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Old 04-21-2013, 08:54 AM   #1
kontrabas
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Shell Access for the Iliad

I am interested in connecting my Iliad Book Edition with an external keyboard (USB). Is a shell access a prerequisite for that? How do I find out if I have shell access on my Iliad? I have gotten the Iliad with the original packaging still intact, that is, it has not been used at all. It was part of a liquidation. Here are the numbers.

The type is: ER0150-002. Language: 002. OEM: 000. Country code: 000.
PCBA Revision: 7. EPD ID: E2301710.
Software Version: 2.12.1
Software Build Nummer: 21211
Kernel Version: 2.4.19-rmx7-pxa2-irex1 #21210

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Last edited by kontrabas; 04-21-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:14 AM   #2
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You need shell access to execute 3rd party software. If you can't execute one of them, it means your iLiad does not have shell access. Go grab any 3rd party software and try it on your iLiad. I recommend using "Multi IPDF installer": https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22152
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
kontrabas
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Ericshliao, thank you very much for the reply. In the meantime I have discovered Adam B.'s "tester.zip". If I unterstood Adam's post correctly (it's post Nr. 34 in "the absolute n00b guide to installing applications" thread) installing and running it is a fail-safe way of finding out if one has the developer's package and shell access or not. What I did is copy the unzipped file to the internal storage of my Iliad. It appeared in the content manager and was displayed as a file with an "sh" extension. However, there was a cross over it, meaning the Iliad couldn't operate on it. That then is conclusive evidence that my Iliad has no shell, isn't it? In case my device had shell access, I would have been able to run the file, I guess.

So I am wondering, is there any other way to get shell access? The Irex servers are down as far as I know. However, I have heard about another method whereby you achieve the same effect with the help of a pre-arranged CF-Card. Do you possibly know something about that? I have read about this in another, older thread but couldn't possibly find it now. For me getting shell access is paramount, as it would enable me to attach an external keyboard to the Iliad. That's the main reason I bought it, as no other reader past and present is able to do that. Sadly enough, I had never considered getting a barely or never used item might have negative side-effects. That does make me richer for one experience, if nothing else.

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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Read this thread:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90831

A technique described in the last post using prepared registry.xml can gain you shell access offline.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
kontrabas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericshliao View Post
Read this thread:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90831

A technique described in the last post using prepared registry.xml can gain you shell access offline.
Did you mean the post quoted belove? I don't see how anything but part 2 in that post refers to my problem. Described is the case of one user who already has the develover's package (shell access privilege) installed and wishes to preserve it. In my case, however, I don't have the developer's package to start with.
After that I read some follow up threads and deduced that even if you never had the original developer's package you still could 1.) produce a bootable CF and 2.) change values on it, so that it allows "sh"-files to be run and 3.) boot the Illiad from the CF. I am not sure however if I have pictured this process correctly. The way I understand it:

A.) The original developers package did one thing: change an entry in the "registry.xml" allowing files with the extension "sh" to be run in the content manager. Is that correct? I am still in the dark however about the nature of the change. That is: was something deleted in the registry.xml or rather something added?

B.) I need to format my CF-Card correctly (file system: ext2 size:128MB). Then copy the complete contents (that is all directories and files) in the internal storage on the card (preserving the directory structure). Would a select all, copy and paste in Windows Explorer do the trick? I suppose not, sounds to easy. In the next step I would access the "registry.xml" on the CF-Card and make the appropriate changes (which are?), changes that would normally be effected by downloading the developer's package to your Iliad. The last step is to boot the Iliad from the CF-Card. How do I force the Iliad to boot from the CF-Card and not from the internal storage?

Were my steps (A & B) so far correct? I fear that the method of copying the contents of Iliad's internal storage to a CF-Card is probably not as easy as I make it out (just selecting all directories on the Illiad in the windows explorer and copy-pasting them to the CF-Card will not do, will it?), but would still care to know if I at least got the general picture.

Thanks for all the explanations. You really put a lot of work in those older threads; sadly enough I don't know how good I did to follow the explanations, whence the questions (but that's really my fault).
As to my computer system - if that is of any relevance - I carnrun Ubuntu 10.10 - »Maverick Meerkat« on my laptop and Windows 7 on the desktop pc of my parents.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ericshliao View Post
I see that people are concerned about how to survive their iLiad even after iDS goes down, so I am going to share some of my thinkings here.

