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Home v3.0

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Gentoox Home v3.0

Copyright (C) Thomas "ShALLaX" Pedley (gentoox@shallax.com)

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA


0.0 - Preamble
0.1 - Whats new?
1.0 - Installation tips
1.1 - Necessary Configuration (HIGHLY IMPORTANT)
1.2 - Extra tweakables
2.0 - Help, I'm still stuck!
2.1 - Q&A
2.2 - Known issues
3.0 - Plans for the future
4.0 - Thanks



This Linux distribution contains no copyrighted Microsoft code, no hacked executables, no illegally compiled executables and no other illegal material to the best of my knowledge. If anything is later discovered to be illegal, when given reasonable proof, this distribution will be taken out of circulation and destroyed and you must do the same.

This software comes with absolutely no warranty and I will not be held liable for anything bad that comes of using it. I will not be held responsible for any losses incurred from using this software.

This software has the potential of ruining all the data stored on your Xbox including your TSOP or modchip. You use this software and any subsequent software downloaded by this program at your own risk.


0.0 - Preamble

Gentoox is a highly optimised and highly refined Linux distribution for the Xbox which receives regular updates. It works on all Xbox version.

Your Gentoox system comes with two predefined users, their details are as follows:

User: root
Pass: xbox

User: gentoox
Pass: xbox

The 'root' user is known as a superuser and has control over everything and everyone's actions! For this reason is it very important that you change your passwords as soon as you log in!. To do this, open a konsole/console (konsole can be found on the KDE start menu under the "System" submenu) and type:

su -
[enter root password when asked]
passwd user_name

The "su -" command instructs linux to (s)witch(u)sers to root and use its system environment

Once again, I refuse to accept responsibility for anything bad that may come of using this software. While I try my absolute best to ensure that this software is stable and fit for use, I make absolutely no guarantees that it is. Use totally at your own risk. This software contains no hacked code or code built with the Microsoft Xbox SDK (XDK).

Throughout this readme you will see the term "xbox_ip", this is simply the IP address assigned to your xbox, e.g.

0.1 - Whats new?

The following is a list of features which are included with Gentoox Home v3.0:

+ XFCE4 preinstalled and configured for easy use.
+ Updated all pre-installed software (KDE 3.1.4 and much more updated).
+ Better reboot/ shutdown routine (uses pic interface to control power).
+ Monitors package preinstalled (loadmonitor NOT added to cron - see below).
+ Kernel 2.4.22.
+ Updated to Cromwell/ Xromwell 2.27.
+ Changed the default orange LED colour after Cromwell/ Xromwell boot to RGOG sequence.
+ Changed the default running LED colour to solid green.
+ Changed the default shutdown LED colour to solid red.
+ Using XboxFB instead of RivaFB.
+ Mozilla replaced with Mozilla Firebird and Mozilla Thunderbird.
+ KDE/ XFCE selection scripts.
+ xbox_eject included (though not always needed). Uses i2c to eject the Xbox dvd drive.
+ Frozen-Bubble included.
+ SSH keys deleted to improve security.
+ telnet client and server included (though server is not setup to run).
+ VNC preinstalled, start it with "/etc/init.d/vnc start" stop it with "/etc/init.d/vnc stop" Add it to load during bootup by running "rc-update add vnc default" or select it during first boot. The default password is "gentoox". To change this, delete "/home/gentoox/.vnc/passwd", then run "vncserver", enter a new password, then type "killall Xvnc" and start VNC as described above - do this all as user "gentoox".
+ Added a simple first boot setup script to select services to be automatically run.
+ Added ProFTPd (FTP server).
+ Samba, Webmin and ProFTPd now optional (set upon first boot). This should solve any security issues!
+ Cleared the cached application icons at the top of the KDE start menu.
+ Made the Mplayer and XMMS icons run with sudo (gives you access to F drive without having to do anything special).
+ Major backend updates to xbvset (repositions the XFCE panel to the center of the screen and repositions the keyboard depending on whether you are using XFCE/ KDE).
+ Freevo preinstalled (but not configured!).
+ Fixed garbled console cursor.
+ New wallpapers (Thanks Halfbreed [XFCE] and Rickz0rz [KDE] and everyone else!).
+ Disabled KDE session saving (no more duplicated XVKBDs!).


