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The Gemini Project

Dumbo - the dumb boot plugin


Do you have less flash-memory at your Dreambox for your daily Updates, Skins or Picons? Than Dumbo may be interesting for you. This plugin from gutemine helps you to boot the Dreambox via a compressed image from a removable media like Compact Flash or USB-Stick.

Dumbo is not a tool for Multiboot but it supports to boot via removable drives. Of course you can backup this kind of image. This plugin also helps to create a swap-file or swap-partition. Because of this you can use Dumbo at Dreamboxes with less RAM (like the DM 7025) without having problems due to less memory while decompressing or maintaining the image. Swap is activated during the boot process of Dumbo as told in the /etc/fstab.

The Dumbo Plugin

You configure Dumbo in this steps. Install the plugin into the flash image (the main image in the Dreambox). Than plug in the Compact Flash card or your prefered media to create partitions on it. You will get two partitions. The first to create a bootable FAT file system and the second to create the main ext3 file system.

Now start the plugin Dumbo to choose the image that will be installed at your removable media. After about 5 minutes of decompression, installing and rebooting the Dreambox will be available for your new experiments.

The complete configuration of the Dumbo-Plugin is described in this article. Please take your time to read it carefully to get all requirements.

Good luck and have a lot of fun! :-)

This article is based at the forum-topic: Dumbo - the Dumb Boot Plugin (German language)


  • Configure bios of the corresponding box.
  • Prepare desired image for the Dumbo device.
  • Installation of Dumbo plugin.
  • Start Dumbo, partition the desired media and extract desired image to attached media.
  • Learn operation / functions of Dumbo.
  • To know the webinterface of Dumbo.
  • Able to update the Dumbo plugin.
  • Uninstall Dumbo if required.
  • Integrate Dumbo into BluePanel (optional).
  • Read chapter "Troubleshooting Dumbo Plugin".
  • Read chapter "Frequently asked questions (FAQ).
  • Read chapter "Successfully used Dumbo devices".
  • To know the support thread of Dumbo.


  • Enigma2 based Dreambox.
  • Supported boxes are DM 7025 (+), DM 800HD PVR, DM 800HD se and DM 8000HD PVR.
    DM 500 HD should also work, but an USB mod (German language) is required.
  • An OE 1.6 image in flash, with recent second stage loader (e.g #83 or #84 depending on box typ). Images with older SSL versions are successfully tested onto Dumbo device. But care about updates. If current SSL will be replaced by an older one, booting from Dumbo device will no longer work. It only helps to update SSL manually via secondstage-dmxxx-xx.nfi, or via dreambox-secondstage_xx-dmxxx.ipk packet, unless flash memory is booting flawlessly.
  • Do not use an iCVS image with GP3 plugin in flash memory when no hard drive is installed! Install a normal CVS image instead. Once again, problems has only the one without a hard drive. Is a hard drive installed iCVS can be used in flash memory with or without gp3 plugin.
  • Attached removable device needs at least 512MB.
  • Maximum supported device size is 32GB.
  • DM 7025 (+) needs a CF card as storage medium.
  • DM 500 HD, DM 800HD PVR, DM 800HD se and DM 8000HD PVR need an USB Stick as storage medium.
  • During setup, attach only desired media to the Dreambox.
  • The desired device must be formated in FAT or FAT32.
  • Telnet Client, for packet installation.
  • Strong-willed to read the article before anger the family.

Installing Dumbo the dumb boot plugin

Bios-Configuration of the Dreambox

Bios - DM 8000 HD PVR
Bios - DM 800 HD se
Bios - DM 7025 (+)

You need to prepare the Bios to be able to boot via a removable media containing the FAT filesystem.
The following chapter shows you the needed preparation for the different kind of Dreamboxes.

You need to activate USB Support at all Dreamboxes. But you do not need to activate this at the 7025.

Ambox notice.png Changing the Bios
Like flashing the Bios via Webbrowser you can connect to the Bios.
After you see "STOP" at the display you can connect via telnet ip_of_dreambox to the Bios. Than you can change the needed values. Further informations about accessing the BIOS can be found in Wiki article The Dreambox Bios.

Ambox notice.png Choose Boot Source
If you cannot change the values at Boot Source between Flash / CF / USB,
then use the [Page UP] or [Page Down] keys at your keyboard.
Mac users can use the following combination [Fn]+[Shift]+[Arrow up/down].

