[exfat-builder] Helps add exFAT support to the Humax.

af123

Administrator
Staff member
I've uploaded a new package to the repository called exfat-builder which can help you to add support for the exFAT filesystem to your customised Humax PVR.

Note that this package does not add exFAT support to your system, only provides a simple method for you to do it yourself. This is because there are licence and patent issues around exFAT and if we were to make the compiled exFAT code available in the repository then we would be in violation of at least some of them.

The package provides a web page (accessible from the standard web interface settings screen) from which you can download, build and install the required files in a single step. It will:
  • Download an open-source exFAT implementation from Google Code;
  • Unpack and modify the code to support the Humax;
  • Compile the files into binaries which can run on the Humax;
  • Install the compiled binaries on your system;
  • Add hooks to automatically mount exFAT disks when they are detected.
Please take the time to read at least the Wikipedia articleon exFAT and note the following section:

Microsoft has not released the official exFAT file system specification, and a restrictive license from Microsoft is required in order to make and distribute exFAT implementations. Microsoft also asserts patents on exFAT which make it impossible to re-implement its functionality in a compatible way without violating a large percentage of them.

Around 45MiB of supporting packages will be downloaded if you install this including the native on-box compiler that is required to build the binaries.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
This provides another means to move 4GB+ files around, but what advantage is there over NTFS?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Thought I would try it (HDR3). Having installed the package, I can't find this "web page (accessible from the standard web interface settings screen)", even after a reboot.
 
OP
af123

af123

Administrator
Staff member
This provides another means to move 4GB+ files around, but what advantage is there over NTFS?

It's far better suited for use on flash storage and media which you intend to move between computers.

exFAT Advantages over NTFS:
  • Smaller footprint (uses less processing power and memory);
  • Much, much faster for most operations;
  • Less complex (does not support ACLs, file compression, journaling, alternate streams etc.);
  • Friendlier to flash storage (no journaling);
  • exFAT is a modern successor to the FAT filesystem, and is designed to be used on removable/flash media and embedded storage;
  • NTFS is intended for use on high-density storage mediums such as hard drives and SSDs;
  • NTFS has security attributes that get tied to the local computer by default - so for media that needs to move around, FAT is usually a better choice;
  • Supported natively on OS X Snow Leopard in 10.6.5 and later.
Drawbacks:
  • Proprietry and requires restrictive licence;
  • Less compatible, Windows Vista SP1 onwards only although it can be made to work on XP.
If you want to see a more detailed comparison, http://blog.testfreaks.com/information/usb-flash-drive-comparison-part-2-fat32-vs-ntfs-vs-exfat/ is worth a look.
 
OP
af123

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Thought I would try it (HDR3). Having installed the package, I can't find this "web page (accessible from the standard web interface settings screen)", even after a reboot.

It's a small panel in the Web Interface Settings Page:

exfatpanel.png
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Sure, technically it's superior, but for practicality it goes into the pot with the other options, and appears to come up short of "ideal". It is another option though, and I appreciate you wanted to see if you could do it.

I don't have any small panel in the WebIF settings.

The package provides a web page (accessible from the standard web interface settings screen) from which you can download, build and install the required files in a single step.

Having loaded the package (and rebooted several times) I don't know what to do next.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Sure, technically it's superior, but for practicality it goes into the pot with the other options, and appears to come up short of "ideal".
In what way? It's faster, puts less strain on the limited resources of the Humax and won't wear out flash disks as fast as NTFS.
Readers please note this is a technical debate and not in any way intended to denigrate af123's efforts.

Yes, as I said I acknowledge its technical superiority, but as a solution for USB it appears to have missed the boat. As far as I am aware USB sticks are not supplied ready-formatted exFAT (it would help if they were), and given the restrictions I am not sure how it is possible to include support in Linux (unless it is by the same means as this). Adding read/write support is also not the same as being able to format exFAT in the first place, again it would help if the Humax could format a stick to exFAT.

The practical issue is being able to move decrypted files 4GiB or larger off the Humax (non-decrypted files for preservation over a disk format can be achieved non-mod by FTP, albeit slowly, or to an Ext2/Ext3 drive). The only non-mod solution to this is Foxy+Ext2/Ext3. Once the user bites the bullet and installs the CF there are a number of options - but if simply installing the CF (without further Internet download) could add support for exFAT (or NTFS) read/write this would be a winner for Humax users who are not habitual computer users. However, from what I gather, NTFS support is too large for the CF and the licence restrictions would rule out exFAT.

Once a user has gone full CF+CS, the wear problems of NTFS are outweighed by its convenience (and unless one routinely and regularly moves stuff around by USB stick one is unlikely to be restricted by write cycles). The only real problem I've seen with NTFS is that we have at least one example of somebody not being able to get ntfs-3g to work. If someone wants to archive a large volume of data it's going to be external HDD, which will most likely be NTFS anyway, with no wear problem.

For small data (<4GiB) there is the choice between FAT and network download. For intermediate data (>4GiB, up to the size of your biggest UPD - in my case 32GiB) the choice is Ext2, NTFS, or network download (slow!), and now exFAT.

I conclude from the above that exFAT supports is an interesting toy for those of us who like to experiment, and another tool in the box, but of limited appeal more widely - in other words a better mousetrap with a steep buy-in when existing mousetraps are familiar and adequate. Anyone else?
 

4291

Well-Known Member
I tried to install it on my HDFOX and it failed to install. Requiring CFW 2.15 or higher in the message box.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
It doesn't work. You get a 404 error.
After a small amount of investigation, I find a load of files in here:
/mod/var/mongoose/plugin/exfat-builder/exfat-builder​
which look like they should be here:
/mod/var/mongoose/plugin/exfat-builder​
so I guess there's been a packaging screw-up or something.
Moving the files up one level then enables the link to work and the build process to work.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
That sorted it, according to the Settings page I now have exFAT support active. I have yet to offer it an exFAT UPD though.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The 30.3GiB UPD I formatted exFAT has been plugged into HDR3 and a 7.8GB HiDef recording copied to it (I thought you said exFAT was quick??!). I was then able to play the .TS via VLC on my PC (albeit choppy because my PC isn't the fastest).

I guess that means it works!
 

petrev

Member
The 30.3GiB UPD I formatted exFAT has been plugged into HDR3 and a 7.8GB HiDef recording copied to it (I thought you said exFAT was quick??!). I was then able to play the .TS via VLC on my PC (albeit choppy because my PC isn't the fastest).

I guess that means it works!

Try Splash Lite, free media player (not the Pro) - It plays HD TS files much better than VLC.
Best I found after much testing . . .
http://mirillis.com/en/products/splash.html

Pete
 
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