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Wiki > Main > RockboxUtility > RockboxUtilityDevelopment

Development of Rockbox Utility


Open Tasks in the tracker

Milestone 1: be on par with the old wx version

What? Status?
Device detection DONE sansapatcher detection untested
Rockbox installation DONE done
Bootloader installation DONE done, needs testing
Font installation DONE done
Doom files installation DONE done
Theme installation DONE done
Talk file generation DONE done (only basic functionality)
Voice file installation DONE done
Uninstallation DONE done
Manual view DONE done: downloading to the device (no destination selection)
Complete Installation DONE done, code could be improved
Small Installation DONE done, code could be improved
Portable installation DONE done (only working if built as static binary)
Proxy setup DONE system proxy only working on linux (http_proxy environment variable)
Download cache DONE needs testing
I18N DONE support added, translations missing

Milestone 2: further enhancements

What? Status?
uninstallation / install info DONE done
1st installation detection DONE if no / no valid user configuration is found, display a warning and open the configuration dialog
Device detection DONE use USB PIDs for detection DONE linux (using libusb), DONE windows (setupapi based)
Proxy DONE support "system proxy" setting on windows (registry values used)
L10N support DONE we have I18N already, extend it to do real L10N
Mountpoint resolving on mac DONE done
backup of installation prior to installing DONE rbutil now asks if you want to backup before installing a new Build
improving screenreader support DONE maybe add a drop downmenü with all install/uninstall options from the main tabs. / DONE findout why jaws and other screenreaders have problems reading titles of QTabwidget: Qt bug, fixed with Qt 4.4.0.
builtin rbspeex and sapi.vbs DONE The rbspeex encoder should be built in, and the Sapi.vbs should be in the resource file (windows)
Talk file generation support DONE festival and the DONE sapi scripts from svn; DONE autodetect binaries; DONE find a way to not make the progress window flicker; DONE add option to generate talk files for directories only; DONE incorporate sapi vbs scripts; DONE add option to only voice certain file types; ALERT! add options to correct voicestrings
voice file creation DONE needs the servers to provide the features file for every player
Unsupported iPod DONE Display exactly which unsupported iPod was found so as to help avoid user confusion when they are e.g. sure they have a Video not Classic and think it is RBUtil that is wrong
General Code clean up - being worked on.
Better Progress Window console version needs implementation, Logging to a file
Console commandos for rbutil needs implementation - in Work (FS#8571)
clean orphan files could be done by automatically performing an uninstallation before updating
install info cleanup possibility to wipe all files that are marked as outdated in the info window / all files that don't match a specific (read: the current) version)
1st time installation Operate in wizard mode instead of the "invalid configuration" splash. DONE First thing should be UI language selection, without needing to restart (done by detecting the system language, changing UI language doesn't require a restart anymore).
Device detection Auto detection should probably display directly what was found; at least the highlighting should be more prominent (currently very faint on laptop LCD)
Accessibility Accessibility in rbutil needs improvement. Most of those isses are Qt issues. - (FS#10205)

Milestone 3: additions / ideas

Some of the following could be implemented with plugins. -- Qt supports plugins, but it hasn't figured out how to make use of that. Its also unclear which functionality should go into plugins.

What? How? Status?
Scrobbler submission basically a frontend for libscrobbler  
tagnavi_custom.config generator    
default configuration provide some reasonable defaults for config.cfg  
video conversion do it like WinFF  
local repository do we really want such a function? Offline mode does something similar  
Configfile editor A Editor for Rockbox config files  
Optional components Rbutil could install the midi patchset, if the license allows it (otherwise the patchset needs to be removed from the wiki as well)  
Install/ uninstall Support for multiple devices would be nice (perhaps use some sort of (quasi-)unique device ID?)  
Translation Support for editing .lang files in a user friendly way
There's an online tool available at so having support for this in Rockbox Utility would only duplicate work
UI Rework see below  
Talkfile generation for database    

UI Rework

As rbutil gets more and more functions, the UI needs a rework. Lets collect ideas for a Rework here:

  • Mainscreen:
Combine the first three Tabs (Quickstart, Installation, Extras) into one. Make a more global selection of release or current Build. Screenshots of mockups by bluebrother:


mainscreen during installation

Show more info about the currently selected Device. Ie currently installed version and maybe a player picture.

How To Compile

If you want to work on RockboxUtility clone the rockbox.git repository. RockboxUtility lives in the subfolder rbutil/rbutilqt. You can also use the script utils/common/ for building or creating a source tarball, however, this is intended for building releases and not suited if you intend to develop on RockboxUtility.

