you can use a freeware solution as well. You can find TrueGrid NFS server for example on the download section of DreamBox Australia. I shared a directory named Dreambox on my PC. Also create a movie subdirectory in the shared folder, as the Dreambox tends to crash if it is not present. Then telnet to your Dreambox and mount the NFS directory as follows:

mount -t nfs -o rw,nolock /hdd

If you now connect to your Dreambox via FTP and go to the /hdd directory, you are actually browsing the Dreambox directory on your PC harddisk. All recorded files will show up in /hdd/movie/.

To create a swap file, you can either use the swap plugin available in the MisterX image, or create one manually. To manually create a swapfile, telnet to the Dreambox and type

dd  if=/dev/zero of=/hdd/swap_file bs=1024 count=262144
mkswap /hdd/swap_file  

This will create a swap file of 256 MB and activate it. The creation of the swapfile can take a while. After its creation, you can activate the swapfile by typing

swapon /hdd/swap_file

To enable the swapfile at each boot, it is best to add the last line to the init file in /var/etc so it will be executed each time the Dreambox boots. Once again, make sure you're using an UNIX aware editor like UltraEdit when editing the init file.

In case you have no harddisk in the Dreambox, you need to set up NFS as well as configure the network before doing so. The following lines will take care of that:

ifconfig eth0    netmask mtu 1400 up
sleep 2
mount -t nfs -o wsize=4096,rsize=4096,nolock /hdd
sleep 2 

Then the swap file has to be enabled using the swapon command as previously described.

The process is the same for other images, so it's now time for you to start experimenting and install other images.