Quick Start Guide

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You just got your GCW Zero. Congratulations!

Below you will find instructions that will help you take your first steps with the device.

Contents

Screen Protector

The screen protection layers.

Depending on the batch and the reseller, GCW Zero might come with up to two layers of plastic film attached on top of the screen bezel. They are meant to protect the screen from scratches and damage during transport and they can be removed before the first use. They are not scratch-resistant and aren't meant for regular use.

Hardware Overview

Specifications

Hardware Description
CPU Ingenic JZ4770 1 GHz MIPS processor
GPU Vivante GC860, capable of OpenGL ES 2.0
Memory 512MB MDDR
Display 3.5 inch LCD with 320x240 pixels with 4:3 aspect ratio
Operating system Linux 3.x (OpenDingux)
Internal storage 16GB (KickStarter and retail units)

32GB (Special Edition units)

External storage Micro SDHC up to 32 GB or micro SDXC of 64 GB (SDXC cards must be reformatted before use)
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
Connectivity Mini USB 2.0 OTG, Mini HDMI 1.3 out, 3.5 mm (mini jack) A/V port for earphone and analog TV-out
Input 8 digital buttons, 1 two-directional digital slider, 1 eight-directional digital d-pad, 1 analog joystick, ability to expand via USB OTG
Other Accelerometer (g-sensor), vibration motor and FM radio
Dimensions 143 * 70 * 18 mm

Front Side

Z FRONT B.png

# Description
1 8 directional digital D-PAD
2 Analog joystick
3-6 Face buttons
7-8 Two LEDs (Light-emitting diodes), used to signalize different hardware states (described below).
9-10 Microswitch buttons

Top Side

Z TOP.png

# Description
11 3.5 mm (mini jack) A/V port for earphone and analog TV-out
12 Mini HDMI 1.3 out
13-14 Digital shoulder buttons

Bottom Side

Z BOTTOM.png

# Description
15 Emergency hardware reset button. NOTE: Use only when necessary! Always attempt to use Power + Select Button method first (described below).
16 MiniUSB slot for battery charging, file transfers and USB OTG
17 Charging slot to use with the included wall-charger (5V, 2A).
18 microSD slot for SDHC up to 32 GB or micro SDXC of 64 GB (SDXC cards must be reformatted before use)
19 Two speakers

Corner between the Left and Bottom Side also features a wrist-strap socket.

Left Side

Z LEFT.png

# Description
20 Microphone

Right Side

Z RIGHT.png

# Description
21 Power slider. Used to turn the device on/off. Power slider is also used in conjunction with other buttons to generate special actions. See Basic Navigation below.

Back Side

Z BACK.png

# Description
22 4 rubber legs. Remove to access screw sockets and to open the case (NOTE: For repair purposes only, might void warranty!).

Basic Navigation

Button Combinations

You can raise the Power slider, then press a button on the GCW Zero to perform various system actions. The implemented actions are described below.

Action Description
When device is powered off Note that in this mode you can release Power right after pressing it.
Power Boot (turn on) the device. This is the desired way to turn on your GCW Zero.
hold X Button + Power Boot with the backup kernel (if present)
hold Y Button + Power Boot with the backup rootfs (if present)
hold X Button and Y Button + Power Boot with the backup kernel and backup rootfs (if present)
hold Select Button + Power Boot into the USB Boot mode. This mode is meant for raw access into device's memory for flashing purposes. Do not confuse this with firmware upgrade process, described in Firmware Upgrade chapter.

To leave USB Boot mode, press the RESET Reset Button button.

When device is powered on Note that in this mode Power must be raised first, and that if you raise it for 3 seconds before pressing another button, the device will be powered off.
Power (hold 3 seconds) or Poweroff.png "Poweroff" menu option Power off (clean shutdown)
Power + Select Button + Select Button or Reboot.png "Reboot" menu option Restart (clean reboot)
Power + Dpad Up or Alsamixer.png "Sound Mixer" menu option Raise audio volume by 1 step (out of 32) (hold to raise by multiple steps)
Power + Dpad Down or Alsamixer.png "Sound Mixer" menu option Lower audio volume by 1 step (out of 32) (hold to lower by multiple steps)
Power + Dpad Right Raise brightness by 1 step (out of 27) (hold to raise by multiple steps)
Power + Dpad Left Lower brightness by 1 step (out of 27) (hold to lower by multiple steps)
Power + B Button Toggle mouse input mode. In this mode Directional Pad acts as a mouse device, while A Button and B Button act as Left and Right mouse clicks. Used by certain software titles.
Power + Y Button Create a screenshot in /boot/local/home/screenshots
Power + Select Button Terminate (SIGHUP) the foreground application, losing unsaved data
Hold Lock the buttons (sends KEY_PAUSE action). NOTE: Works only in selected programs. Other programs might utilize this feature for other purposes, or ignore it whatsoever.