If you do not have DHCP, the following settings will be automatically assigned to you:


Of course, you can change these settings yourself by following the Network tutorial on the site.

Your /etc/hosts file is now dynamically updated each time you boot up your Xbox (handy for those who have a dynamic IP address! - this is done from /etc/conf.d/local.start). The Xbox's default hostname has changed from Home (used in previous home versions) to "Xbox". The domainname is now set to "localhost".

You can change your hostname by running "newhost" and you can change your domain name by running "newdomain". Both must be run as root!


You can add /bin/loadmonitor to root's crontab by running 'crontab -e' as root, then add the following line to the bottom of the file:

0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55 * * * * sh /bin/loadmonitor

This will regulate the fanspeed, led pattern and xbox temperature all from one script. See inside /bin/loadmonitor for details and for customisation!

toKDE and toXFCE

In the KDE menu under "System" you will now find an icon called "toXFCE", click this when you want to switch your Window Manager to XFCE. When you click this icon, a terminal window will appear and in this terminal xbvset will run. Basically, just fill out the details as you would normally then your Xbox will reboot to XFCE.

In XFCE, there is a menu item called "toKDE" which functions in exactly the same way as "toXFCE" only it switches from XFCE to KDE.


1.0 - Installation tips

None of this section applies for 'native' installs. Do not attempt to run these commands if you have selected 'native' or you may damage your filesystem!

If you later want to switch which partition Gentoox is installed to, you can do so by running the following commands:

1) Open a console
2) su -
3) [enter root password when asked]
4) magic f-drive << Puts Gentoox on F:
* OR
magic e-drive << Puts Gentoox on E:

Should you find yourself running out of space for Linux, you can either follow the online tutorial on resizing your rootfs, or you can run the following command to add more partitions (100-4000MB and as many as you can fit on F:)

magic newfs

Follow the on screen instructions for each of them. The e-drive and f-drive scripts have safeguards which dont allow you to run either one more than one time in sucession.

1.1 - Necessary Configuration (HIGHLY IMPORTANT) (required for any installation type)


The first thing you'll notice when booting Gentoox Home v3.0 is a long pause whilst your IP is displayed. This is to allow you to note down the details incase you are incapable of completing this next section and need to do it via SSH. After the 20 second pause, the 'firstboot' script will be run which allows you to set your initial screen resolution and select which programs should autoload each time you boot up Gentoox. This proceedure should be done ENTIRELY with the Xbox controller (Xpad) (Of course, you can type the answers with a keyboard should you need to!). You will be given a chance to practise the following Xpad method.

Follow these instructions CAREFULLY:

As an example, I will take you through the stages of selecting your resolution (the final stage in the script).

You will be presented with the following two selections:


To select a resolution, move the cursor using your Xpad to the first character on the line. If you are selecting 640x480, then you move the cursor to the '6'. Then, hold down the Green 'A' button and tap the right direction on the D-pad until the WHOLE line becomes inversed (selected) - NOT JUST THE 640x480! (You'll see a white bar go across the screen). Then press the red 'B' button. This should paste your selection into the system.

Depending on which resolution you chose, you will be presented with a list that resembles the following:

-PALBDGHI -auto 640 480 15.00 15.00
-PAL60 -auto 640 480 15.00 15.00
-NTSC -auto 640 480 12.00 9.00

Select the one that is appropriate to your system (NTSC == America, PAL == UK/ Europe...). To select one, move the cursor to the beginning of the text, in each case this would be a '-' symbol. Hold down the 'A' button and tap the right direction on the D-pad until the WHOLE line becomes inversed (selected) from the '-' onwards, again youll know when you've done it right as the background of the line will turn white from the '-' onwards. Then press the red 'B' button. This should paste your selection into the system.

