GeeXboX Installation to HDD

17 12 2005

Since I feel comfortably enough with Gentoo now, I dared to do the complete switch from Windows. But sometimes I just want pop a DVD in and watch a movie. For this I installed GeeXboX. It is a small (~10MB) live CD Linux system which turns the PC into a multimedia jukebox – it opens almost all media, using MPlayer, from local devices aswell as remote sources (SMB, uPnP). The ISO image has an option to install it to HDD, but it needs an empty partition for this, unless you want to have your data overwritten. Since I already have a running system ready, I installed it manually.

Fortunately it is relatively easy to install the ISO image to the hard disc by hand. The only thing that causes trouble is that the ISO uses zisofs, an extension for transparent compression. Because my system doesn’t have support for this, the files in the ISO image look “scrambled” and can’t be copied directly. In order to copy the files you have to do the following:

  1. Boot GeeXboX with the boot parameter debug
  2. Run mount to determine how the target partition is mounted
  3. Mount that partition again using mount <device> <dir> -o remount,rw
  4. Recursively copy the GEEXBOX directory from the CD to the target partition via cp -r
  5. Boot your OS normally, mount the CD/ISO normally and copy the GEEXBOX/boot directory over again (the files in this directory are not compressed)

Now that the files are all copied over, a new entry to Grub’s menu.lst is required to be able to boot the GeeXboX partition, have a look at GEEXBOX/boot/isolinux.cfg
Mine looks like this:

# GeexBox Media Player Jukebox
title GeeXboX 0.98.7
kernel (hd0,5)/GEEXBOX/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/ram0 rw init=linuxrc boot=hda6 splash=silent vga=0x315 video=vesafb:ywrap,mtrr
initrd (hd0,5)/GEEXBOX/boot/initrd.gz

Since my notebook could not display the GeeXboX screen correctly by default, because the cvidix driver shrinks the image to the top third of the monitor, I had to edit the following values inside GEEXBOX/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf aswell:

vo=vesa
screenw=1024
screenh=768

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