LED states

Red LED states Description
When charging cable (USB or DC) is connected
Led red.png (on) The battery is charging.
Led off.png (off) The battery is fully charged.
When device is powered on and charging cable (USB or DC) is not connected
Led off.png (off) The battery is discharging.

NOTE: Green LED functionality listed below will be available with the next firmware update.

Green LED states Description
When device is powered on NOTE: This is default, system-wide LED behaviour. A program might override Green LED behaviour and use it for it's own purpose.
Led green.png (on) Normal behaviour.
Led blink wifi.gif (slower blinking)
interval: 1400ms off, 100ms on
The Wi-Fi is activated.
Led blink lowpower.gif (faster blinking)
interval: 250ms off, 250ms on
Battery is very low (about 5 minutes of battery charge left under heavy use). Connecting a charging cable is advised.
When device is powered off
Led off.png (off) The device is turned off.
Led green.png (on) The device was turned on and attempts to boot the firmware.

Menu System

GCW Zero uses a menu system called gmenu2x. It was designed with handheld devices in mind and first used in GamePark Holdings GP2X. The version installed in the firmware is fully adapted to work with GCW Zero.

Gmenu2x.png

The menu interface consists of 3 elements:

  • Category bar (top)
  • Current category items (middle)
  • Info bar (bottom)

Items in the menu are arranged into categories, based on their purpose: games, applications, emulators, settings. You can switch between the categories by pressing L Shoulder Button or R Shoulder Button.

Items in the currently selected category are displayed in a row of columns. Use Directional Pad or Analog Stick to navigate between the items and select the one of interest. Press A Button to launch the currently highlighted item.

Pressing Select Button will bring up a contextual menu. Below is the description of it's functions:

  • "Add link in {category}" - allows for adding non-OPK programs. This feature should be used only by advanced users.
  • "Show manual of {item}" - displays a manual/readme for the selected program. This menu entry is available only for programs that show Gmenu2x manual.png at the info bar, when highlighted.
  • "Edit {item}" - this option is available only for programs which expect to be launched with extra files, ie. emulator that needs ROMs to run. "Selector Directory" sets the default directory where the program looks for extra files, while "Selector Browser" allows (ON) or prevents (OFF) from navigating outside this directory.
  • "Add section" - adds a new section in the categories. Note that OPK files will automatically appear in the right categories, creating a new category if needed. This feature is useful only for manually added programs.
  • "Rename section" - change the name of the selected category.
  • "Delete section" - remove the selected category.
  • "Scan for applications and games" - deprecated?

Select Button button displays internal gmenu2x settings, consisting of:

  • "Language" - change the language of the menu (NOTE: it won't affect the language settings of any games or programs. You will need to configure them separately, per program basis.)
  • "Save last selection" - deprecated?
  • "Output logs" - logs the stdout and stderr output of a program and allows for a later view of it. This has a use mainly for developers and should be left to OFF for regular usage. NOTE: Setting this option to ON might cause game lags due to extensive filesystem write usage.
  • "Screen Timeout" - number of seconds of user inactivity after which the screen turns off to conserve energy (NOTE: this doesn't power off the device).
  • "Show root" - deprecated?

Navigation Summary:

Button Action
Directional Pad or Analog Stick Move between items in the current category
L Shoulder Button or R Shoulder Button Change the category
A Button Launch selected item
B Button Show controls help menu
Select Button Show gmenu2x options menu
Select Button Show contextual menu for selected item

Info Bar:

This bar, located at the bottom of the screen, displays the following information:

  • Gmenu2x memory.png Free space on the internal memory - ie. 27.0/28.5GiB means that the user has 27.0 GiB of free space remaining out of the total 28.5GiB memory capacity.
  • Gmenu2x manual.png Manual available - displayed only when the selected menu entry has an included manual.
  • current system time - change the settings via the Pyclock.png "Clock" program.
  • Gmenu2x battery5.png Battery usage - can display one of the 6 states depending on the charge level (listed here from fully charged to depleted): Gmenu2x battery5.png/Gmenu2x battery4.png/Gmenu2x battery3.png/Gmenu2x battery2.png/Gmenu2x battery1.png/Gmenu2x battery0.png
  • Gmenu2x battery ac.png Charging - displayed only if a charging cable (miniUSB or DC) is connected.