DM 500 HD

Primary boot source: usb [/autoexec_dm500hd.bat]

Secondary boot source: flash

Enable USB support: [ENABLED]

DM 7025 (+)

Primary boot source: cf [/autoexec_dm7025.bat]

Secondary boot source: flash

Enable USB support: [DISABLED]


Primary boot source: usb [/autoexec_dm800.bat]

Secondary boot source: flash

Enable USB support: [ENABLED]

DM 800HD se

Primary boot source: usb [/autoexec_dm800se.bat]

Secondary boot source: flash

Enable USB support: [ENABLED]


Primary boot source: usb [/autoexec_dm8000.bat]

Secondary boot source: flash

Enable USB support: [ENABLED]

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Dumbo plugin installation

The installation may vary, depending on the box type.
Make shure you are using the correct one ;)

Installation for DM 800HD PVR, DM 800HD se, DM 8000HD PVR und DM 500 HD

For the installation are both files from the Dumbo thread needed.

  • dosfstools_3.0.11-r2_mipsel.ipk
  • enigma2-plugin-extensions-dumbo_x.xx_mipsel.ipk

Dosfstools is used to create the FAT partition. The second packet is the actual Dumbo plugin.

Copy dosfstools and Dumbo plugin via FTP to the Dreambox into the /tmp folder.
Use telnet or ssh to access the command prompt and install both packets with following command.

opkg install /tmp/*.ipk

To install both packets individually, use following steps.

opkg install /tmp/dosfstools_3.0.11*

Followed by the next command, that installs the Dumbo plugin.

opkg install /tmp/enigma2-plugin-extensions-dumbo*

Switch dreambox off and connect the USB-Stick.
Turn on the dream (Dreambox) and follow the next step of the wiki article.

Installation for DM 7025 (+)

For the installation are again both files from the Dumbo thread needed.

  • dosfstools_3.0.11-r2_mipsel.ipk
  • enigma2-plugin-extensions-dumbo_x.xx_mipsel.ipk

Dosfstools is used to create the FAT partition. The second packet is the actual Dumbo plugin.

Copy dosfstools and Dumbo plugin via FTP to the Dreambox into the /tmp folder.
Use telnet or ssh to access the command prompt and install both packets with following command.

opkg install /tmp/dosfstools_3.0.11*

Followed by the next command, that installs the Dumbo plugin.

opkg install --force-depends /tmp/enigma2-plugin-extensions-dumbo*

Switch dreambox off and connect the CF card.
Turn on the dream (Dreambox) and follow the next step of the wiki article.

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Prepare desired image for the Dumbo device

Now copy the desired image for the CF card or USB-Stick to the Dreambox.
Per default, the plugin scans following directories.

  • /MB_Images
  • /media/hdd/backup

Ambox notice.png Selection of other directories
Is the image stored in a different location (e.g. NAS) the desired path can easily be adjusted. Open the Setup menu in Dumbo and change the path.
Save input with the [OK] key.

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Start Dumbo Plugin, partition it and decompress it

Dumbo in action

Start the Dumbo Plugin via the Extenstions and press the yellow Button called [Booting] at your remote control. To configure you need to execute the following steps. The GIF animation on the right side shows the steps as screenshots.

1. Select [Destination device] (CF-Card or USB Stick)
2. Choose [fill with image]
3. Set size of [FAT] (8MB are enough, see chapter "Frequently asked questions (FAQ)")
4. Select [Your desired Image]. The flash memory can also be extracted to the attached media.
5. Confirm the questions by pressing the [OK] button.

The partitions are now build at the plugged in removable media. After this the images is decompressed.
While the plugin is working the sleeping Dumbo is shown.

After the automatic restart, the new images should be started and ready to use.

Ambox notice.png Password and network settings
After the image extraction, the root password and network settings are copied to the Dumbo device.
Ambox notice.png Partition Label
After partitioning the FAT file system is labeled TIMOTHY and the ext3 file system is labled DUMBO.

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Using the Dumbo Plugin

Dumbo Menu

The functions of Dumbo depends of using the Flashimage or the Dumbo-device.
Please read the following chapters to learn the main functions.

This two functions are the same in Flashimage or Dumbo-device.

  • [Cancel] - Closes the Dumbo Plugin
  • [Setup] - Opens the settings menu

Dumbo setup

Dumbo settings

The following settings can be made with the Dumbo plugin.

Enter Backup path
Image backups are saved into the configured path. And of course, image are also taken from the path when extracting an image to the Dubmo device.

