If you are not yet confessed with all ins and outs of the Dreambox, just read this page for 10 minutes first (without clicking the links) and get an insight into the overall structure.
This guide is only for the use with a Dreambox 7000. Click on the link to read how you install a dish, rotor or wavefrontier-dish correctly.
How does this manual work:
Below you find an overview of all kinds of matter of which you can help to install your Dreambox optimally and to use the maximum of all the possibilities that the box has of offer. You can download the software in the downloadsection.
I have chosen for a top->down approach:
You find here each time a concise description of the most important terms and functions with which you are faced if you use the Dreambox. At the end of every component you find a link to the underlying page with detail explanation. But as I said, read the page first without clicking the links.
When you have read this page "Dreambox for Dummies", start once again at the top and follow then the links on which you want to know about more. If you follow immediately the links, without reading the rest of this page first, you probably rapidly don't know anymore on what it is all about.
How is the Dreambox structured:
I do not want to tell you here on how the hardware is setup. I don't know anymore about the hardware as your guide says. I want to try to give you more insight about the structuring of all software components.
In fact you must consider yourself the Dreambox as a PC.. Indeed a very specialised PC, but nevertheless...
Only this PC doesn't run on Windows, but Linux... Most of you will have heard about Lunix, probably some would have worked with it. Uhm,not very important. The required knowledge comes already playing with it. I hope ;) The Linux operating system is a command-line oriented operating system. Exactly something like the old MS-DOS. Because it it was a bit to much work to give all Dreambox users a Linux (or Unix) course first, they have developed a graphic interface on which you (just like at Windows) can use the software using icons and menus. That graphic interface is called Enigma and has just been built for us (the users) to make life more simple.
Click here for more info about Enigma .
Firmware: the original Dreambox software (IMG):
One of the first matters where you get to deal with as a Dreambox user reading all the info, is the large number of alternative firmware, also called as images. All forums bulge from discussions concerning all kinds of images and emu's, with more exotic names (Ronaldd, Rudream, PeterPan, Jirka etc. etc.), but what is it now exactly, an image?
Generally an image is defined as the firmware of your Dreambox, but I find that that is not correct. Or said better, I find it an incomplete description. But what is exacltly an image?
Probably you have heard sometimes of programmes such as DriveImage and/or Ghost. Programmes with which you can make an image (copy) of your harddisk. Such image can you use to make an identical copy on another harddisk rapidly of your original harddisk. Such an image contains therefore your Windows operating system, all software which you had installed and all documents which you have created in the course of the time.
The images for the Dreambox are also something like that. They contain too the complete contents of the Dreambox, therefore both the Linux operating system as well as all other software. Because the Dreambox is not standard build with a harddisk, all that software + operating system must be charged in a flash memory. So we are therefore not concerning a copy of a harddisk, but concerning a copy of the complete flash memory of the Dreambox on which that image has been manufactured.
Standard the Dreambox contains beside the Linux operating system also the specific Dreambox software which by Dream multimedia has been developed. The software is developed permanently, so updates comes regular available. Those updates are distributed in the form of a firmware (original image). That is the easiest manner to distribute. But, like above, an image is one large file (* img), without recognizable structure. It contains everything, however, but it still must be unpacked in the correct manner.
How does that work?
First ou copy the complete image to the Dreambox. If the image stands entirely on the Dreambox, the effective flashen can start. The software on the Dreambox ensures that the complete image is unpacked and all components of the image are at the correct place. That process of unpacking the image (operating system and software) and
classifying in a structure understandable for the PC. (Dreambox), is the acuall process of flashing.
That flashing is possible in several manners. Among other things like a serial communication (a slow but safe manner) or via a network connection (a fast but less safe manner). There is software available which entirely settles that complete process of copying and flashing for you (DreamUp for serial and DreamupLAN by using your ethernetnetwork).
You can do the complete process also by hand. You carry out then all steps of the process, 1 by 1 by yourself. It is hardly more work than with a softwarepackage, but it is fast and safe.
Click here for more info about flashing.
