WooshBuild USB boot / custom build for generic DVBS2 boxes with (low) 32/64MB flash/RAM !

siliconhippy

Registered
Hi All,

Newbie here ...
I was wondering looking at all these great custom builds (Woosh, Grog etc) on top of openATV or openViX:

1. These builds are all 60-100+ MB.

2. Is there a way to use such builds or reduce the size thereof, on low RAM/flash DVB cheap boxes, by configuring a USB stick as boot device?

3. Above likely means that either the existing bootloader will allow such USB boot, or a bootloader need be flashed first into the generic DVB box?

4. How about configuring such a USB stick with extended RAM and data partitions besides the boot partition?

5. How slow would USB operation be vs the internal memory one, really?

Any guidelines and tutorials are welcome !
I have been searching online but all the configuration scenarios start with flashing OpenATV or openViX to the internal memory (after perhaps updated bootloader flash) via USB and then proceeding to Open Multiboot or plugins or custom updates.
 

siliconhippy

Registered
I have hour free this morning and will help if possible.

1) Insert usb stick and 2 options depending on which firmware on the box
2) openvix - Go to menu/storage/initiate devices/Choose device and red button on the remote
3) openatv is the blue button and same process as above but go to mounts instead of initiate

HOPE I HAVE HELPED (y)
I think you missed the whole point !
The box in question here is a low memory generic DVB with 32/64MB flash/RAM.

Thus unless it has a generic bootloader that allows boot from USB or a bootloader with USB boot first could be flashed on the box, it is not going to work !

OpenATV/openViX need 64-100+ MB to load.
 

siliconhippy

Registered
I think you missed the whole point !
The box in question here is a low memory generic DVB with 32/64MB flash/RAM.

Thus unless it has a generic bootloader that allows boot from USB or a bootloader with USB boot first could be flashed on the box, it is not going to work !

OpenATV/openViX need 64-100+ MB to load.
The generic box I mention likely has some vendor OS loaded in the 32MB flash, could be some minimal enigma2 version.

Tons of those boxes on Ali Express and the like for $20+ But there must be a way to make USB boot work with OpenATV/ ViX in the USB /boot partition !
 

siliconhippy

Registered
Well first things first you do not even say which make or model box your refer to and as for flashing it can be done by command prompt in most cases,Being a new member we have guys on here who develop the vix and openatv software so i am sure as a forum we can fix it
Please read OP.
Generic simply means generic! Again command prompt will do nothing unless there is enough flash memory to accommodate the OpenATV/ViX distro. And that is the problem.

The bottom line is: Can a USB boot aware bootloader be flashed to a generic Linux dvb box with little memory otherwise, unless the generic bootloader is USB boot capable ?

If yes, problem solved. One can then prepare a USB stick with a ext4 format and a boot partition with OpenATV/ViX. This boots the generic box without need for enough flash memory on the generic box. This way you can use a cheap USB stick to boot cheap generic DVB boxes ...

For example:
#Aliexpress full HD H.264 SET TOP TV BOX Satellite Receiver DVB S2 mini Support IKS,IPTV,BissKey,CCcam,Youtube,PVR with USB WIFI
US $14.13 11%OFF | HOT Selling full HD H.264 SET TOP TV BOX Satellite Receiver DVB S2 mini Support IKS,IPTV,BissKey,CCcam,Youtube,PVR with USB WIFI
 

moshibeth

TK Veteran
Please read OP.
Generic simply means generic! Again command prompt will do nothing unless there is enough flash memory to accommodate the OpenATV/ViX distro. And that is the problem.

The bottom line is: Can a USB boot aware bootloader be flashed to a generic Linux dvb box with little memory otherwise, unless the generic bootloader is USB boot capable ?

If yes, problem solved. One can then prepare a USB stick with a ext4 format and a boot partition with OpenATV/ViX. This boots the generic box without need for enough flash memory on the generic box. This way you can use a cheap USB stick to boot cheap generic DVB boxes ...

For example:
#Aliexpress full HD H.264 SET TOP TV BOX Satellite Receiver DVB S2 mini Support IKS,IPTV,BissKey,CCcam,Youtube,PVR with USB WIFI
US $14.13 11%OFF | HOT Selling full HD H.264 SET TOP TV BOX Satellite Receiver DVB S2 mini Support IKS,IPTV,BissKey,CCcam,Youtube,PVR with USB WIFI
Your talking dutch to me so look for member abu baniaz and he will be able to help. Abu is a vix developer so if anyone can help its him
 

grog68

VIP Member
Forum Supporter
these boxes are cheap for a reason, looking at it I suspect it is like the old Openbox which could not be flashed with any other OS although the box you linked to doesn't mention the OS.
 

Abu Baniaz

TK Veteran
The word "build" is used on this forum quite frequently to describe what in essence is "customisations".

Anyway, you can use OpenMultiBoot plugin and boot from a storage device. In essence, it is a virtual machine. However, there are a few quirks with some receivers/images that do not have the required kernel modules.

Use an image on flash that has the kernel modules and is small. Your images on storage device won't be restricted by size. The receiver has to have an image for it.
 

siliconhippy

Registered
The word "build" is used on this forum quite frequently to describe what in essence is "customisations".

Anyway, you can use OpenMultiBoot plugin and boot from a storage device. In essence, it is a virtual machine. However, there are a few quirks with some receivers/images that do not have the required kernel modules.

Use an image on flash that has the kernel modules and is small. Your images on storage device won't be restricted by size. The receiver has to have an image for it.
Appreciate your answer.

1. But...the main issue: can a USB boot capable bootloader be flashed via USB to any dvb Linux device?

Or do most bootloaders on existing devices allow boot from USB upon power up (if a boot partition is present on usb)?

