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TiVo Hacks by Raffi Krikorian

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Hack #34. Installing Unix Binaries on TiVo

Continuing where we left off a little earlier [Hack #31], let's install those useful Unix utilities we copied over to TiVo's hard drive.

So you have a prompt [Hack #33], now what? By default, you don't even have the ability to do an ls (list the files in a directory). How lame is that? Not at all, really, when you consider that, from TiVo's point of view, all those human-usable utilities are superfluous for its purposes—to record television shows and play them back to you on demand. But, from a human's perspective, it's pretty lame indeed.

Let's check in on those Unix utilities you copied to your TiVo [Hack #31] and get them installed.

With your TiVo up and running, the /dev/hdX9 partition should be mounted as the /var directory. This is easily verified, like so:

bash-2.02# mount
/dev/hda4 on / type ext2 (ro)
/dev/hda9 on /var type ext2 (rw)
/proc on /proc type proc (rw)

And there it is. Partition 9 (/dev/hda9) is mounted read-write (rw) as the /var directory. Partition 4 (/dev/hda4) is mounted read-only (ro) as /. You'll remember it was known as /dev/hdX4 when mounted in our PC, but to TiVo it is mounted as the active primary master partition, as expected.

Now all we need to do is make our way back to the hack directory created earlier and unarchive that tar file, right? Well, yes; the only problem is that we don't yet have the tar command installed. We do, however, have cpio (read "copy input/output") with which we can manipulate the file ...

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