ISO Generator

June 27th, 2010

Thanks to the GeeXboX ISO generator, it is possible to build a bootable image of the GeeXboX that will fit your needs, just from the binaries, without need to compile the whole distribution from sources. This lets you build the GeeXboX after slight changes in the configuration files, for example, with no need to build the full sources. The GeeXboX ISO FLTK generator works under both Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux distributions and Apple MacOS X. It can be used to generated both x86 and PPC versions of GeeXboX.

GeeXboX’s customization

  • Include a movie : You just have to put your movie or sound files and the playlist into the iso directory of the generator and regenerate the image. The GeeXboX will then boot off the CD and will automatically play the provided list/file.
  • Add non-free extra codecs.
  • Add non-free firmwares for your drivers.
  • Add extra fonts for Asian users.
  • Add extra themes.
  • Configure the network settings.
  • Configure audio related options.
  • Configure video related options.
  • Configure the remote control and receiver to be used.
  • Configure a LCD display.
  • Change theme, fonts and charset encoding.
  • Choose the services to be started with GeeXboX (like UPnP and SHOUTcast).
  • Modify MPlayer’s startup options : You just have to edit the contents fo the file iso/GEEXBOX/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf and to generate the new ISO.

For now, just start the FLTK generator binary :

  • generator.exe under Windows 9x/Me/2000/XP
  • linux-i386-generator under GNU/Linux
  • macosx-generator under MacOS X

Interface Options

There you can select the main options like the theme (the default list contains only one theme, consult the “Packages” tab to download others) you want to use and the language of the GeeXboX menu and the action when you want for playing a DVD movie and when a new media is inserted in the computer.

Just make your selection between the different combo boxes and check boxes.

You can also force the subtitle charset according to your own localization and can force the use of another font that the ones included by default in GeeXboX (both for the menu and the subtitles on movies).

Audio Options

There you can configure some of the audio related options.

First is the ALSA souncard ID. Your computer may have more than one sound card (for example a PCI and an integrated one). This lets you choose which one you want to use. So just fill in the ID of the card you want to use (considering “0″ is the master one, which is usually the onboard one in case of multiple cards).

You can also select the output mode, to specify whether you want to use analog or digital output of your sound card. When choosing digital output, you can force the AC3/DTS passthrough which will result in a direct transmission of AC3/DTS streams to your external amplifier/decoder. You can also specify the number of output channels (Stereo, Surround or 5.1 Surround).

SPDIF

If you choose for a digital output (SPDIF), the listbox IEC958 AC97-SPSA Mode give access to 4 modes.

  • PCM1
  • PCM2, PCM1 (rear)
  • Centre and LFE
  • PCM3, Modem, Dedicated SPDIF

PCM1 is selected at default and is the most appropriated for the majority of sound cards. But if your SPDIF output gives no sound, test the others modes (PCM3, Modem, Dedicated SPDIF).

SoundBlaster Live/Audigy

The Legacy mode is for older SB Live/Audigy cards and is not selected by default. It is configured for the majority of users (Audigy and newer SB Live). If you don’t have sound in analog but it works in digital, then selected this option (useful for the ‘older’ SB Live).

Video Options

In this tab, you can choose between some resolutions and color depths.

  • 640×480
  • 800×600
  • 1024×768
  • 1280×1024
  • 1600×1200

in 15, 16 or 24 bits.

The bootsplash option is useful for showing or hiding the boot messages with a progress bar, or for users whose machines lock up when trying to load the bootsplash image (due to faulty video BIOS). All the themes in the packages tab can work with all resolutions for bootsplash. The official theme, OMC, works only with the resolution 800×600. If you do not see the bootsplash image, but instead see text on the screen during booting, then your video BIOS does not support the requested mode. In that case, try a different resolution and/or color depth.

VESA

For the advanced users, a choice Custom is defined in the list box of the resolutions. This option is useful for use manualy a VESA mode (in decimal only) that you would like use with GeeXboX. The modes are :

640×400 640×480 800×600 1024×768 1152×864 1280×1024 1600×1200
16 (4 bits) ? ? 770 ? ? ? ?
256 (8 bits) 768 769 771 773 353 775 796
32768 (15 bits) ? 784 787 790 354 793 797
65536 (16 bits) ? 785 788 791 355 794 798
16.8M (24 bits) ? 786 789 792 ? 795 799
4.3G (32 bits) ? ? ? ? 356 ? ?

VMWare

If you use an emulator like VMWare, it is necessary for choose 16 bits like color depth for have the bootsplash.

Remote Control Options

There you can simply choose which remote control and receiver you want to use to control GeeXboX. Please note that you can use more than one remote and receiver at a time.

Network Options

This menu provides you the same information as that found in the /etc/network file. You just have to select whether you want GeeXboX to use your Ethernet or Wireless (or Autodetection) network interface. In case of a wireless device use, you have the possibility to set some settings like the connection mode (managed or ad-hoc) and the optional SSID and WEP key (no WPA support for now).
Then, you can also determine if you want to use a DHCP autoconfiguration or a static declaration. In case of static mode, you can define the IP address, DNS server and gateway addresses you want GeeXboX to use with your network adapter. Please note that only one network interface can be used at a time.

Services Options

This tab lets you set some configurations regarding network services.

There you can provide the username and password you want GeeXboX to use to access to your network Samba content (Windows shares). You can also select the network services (HTTP / FTP / Telnet) to be started on GeeXboX (default is none, as it may result in anonymous root access to unauthorized people). You can also activate or deactivate the use of the UPnP devices auto-discovery, if you’re not interested in this features or simply do not want to waste CPU time for this.

SHOUTcast

If you would like to use SHOUTcast (Radio and TV), you can enable that with the possibility for use key words for SHOUTcast TV. The default blacklist keywords are “adult porn xxx ESS SWCTV SWPTV Subscription”, which filter out the adult-content streams and subscription-only streams. For the options “Timeout” and “Retries number”, it is not necessary for these settings to be changed. They concern the timeout period and the number of retries for the network access to the SHOUTcast servers and to the others EXTM3U playlists defined in your configuration file iso/GEEXBOX/etc/netstream.

LCD Display Options

If you have an LCD Display and if it is in the list box, then you can use that for showing the name of the actual play file with a progress bar. Actually it is useless for change the “height” value, that corresponding to the number of lines. This functionality is enabled only on two lines.

Packages Options

This tab is particularly useful to add non-free components or fonts to GeeXboX. There you can select all of the extra non-free firmwares your drivers may require. You can also add non-free audio/video codecs, asian fonts or themes that were too big to be included in regular GeeXboX ISO. Just select the files you need and click on the “Download” button. Then, the generator will download the files you need and make them available to the ISO generator options.

Build up the ISO

All you have to do now, is to hit the Compile button.

That’s it, the generator will produce a new GeeXboX bootable ISO that is ready to be burned on a CD. Don’t forget to burn it in DAO mode.

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