2. Can you kindly provide me a tutorial link for how to take a build and reduce it to a minimal bootable size, eg , 32MB for a VU clone?

If the answer to above is yes, then of course OMB or other methods will work.
 

Abu Baniaz

TK Veteran
I don't know about the bootloaders. That would make the hardware multiboot capable if it was possible.

The most common small flash size of receivers is 64MB. OpenVision should have a reduced size image for it.

If you wanted to build an image, you would have to modify bitbake files etc. Or flash image and uninstall items like extra language
 

grog68

VIP Member
Forum Supporter
Yes, we can assume these clone boxes are running some enigma2 build, just in a limited memory...:LOL:
dont assume that, it could be using proprietary firmware like the openbox. An enigma2 box will normally state it's enigma2 in the specs
 

siliconhippy

Registered
Very engaging, @grog68 and @Abu Baniaz.

I hear what you are saying.

My confusion here is whether enigma2 is a true base build for OpenATV, openViX, openPLi etc derivative builds, i.e., an enigma2 bootloader will handle other enigma2 builds. Or only OpenATV bootloaders will work with other OpenATV builds?

But let's assume these cheapo boxes are running some enigma2 mod and not Openbox:

1. I have been reading online throughout that you could USB flash a new bootloader on enigma2 boxes.

Is this true ? Because then you could format a USB stick with ext4 boot partition ( and data and extended RAM partitions) and boot from USB. No need to worry about flash memory size or the factory build on it.

2. Is it possible to take an enigma2 box with enough flash memory, flash it with an OpenATV build, and delete unwanted packages ( eg languages, samba, vpn, dlna, others?)
Then backup this new image and flash it on a different (target) enigma2 box but not necessarily an OpenATV factory build box?
Do you believe this reduced image might fit in 32MB(ytes)?
Does flashing depend upon bootloader?
Will the target box allow such flash only if it has an OpenATV bootloader? Or any enigma2 bootloader would be ok?
 
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Abu Baniaz

TK Veteran
Openbox is a name of a manufacturer. I don't know what they run.
Enigma2 is an application. All the distros have their own Enigma2 that runs on top of an embedded linux O/S
Manufacturers provide bootloaders for their set top boxes when a change requires it.

There is no such thing as "build". I will incur the wrath of people on this forum, but it's is true.

So best you find out what box you have/want to buy, What images are available for it, if there are bootloaders for it.
 

siliconhippy

Registered
Openbox is a name of a manufacturer. I don't know what they run.
Enigma2 is an application. All the distros have their own Enigma2 that runs on top of an embedded linux O/S
Manufacturers provide bootloaders for their set top boxes when a change requires it.

There is no such thing as "build". I will incur the wrath of people on this forum, but it's is true.

So best you find out what box you have/want to buy, What images are available for it, if there are bootloaders for it.
Ok yes I read that enigma2 is a GUI that runs on top of various Linux dvb based distros.

But then: *some duplication in questions below*

1. Is OpenATV, openViX etc a mod of enigma2, or are they "open source" Linux distros that run enigma2/mods on top?

That is, OpenATV replaces the factory Linux distro. And OpenATV has different mods for different manufacturer models.

2. If OpenATV etc are Linux distros, do they have their own bootloaders ?

Or OpenATV (and like) just use factory bootloaders (that are provided as downloads for convenience)?

Are there any "standard" ( generic) Linux bootloaders you could use on these Linux dvb boxes to allow USB boot, and can these bootloaders be flashed via USB on these boxes as replacement for factory bootloaders?

3. Are these OpenATV /ViX bootloaders common for various manufacturers, or are they different (incompatible) for each manufacturer?

4. When we talk of flashing OpenATV on a "compatible" model box, are we also replacing factory bootloader with OpenATV bootloader?

5. Do these OEM factory bootloaders allow USB boot of OpenATV, or are there different classes of manufacturers that do allow?

5. Can you just flash via USB a new OpenATV bootloader on any "compatible" box without regards to factory bootloader?
(If yes, this solved the low memory box problem )
 
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Abu Baniaz

TK Veteran
Bootloaders are from the box manufacturers. I am not going to repeat this again. They are not "distro specific", they are only available when a change requires it. By distro, I mean image team. There is no generic bootloader.

The image comes with the Open embedded linux distro (based on the build environment in use and any customisations) and kernel and enigma2 application of your chosen team. You download the image for the box, you flash the image to that box. You cannot flash an image to a different box unless it is a rebadged one. i.e case and name is different.

The image teams have slight differences in their Enigma2 as well as having unique functions
 

siliconhippy

Registered
Bootloaders are from the box manufacturers. I am not going to repeat this again. They are not "distro specific", they are only available when a change requires it. By distro, I mean image team. There is no generic bootloader.

The image comes with the Open embedded linux distro (based on the build environment in use and any customisations) and kernel and enigma2 application of your chosen team. You download the image for the box, you flash the image to that box. You cannot flash an image to a different box unless it is a rebadged one. i.e case and name is different.

The image teams have slight differences in their Enigma2 as well as having unique functions
Thanks. You just had to explain it once.

In brief:

1. OpenATV etc are linux distros that replace factory OEM distros.
These OpenATV distros have specific versions available for flashing to specific manufacturers and their clone boxes.

2. Bootloaders are manufacturer specific. Thus OpenATV/ViX distros do not have their own generic or specific bootloaders.

Therefore a given bootloader may or may not allow USB boot of such open source distros.

3. A new bootloader could be flashed to such dvb Linux boxes, but not necessarily via USB. JTAG/serial flashing might be required, meaning you'll need to open the box.
 
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