Dec 202011
 

Well, further analysis today. The Flytouch III seems to boot off an embedded SD card. I don’t know if it is removable or not, for now I’ll assume no.

Having gained root access earlier, I was able to use dd and nc to siphon off a copy of the internal SD card, which appears as /dev/block/mmcblk0. To grab a copy, first plug the unit into Ethernet (it’ll be faster, trust me) and have another Linux box handy:

Start up netcat on a Linux system:
$ busybox nc -l -p 8123 > tablet.img

Then on the tablet, become root:
$ /system/bin/su

Then start copying to the other system (here; its IP is 12.23.34.45):
# dd if=/dev/block/mmcblk0 | nc 12.23.34.45 8123

Sit back and wait, it should be done in about 5 minutes. Now if you look at the partition table, you’ll see the following:

Disk tablet.img: 482 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track
Units = sectors of 512 bytes, counting from 0

   Device Boot    Start       End   #sectors  Id  System
tablet.img1            63   5535320    5535258   b  W95 FAT32           < -- User applications, data live here
tablet.img2       5535321   7612181    2076861   5  Extended
tablet.img3       7612248   7677783      65536  bb  Boot Wizard hidden  <-- Kernel?
tablet.img4       7677784   7743319      65536  bb  Boot Wizard hidden  <-- UBoot?
tablet.img5       5535384   6059608     524225  83  Linux               <-- /system partition
tablet.img6       6059672   7595608    1535937  83  Linux               <-- Android internal?
tablet.img7       7595672   7611992      16321  83  Linux               <-- ???

Partitions 3 and 4 are a complete mystery. They’re not a standard Linux file system, but, the former appears to hold a copy of the Linux kernel, and the latter seems to hold a copy of UBoot. You can bust the image apart using the following script:


/sbin/sfdisk -uS -l tablet.img | grep ^tablet.img | while read part; do
pn=$( echo "$part" | cut -c 11-11 );
s=$( echo "$part" | cut -c 13-25 );
l=$( echo "$part" | cut -c 36-48 );
echo "[$pn][$s][$l]";
dd if=tablet.img of=tablet-$pn.img skip=$(( $s )) count=$(( $l ));
done

You might have to play with column offsets.

The initial part of partition 3 looks like this:

00000000  41 4e 44 52 4f 49 44 21  c0 d7 4b 00 00 80 00 10  |ANDROID!..K.....|
00000010  b5 2a 15 00 00 00 00 11  00 00 00 00 00 00 f0 10  |.*..............|
00000020  00 01 00 10 00 08 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000030  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
*
00000240  b8 29 4b 8c 7c d2 1f 65  cf b3 3a 78 bc 87 c0 61  |.)K.|..e..:x...a|
00000250  2e 24 79 a5 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |.$y.............|
00000260  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
*
00000800  27 05 19 56 43 d9 c4 f4  4e ab c7 11 00 4b d7 80  |'..VC...N....K..|
00000810  80 00 80 00 80 00 80 00  d5 42 0e 53 05 02 02 00  |.........B.S....|
00000820  4c 69 6e 75 78 2d 32 2e  36 2e 33 35 2e 37 00 00  |Linux-2.6.35.7..|
00000830  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000840  d3 f0 21 e3 10 9f 10 ee  56 00 00 eb 05 a0 b0 e1  |..!.....V.......|
00000850  52 00 00 0a 6c 00 00 eb  05 80 b0 e1 4f 00 00 0a  |R...l.......O...|
00000860  7b 00 00 eb 13 00 00 eb  c0 d0 9f e5 00 e0 8f e2  |{...............|
00000870  10 f0 8a e2 30 5f 11 ee  02 50 85 e3 30 5f 01 ee  |....0_...P..0_..|
00000880  02 00 80 e3 1f 50 a0 e3  10 5f 03 ee 10 4f 02 ee  |.....P..._...O..|

