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View Poll Results: Are you a dev that is interested in using this?

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  • YES

    5 83.33%
  • NO

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  1. #1
    OUYA Developer Eldon.McGuinness's Avatar
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    3 members found this post helpful.

    Creating a New Discover Backend

    Any devs out there interested in continuing submissions to the OUYA device? Do note, non-paid games or games that use some other form of payment outside of the OUYA framework would have to be used. If you are interested in using an alternative payment API, check out GumRoad, it is very easy to use and implement.

    NOTE
    I'm up for helping out with this, but only if people are really interested. So, if you are a DEV or someone interested in helping me then please vote in the poll attached to this thread. If you are user/gamer please DO NOT vote in the poll as I'm trying to get a feel as to if there are other devs out there that would find this useful or if it would just be a waste of time. If you are a user and want to show devs you would be willing to make this modification then feel free to reply in the thread and say so.

    Logistics:
    Basically this can be done by using a custom DNS server which will redirect to a github repo. This repo will contain the raw JSON data that the store pulls down from the internet, however it would not hold the images or apks for the games as it would likely be way too much data, but the images could be hosted on your own server or even on an image hosting service's site. The APKs would be the same way, the easiest way would be to host them on your site or possibly on a file hosting service's site. Devs could then submit a "pull-request" to add new games or update current ones. These requests could then be committed to the main branch and then pushed out to OUYAs when they query the service.

    What would users have to do?
    The only thing a user would need to do is change the DNS entry on their OUYA, this is done by setting up a static connection instead of using DHCP. Again, this is nothing hard, but a walkthrough could be made to facilitate migration to the new market backend. The user might also have to install a custom certificate, but this too can be done via the OUYA's homescreen with just a few presses on the controller.

    Why not use a custom app?
    The biggest reason for this is we can continue to use the current launcher and avoid getting the install apk prompt that third party installers would trigger.


    FAQ

    This is just an archive of questions I've been asked. Make sure you read these as your question might have been already asked.

    Do I need to Root my device:

    You would not need to root your device, all that you would need to do is setup a static connection on the OUYA instead of dhcp or edit the hosts file and install a custom SSL certificate.

    Install a custom certificate:
    This is done by copying a given certificate file to /sdcard on the ouya and then choosing to install it in the Advanced Settings area of the OUYA

    Setup the domain redirect:
    Since the OUYA app calls to dev.ouya.tv to get the store data, we would need to hijack this. The easiest way would be via editing the hosts file, this can be done over ADB without root OR by using a custom DNS entry. The DNS bit will require you to either have a router you can do this in or running your own DNS server, the only other option as you mentioned would be for someone to run a DNS server which would cost money. If people were up for donating to support it, this could be arranged.

    Where will the store be hosted:
    The easiest option would be either on github pages if possible OR on a server. I could host the store on a server if needed, but as noted I would not have the storage space needed to host all the apks, so it would be up to the devs to provide a valid download URL when they submit their application for update/addition to the store.

    Would each person need to run a custom store server:
    No, the point of this project is people would not need to host their own server and it would be a central location for all the ouya apps to be submitted to.

    How is this possible:
    Basically we would need to map out the API the store uses and mimic it on a custom server and trick the OUYA into using this other server.

    What about paid content
    Since we would be using a fake server the DRM verification needed to use these apps would fail as well. This can be remedied by asking devs to use another authentication mechanism such as gumroad.

    I hope all these make sense, if not let me know and I'll try to explain a bit more.
    Last edited by Eldon.McGuinness; 04-27-2016 at 11:05 PM.

  2. #2

  3. #3


    I would be down for this. Just FYI, I AM NOT a developer, but I would be interested in downloading custom homebrew APKs, either to sideload onto Ouya or upload through a custom server. As far as the logistics, how would one go about setting up a server? Do I need a device set up to spoof the internet and serve content to the Ouya, say through the LAN port, or can I just use my default home wifi and tweak a few settings internally?