Finally, youll be presented with the following options (again, varies depending on which resolution you initially selected!):

Choose the one that suits your system (see above for PAL/ NTSC description). Select it in the same fashion as before, move the cursor to the beginning, hold 'A' and highlight the one you want to use. Then press the 'B' button. Your Xbox will then reboot and upon reloading Gentoox, your new resolution will be applied. Please note, the screen may look totally garbled for up to 20 seconds after loading Xfree! Wait it out before deciding whether to change your settings.

For all other questions asked upon first boot, the method is the same, select the answer, then paste it!

If you need to change your settings in the future or decide to upgrade Xfree, you MUST re-run xbvset:

*Open a konsole/console
su -
[enter root password when asked]

1.2 - Extra tweakables

Once you've got your resolution selected, you'll notice your LED is green while running and red while rebooting/ shutting down. You can change the colour sequence/ pattern by doing the following:

*Open a konsole/console
su -
[enter root password when asked]

Have fun with this, but follow the instructions ;)


2.0 - Help, I'm still stuck!

If your TV will not display any picture upon first boot, SSH in with the IP address you probably didnt bother to write down, then run "sh /bin/firstboot" as root. Please dont contact me saying this version gives you garbled graphics, I already know that the console looks messy!

If after selecting a resolution, you still cant see anything on your TV, SSH in, then for this time and all following times, run "xbvset" NOT "sh /bin/firstboot" as this file is deleted after it is executed!

If you are having issues using the magic system, remember you can always run "magic usage" (providing you have an internet connection).

Your most valuable resource regarding Gentoox is its homesite: http://gentoox.shallax.com If you need some dynamic assistance, feel free to drop in to the official channel on irc:

Server : irc.shallax.com
Channel: #gentoox

( Windows mIRC users can run the following url: irc://irc.shallax.com/gentoox )

2.1 - Q&A

Q) I pressed reboot or shutdown and nothing is happening
A) Something IS happening, but since the Xbox has no internal speaker you cant hear the shutdown beep. Just give it a few seconds to shutdown! (You should see your LED switch to the shutdown pattern!)

Q) KDE is asking me to fill in some localisation details when I start it but I cant reach the "Apply" button, what can I do?
A) Just close the window using the "X" at the top right.

Q) Why is Gentoox so slow?
A) Gentoox isnt slow, KDE is. Try switching to XFCE (K > System > toXFCE)

Q) Why do my DVDs jerk in mplayer under XFCE?
A) Specify "gmplayer -vo x11 ....." to make DVD playback smooth.

Q) Why is my desktop all off centered and the wrong size in VNC?
A) You must run xbvset and select 640x480 to use VNC!

Q) I cant see anything, its too small and/or blurry!
A) In XFCE, right click on the desktop, select "Settings > All Settings" then select "User Interface". Finally, click the font "Sans 10" then change the size to 14, click ok and you're done! The reason I didnt do this by default is because it can cause some applications to take up way too much screen space (e.g. Xchat).

Q) Gentoox hangs whilst launching from EvoX... What do I do?!
A) Turn off In-Game-Reset (IGR) from EvoX. This needs to be disabled in ALL 3 places! This is a bug the EvoX team seem to have introduced in v1.8.3921. They tell me this will be fixed in the next release.

Q) Can I change the language in KDE to ?
A) Yes, you need to run 'emerge kde-i18n' first as root, then you can select the language of choice in the KDE control center. The reason this was not included as default is because it's a massive 340MB.

Q) Where are all the Gentoox wallpapers?
A) They're all in /home/gentoox/.wallpaper which is a hidden directory!

Q) In XFCE, why is the "Screensaver" menu item broken?
A) This is intentional! XScreensaver can be added by running "emerge xscreensaver". It was not included because the only way to break out of the screensaver is to enter your password - not everyone has a keyboard so this would have lead to many people having to reboot each time they went idle!

