New bootloader to boot Linux

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on April 28, 2008


web icon r1 New bootloader to boot Linux

Scott Davilla of the atv-bootloader project has informed me that a new bootloader for Apple TV to boot Linux is now available. With this version, kernel patches to the EFI are no longer required. Also, atv-bootloader can now boot Linux from any mass storage device (including external USB device).

For more information on this, go to atv-bootloader site here.

Actually, Scott wrote to me a couple of weeks back. I just didn’t have a chance to update the site until now. Sorry, Scott.

  • Roger

    Does this mean that it is possible to create a patchstick version that is 100% legal (i.e. doesn’t require certain files from OS X)?

  • dingo

    Yes, I’ve started an “install ssh” example but have not finished yet. Busy on the Linux side right now.

    Scott

  • davilla

    yes, I’ve started an example but have not finished it yes. Been busy on the Linux side.

  • davilla

    I’ve complete the example, it was that easy. see the wiki.

    Scott

  • http://www.brandon-holland.com Brandon Holland

    Patchstick would still need boot.efi

  • davilla

    Which can be pulled from an AppleTV update download. Of which to note that Apple just purged all previous updates from mesa.apple.com. Only 2.02 remains.

    It’s the same boot.efi in all the updates.

  • Joe

    Hi,

    I am new to this. So, will this allow me to create a USB device which when plugged into any standard unmodified AppleTV will boot up Linux (and MythTV if desired)?

    Joe

  • davilla

    Yes. The AppleTV can be and stay unmodified.

  • Joe

    WOW, this is awesome.

    Couple of Q’s for you:

    1) Since the apple TV only has one USB port, can a hub be used to plug in a keyboard and mouse aswell?

    2) I plan to use this with a standard def TV….will that work? I only want to use this as a MythTV frontend. I know a standard AppleTV can work perfectly with SDTV but will the linux side of things also work?

    Thanks
    Joe

  • davilla

    Absolutely, under Linux you have full USB capability and that includes a USB hubs, USB disks (flash and hard) and USB cd/dvd drives. I recommend a AC powered USB hub as the AppleTV USB port will only supply 500mA.

    SDTV is a piece of cake. With easy tweaks to the nvidia binary module options, HDTV is possible. 720p/1080i mpeg2 decode and display using XvMC that is. 720p h.264 using Xv works fine but 1080p h.264 is too much for the cpu to handle.

    I’ve have a 8GB flash drive with Mythbuntu frontend installed. Mythbuntu frontend will fit on a 4GB flash. Plug in it, force “recovery” boot ( hold “menu” and “-” buttons down) and it will boot right into Mythbuntu. Reboot and pull the flash drive, into the Apple “recovery” menu, then reboot into AppleTV OS.

  • Joe

    looks like I will be buying an AppleTV just for this! Can I use an ipod video as the disk on which I install mythbuntu? If so, will this mean it can never again be used as an ipod?

  • Joe

    looks like I will be buying an AppleTV just for this! Can I use an ipod video as the disk on which I install mythbuntu? If so, will this mean it can never again be used as an ipod?

  • davilla

    If you can wipe and use it as a general purpose USB disk, then yes.

    I think there is a method to restore a wiped iPod but don’t quote me on that. google for it.

    A inexpensive 3.5″ USB enclosure with a PATA hard disk would be pretty cheap, about $75 or less depending on your sources. If you have existing PATA drives, even less. Seems a shame to repurpose a video iPod for this task.

  • joe

    Hi,

    Just ordered an 8gb flash drive!

    I take it this works with the latest AppleTV firmware?

    Joe

  • davilla

    My 8GB flash works fine. Mythbuntu will fit nicely on it.

  • davilla

    And your SDTV has what type of video inputs? If you don’t have HDMI, DVI-D or component, then your SDTV does not have any video inputs capable of accepting a video signal from the AppleTV.

    If you can run Mythbuntu on traditional PC hardware and connect to your SDTV using HDMI, DVI-D or component, then the AppleTV can do the same and it will be a similar setup.

    I highly recommend going through the wiki page, there is lot’s of detailed information about setting up Mythbuntu.

    You do need some Linux experience with this project. If commands like “cat, ls, umount, pico, etc” are unfamiliar, the guides on the wiki will not make sense.

  • drag0n

    The AppleTV can display composite, which should be compatible with scart. See http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Composite

  • joe

    thanks drag0n.

    Ok, so now we know it is possible via composite. How would I go about achieving this via linux using scotts atv-bootloader?

    (as I want to leave my ATV unmodified)

    Joe

  • joe

    if you look at:
    http://code.google.com/p/atv-bootloader/wiki/atvdisplay

    could I not just ‘Enable’ Composite?

    surely once you are in linux you have full control over the ATV box and composite IS capable of displaying color. So it is just a matter of how……

  • joe

    I do have a HDTV that can be used for the initial setup

  • davilla

    The nvidia binary has an xorg.conf setting for “SCART” TVOutFormat. Not a clue but that might work.

    I would;

    a) do the setup on your HDTV display. This eliminated unknown factors regarding display issues.

    b) once working and ssh enabled (so you can get in with out needing a working display), then try to get it working with your SDTV. At this point it’s a “how do I drive SCART using component outputs of a nvidia 7300 card using xorg” question. Searching for this with google or on the nvidia forum should reveal the answer.

    I would also join the atv-bootloader discussion group and ask there. Someone might have already have a solution.

  • http://www.goodsoups.net/ sop

    My 8GB flash olso works perfectly.

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