Swapfile [MB]
Swap size can be changed if required (e.g. test purposes).
Default value is 196.
The modification only takes effect, when extracting an image to the Dumbo device!

alphabetic sort
Value true lists all available images in alphabetical order. Using false the plugin lists first all images from /MB_Images, then the images from the configured path (e.g. /media/hdd/backup).

rootdelay [sec]
This will improve the BIOS recognition for some devices. Increasing the value of 10 till 15 seconds may help.
The modification only takes effect, when extracting an image to the Dumbo device!

Description of color keys

  • [Cancel] - Closes the Dumbo plugin
  • [OK] - Saves the modifications
  • [About] - Shows plugin version
  • [Donation] - Opens donation screen on tv

Ambox notice.png Adapted Dumbo settings
Changes are saved in /etc/enigma2/settings.
Further configurations can be found in chapter Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Start via Flash image

Yellow button [Booting]

You can call three functions by pressing the yellow button at your remote control called [Booting].
The screen-shot on the right shows the possibilities.

  • [boot existing image] - Starts the image from the Dumbodevice
  • [re-fill with image] - Starts partitioning and choosing the image to decompress at the Dumbodevice.
  • [Filesystemcheck] - Verifies the Dumbodevice about FAT or ext3 filesystem errors

You cannot use the green button [Backup] while the flash image is still in use and active.

Format Dumbo device to ext3

A new feature is available when booting from flash image.
When changing the FAT size to zero the Dumbo device will be formated and equipped with one ext3 partition.

Back to table of contents

Start via Dumbo device

Functions of Dumbo device

Is the Dumbo image up and running, following functions can be executed via buttons [green] and [yellow].

  • [Booting] - Boots image from flash memory.
  • [Backup] - Saves Dumbo image to a selectable destination (See next section).

Create backup from Dumbo device

Start Dumbo plugin and press the green button [Backup]. Then select path for the backup with remote control (e.g. /media/hdd/backup). The image will be saved into folder /media/hdd/backup.

Ambox notice.png Valid Backup locations
Backups are only possible within folder /media/xxx. The Dumbo device cannot be selected as backup device.
Ambox notice.png Path settings for backups
The selected backup location (e.g. NAS) , will from now on be used for re-filling the Dumbo device.

Back to table of contents

The Dumbo web-interface

Dumbo - Started from flash memory
Dumbo - Started from Dumbo device

Access Dumbo web-interface with following syntax.


The functionality is the same as described in the chapter Using the Dumbo Plugin.
Big difference is that you control Dumbo with mouse/keyboard using your webbrowser and not with your remote control.

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Updating the Dumbo plugin

Updating Dumbo is easy. Are new functions added or bugs corrected, Dumbo can easily be updated to the latest version. All you need, is the most recent version from the Dumbo Thread.

Start the flash image. Copy new Dumbo plugin into the /tmp directory and execute following command to install it.

opkg install /tmp/enigma2-plugin-extensions-dumbo*

Restart Enigma2 or reboot the Dreambox.

Ambox notice.png Updating the Dumbo device
Dumbo will automatically be updated on the Dumbo device once it is started.

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Uninstalling the Dumbo Plugin

Uninstall Dumbo with both steps described below.

  • Erase and format the Dumbo device (CF-Card or USB-Stick)
  • Remove Dumbo plugin from flash memory

Start the flash image. After starting the Dumbo plugin choose [Boot] and [re-fill with image]. Set the FAT size to zero. The Dumbo device will now be formated with an ext3 file system.

The following command will remove the Dumbo Plugin in the flash memory.

opkg remove enigma2-plugin-extensions-dumbo

Ambox notice.png Note about Bios settings
You do not need to reset the Bios settings. The box will boot normally via the flash memory. Nevertheless you can reset the BIOS to factory default.

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Integrate Dumbo plugin into BluePanel (optional)

Dumbo meets BluePanel

Dumbo can be integrated into the Blue Panel as an alternative start option.
The menu where Dumbo appears can be chosen (e.g. Settings menu).

Use steps written below.

1. Open BluePanel and select menu for the Dumbo plugin (e.g. Settings menu).

2. Press [Menu] key.

3. Select [Settings] entry.

4. Select [Add plugin].

5. Chose Dumbo entry with [OK].

6. Select key combination for the plugin.

7. Save inputs with the green button on your remote control.

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Timothy as Spinner (optional)


Here is a sweet spinner for your Dreambox.
For example, you can set up the spinner with the geminispinner plugin from the Blue Panel.