1. Backup your iLiad.
If iDS goes down, we can't update FW anymore. So, making a backup of your iLiad is quite important.
The most important files resides in /usr , /mnt/registry, /home. Command "tar czf" can be used to create a compressed backup of files.
Developer's package (shell access previlege) and mobipocket reader are also affected if iDS goes down. They are explained in the following.

2. Install developer's package and backup registry.xml so that shell access right can be re-installed when doing a re-flash.
The so-called developer's package makes it possible to install non-official software. In fact, when we retrieve a developer's package from iDS, it just adds an entry to "registry.xml" to enable shell script can be executed through ContentLister. At boot-up, ContentLister reads "registry.xml " to find the appropriate application to launch when certain document is tapped by users, eg, ipdf for ".pdf", mobi_reader for ".prc" or ."mobi". Only after developer's package got installed, files with ".sh" extension can be executed through ContentLister.
According to some other thread, when doing re-flash, putting "registry.xml" in CF will copy it your iLiad. So, having a backup of "registry.xml" after developer's package installed is a must-have.

3. Backup Mobipocket Reader.
IIRC, the reflash content from iRex does not include Mobipocket Reader. We have to get it through iDS. If iDS goes down, out iLiad will lose mobipcoket reader after re-flashing.
Mobipocket Reader and Tao's JVM resides in "/home".

I wrote the above text by my memory. I can't be sure if they are all correct.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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Can you open mobipocket ebook? I guess yes. Since you have firmware 2.12.1, the previous owner must have updated FW and acquired mobipocket reader program from iRex server.
If you adopt the prepared "registry.xml" technique, a firmware re-flash is required. It will wipe out iLiad file system, including the mobipocket reader program. The mobipocket reader program is proprietary and can only be obtained from iRex server. It's not included in the FW package.
That means if you get shell access using prepared "registry.xml", you will lose mobipocket reader. Unless you have a copy and you know how to re-install it, your iLiad won't open mobipocket ebook anymore.

Since iRex server is down, re-flash firmware is risky. Your iLiad will lose shell access (if it had) and mobipocket reader.

Last edited by ericshliao; 04-21-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kontrabas View Post
A.) The original developers package did one thing: change an entry in the "registry.xml" allowing files with the extension "sh" to be run in the content manager. Is that correct? I am still in the dark however about the nature of the change. That is: was something deleted in the registry.xml or rather something added?
You got the right idea. The developer package merely add some entry in "registry.xml" for ContentLister (the UI program) to execute shell script. ContentLister won't execute any shell script unless it's specified in "registry.xml".

Quote:
Originally Posted by kontrabas View Post
B.) I need to format my CF-Card correctly (file system: ext2 size:128MB). Then copy the complete contents (that is all directories and files) in the internal storage on the card (preserving the directory structure). Would a select all, copy and paste in Windows Explorer do the trick? I suppose not, sounds to easy. In the next step I would access the "registry.xml" on the CF-Card and make the appropriate changes (which are?), changes that would normally be effected by downloading the developer's package to your Iliad. The last step is to boot the Iliad from the CF-Card. How do I force the Iliad to boot from the CF-Card and not from the internal storage?
I think that you got the idea wrong. It's about re-flashing firmware. You should read the manual and search through the forum before doing. It's risky.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:19 PM   #8
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This is a registry.xml with shell access added. I found it in my HD. Some lines, including my personal data and some hacks, are removed.
Attached Files
File Type: zip registry.zip (2.2 KB, 291 views)
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kontrabas View Post
You really put a lot of work in those older threads; sadly enough I don't know how good I did to follow the explanations, whence the questions (but that's really my fault).
I guess it's mainly Irex fault for locking the device.

I'm faced with the same problem now: a second hand Iliad, but no access to it. Was there ever a follow up to your efforts? (My efforts had no successful conclusion: XML and script files remain inaccessible, with a cross as icon.)

Last edited by wankel; 02-24-2016 at 02:54 PM. Reason: edit: clarified that I had no luck yet
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