Note the rather prominent “Linux-2.6.35.7”. Similarly, if we pick through partition 4:

00020eb0  11 12 a0 41 10 13 a0 51  30 1c 81 41 10 02 a0 e1  |...A...Q0..A....|
00020ec0  1e ff 2f e1 ff ff ff ff  ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff  |../.............|
00020ed0  00 10 05 60 20 10 05 60  00 13 05 60 20 13 05 60  |...` ..`...` ..`|
00020ee0  40 13 05 60 00 16 05 60  20 16 05 60 00 19 05 60  |@..`...` ..`...`|
00020ef0  20 19 05 60 00 1c 05 60  20 1c 05 60 40 1c 05 60  | ..`...` ..`@..`|
00020f00  55 2d 42 6f 6f 74 20 32  30 31 30 2e 30 36 20 28  |U-Boot 2010.06 (|
00020f10  4f 63 74 20 32 39 20 32  30 31 31 20 2d 20 31 37  |Oct 29 2011 - 17|
00020f20  3a 32 37 3a 30 31 29 00  18 13 ea 80 20 13 ea 80  |:27:01)..... ...|
00020f30  27 13 ea 80 2e 13 ea 80  35 13 ea 80 3c 13 ea 80  |'.......5...< ...|
00020f40  43 13 ea 80 4a 13 ea 80  51 13 ea 80 58 13 ea 80  |C...J...Q...X...|
00020f50  5f 13 ea 80 67 13 ea 80  6f 13 ea 80 77 13 ea 80  |_...g...o...w...|
00020f60  7f 13 ea 80 87 13 ea 80  8f 13 ea 80 97 13 ea 80  |................|
Dec 162011
 

Yes, I’ve joined this century and bought myself a tablet. Lately, I’ve found myself needing some means of navigating in strange areas whilst on the bicycle, and while pieces of paper work — if you’re organised enough to print them out in advance and not ride too fast (otherwise they disappear with the wind), I’ve found there are a number of shortcomings with this.

Since I like open source, and didn’t like the idea of spending several hundred on a hand-held GPS with proprietary firmware & map data which I need to constantly purchase updates for, I opted for the cheapskate route.  I picked up a GL4Ever Flytouch III Tablet off eBay.  The unit I have came loaded with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

Ultimately I may replace the OS, or at least, the kernel, soon as I have sources for it, but in the meantime, it runs what it came with.  I have however, already managed to gain root access.

Those who might do a search for how to do so, may come across this guide.  I tried this first, and found I had no joy.  USB Debugging was enabled out-of-the-box on the unit I have, but z4root did not successfully enable root access.  The following are my notes on how I gained a shell with root access on the device.  Ohh, and I warn you, there is no warranty given in the instructions below.  If it breaks, you get to keep the pieces.

  1. Download and install Gingerbreak.
  2. Run Gingerbreak, it will run for a while, before resetting the device.  Upon starting, you should now notice you have a Superuser application installed.
  3. Next, install Android Terminal.
  4. Now, run /system/bin/su.

/bin/su is a symbolic link to /bin/busybox which was installed without the setuid bit, and is broken anyway, you’ll find if you do add a setuid bit, it will report that it can’t find the ‘root‘ user.  This system has no /etc/passwd or equivalent user database, so it has no idea who ‘root‘ is, but it knows who UID 0 is, and that’s what matters.  The latter ‘su‘ you’ll find has the necessary permissions, and knows about UID 0.

Other things I’ve found… the operating system lurks on a SD card embedded in the device.  Or at least, it’s presented as a SD card; /dev/block/mmcblk0.  The user-accessible SD-card port is /dev/block/mmcblk1.  You can verify this by ejecting the card, doing a ls /dev/block, then inserting a card and repeating.

On my TODO list, is to make a DD-copy of this block device, and pick through to see how one swaps out the kernel.  I’ll post notes if I figure this out.  I am also yet to obtain the kernel sources, I’ll chase those up before long.