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Old 05-28-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
a3nm
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Running browser without Wifi connection

Hi,

I am using kiwix-serve to have a static copy of Wikipedia (on a SD card) to my Kobo. It works, but, as the dump is served using HTTP, I have to connect to localhost with a web browser to read it. However, the Kobo's built-in web browser refuses to work without an active Wifi connection, which is sad as the point is to read the dump offline...

Is there a way to bypass this check or fool nickel into believing that wpa_supplicant is connected to a network? I tried writing into /tmp/nickel-hardware-status following what is done by /etc/udhcpc.d/default.script, but this doesn't seem to change anything. I tried running an strace on nickel with and without a Wifi connection to see if I could identify how the check was performed, but I wasn't able to find anything. Any other ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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Try bringing the Wi-Fi interface up and assigning an IP address to it. (ifconfig <interface> <address> should do the job.)
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #3
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Nice idea, but it doesn't work. Here is what I get when loading the appropriate Wifi modules to make the interface show up, setting it up, and assigning an address:

Code:
[root@(none) /root]# busybox insmod /drivers/ntx508/wifi/sdio_wifi_pwr.ko
[root@(none) /root]# busybox insmod /drivers/ntx508/wifi/dhd.ko
[root@(none) /root]# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 up
[root@(none) /root]# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 192.168.0.2
[root@(none) /root]# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:90:A2:BF:DB:53  
          inet addr:192.168.0.2  Bcast:192.168.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
However, trying to run the web browser still triggers a "scanning for networks" dialog, so nickel must be checking something else. Thanks for the suggestion, still...
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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It's a very good idea to have wikipedia on Kobo!

Probably it doesn't work because the browser tries to connect to Kobo site. How about installing another QT browser?
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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I'm guessing it doesn't work because "ip link show eth0" reports the device as being in an UNKNOWN state (which should be "UP"). Running "ip link set eth0 up" won't fix this, unfortunately..
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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Can't you pass url parameters (something like "file:///usr/share/wikipedia/index.html") to Kobo browser via command line?
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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fickel seems to monitor the hardware status (and the source is available). I wonder if a solution can be found in there.

I don't know how hard this would be, but Aard is based upon PyQt. Maybe it would be possible to port PyQt and get that running?
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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I don't know Aard. Where's its homepage?
What about qtweb? http://qtweb.net/
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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Aard is a dedicated dictionary. The wikipedia is available for it, among other things:

http://aarddict.org/
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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Impressive.

I think those are binary packages for armel:
https://github.com/aarddict/aarddict...r/binary-armel
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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Ah, about armel binaries and dependencies, read this thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=214309
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:38 PM   #12
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm aware that I can run any browser (or aardict, or anything) outside of nickel, for instance in a Debian chroot. However, for convenience, I would like to be able to run my browser and access Wikipedia (which is an HTTP server running on localhost, this part of the setup works) from within nickel.

Thanks to BWinmill for pointing me to fickel. It's not hard to write a custom version of fickel which returns scan results and make the Kobo try to connect to a non-existant network. However, I'm still stuck. When the Kobo tries to connect to this fake network, it seems (from snooping on /tmp/nickel-hardware-status) that nickel expects the following messages:

Code:
network deconfig
network bound 192.168.100.48
However, writing those messages by hand if the network doesn't actually exist results in a "Something went wrong..." message from nickel. I tried setting the address of eth0 with ifconfig to match the fake value I write in /tmp/nickel-hardware-status, but the same error appears. However, writing the exact same messages by hand does not make nickel complain if the network actually exists. I tried stracing nickel to see what it does, but to no avail.

We're almost there; do you have any idea of what nickel may be checking when it is supposed to be connected? The error message is instant, so I very much doubt that it is anything really network-related (like pinging an address).

Thanks again for your answers!

Lucas Malor: Is there a way to call the Kobo web browser from the command line?

[Another idea: is it possible to run the Kobo web browser manually from Kobotweaks, bypassing nickel's check?]

Last edited by a3nm; 05-29-2013 at 06:41 PM. Reason: oops
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:50 PM   #13
Lucas Malor
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Tweaks has a "Browser" entry, so you should find the command to execute the browser in the source code of Tweaks.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:45 AM   #14
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See also this post:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...49#post2528649
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:51 PM   #15
a3nm
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Lucas Malor: Tweaks is calling
Code:
WirelessWorkflowManager::openBrowser(QUrl())
defined in the shared library libnickel.so (where QUrl() is a function from QT). Using gdb taught me that the this invokes the function with mangled name _ZN18ExtrasPluginLoader11loadBrowserEv. From this, tracing through the assembly reveals that this invokes the function _ZN23WirelessWorkflowManager15connectWirelessEb, whether a connection exists or not. From a bit of stepping, it doesn't seem like there is a clear straightforward condition that is being checked and that could be disabled by editing the binary -- though I'm not an expert in this and probably am not using the right tools to locate the relevant test. (Relevant SO question I just asked: http://stackoverflow.com/q/16845187/414272)

There has to be some way to get this to work, though... it's so annoying to have this offline Wikipedia working except for this stupid check in nickel that prevents you from running the browser offline...

Last edited by a3nm; 05-30-2013 at 05:54 PM.
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