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Hacking Express gate (Asus Splashtop)

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  • #81
    Express gate source code finally released do to GPL pressure

    will this solve our problems?



    Description Express Gate Source code V1.4.6.2 or earlier versions.



    File Size 280.24 (MBytes) 2009/03/27 update



    Download from Global China

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    • #82
      Originally posted by Amarus View Post
      This is somewhat outside the thread's scope but I have a question:
      Is it somehow possible to replace Express Gate with another *nix distro?
      I'm dual booting Vista (I need it for university) and Ubuntu on an Asus laptop (M51Va) and it would really be great to boot Ubuntu right away just by pressing a different button instead of using a bootloader. I know it wont be exactly an instant-on but I don't care that much.

      Although I'm studying Informatics Engineering (Computer Engineering in some countries), I'm still rather noobish in the land of the *nix. But I found this thread really interesting and I'm planning to experiment around with this stuff.

      Thanks in advance.
      I don't think that it is out of scope and I think it's a very interesting question: Would it be possible to load a custom linux kernel that initializes all necessary hardware and then starts the /sbin/init on the given "root=/dev/sdaX"?
      Nearly half of the total time to login is wasted by the BIOS (22 seconds until grub) and from then only 26 seconds for the OS itself. If only the grub bootloader would come up as fast as the Express Gate menu it would be a great improvement.

      I had a closer look on the skin0000.bin file and it seems that this is the menu that is shown first. I could find many GIF pictures some strings that look like a kernel init: ":/kernel.bin initva=firefox baseva=scan". Maybe it helps digging further into this direction.

      Darkstar.

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      • #83
        It is no improvement, because the first menu is a fake - it is just a bootmanager, then the system boots.

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        • #84
          If this is just a bootmanager is there a way to integrate my own kernel into it? Having a bootmanager 20 seconds earlier would improve a lot! I can see in skin0000.bin that it starts "kernel.bin" but I am not shure if I could just put my kernel here and load it.

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          • #85
            No idea how to replace kernel, i only managed to compile extra modules against an older splashtop kernel for extra drivers.

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            • #86
              I digged a little bit deeper into it and found something more. Even if the CE_BZ is not included in the windows installation anymore (only CEFULL is) it is still there compressed into CE.CEX. Just strip the first 0x3f bytes of the file and "tar -xz" the remaining part.

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              • #87
                Not bad. I just added a stored header in front.

                Comment


                • #88
                  Originally posted by Kano View Post
                  Not bad. I just added a stored header in front.
                  Thank you I mean I am working with linux for over 10 years but I only found out today that there is a program called "file" and a file "/usr/share/magic" with all the knowledge of how to identify files by the header...

                  I am not shure about the kernel.bin though. Sometimes the files in the ASUS.SYS directory look a little bit strange: security by obscurity... At the end of kernel.bin is an empty debian package structure with a control file saying:

                  Code:
                  Package: Kernel.Splashtop.ASUSEG00
                  Section: System_Kernel
                  Maintainer: DeviceVM <www.devicevm.com>
                  Architecture: all
                  Version: 1.4.6.2
                  FriendlyName: Kernel Image
                  BtId: ###BTID###
                  SQXSize: ###SQXSIZE###
                  SQXMd5sum: ###SQXMD5###
                  Description: Kernel binary for Splashtop ASUSEG00
                  If I find more details I will post them here.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Please release an ISO file that works
                    with the great UnetBootin program

                    http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

                    to get it easily
                    onto USB stick drives !

                    As the Splashtop is now also Open Source
                    there should be no legal problem.

                    Many thanks.

                    Regards, Stefan.

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      Originally posted by hartiberlin View Post
                      Please release an ISO file that works
                      with the great UnetBootin program

                      http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

                      to get it easily
                      onto USB stick drives !

                      As the Splashtop is now also Open Source
                      there should be no legal problem.

                      Many thanks.

                      Regards, Stefan.
                      Hi Stefan,
                      I am not shure what you want. There is already a very good instruction of how to install Splashtop on an USB stick.

                      For me the system is only of interest, because it is partly integrated into my systems BIOS (Asus P5N7A-VM) and this could be a way to speed up the startup time drastically. For me it would be totally enough if I would have control over the bootloader (CEFULL) but so far I have no idea how to get access to it. Maybe somebody with goot disassembler knowledge could help out. This bootloader can already start a kernel from an NTFS paritition with (I guess) a big rootfs system that then loads all the other modules. If you want to have a nice and small Linux distribution that boots from an USB stick just choose one, there are already many out there.

                      Regards Darkstar.

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