Alternative Firmware: Images
As said there are many several images. I know not all ins and outs of all those different images, but that is also unimportant for what concerns the general term. What concerns is that such alternative image is actual nothing else then the original Dream multimedia software including a number of modifications or supplements. Those modifications or supplements are possible to the operating system, but in most of the cases it will be related to the application software.
A nice possibility of the Dreambox, is to load the alternative images on an external medium. Thus you can use for example USB stick, compact Flash Card, an internal harddisk or netwerkdrive for storing your images. Depending on of the available capacity, you can install up to maximum 10 different images completely on an external medium.
Beautiful of this method is that you load the original Dream multimedia image in your Dreambox and completely installed and directly to use via your external medium and have the remaining images stand. You do not store therefore a number of several images. No, you install them also complete so that they are immediately in running order. And if you have done that, it indicates you during booting your Dreambox by a menu which system (image) you can use.
Click here for more about alternative images.
Of the most important modifications, or better said supplements, which you will encounter are the so-called emu's in the alternative images. Emu stands for emulator, or better said: CAM emulator. Such an emu makes it possible for you to use the internal cardreaders.
For example when you have a subscription on Canal+ (Seca 2) it is not especially necessary to buy a Seca CAM, it is possible you uses the emu which supports your Seca card. You even can decide which cardreader you want to use: the upper, bottom or both. Of the additional (for some even most important) options of such emu is that it can work even without a card. You need the keys of an original card, but if you have then, you can insert them in a special intended file.
Click here for more info about emu's.
Another possibility of the Dreambox which I want to cite here is cardsharing. As a result of the development of the emu's one reached already the fast insight that it had be possible not to charge the keys from a card or from a file but via the network interface from another (client) Dreambox to the (server) Dreambox. The idea is simple: two Dreamboxes in a network which communicate with each other. Twinge an official card in 1 of the Dreamboxes and late the emu ensure that all connected Dreamboxes to obtain the required keys from one Dreambox.
Some emu's do not have the possibility of cardsharing, only some. But I do not enter further, because it is simply illegal for yourself to share a card this way with others. It has therefore no sense to email me about his, it will not be answered.
As above described, a part of the application software comes along as a component of an image. But the software does not have to work as an integrated component in the operating system. You can build also independent working software which functionings independently from the other software modules (plugins).
Back to the windows surroundings as an example: Microsoft shove nowadays all kinds of applications in Windows and call then that it is an entirely incorporated whole. But think of Internet Explorer, already your accessories such as computer, disk defragmenter etc. etc. But for all those incorporated components are also loose to find alternatives of other suppliers who works just as well or sometimes even better.
The plugins of the Dreambox are always simply to retrieve. If you have installed them well, they arrive automatically in the plugin-menu. That plugin-menu is opened by using the blue button on your remote control.
Click here for more info about plugins.
Where is what located:
Linux uses just like each other operating system of certain protocols which every programmer would have keep himself on. Appointments for example concerning the location of specific programmes belong to that protocol. Of the most important protocols which applied to the Dreambox, is that several software components (plugins, add-ons, settings, skins etc.) are all in the sub-directory /var located. Therefore all additives must be placed in the sub-directory /var.
This is extremely important when you start with FTP to copy extra software to your Dreambox. If you do not put the extra stuff at the correct place, it will be not found. Within that /var directory a classification where specific locations for individual programmes have been prescribed by the programmer who has developed the software. Thus the location for all settings files it has been for example prescribed. Thus version 1.70.3 is the location for the
settingsfiles /var/tuxbox/config/enigma/ and the location for satellites.xml is in most versions /var/etc. When you upload then somewhere else the Dreambox won't find your channellist.
Click here for more info about the structure.
Communication with your Dreambox:
Above all kinds of matter have been already appointed shortly (for example Flashing Images and FTP) that tells you how to communicate between your PC and your Dreambox.
In principle you can communicate in 2 ways between your PC and your Dreambox: by serial communication or by a nettworkcommunication. The ethernet connection on the Dreambox offers the fastest communication possibility voa a network. But you can also manage to connect it directly with a so-called cross-cable a to your PC.
Click here for more info about the communication possibilities.