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Old 11-07-2006, 02:40 PM   #1
Antartica
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Arrow What is the best way to install user apps -- your opinions here

Hi All!

Scotty is very worried about average joe not being able to install the apps we develop here.

Technically is solvable, but we have to commit to one of the possible solutions.

Don'ts (prerequisites):
a. Whatever we do, it should not touch er_registry (that bans the SHELL hack)
b. Don't use the root filesystem to install packages (that leaves us the SD slot --as SDs seen to be more common that CFs at MR-- or the internal memory using some workaround for the FAT exec problem)

Do's (more prerequisites):
A. There has to be a GUI for package install
B. There has to be a GUI for launching apps

Points we need to clarify:
1. Bootstrapping
2. Package install
3. App launch
4. Package format

===bootstrapping===
.
That one is easy: distribute a .sh (a.sh) file that the user copies to /mnt/free from his PC and then use the exploit to ` /bin/sh /mnt/free/a.sh`

The .sh can be a shar file -- an sh that acts as an autounpack-archive (like a zip-generated exe in windows world). That is, like the autopackage packages or the binary nvidia driver for linux. There are utilities to generate shar files, so no problem here.

===package install===

I vote for substitute /usr/bin/setup (rename it to /usr/bin/setup.irex) and launch the installer using the Preferences option in the main screen

When in our installer, we can have an option to launch the real sutup (setup.irex)

That installer should be able to list the packages available at MR and download&install them (bonus: be able to install packages in the memory card or in the intarnal flash), as well as uninstall installed packages.

===app launch===

I don't have an elegant solution for this one yet. I would really love to be able to use the upper-right button to display an UI for app launching, bypassing altoghether contentLister.

For now, we can just substitute the /usr/bin/xpdf with a script and make the user upload the files for other viewers as "mycomic.cbr.pdf", so the xpdf script knows that it has to launch the cbr viewer with that file.

Not very clean, but reasonable.

===package format===

I'm against using ipk just to make it harder for the users to unknowingly install then in the root filesystem.

I'm a GoboLinux user, so I vote for using GoboLinux package format O:-). But that is just an opinion, I have no technical reasons to support that. Anyway, for more information about gobolinux package format see http://www.gobolinux.org

===conclusion===

We need your opinion to have this ironed out soon!
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Old 11-07-2006, 03:20 PM   #2
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Design256 stepped forward with his port of gnuchess and I've turned it into a guinea pig for my best take on a "standalone application with zero installation".

But it still depends upon installing his [SHELL] hack to make it easy to start the chess program.

Of course you could also just run the run.sh directly via the Arivero exploit... but that gets unwieldy for more than a couple applications.
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Old 11-07-2006, 03:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty1024
Design256 stepped forward with his port of gnuchess and I've turned it into a guinea pig for my best take on a "standalone application with zero installation".

But it still depends upon installing his [SHELL] hack to make it easy to start the chess program.

Of course you could also just run the run.sh directly via the Arivero exploit... but that gets unwieldy for more than a couple applications.

I think we have to bite the bullet that there are going to be two routes - supported and unsupported. Supported will mean no root access, and no execution of executables except in a highly controlled enviroment.

Unsupported will be for those who are prepared to install and run software ported and written by people here. And judging by my poll from a few weeks ago, that's quite a few people.

So perhaps we should appeal to IRex to give us a supported-unsupported method of installation. Supported in that it will always be there for us (like SHELL in er_registry), and unsupported in that in order to activate it, you have to agree that you won't go to IRex with questions.

This will become much more relevant when IRex release their unbrick-bios sometime soon, and third-party apps suddenly become much less dangerous.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:04 PM   #4
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Here's my suggestion for removing most of the danger from installing the [SHELL] hack.

The "a" script.
Code:
#!/bin/sh
/bin/sed -i -f /mnt/free/shellme.sed /mnt/settings/er_registry.txt
The /mnt/free/shellme.sed script
Code:
/^uaIDList=/ {
/;EBA$/ {
s/;EBA$/;EBA;SHELL/
a\
[SHELL]\
category=viewer\
arguments=<FILENAME>\
exec=/bin/sh\
xResourceName=sh\
channel=14\
extensions=sh;SH
}
}
This is a very paranoid sed script. You can run it twice, thrice but it will only apply the patch once. If you've mucked too badly about with your er_registry.txt file's uaIDList= line it won't make the patch.

To use it you would copy both files to the root of your iLiad's USB drive from your PC/MAC/LINUX computer.

