Author Topic: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad  (Read 19506 times)

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Offline critor

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This is definitely *the* event of January 1, 2013 : nLaunch , the tool that nobody expected, which appeared today in the community. :-\

nLaunch is a utility program that is an OS launcher for the TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad, as was the deceased OSlauncher. :o

nLaunch can launch two types of OS:
  • TI-Nspire OSes
  • Linux OS through its launcher

But unlike its predecessor, the difference is that... nLaunch works !

OSlauncher had experienced trouble. Being a Ndless program, it was necessary that the original OS, here meaning OS 3.1, was already running in order to run the new OS on top of it - that is called "hot-launch" . In addition, OSlauncher could only start OS which versions number were identical or almost identical. But since version 3.1, the TI-Nspire OS seems to have various protections against hot-launches, locking the whole process while in the grey loading screen.

How is nLaunch working, then? Well, it's not an Ndless program ! :crazy:
nLaunch makes it way by directly attacking the boot2, actually its version 1.4.1571, which contains a "loophole" for running third-party code:

To use nLaunch, you must therefore begin by reprogramming your boot2 to version 1.4.1571, which is now very simple  with nsNandMgr that came out not so long ago.



Regarding the TI-Nspire OSes, nLaunch seems to load them ignoring pretty much all official security checks. It is possible to install and run:
  • either a development or production OS (the RSA signature is ignored)
  • accordingly, any modified official OS
  • either a CAS or non-CAS OS (bits indicating the type of model are ignored)
  • an OS whose version number is earlier than the minimum version normally installable, written before the beginning of the NAND filesystem (the anti-downgrade protection is ignored)

As a bonus, nLaunch automatically installs Ndless 3.1 in the case of OS 3.1, if the resource file is present on the calculator! ;D

The new possibilities offered by nLaunch are, simply put, enormous, because this time the door is well open : nothing is forbidden.



To install an Nspire OS with nLaunch, one must already remove its boot2 file with TNOC.
Indeed, otherwise, the first startup of the newly installed OS, there will be a boot2 update to version 3.0.1 removing the loophole nLaunch exploits to run.

Then just rename the OS file to 'phoenix.tns' and put it in the 'nlaunch' folder on the calculator:

The TI-Nspire will then restart twice, once to install the OS and once to load it, and indeed at each boot, nLaunch takes over at the boot2:



Since the OS installation is now as easy with a simple copy or rename files, we can start to dream ... Dream of a dual boot Ndless / Nspire 3.2 or Linux ... Or the release of a change to OS 3.2 to reintroduce vulnerabilities to install Ndless 3.1!  :w00t:



Although reboot-proof, there is apparently no desire to explicitly harm Texas Instruments, specifically with the examinations where the use of CAS calculators is prohibited. Indeed, apparently nLaunch can be uninstalled by simply sending a new OS, which can be done massively on a wired or wireless, Nspire Navigator network.

This is clearly developed with a view of openness, and the possibility of launching a CAS OS is not even explicitly mentioned in the documentation, and it seems to be just a side effect of protections breaking, but not the purpose of the tool.

Remember that cheating is bad and not to be taken lightly !  


nLaunch is signed by the 'nLaunch Team , totally unknown to this day. The source code very consistent, released under the GPL license, and it clearly took some time to create. It seems much more advanced than the various tools that we have seen so far.
Could it be newcomers to the community? Perhaps, since the documentation includes messages for authors of Ndless and the Linux port.



See you soon for practical applications of nLaunch



Source and download:
http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11018
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 03:28:41 pm by critor »
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Offline ElementCoder

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for you TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 03:32:04 pm »
This must be like the holy grail for the calculator community :O nice job to the nLaunch team :) So has the time of custom OSes finally arrived? I can't wait to test this out, but I'm afraid I already have boot2 3.0.1, which gives me the great opportunity to give nsNandMgr a shot :P

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Offline jwalker

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 04:14:14 pm »
agreed
I will have to downgrade my old calc and test this....
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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 04:20:31 pm »
Great work as usual. I'm sure many would like to see this on the CX series someday. :)

Offline TheNlightenedOne

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 04:20:38 pm »
So does this mod boot2 or what? ??? I'm confused... anyway, this looks awesome. I might reflash my Touchpad soon for this.
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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 04:35:16 pm »
So real dual boot on a calc? that is pretty awesome! :D

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Offline TheNlightenedOne

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 04:42:33 pm »
So real dual boot on a calc? that is pretty awesome! :D
Or it could be possible to have a tri-boot with 3.1 for Ndless, 3.2 for Lua features, and Nspire Linux!
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Offline lkj

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 05:09:39 pm »
Wow, that indeed is a great tool! :D

So real dual boot on a calc? that is pretty awesome! :D
Or it could be possible to have a tri-boot with 3.1 for Ndless, 3.2 for Lua features, and Nspire Linux!
Seeing that it's only for calculators with 32MB of memory it would be a bit unhandy to have two of TI's large OSes on it. But the possibility by itself is cool :)

Offline TheNlightenedOne

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 05:18:59 pm »
Seeing that it's only for calculators with 32MB of memory it would be a bit unhandy to have two of TI's large OSes on it. But the possibility by itself is cool :)
You could also dual-boot 3rd-party OSes too, which would be pretty cool.
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Wow, this means fully linux support will be possible, without any need to boot nspireOS first? Great, this can really come in handy :)

Offline TheNlightenedOne

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 05:25:49 pm »
Which OS upgrade file has boot2 1.4.1571?
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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 05:26:00 pm »
Nice job :D. Also that first screen reminds me of a glitched NES lol. :P
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Offline critor

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 05:28:43 pm »
Which OS upgrade file has boot2 1.4.1571?
All TI-Nspire OSes 1.4 to 2.1.1.
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Offline TheNlightenedOne

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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 05:29:13 pm »
Oh, okay! I just might install this!
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Re: nLaunch, the ultimate OS launcher for your TI-Nspire ClickPad/TouchPad
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 06:07:29 pm »
You will not be able to downgrade to such an OS. The only way using only software is to use nsNandMgr (linked in nLaunch's readme).
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 06:08:22 pm by excale »