Notes to self about the Dreambox. Thanks to the guys on #dreambox for filling in some blanks here!

Prerequisites and other general information on how to compile the CDK
Compiling the CDK
Compiling/installing a plugin
Notes on choosing a harddisk
Sniffing IP traffic
Upgrading the firmware
Setting up swap space
Enabling full-duplex
Transcoding from from MPEG TS to MPEG2

CDK compile prerequisites

More notes to appear as and when they arrive. The notes herein are based on a Linux development environment. I used Gentoo, though be aware that you may use DAYS getting that baby up and running if you install from source.

Make sure you have gettext 0.12.1 or later. Install latest libtool, as of now, I used 1.4.3.

It's probably a good idea to add a development user and "sudo su" to this user when you work on the Dreambox stuff, but that's up to you, of course.

Please note that this has been tried and tested as of 29th June 2004 on a Gentoo "current" machine running kernel 2.6.7, if you can't get this to work, try joining the #dreambox channel on the network.

Compiling the CDK
  mkdir $HOME/dreambox
  mkdir $HOME/tuxbox-cvs
  cd $HOME/tuxbox-cvs
  export CVS_RSH=ssh
  export CVS_RSH=ssh
  cvs -z3 co -P -r rel_1_0_0 .
  cd apps/tuxbox/enigma
  cvs update -dPA

add -DENABLE_PPPOE -DDISABLE_LIRC behind -fno-rtti in apps/tuxbox/enigma/

  cd $HOME/tuxbox-cvs/cdk
  ./configure --prefix=$HOME/dreambox --with-cvsdir=$HOME/tuxbox-cvs --enable-maintainer-mode \
     --with-hostruleset=standard --with-hardwareruleset=dreambox --with-targetruleset=flash
  make .enigma
This will take a while, as the build will download certain things (such as the linux kernel..), so I hope you have a reasonably fast Internet connection. Sometimes you may see some downloads "hang". This happens in particular to certain addresses. well, this is quickly remedied. Just halt the compile (ctrl+c) and download the package from the next mirror manually (just copy the next command in the "wget blah sourceforge blah | wget blah blah" line (the one containing e.g. berlios in this example). Then type "make .enigma" again, and the compile will start where it left off.

Plugin compile notes
Here's how to compile a plugin. There is a demo plugin already available to work from. Thanks to ZigZag for this info too!

  cd $HOME/tuxbox-cvs/apps/tuxbox/plugins/enigma/demo

Change CXX = powerpc-tuxbox-linux-gnu-g++ to CXX = ${HOME}/dreambox/cdk/bin/powerpc-tuxbox-linux-gnu-g++ in Makefile.

Add the following to Makefile:

  SIGC_CFLAGS = -I${HOME}/dreambox/cdkroot/lib/sigc++-1.2/include \
                -I${HOME}/dreambox/cdkroot/include/sigc++-1.2 \
  SIGC_LIBS = -L${HOME}/dreambox/cdkroot/lib -lsigc-1.2
Change directories:
  cd $HOME/tuxbox-cvs/apps/tuxbox/plugins
Change RANLIB="powerpc-tuxbox-linux-gnu-ranlib" to RANLIB="$HOME/dreambox/cdk/bin/powerpc-tuxbox-linux-gnu-ranlib" in libtool.

  cd $HOME/tuxbox-cvs/apps/tuxbox/plugins/enigma/demo
In order to test this plugin, you'll need to FTP the
files in the demo directory to
on the Dreambox. Then, selecting the plugin menu on your remote control (you may have to restart your Dreambox), you should see the demo plugin in the list of installed plugins. Now, go ahead and code some cool plugins!

What drive should you use?

Use a 5400 rpm drive, e.g. Samsung 160GB. Make sure the drive uses as little power as possible during spin-up and general use (~500mA). Consider using a laptop drive. The DM7000 has a shit PSU (power supply unit), so even with any modifications (Dream Multimedia realised the error of their ways after the first version was released) you should choose something that draws as little power as possible. It'll emit less heat too.

Looking at IP traffic "over the air"
Connecting to the Dreambox directly on port 31338 can be quite interesting. For example, if you make sure that the service type for a data stream is changed to "TV" (using e.g. DreamboxEdit), you can sniff what people are requesting over the air.

Connect to your Dreambox with DreamboxEdit (I used version 1.62). Select e.g. 19.2E, Casablanca (12603,705 Mhz, H, Symbolrate 22000, FEC 5/6). Change the type to TV. Unicast streams here have PID 0x300, broadcast streams 0x200. If you use a different provider, these PID's vary.

Point your favourite browser (wget, for example) to: http://dreambox:31338/0x300 and you're good to go!

Use e.g. to search for other IP streams.

Upgrading the DM7000's flash

Upgrading the Dreambox DM7000 is best done via the network. Some people use DreamupLAN, but it didn't work for me.

  • Enable networking.
  • Use FTP, login using "root" and enter "dreambox" as password. These are the default login/passwords as of summer 2003; reset the Dreambox with the flash erase option if you've changed your password and can't remember.
  • Upload your new flash image as /var/tmp/root.cramfs.
  • Choose "Manual Upgrade" in the setup, wait for it to flash.
  • Reboot with a flash erase (while the box is rebooting, press and hold the top left "up" button until the LCD says "Flash Erase", then release the button).

  • If the box fails to flash, but "Dreambox Multimedia" appears on the LCD after you reboot, all is not lost -- use the serial method.
  • NOTE: If your LCD says "UC0", you're shit out of luck and will need to send the box back to Dream Multimedia, unless you know how to use a JTAG interface.

    If all your other avenues have been exhausted, try T-hydron's Dreambox Blog.

  • Setting up swap memory

    You can set up a swap file like this (example is for 128MByte):

    Create the file to use as swap:

      dd if=/dev/zero of=/hdd/swap bs=16k count=8192

    Now initialise it as a swapfile:

      mkswap -v1 /hdd/swap

    Edit /var/tuxbox/start_enigma, place this at the start, just below the '#!/bin/sh' line:

      if [ -e /hdd/swap ]; then
        /sbin/swapon /hdd/swap

    Your Dreambox will now use the swap file. Check to see if swap is in use after rebooting your box:


    Or, if you prefer, use the reboot option on the remote control. Wait for the box to respond to telnet again, and ..

      cat /proc/swaps

    If something similar to this appears, you're good to go:

      Filename                Type            Size    Used    Priority
      /hdd/swap               file            131064  388     -1

    Configuring full-duplex
    Add the following to start_enigma (see above) to force the DM7000's ethernet port into full duplex mode:

      echo 1 > /proc/sys/dev/eth0/swfdup

    Transcoding (converting) an MPEG2 TS (Transport Stream) to an MPEG2 program stream
    This is usually the first step if you want to burn your recorded programmes onto DVD or further conversion (e.g. DivX, XviD, (S)VCD, etc.). Get "ProjectX" ( -- it's written in Java, so works on any machine that has the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) installed.

    I'm too lazy to give step-by-step instructions; it's all pretty straight forward. You may also want to check out and