You would then do the Arivero exploit and enter: `/mnt/free/a` for the key.

The a script (which is execute allowed by default on MSDOS filesystems) will run /bin/sed to edit in-place your /mnt/settings/er_registry.txt.

The shellme.sed script limits itself to a line that begins with "uaIDList=" of which there is only one. To be extra paranoid it then further limits itself to operating on only such a line that ends with ";EBA". This combination makes a pretty hard lock on only a factory original "uaIDList=" line.

Once that single line has been isolated it appends ";SHELL" to the end of that line. It then appends the [SHELL] definition block after that line.

Once this has been done a reboot of your iLiad will result in your ContentLister being able to execute .sh files by clicking on them.

The suggested test would be to play a game of chess.

Thoughts?

Last edited by scotty1024; 11-09-2006 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Brought up to date with final working code
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:00 PM   #5
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It all sound really great, but still a bit above the "Average Joe" group I'm afraid.
The biggest problem here is, that nobody who updates their Iliad to 2.7.1 or later willb w able to use these.
iRex needs to give us the option of running executables on the Iliad...then we could start making some real headway...
Apps like Chess and the calc could easily be used this way, by just selecting their names in the list (from the CF/SD or internal memory).

Apps that need to install (like the file-format viewers) are another problem since they would require modifications to the OS to some extent...I don't knwo where iRex plans to go with that...but if we need file-association, then we need to have access to at least some parts of the actual OS.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:00 PM   #6
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First cut at a sandbox.

Extract it in root to create /sandbox

To run it:
chroot /sandbox /home/reader/start.sh

The chroot command doesn't accept -u -g so it needs to be upgraded.

Thoughts?
Attached Files
File Type: gz sandbox.tar.gz (1.45 MB, 327 views)
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:10 PM   #7
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I am interested in running some of these programs and I have yet to update to 2.7.1 Being out on the road for an extended period of time without ready access to an internet connection that does not require a login seems to finally have had some benefit - barring that I try these things and brick it!
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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I see it was good not to upgrade to 2.7.1. I have waited for some HowTo like this.
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Old 11-08-2006, 03:06 PM   #9
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I havent upgraded either.
Now I'm waiting for an 'average joe' (like me) to install an app tell us how it went..(ie bricked or not bricked)
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Old 11-08-2006, 04:27 PM   #10
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Does your 'average joe' have any experience in Linux systems (aside from Knoppix)?

If not, I'm probably not the one you are searching for. But for me this is finally a good and short HowTo.
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Old 11-08-2006, 05:27 PM   #11
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OK, I've validated the attached files on my system. I restored back to a factory er_registry.txt and then ran it. Rebooted and I'm not crying.

So here's the offer: vranghel or b_k. I'm extending the following guarantee to the first one of you to accept it.

I'll guarantee the attached script won't brick your iLiad or I'll pay for the re-flash and pay you $250 USD for your trouble if it does.

Instructions:

Down load the attached zip.
Extract it to the root of your USB mounted iLiad drive.

Your iLiad's drive should resemble this after the extraction.

Code:
a
books                  
documents
newspapers
notes
shellme.sed
Enter `/mnt/free/a` for your WEP key in the documented Arivero Exploit.

After executing the AE, wait one minute, reboot your iLiad.

See if you can run my re-pack of Design256's gnuchess from ContentLister (note: you still get an X'd icon, just click it anyways.)

Let us know the results.
Attached Files
File Type: zip shellme.zip (472 Bytes, 436 views)

Last edited by scotty1024; 11-08-2006 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 11-09-2006, 02:53 AM   #12
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OK, i can confirm the result on a nearly clean system. (didn't change my er_registry yet)

Someone could make this sticky?

This is as easy as the first "userhack"

Edit: GnuChess works great with one click on the run.sh.
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Old 11-09-2006, 06:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHer
OK, i can confirm the result on a nearly clean system. (didn't change my er_registry yet)

Someone could make this sticky?

This is as easy as the first "userhack"

Edit: GnuChess works great with one click on the run.sh.
Thank you DHer!
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Old 11-09-2006, 06:57 AM   #14
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to all: It is working!

to scotty: Yesterday - before you posted your shellme.zip - I didn't waited 1 min because I didn't know I have to, so I didn't worked.

Last edited by yokos; 11-09-2006 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:01 AM   #15
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The busybox sed isn't fully compliant with a "real" sed.

The stuff in the ZIP is 100% tested on an iLiad.

I'll update the previous suggestion so there won't be any confusion.
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