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Troubleshooting the Dumbo plugin

Dumbo Plugin versions

Use always the most recent Dumbo version from the first post of gutemine's thread.
Old hoarded plugin's will never be supported. So use the newest available version, especially when problems arise.

General boot problems

USB stick

The BIOS accepts probably an USB stick if Windows recognizes it as a "mass storage device" and not as a "USB stick yxz". When booting fails, use an USB hub in between or use another USB stick (a passive hub is sufficient, there is no need for an extra power supply).


Disable [Prerun] option in BIOS if Dreambox is hanging while starting up.


For some devices is it helpful to increase the rootdelay value of 10 till 15 seconds. This will improve the BIOS recognition.
To change the delay time, edit the autoexec_ *.bat file manually on the FAT partition.

BIOS settings - Change command line

In BIOS, make sure the entry Change command line is set to [DISABLED].

Reset BIOS to factory defaults

Are you not able to boot from the Dumbo device then reset the BIOS to factory defaults. Edit again the BIOS and try again to boot from the Dumbo device.

Problems with several attached storage media

For the first boot only the Dumbo device should be attached to your Dreambox, because the root devices in the autoexec_*.bat are delivered for this situation. If you later attach further USB devices the device names could be shifted. In this case the autoexec_*.bat of your Dreambox has to be changed at the root=/dev/sdX2 by using a different letter at the X.

Booting from Dumbo device will simply not work

Use please following steps if booting won't (never) work from Dumbo device.

  • Create a bootlog to check how the dumbo device is recognized by the Dreambox. Check also that the box reads the correct autoexec*.bat entry. A mistyped is quickly made. And do not play with BIOS settings. It reacts quite sensitive when playing around. All you need are the modifications (as described in the beginning of the article) to be able to boot from the attached Dumbo device. If boot problems still arise (e.g. wrong autoexec*.bat entry) reset the BIOS to factory defaults. Modify the settings in BIOS and try again to boot.
  • Doesn't booting work, then extract the desired image to the Dumbo device. Afterwards connect the Dumbo device to the PC and format the FAT partition.
    (Save first all files from FAT partition and copy them back after the formating process).
  • You could also test an USB hub (Not needed / possible when using a CF card).
  • Or increase the rootdelay value in the Dumbo settings. Extract the image again and test the booting process.

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Problems with formating of storage media

Are there problems formating storage media then use the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
It formats storage media without problems, if recognized by the application.

Download the application from this link.

"root" password missing on Dumbo device

During desired image extraction, Dumbo copies the file /etc/passwd from flash memory onto the Dumbo device.
Is there no password set onto the flash image no password will be available on Dumbo device (Default setting on all OE images).

So set a password when booted from Dumbo device. Or change the password in flash memory before extracting the desired image.
Procedure can also be used to reset an unknown password ;)

Unsupported boot media

Supported boot media's are written in the very beginning of this article (section Requirements). But a lot of people still connecting unsupported media like SD card oder CF card on the DM 8000HD PVR.
In that case try using a CF / SD card reader and connect it to the Dreambox.

Dumbo device was removed before starting the Dreambox

If someone removes the Dumbo device the Dreambox boots without any problems from flash memory.

Cut Dreambox off using the main switch)

If the Dreambox is often stalled by the main switch, the file system can be damaged on the Dumbo device. Booting from storage media is no longer possible. Perform a file system check in such problems. Remove first the USB stick and boot from flash memory. Attach the USB stick to the Dreambox and start the Dumbo plugin. Press the yellow key [Booting] and select the entry Filesystemcheck.

On a DM 7025 (+) is the procedure different because its cf reader is not hot pluggable. Connect cf card to your pc and rename the file autoexec_dm7025.bat, into autoexec_dm7025.none. Start now the Dreambox with attached cf card and perform a file system check.

See also chapter Start via Flash image

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Compatibility of Flash and Dumbo (SSL, driver, etc.)

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Translation in English) 28.03.11 - Speeedster, 28.03.2011

In what way need the images (Flash / Dumbo) be compatible like SSL, driver, kernel etc...?

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Original in German) 28.03.11 - Speeedster, 28.03.2011

Inwiefern müssen die Images (Flash / Dumbo) zueinander passen...SSL, Treiber, Kernel usw...?

The flash image is not important. But it need the current Second Stage Loader #83 (#82 bei 800) build in. Kernel and flash are not used by the Dumbodevice as soon as the image was booted by the Dumbodevice.

Dumbo is not like BarryAllen that boots via chroot by Flashimage!

