Getting started

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Contents

Setting up the Kurobox

Mounting the Hard Drive

First of all, take a look at the manual that came with your Kurobox, in order to mount your hard drive into it. If yours came with Japanese instructions, the English version of the manual is also available. If you have a Kurobox HG WR, the instructions shall be slightly different, but there is no known English manual for the Kurobox HG WR.

Changing the boot loader

While using the manufactuer's bootloader, the Kurobox boots off a proprietary / unknown bootcode, and then loads a stationary kernel, fixed on the flash ROM. This kernel is pre-configured to load a root file system on the hard drive (hda).

By installing U-boot, an open source bootloader, you are able to easily get to the EM mode (EMergency Mode), using a well known rootfs that you can use to mount your hard disk and fix things. You simply press a button during the boot time to choose from available boot options. U-boot is also extremely flexible allowing the owner of the box to determine how to boot their box and what parameters to pass. By using the latest U-boot, you also get support for 2.6.2x kernels, with support for .dtb files, what gives improved portability, allowing the use of multiplataform kernels. For instructions on how to install the latest U-boot, see Kurobox support in stock 2.6 kernels.

Changing the EM mode

The Kurobox has am embedded linux image in it that can be used to repair and setup the boxes. The EM mode that ships with Kurobox uses a very old kernel, and that imposes some limitations. The Foonas-em bootloader uses a 2.6 kernel and lots of other gooodies for your Kurobox. See how to install it here : http://foonas.org/index.php/Foonas-em

Installing an Operating System

You have several operating system options for your Kurobox. For a fast start, you can try to run the installer on the CD that came with your Kurobox. That should partition your hard drive and install Revolution's standard OS on it. Note that this install program may not work, is somewhat buggy and the default interface is in Japanese.

There is also the Kuro Auto Installer, that will easily allow you to setup the OS on your Kurobox.

You can find instructions for manually installing these operating systems at their Home Pages, by clicking on the Project title listed under the Main Categories heading on the sidebar menu on the left side of all pages in this wiki. The main ones are Debian, Fedora, and Gentoo.

Note that the Kurobox needs a kernel compiled for it's specific hardware. This means that you can't simply download the PowerPC branch of some distro and use it right away. (The default PowerPC branches are usually targeted at the Apple hardware PMAC). However, the community has alrady made images for the most popular distros, using a kurobox-compatible kernel.

Controlling Power usage and Noise

You can use a special script control the fan speed setting to high when the HD is too hot, and slowing the fan down when it no longer needs cooling.

You can use hdparm to set your HD to sleep after inactivity, saving power and making less noise.

Making the Power Button and LEDs work

The LEDs and the Power Button, as well as the button on the back are controlled by the Embedded Microcontroller on the Kurobox. This means that you need to install a special program to monitor the power button and output the right activity to the system leds. It's recommended to install the avr_evtd.

Installing the Web Interface

You can administer your kurobox via the web administration interface.

Security/Privacy concerns

You also migh want to install PeerGuardian, a tool that automaticaly updates iptables on blacklisted ip's that are used to spy activities. Also, it's worth taking a look on Basic security procedures.

Applications

When your Kurobox is properly setup, there is no end to the applications it can handle. With a little imagination and some research your Kuro will be doing tricks you never imagined. Here are some examples of what people are doing with their Kurobox. If you have an interesting application, feel free to add to this list.

Hardware Modifications

Getting help

It is suggested that you browse through the wiki and read through the forums for information on how to setup your Kurobox. When posting to the forums please be sure to post in the correct forum and make sure your posts have useful subjects. You will find that you get a better response to a post with the title "Need help installing Gentoo" than you will with a subject of "Need help".

Keep updated

New stuff is always being developed at the Kurobox Contests.