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HDD Access via FTP

If you have an alternative dashboard that runs an FTP server (as almost all replacement dashboards do), you can easily connect to that FTP server to read or write files on the virtual hard disk.

Step 1: Enable user networking

In xemu, open the Network window by navigating to MachineNetwork. If networking is currently enabled, click Disable. From the "Attached To" combo box, select "NAT", then click Enable.

Step 2: Forward port 21

Because xemu is configured to use "user networking," we must configure xemu to forward FTP traffic on the host machine to the internal network. There is not a fancy GUI to do this yet, but we can easily do this using the monitor.

In xemu, open the Monitor window by navigating to DebugMonitor. In the box at the bottom of the Monitor window, paste the following command and press Enter:

hostfwd_add xemu-netdev tcp:127.0.0.1:2121-:21

Now xemu will begin listening on TCP port 2121 for new connections, and forward that traffic to the internal network.

Step 3: Launch your alternative dashboard from disc

Assuming you have a copy of your alternative dashboard in the form of an ISO image, load the disc image. You may need to reset the system to get it to load. Double check the networking settings for your dashboard to make sure that it is configured to use DHCP.

See NevolutionX for a FOSS alternative dashboard that supports FTP here.

Step 4: Connect using your FTP client

The Filezilla FTP client is recommended. It is an open-source client available for all major platforms. If you would prefer to use another client, look for the respective settings in your client mentioned in this section.

Now, assuming that you are using Filezilla, start the client. Let's first create a new "Site" by navigating to FileSite Manager, then in the "Site Manager" window, click the New Site button.

  • Enter "xemu" for the site name
  • For "Host" enter 127.0.0.1 and for "Port" enter 2121
  • For "Encryption" select "Only use plain FTP (insecure)"
  • For "Logon Type" select "Normal"
  • Enter the appropriate "User" and "Password" (typically xbox for both)
  • Navigate to the "Transfer Settings" tab and select "Active"
  • Check "Limit number of simultaneous connections" and set Max Connections to 1
  • Click OK when you are finished

We must configure one more additional setting.

  • Navigate to the settings window via EditSettings...
  • On the left-hand side, navigate to ConnectionFTPActive mode
  • In the "Active mode IP" group, select "Use the following IP address:" and enter 10.0.2.2
  • Uncheck "Don't use external IP address on local connections."
  • Click OK when you are finished

You can now open the "Site Manager" window again, select "xemu", and click the Connect button.

More details about the FTP protocol for the curious... FTP has two modes: passive and active. Passive mode involves the client first connecting to the server for control and then again on another port other for data. The client first connects, then the server gives it another address and port to connect to for data. The first problem with this is that the server reports to the client the only IP address that it knows (10.0.2.15) which is not correct for our needs--we need 127.0.0.1. That's alright because we can override this in Filezilla. The second problem is that we don't know which port the server is going to choose, so we can't forward it ahead of time. In active mode, the client first connects to the server, then the server connects to the client! The client needs to give the IP address for the server to connect to. By default, it will give your computer's IP address, but the guest cannot connect to using that IP. So instead we need to override this setting and provide the IP address that the guest should connect to to actually connect to the host, which is 10.0.2.2.

Note: To prevent interference with other FTP servers that you might connect to, you may want to adjust your settings and disable the "Active mode IP" override when you have finished transferring files.