You have to have Qt Version 4.5.0 or higher installed. Since r22624 out-of-tree building is possible. You can still build in-tree.
  • building out-of-tree:
    Create a build folder somewhere outside of the source tree and change to that. The recommended location for the build folder is in the rockbox source folder. Then you run the command qmake <path/to/> followed by make in the build folder.
  • building in-tree:
    change to the sources folder rbutilqt, run qmake, then make.
Depending on your installation the qmake binary of Qt4 might be called qmake-qt4. On Linux you also need libusb1 (including the development headers). Alternatively you can build with libusb0 by appending -config libusb0 to the qmake call.

  • The complete path to the sources and build folders must not contain spaces!
  • The build defaults to a release build which has debugging output (even the console) disabled. To create a debug build run qmake with the config option "dbg", i.e. the following way: qmake -config dbg
  • you can make the build output much more silent by adding the configuration "silent". The easier way is to add -config silent to the qmake call (you can add multiple -config switches, in case you also want to enable debugging output), or add the line CONFIG += silent to the project file.
    • Important note on Windows
      • The "silent" feature is undocumented and might not work properly. Some versions of Qt are known to generate wrong path delimiters if used.
      • make sure to call the mingw32 make, not the msys one. You usually can ensure this by explicitly calling mingw32-make instead of make.
      • if you don't have Qt in your PATH (i.e. calling qmake.exe using a full path) make sure to use /'s in the path. Otherwise make will fail.
  • There is now a Makefile target "install" on non-windows platforms. This will only install the binary (to /usr/local/bin), language files are not handled yet. Unless you want to use translations you don't need to install anything else from the build. Translation files are now bundeled in the binary for non-debug builds.
  • The non-debug builds now include the translations (*.qm files) in a resource file. These files are not present when building for the first time, therefore qmake will produce a warning. You can either safely ignore this warning (the translations are generated during the build process) or run lrelease before calling qmake (lrelease might be called lrelease-qt4, similar as qmake mentioned above).

Compiling on Windows

  • You need to install the following
    • MinGW. If you install the Qt SDK you can use the bundled MinGW?.
    • msys. Get the installer (current is 1.0.11). Several parts built as libraries require some tools that are not part of MinGW. As with MinGW, append the bin folder to your PATH. Make sure the MinGW path comes first or use mingw32-make instead of make (msys' make won't accepts backslashes in paths, but this is unfortunately needed by Qt).
    • get the "Qt Libraries for Windows package of Qt. Optionally, get Qt Creator if you want to use it. If you want to use Qt Creator try to build on the command line first to ensure your Qt setup itself is working.
    • You don't need to put Qt's bin folder in the PATH variable. If you chose to not add it you need to copy the Qt libs to the same folder as the binary (of course this does not apply if you're building a static binary).
    • Building using Visual Studio isn't officially supported -- RockboxUtility uses some C99 features VS doesn't implement. See msvc/README on how to build using Visual Studio. Note: There are additional bugs when building with MSVC, don't expect it to be fully functional.
    • The current binaries are built using the following configuration of Qt:
      configure -no-exceptions -static -release -no-webkit -no-dbus -no-phonon -no-phonon-backend -no-qt3support -no-opengl -no-direct3d -no-style-motif -no-style-cde

Compiling on Mac OS X

  • Install Qt (the "Qt Libraries" package is sufficient if you're not interested in Qt Creator or want to install it separately). Use the "Carbon" libraries to build for 10.4+. The "Cocoa" libraries require adding -config intel to the qmake call, disabling PPC support and making it 10.6+ only.
  • run qmake, then make. Important note: on OS X 10.6 the default compiler is gcc-4.2 which doesn't support the 10.4 SDK anymore. To make it use the older gcc-4.0 (part of Xcode 3.2) set QMAKESPEC explicitly, i.e. invoke qmake as QMAKESPEC=macx-g++40 qmake. Official support for OS X 10.6 also requires at least Qt 4.6.

Statically Compiling on Linux

For building the static binary the following configuration was used:
./configure -prefix /usr/local/qt4.4.3-static/ -release -static -no-exceptions -no-qt3support -no-phonon -no-phonon-backend -no-xinerama -no-openssl -no-xcursor -no-cups
You can have two differently configured versions of Qt alongside without any problems, just remember to call the correct qmake. There is no need to make the Qt bin-folder part of the PATH variable. If you want to omit demos and examples during Qt compilation, omit the -fast option in the configure line and run make sub-src sub-tools instead of make.