Overview Of Selected Preinstalled Programs

  • Pyclock.png Clock - adjust the system clock, display calendar or set an alarm
  • Dgcommander.png DinguxCmdr - File manager with such features as navigating the filesystem or deleting/copying/moving the files between folders.
  • Hwtest.png HWTest - Button and sound hardware test.
  • Network.png Network - change remote login permissions for FTP, SFTP, Telnet and SSH connections
  • Wireless.png Wireless - allows you to set up and connect to your Wi-Fi network(s)
  • Alsamixer.png Sound Mixer - AlsaMixer, allows you to adjust the volume of different audio equipment of GCW Zero (ie. speakers, headphone socket, microphone).
  • About.png System Info - displays the firmware version, hardware information and available network interfaces.
  • Terminal.png Terminal - disables the graphical mode. Useful only for developers.

Gmenu2x comes with a few built-in features that you can find among the programs:

  • Poweroff.png Power off - turn off the GCW Zero.
  • Reboot.png Reboot - reboot the GCW Zero.
  • Log.png Log Viewer - allows you to view the last logged stdout/stderr of a program. This requires "Output logs" option to be ON.
  • Skin.png Skin - allows you to customize the skin of the menu.
  • Wallpaper.png Wallpaper - allows you to customize the wallpaper displayed as the menu background.
  • About.png About - gmenu2x program credits.
  • Explorer.png Explorer - allows you to browse the filesytem and lanuch any OPK files, .sh scripts or Linux executables directly.

Installing New Software

New software can be obtained from our official repository in form of OPK packages. Such packages need to be transferred into the GCW Zero and put to a correct directory. Below you will find instructions on how to properly install your applications.

GCW Zero Manager

GCW Zero Manager v0.9
Main article: GCW Zero Manager

Please note that this method is available only for MS Windows (although support for other platforms is planned). If you run GNU/Linux or OSX, you will need to use other file transfer methods listed below.

The application requires .NET 4 runtime. If you don't have it installed, it's available here.

This is the default and most user friendly method of installing software.

  1. In your GCW Zero, go into Settings > Network and select between setting a random password or login without password (NOTE: This step isn't necessary on older firmwares. If your firmware has no "Network" program, it is set to use login without password.).
  2. Download GCW Zero Manager.
  3. Follow the "Add connection" wizard. You may connect to the console through either USB or Wi-Fi connection.
  4. In the Install Software tab, browse for OPK files or drag-and-drop them to the application.
  5. Hit "Install All" to install the OPK files to your GCW Zero console.

If you can't connect through USB, it's likely that your OS failed to automatically install the appropriate drivers. Manual driver installation will be necessary:

  • Windows 7
  1. In Windows, go to the Control Panel > Device manager.
  2. Once there, locate a device with a yellow "!" sign. It will probably be in the Network adapters area.
  3. Right-click it, and select "Update Driver".
  4. Select "Manual install".
  5. Select "Choose from a list of drivers".
  6. In the Vendor list, select "Microsoft Corporation".
  7. Select "Remote NDIS Compatible Device" and install that driver.
  8. It should now successfully connect in your FTP client app.

FTP connection

There are two ways to connect to GCW Zero over FTP:

Over USB cable:

  1. Download an FTP client (Filezilla is recommended).
  2. In your GCW Zero, go into Settings > Network and select between setting a random password or login without password (NOTE: This step isn't necessary on older firmwares. If your firmware has no "Network" program, it is set to use login without password.).
  3. Connect the GCW with the USB cable and start your FTP client.
  4. In the "Host" field of your FTP client (upper left in the Filezilla window) type 10.1.1.2 and press Enter. You might also need to enter a username/password if you chose it in the Network settings of the GCW Zero. Password is randomly generated. Username is "root".
  5. You should now be able to access the folders of your GCW Zero and drag and drop files into the FTP client window.
  6. To install OPK apps, simply drag and drop them into the /media/data/apps/ directory (internal storage) or /media/{sdcard_name}/apps/ (external storage). Gmenu2x will autodetect them and create a shortcut in the appropiate section.

