Today I am releasing the first of what will probably be several versions of the Zipit Shell with some added binaries. The Z2 Shell is freely available for download from the Zipit Wireless "linux hacking" site. I have taken this shell and added all sorts of interesting new compiled binaries (irc, nmap, etc). I have been amassing a growing collections of add-ons to the generic Shell image and some of them required slight modification to the z2startup.sh script. This script is rather touchy, and screwing is up will render your Shell image useless. Rather than make people download and assemble all of these little code snippets, I decided to create my own "Shell with benefits".
You can download it here: http://www.oddree.com/zipit/Z2S-v201.zip
Here is a "demonstration" video which was poorly shot and narrated by myself.
Here are the release notes from the included README file ...
IZS - The "Improved Z2 Shell" (aka Shell with Benefits) v2.01
This collection was built by Ray Dios Haque
out of sheer necessity. I wanted something that I could play with that would not effect the stock software that comes on the Z2. The easiest way to do that was to take the Z2 Shell that was built by rossimo from Zipit Wireless and expand upon it. I take no credit for his work. Be it known that if I don't mention adding it, it was something that Ross built for us. By the way, thank you Ross. This image has been a lot of fun for me and I hope that by releasing this image of my own I can give something back to the Zipit community.
Format your SD card as a FAT or a FAT16 file system. Copy everything from this zip file onto the root of the card (preserving all paths/directories). Insert your SD card into the Zipit and boot it up. Note that you can only boot this image if you are running the Stock OS that came with your Zipit. If you have installed OpenEmbedded or Debian, then you have probably replaced the stock operating system which included a routine to look for the z2script.sh script. For legal purposes, I cannot provide you this stock operating system. Some of the smarter people in the Zipit community might be able to help you restore this OS (see CHAT below).
Come chat with us! There is a thriving (?) community of the worlds best Zipit hackers who hang out in #zipit on irc.freenode.net. You can fire up 'irc' from this very image and come hang out.
wget, ircii-20090520 (irc), wireless-tools (ifrename, iwconfig, iwevent, iwgetid, iwlist, iwpriv, iwspy), ftp (ftp, /etc/services), unzip (unzipsfx, unzip, funzip), nmap (nmap, *new* ncat), wpa_passphrase, less (lessecho, lesskey), grep
ncurses (libform.a, libform_g.a, libmenu.a, libmenu_g.a, libncurses++.a, libncurses.a libncurses_g.a, libpanel.a, libpanel_g.a)
- Added a routine asking if you would like to configure your wireless card. This was not possible before as there was no scanning routine and the image lacked the wpa_passphrase utility. You can now scan for and configure your wireless settings entirely from the zipit.
- Added "cp /mnt/sd0/etc/services /etc/services" which gives the ftp command the port numbers it needs to function.
- Added "cp -R /mnt/sd0/etc/terminfo /etc", "export TERM=vt102", "export TERMINFO=/etc/terminfo" to help irc understand the screen layout.
- Added "ln -s /mnt/sd0/lib/* /lib" to make ncurses libraries usable, and any future libraries that you or I might add.
- Added "ln -s /mnt/sd0/share /share" for nmap and anything else that might require a "share" directory to be present to function.
- Replaced the stock keyboard driver in /modules with one that was created by Kenyon
from the Zipit Yahoo Group. This removed all of the problems with keys not working, or repeating while typing. The original drivers remain, but have been renamed to *.orig.
- A script to download and install "packages" (zip files) using wget, unzip, and a "binary repository" on www.oddree.com. A similar system could provide updates when I provide them.
- rkdavis from #zipit would like me to add sound to this. I will as soon as I add something to this collection that needs it!
- A terminal based image viewer. I have been messing with a couple, but much of what I have experimented with requires X11 libs. Without X11 on this image that results in some very large and slow moving kludgey code.
IFAQ (InFrequently Asked Questions)
Q. Why does nmap (or some other binary) run so slow?
A. Because everything has to be built "static" to run on the Z2. That means that where you might normally have hundreds of shared libraries on a linux machine, the Z2 Shell must embed the libraries into each running binary. It makes for some bloated inefficient stuff. But, it works. If you want a better system - start writing it! Otherwise, try to limit the actions of what you are doing. For instance, use an address range or port range with nmap. Don't start long running scans on entire networks. This is a Z2 we're talking about. The resources are pretty lean.
Q. How can I add my own binary/package?
A. There are several ways to go about this. The method I have used to compile everything is "scratchbox". Scratchbox is a program which let's you cross-compile applications. That means that you can build stuff for an ARM platform, even though you have a regular x86 machine. It can be tricky and complicated. Try reading up on what I have posted at http://www.oddree.com.
Q. Why did you *insert snarky comment here*?
A. If you find that I did something stupid and inefficient, do let me know. I don't claim to have any expertise in the area of building software. If you have some suggestions on how to improve things or would like to help with the next release of this improved Z2 Shell, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to collaborate with some folks who might be more talented than myself.
Q. Will you build *insert package name here* for me?
A. Probably. Unless you are asking me to build something that has an endless list of dependencies. In which case I will probably tell you to install OpenEmbedded or full fledged Debian. They all ready have all of these packages. I am only expanding upon the old Z2 Shell because I find it lean and useful.