How to Translate

Qt supports I18N and Rockbox Utility uses this. To translate RockboxUtility Qt's i18n tools are used.

Create a new translation

  • add a new file to the TRANSLATIONS line in rbutilqt/
  • run lupdate
  • update the newly created translation file as described below.

Updating an existing translation

  • get the Rockbox Utility source tree, run lupdate to update all existing translations with new strings (you can skip this if there are no new strings or you don't want to handle that case).
  • get the lang/rbutil_*.ts file you're interested in and edit it with Qt Linguist (you can also edit it manually -- it's an xml format).

Testing new translations

  • run lrelease to convert the *.ts file to the *.qm format that is used for I18N.
  • put the resulting *.qm file in the same folder as the executable. Rockbox Utility will then detect the new translation and allow you to use it.
  • or add the resulting *.qm file in rbutil-lang.qrc and the language file will be built into the binary.
  • and don't forget to post the *.ts file to the tracker so we can include it wink

Translation status

Note: this table is generated using the script and updated in the wiki manually. Do not edit the table manually, such changes will get lost on the next update with the script.
Translation status as of revision f3a1a33 (2014-01-05 16:53:17 +0100)
Language Language Code Translations Finished Unfinished Untranslated Updated Done
Czech cs 452 382 70 226 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 66% ######+
German de 678 677 1 0 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 100% ##########
Finnish fi 240 195 45 438 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 35% ###+
French fr 676 676 0 2 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 99% #########+
Greek gr 362 293 69 316 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 53% #####
Hebrew he 495 431 64 183 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 73% #######
Italian it 397 330 67 281 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 58% #####+
Japanese ja 498 434 64 180 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 73% #######
Dutch nl 676 676 0 2 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 99% #########+
Polish pl 641 477 164 37 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 94% #########
Portuguese pt 362 293 69 316 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 53% #####
Portuguese (Brasileiro) pt_BR 517 463 54 162 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 76% #######+
Russian ru 539 486 53 139 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 79% #######+
Turkish tr 178 138 40 500 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 26% ##+
Chinese zh_CN 160 125 35 518 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 23% ##
Chinese (trad) zh_TW 160 125 35 518 2014-01-05 16:26:41 +0100 23% ##

How to add a new Target

To add a new target you have to edit the following files:
  • rbutil/rbutilqt/rbutil.ini - add a new target similar to whats already there.
If your Target has a new Bootloader installation method:
  • rbutil/rbutilqt/base/bootloaderinstallXYZ.cpp / h - add a new class which implements the virtual classes of BootloaderInstallBase (at least install and uninstall) and does the necessary things for your bootloader. Don't forget to add those files to rbutil/rbutilqt/rbutilqt.pri to have them compiling with rbutil
  • rbutil/rbutilqt/base/bootloaderinstallbase.cpp - createBootloaderInstaller : add a case for your new Bootloaderclass
  • OF patcher program is going in a new mkXYZboot directory. Don't forget to edit rbutil/rbutilqt/ to have it included as a library (look for how other methods have been added)
  • base/bootloaderinstallBase.cpp : postinstallHints() if your target needs user info after bootloader installation, add it here.
If there are ways for your target to detect the mountpoint or, in case of duplicate USB-IDs, detect the correct Target:
  • rbutil/rbutilqt/base/autodetection.cpp/h - edit so it also detects your specific files/folders or calls your specific detection method.

How to add a new TTS Engine

The TTS Engines are in base/tts.cpp / .h. Add your new Engine to the list in initTTSList() and the switch in getTTS().

If your new engine is a simple external executable, you can add a template line to constructor of TTSExes and you are done.

If you have to interface your TTS Engine via another way, or want to give more options to the user, you have to create a new TTS Class which inherits from TTSBase. You will have to implement at least the following functions:
  • voice - generate a wavfile out of the given parameters
  • start - startup your engine
  • stop - stop your engine
  • configOk() - should return true, when everything setting is correct.
  • generateSettings() - generate settings-objects for your settings for display
  • saveSettings() - save the generated settings-objects to permanent storage.
To display settings, the TTS Classes implements the EncTtsSettingInterface which you can find in base/encttssettings.h/cpp. In the generateSetting() function you should create EncTtsSetting objects for all your settings. Each Setting contains the following Information:
  • The type of the Setting (bool,double,int,string,readonlystring,stringlist)
  • The name of the Setting
  • The current value
  • If it is a stringlist, the list of strings
  • If it is a int or double, the min and max values
  • If the setting needs a refresh or browse button
You can connect to the following signals:
  • refresh() - if you want to be noticed if the user clicks the refresh button.
  • dataChanged() - if you want to be noticed when ever the data changes
Add your newly generated objects with insertSetting() to the internal list. insertSetting() also takes a ID, which you can use to retrieve the object again in the saveSettings object.