If you can't connect through USB, it's likely that your OS failed to automatically install the appropriate drivers. Manual driver installation will be necessary:

  • Windows 7
  1. Connect your GCW to your PC with the USB cable.
  2. In Windows, go to the Control Panel > Device manager.
  3. Once there, locate a device with a yellow "!" sign. It will probably be in the Network adapters area.
  4. Right-click it, and select "Update Driver".
  5. Select "Manual install".
  6. Select "Choose from a list of drivers".
  7. In the Vendor list, select "Microsoft Corporation".
  8. Select "Remote NDIS Compatible Device" and install that driver.
  9. It should now successfully connect in your FTP client app.
  • GNU/Linux

The USB Networking drivers should be now a standard part of every modern GNU/Linux distribution, but if for some reason your system is lacking them, you will need to install the cdcether kernel module.

If the IP address of the newly detected ethernet interface (usually usb0) wasn't automatically assigned, set it manually (with superuser permissions):

ifconfig usb0 10.1.1.1

Over Wi-Fi:

  1. Download an FTP client (Filezilla is recommended).
  2. In your GCW Zero, go into Settings > Network and select between setting a random password or login without password (NOTE: This step isn't necessary on older firmwares. If your firmware has no "Network" program, it is set to use login without password.).
  3. In your GCW Zero, go into Settings -> Wireless, configure your network's details such as ESSID/encryption/password and connect to it.
  4. Read the IP address assigned to your GCW Zero.
  5. In the "Host" field of your FTP client (upper left in the Filezilla window) type the IP address of GCW Zero and press Enter. You might also need to enter a username/password if you chose it in the Network settings of the GCW Zero. Password is randomly generated. Username is "root".
  6. You should now be able to access the folders of your GCW Zero and drag and drop files into the FTP client window.
  7. To install OPK apps, simply drag and drop them into the /media/data/apps/ directory (internal storage) or /media/{sdcard_name}/apps/ (external storage). Gmenu2x will autodetect them and create a shortcut in the appropiate section.

External microSD card

For those who don't want to use GCW Zero Manager or FTP, they can simply format a microSD card with Windows' FAT32 or Linux's EXT filesystem, create a folder "/apps/" and put their OPK files inside.

Note that NTFS and exFat filesystems aren't supposed for legal reasons.

While the OPKs run fine from external microSD card, Dgcommander.png "DinguxCmdr" can be used to move them to the internal memory storage, if desired.

Other methods

SFTP and SCP file transfers are supported. They are not covered in this manual.

Firmware Upgrade

First make sure you have a backup of all valuable user data you have on your GCW Zero, such as save games.

Download the most recent updater application from our website. Transfer the application (OPK file) to the apps/ directory on your GCW Zero. Then start the application from the menu:

Firm upgrade 01.pngFirm upgrade 02.png

You can select an option with the d-pad and confirm your choice with the Select Button button.

While the update is in progress, you'll see progress information being printed showing what the updater is doing. The update process takes a few minutes, please be patient while it does its work, even if you don't see anything happening for a while on the screen. The output should look like this:

Firm upgrade 03.pngFirm upgrade 04.png

When you press Select Button again, the system will restart. After the restart you can check that the new kernel and rootfs were installed in the System Info application:

Firm upgrade 05.pngFirm upgrade 06.png

The compilation date for the kernel and rootfs should be equal to or very close to the date of the updater application.

After the update is complete, you can remove the updater application (OPK file).

Hardware Features Not Yet Supported

The software side of GCW Zero is still under development. Due to this nature, some features of the device might not yet be available. Below is the list of features currently missing from the end user firmware release:

Feature Status
G-Sensor (accelerometer) Partially implemented.
Rumble (vibration) Not implemented.
Analog TV-Out Partially implemented, awaits the IPU support for video scaling.
HDMI TV-OUT Partially implemented, awaits the IPU support for video scaling.
USB OTG Implemented, bug fixes required.
Microphone Implemented, awaits a GUI program.
IPU support Partially implemented.

All these features will be eventually implemented and with time appear with the future firmware updates. You can monitor the current progress of the software development at our GitHub account.

Support

If you need support that extends beyond the information found in this article and on the GCW Zero Wiki, you can seek help via one of the following methods:

If you need a warranty service, contact GCW LLC via e-mail: contact (at) gcw-zero.com