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Old 01-01-2008, 06:23 PM
penguin steve penguin steve is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 33
Wink HOW TO: Running Multiple Independent Rockbox Builds Tutorial

Hello everyone,
I have seen some people want to have multiple independent builds of Rockbox on their player for whatever reason so I decided to write how I do it in the goal of getting my first sticky. In this how-to I will be using Cpchan's build, Kugel's build, and the Official Rockbox build. You may however use as many builds as you please, as long as there is enough room on your player. I use multiple ".rockbox" folders so this is truly independent builds not linked together in any way like i have seen elsewhere. It is fairly simple to do this and if you go wrong, you simply won't be able to boot Rockbox until you fix the problem with the computer (I will get to that later).

OK, Enough talking, here's how.

1. So first step is get all your builds downloaded and unpacked into different directories. For example, I extracted Cpchan's build in "/Cpchan/.rockbox" and Kugel's build in "/Kugel/.rockbox" and the Official Rockbox build in "/Official Rockbox/.rockbox" and so on. The reason they are in different directories is because Rockbox uses the ".rockbox" folder as the system folder and cannot be renamed. Again they cannot be all found on the root directory as it would cause confusion leading to errors. You keep them in separate directories to identify the builds easily anyway.
**do not unplug your player yet**

2. Next step is to decide which build you would like to run on the first boot-up and move the .rockbox folder found in the corresponding directory to the root of the player. For example, if you would like to run the Official Rockbox, cut/paste the ".rockbox" folder found at "/Official Rockbox/.rockbox" that you created in step 1 to "/"
**now you can unplug the player and boot into Rockbox**

3. Now to change builds WITHOUT the need of a computer (straight from the player), you need to change a setting in Rockbox to show ALL files and folders rather than only showing the supported ones. Do as follows.

Main Menu > Settings > General Settings > File View > Show Files > All

Now go to
Main Menu > Files >
Now you should see the ".rockbox" folder and every other file and folder on your player. If you don't, you did not do this step properly.

4. _.--*** Changing Builds ***--._

The example used in this step would be to change from Official Rockbox to Cpchan's build.

A. Go to the file browser and highlight the ".rockbox" folder found on the root. Pull up the context menu by (depending on the build) holding the "select" button or clicking the button just below the "select" button (see screenshot 5). Now choose "cut" (not copy) and navigate to the folder you moved it out of in step 2. Now in that folder, pull up the context menu again and select "paste".

Example: Cut "/.rockbox" and paste to "/Official Rockbox/" where "/Official Rockbox/" would have been previously empty because of step 2.

B. There should no longer be a ".rockbox" folder in the root. ****It is Important not to shut down your player now as Rockbox will not boot again (see foot note 1)****. Now go into the directory of the build you would like to run and move the ".rockbox" folder using the cut/paste method in step 4A from "/name/.rockbox" to the root "/"
**now reboot your player and your new build will load**.

Example: Cut "/Cpchan/.rockbox" and paste to "/" where there was no ".rockbox" folder previously on the root because of step 4A. Reboot the player and you will now boot Cpchan's build rather than the Official Rockbox build.

5. Now that you have booted a different build, you will have to start from step 3 to change builds again. You must do this every time you would like to change builds.

EDIT: Alternatively, taking Kugel's suggestion in the next post, you can save your configuration file by doing the following:
Main menu > Settings > Manage Settings > Write .cfg file
You will be presented with the text editor and a filename "/.rockbox/config01.cfg".
You can name it what you like and save it anywhere. I suggest you save it OUTSIDE of the ".rockbox" folder as it would be cut/pasted with the build as you change builds. A good place would be on the root. By modifying the name "/.rockbox/config01.cfg" to "/config01.cfg" you will be fine. Now you can proceed from step 4 to switch builds. Once in the new build, just navigate to the place you saved the configuration file and select it. This will restore your settings and let you skip step 3.


Thank you for reading and I hope this helps. Remember, this is just the way I do it, I am open for suggestions on other ways of using multiple builds. Please post your questions and comments.

Penguin Steve

*_*Foot Note*_*
1. If you did shut down your player accidentally, you will be forced to load the original firmware as the boot loader will not find Rockbox. No problem. Just connect to a computer and start from step 2.

These shots were taken from my Linux computer running the Sansa e200 emulator for windows through Wine (not that it matters).

#1 #2
#3 #4

1. Just the main menu
2. Kugel's build in the file browser at the root
3. Official Rockbox build in the file browser at the root
4. Cpchan's build in the file browser at the root
5. Context menu
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