Q) Why does my screen go all garbled when I load Frozen-Bubble?
A) You have to be in 640x480 mode to play this game!

Q) I cant see anything when I boot up, what can I do?
A) You can edit linuxboot.cfg, you should see this line


Basically, you can change the resolution here, and the horizontal (hoc) and vertical (voc) overscan correction. Tested resolutions are 640x480, "hoc" and "voc" are specified as percentages, (X and Y are defaults which are just ignored - they should work for everyone!). You can set these to hoc=10,voc=6, for example. The default settings _should_ work for everyone! XBV can be run on top of these settings should you wish to change your screen setup whilst linux is running.

The "nohwcursor" is what fixes the garbled cursor graphics.

Q) Why does KDE show me a "Sound server" warning message?
A) Because you have KDE loading in VNC. VNC loads slightly earlier than xfree so VNC gets priority over the sound. Its safe to ignore/ disable this message.

Q) So why isnt Freevo preconfigured and how do I use it?!
A) Gentoox was never intended to be just a media player, Freevo is purely made optional (the only reason its in is due to popular request). I havent had much time to play with it but I can verify that its picture viewer and CD player functions work perfectly (I havent tried any other features).

To get Freevo working, do the following as user "gentoox"

1) pico /home/gentoox/.xinitrc

2) change the line that says either "startkde" or "startxfce4" (depending on which window manager you are using) to "/opt/freevo/freevo", also, delete the line starting with "xbvset".

3) reboot

4) Freevo should autolaunch on boot, though you will need a keyboard to control it or you can emerge LIRC and set it up to use the Xbox's remote (I may set this up in future releases).

2.2 - Known Issues

* If you start VNC and Xfree with KDE, they may conflict in various ways. You may lose sound in either of Xfree of VNC, or your settings may not be read correctly in either of them.


3.0 - Plans for the future

This isnt a final release, the following still needs to be done:

* 3D nVidia acceleration

Please dont contact me about progress on 3D acceleration, if it ever gets done, I'll tell you.


4.0 - Thanks

Thanks goes out to everyone who has supported me, offered suggestions and criticised (constructively!!!) my work. You are the people who motivate me in my task to product (what I feel) is the best Xbox Linux distribution around! Without you, I probably would not have bothered going beyond the initial "FINAL" release (as the name would suggest, I didn't plan on releasing any updates, hehehe!).

Thanks to all donators, without you I'd never have got all the hardware I needed to develop Gentoox at a reasonable rate.

I'd also like to thank Xantium from Xbox-Scene for posting news relating to Gentoox.

Thanks to the Xbox-Linux team for Cromwell.

HUGE thanks to the creator of BusyBox - that is an amazing piece of work! Also, thanks to the creators of Slackware and Slothbox.

Thanks to Soundgarden and The Beastie Boys for providing me with something to listen to :)

Special thanks to Halfbreed for the XFCE wallpaper and Rickz0rz for the KDE wallpaper. Also many thanks to everyone else who submitted wallpapers, even if they didn't make it in! (Trogdor, Darkmotion, indi, fafnir, eentelf, janten, Dantax, mansen, Dmack_901, Yavin, fuz, MikerhinosFR, Agent Orange, fuz, Anata, Rickz0rz and anyone else who I may have left off!).

Thanks to Hellimod, Pedro, Dave, Blake, tytyty, Disp, Byte, Xolution, Genlee, Pb, def, wik, Ziekke, Coolberg, nitra, h3inrich, Rocketeer, xboxmastr, Bucko, paulproteus, Xenia bioterror, Turdhat, Jester, CyKiller, bikr, mikegrb, milkpost, Psylenced, TJ, Weezle nath69uk, kickass, madskillz, fuz-(for clogging up the forums with junk! ;)).

And THANKS to everyone else I've forgotten (Sorry! Your help and support was much appreciated!)

Thanks to you for taking the time to read this instruction manual!

Remember - feedback is the only way I'll know when there is a problem

- Thomas "ShALLaX" Pedley (gentoox@shallax.com)


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