Distribution packages

Currently there are no distribution packages planned. Packages might be requested from distributions. Requests we are aware of: ALERT! Please note that we do not support any versions of Rockbox Utility packaged by distributions!


All supported devices can be detected automatically. Rockbox Utility will display a warning when autodetection wasn't successful; you can always select your device manually. If you installed Rockbox once it can get detected via the file /.rockbox/rockbox-info.txt. This will work on all devices. See DeviceDetection for further details.

Resolving mountpoints

This relies on detecting the player first (see paragraph above). The following table list when / how we can resolve the mountpoint afterwards. This table only holds supported players; all supported player can now (as of 2008-04-03) be detected reliably. ALERT! denotes a possible way of resolving that hasn't been implemented yet. Once Rockbox is installed mountpoint resolving using rockbox-info.txt will always work.
Brand Player Windows Linux OS X
Apple all Ipods DONE resolving from drive UNC path figured by ipodpatcher (fallback: check for iPod_Control folder) DONE device node known by ipodpatcher, resolving using mtab DONE same as linux
Archos all DONE detect some specific files (firmware image on disk, magic in firmware file) DONE same DONE same
Cowon X5, M5 choice-no unknown (no specific file to check for) choice-no same choice-no same
Iriver H100, H300 choice-no only detection based on USB possible, currently there is no way known to resolve USB PID -> mountpoint choice-no same choice-no same
Iriver H10 ALERT! possible recognizing the bootloader file location ALERT! same ALERT! same
Packard Bell Vibe 500 ALERT! possible recognizing the bootloader file location ALERT! same ALERT! same
Sandisk e200, c200 DONE resolving from drive UNC path figured by sansapatcher DONE device node known by sansapatcher, resolving using mtab DONE same as linux
Olympus m:robe 100 ALERT! possible looking for bootloader file ALERT! same ALERT! same
Toshiba Gigabeat ALERT! possible searching for bootloader file ALERT! same ALERT! same


The script is intended to automate releasing by building the current checkout state and packaging it to a tar.bz2 / zip file. Use the command line option -q / --qmake to pass the path to the qmake binary of the Qt installation you want to use (if there are multiple), otherwise the system is searched for a Qt4 installation and the first found gets used.

Brief release checklist
  1. update the version info in version.h and Info.plist and commit them.
  2. tag git: git tag -a rbutil_v1.3.1 <commit>; git push --tags
  3. run to do the following steps. Don't forget to -a libusb.a on the platforms that require it.
    1. lrelease the language files (they are now in the resource, so this need to be done before building!) make takes care of this now.
    2. configure with qmake -config release -config static
    3. build against static libraries wink
    4. linux: strip the binaries (seems to be mostly an issue on linux)
    5. windows: upx the binary to cut down its size
    6. osx: run Make sure libusb is static and universal.
    7. compress the result (tarball / zip)
  4. Put the result to some public location and ping someone with access to the download server

The script is intended for simplifying the release process but can also get used for building. This is especially useful if you just want to build RockboxUtility and don't want to get the full Rockbox svn.
  • Prerequisites
    • all prerequisites for building Rockbox Utility itself
    • Python. Tested with Python 2.5 and 2.6. Will not work with Python 3.0
    • pysvn
    • upx.exe (Windows only)
  • Features
    • Download sources from SVN trunk (default) or tag (as specified on command line) or build from local tree (as specified)
    • Create source archive (.tar.bz2)
    • Build binary archive (.tar.bz2 on Linux, .zip on Windows)
    • Support building static and dynamically linked binaries
  • Usage
    • Use -h to get an overview of the supported command line options. All created archives will get placed in the current directory while building itself takes place in the systems temporary path.
    • Note: already existing archives will get overwritten without notice!


This is the Qt version of Rockbox Utility. It supersedes the older wxwidgets based version which isn't maintained anymore and has therefore been removed from svn.

r96 - 05 Jan 2014 - 20:35:59 - DominikRiebeling
Copyright © by the contributing authors.