If the Dumbo Image contains the latest SSL than the flash memory will be updated. Therefore it is still compatible to kernel, drivers and Dumboimages.

Has the Dumbo plugin a second stage loader?

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Translation in English) Benq2705, 28.03.2011

Thought this would not matter, because I boot from USB and the Dumbo image has the current ssl integrated.

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Original in German) Benq2705, 28.03.2011

Dachte das wäre egal, denn ich boote doch vom Stick....mit Dumbo, das Image hat ja den aktuellen SSL (integriert).

The image on the Dumbo device has no second stage loader. The ssl is the only thing that is used from flash and it must be up-to-date.

Dumbo plugin and the flash memory

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Translation in English) Benq2705, 29.03.11

If I remove the USB stick, will the Dreambox automatically boot from flash? Am I right?

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Original in German) Benq2705, 29.03.11

Wenn man den USB Stick /mit dem Dumbo Device abzieht ,und die DM dann neu bootet ,dann bootet diese automatisch aus dem Flash heraus ? Liege ich da richtig?

The flash memory remains except the Dumbo plugin completely untouched. Once the Dumbo device is filled you can delete the plugin or re-flash the box. No Dumbo plugin is needed to boot from the Dumbo device, it all makes the BIOS of the Dreambox.

What is FAT and how big should it be?

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Translation in English) Speeedster, 30.03.11

I am asked how big the FAT partition should be. Must it be as big as the expected, extracted Dumbo Image? Or what is meant?

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Original in German) Speeedster, 30.03.11

Ich werde ja gefragt, wie gross die FAT Partition sein soll. Muss die so gross sein, wie das erwartete, ausgepackte Dumbo Image, oder womit hängt das zusammen...?

The Dumbo image will be booted from the FAT partition. The proposed 8 MB ​​are sufficient. 8 MB corresponds to about 3-4MB in flash memory - and that is the size what the /boot directory has. Therefore a smaller FAT partition is not possible.

The maximum FAT partition is 512MB. And such a big partition is only helpful if you mount it later via fstab as a storage media for pictures or some mp3s.

Hidden features of the Dumbo plugin

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Translation in English) gutemine, 07.04.11

The following configurations are included in the plugin... (only for advanced users).

Buch.png  Zitat - (Quote - Original in German) gutemine, 07.04.11

Folgende Konfigurationen sind im Plugin enthalten... (nur für Fortgeschrittene Benutzer).

Via Dumbo setup the backup path, swap file, alphabetic sort and rootdelay can be changed. Changes are stored in the file /etc/enigma2/settings. The entries may look like that:

config.plugins.dumbo.backuplocation = /your/path                    (default value = /media/hdd/backup)
config.plugins.dumbo.swapsize = 300                                 (default value = 196)
config.plugins.dumbo.sort = False                                   (default value = True)
config.plugins.dumbo.rootdelay= 8                                   (default value = 10)  

Ambox notice.png Editing the file "/etc/enigma2/settings"
Stop Enigma2 for changes with init 4. After editing the settings file start Enigma2 with init 3.

Now are coming the real hidden configurations that are not present via Dumbo setup ;)
These configurations are only for development purposes and should not be used or changed.

config.plugins.dumbo.keep = True

s.bin r..jffs2 and b.jffs2 are not deleted after a backup. Useful for troubleshooting if something goes wrong (Size, Protection, etc.). Default value is False.

config.plugins.dumbo.restart = True

It restart Enigma2, after Dumbo has worked. Default value is False.

config.plugins.dumbo.synchronous = True

Synchronous is using for the Dumbo script execution "os.system" which runs synchronous and stops Enigma2. Use it with caution, but it does not have the problems that the container makes. Default value is False.

config.plugins.dumbo.useconsole = True

The Dumbo script output will be shown in a console window and does not run in the background. Default value is False.

config.plugins.dumbo.reboot = False

It reboots the Dreambox after Dumbo has worked. Default value is True.

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Successfully used Dumbo media

Here is a conglomeration of storage media that is (successfully) used by Dumbo users.

DM 7025 (+)

  • SanDisk CompactFlash Card (CF) Ultra II 4GB (SDCFH-4096)


DM 800HD se


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Improvements, suggestions for the Dumbo article

Please write your suggestions / improvements for the Dumbo article into following topic.
And of course, you can change it on your own ;)
Dumbo - the (dumb) boot plugin

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Support thread of Dumbo plugin

Need some help then use following link.
Dumbo - the Dumb Boot Plugin

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