    If an alternate server is set up somewhere on the internet, who will pay the fees and upkeep? Do I need to "root" my Ouya to access it? Rooting isn't something I feel comfortable with, and I'm sure others would agree. Especially since if the rooting process fails, it could brick the device, (and a factory reset would not help in such case because I would get permanently locked out of all content due to the server being down).

    But if it only involves side-loading or changing DNS settings, I think I could handle that.

  4. #4
    OUYA Developer Eldon.McGuinness's Avatar
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    Do I need to Root my device:
    You would not need to root your device, all that you would need to do is setup a static connection on the OUYA instead of dhcp or edit the hosts file and install a custom SSL certificate.

    Install a custom certificate:
    This is done by copying a given certificate file to /sdcard on the ouya and then choosing to install it in the Advanced Settings area of the OUYA

    Setup the domain redirect:
    Since the OUYA app calls to dev.ouya.tv to get the store data, we would need to hijack this. The easiest way would be via editing the hosts file, this can be done over ADB without root OR by using a custom DNS entry. The DNS bit will require you to either have a router you can do this in or running your own DNS server, the only other option as you mentioned would be for someone to run a DNS server which would cost money. If people were up for donating to support it, this could be arranged.

    Where will the store be hosted:
    The easiest option would be either on github pages if possible OR on a server. I could host the store on a server if needed, but as noted I would not have the storage space needed to host all the apks, so it would be up to the devs to provide a valid download URL when they submit their application for update/addition to the store.

    Would each person need to run a custom store server:
    No, the point of this project is people would not need to host their own server and it would be a central location for all the ouya apps to be submitted to.

    How is this possible:
    Basically we would need to map out the API the store uses and mimic it on a custom server and trick the OUYA into using this other server.

    What about paid content
    Since we would be using a fake server the DRM verification needed to use these apps would fail as well. This can be remedied by asking devs to use another authentication mechanism such as gumroad.

    I hope all these make sense, if not let me know and I'll try to explain a bit more.
    Last edited by Eldon.McGuinness; 04-27-2016 at 11:04 PM.

  5. #5


    Sounds good. We will need a really good step-by-step tutorial for newbs on how to properly set up their Ouyas. Setting up a DNS redirect through their router would be the least desirable option, since there are dozens of hardware vendors out there with differing setups and capabilities. Also many users rent their router from an ISP and user options as to what they are permitted to do with the device may be limited.

    As for using a PC to spoof a server connection, this would be very dependent on OS; home versions of Windows used by the majority of customers likely won't be able to "serve" content, so Linux would be the most sensible option, but not everyone has an old spare PC laying around collecting dust they can re-purpose or would want to fool with that.

    A Raspberry Pi direct wired to the Ouya via ethernet crossover would be the simplest option for users to run an offline Ouya server (if users wanted to serve content to the Ouya offline) because of it's small size and the fact that it's dead simple to set it up, users only need to flash a premade image to the MicroSD card. Additional APKs to be hosted on the Pi server could be synced directly to the Pi via USB.

  6. #6
    OUYA Developer Eldon.McGuinness's Avatar
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    Yea, I'm thinking the easiest way to get it done would be to have the user run a batch file/shell script that could then add the needed bit to the OUYA's host file. All the user would really need to do is enable "Network Debugging" on the OUYA to do that. Then they install the certificate and the new shop would be online.

    Again, this relies on it being worth doing, IE more than just a couple of people interested.
    Last edited by Eldon.McGuinness; 04-28-2016 at 01:05 AM.

  7. #7


    If not, it would always be possible for developers or homebrewers to simply release APKs online and let gamers sideload them.

    I sideloaded the Ghostbusters Pinball app from Total Ouya after it was pulled from discover because I didn't get it while it was available. Best part about doing so was I got to keep the awesome 80s theme song!

    I got a quick question. Since the Ouya has no internal clock battery, will it still be able to sync the time off the internet if the servers go lights out? A few apps rely on the timer; that's why I'm asking.

  8. #8
    OUYA Developer Eldon.McGuinness's Avatar
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    You could always manually set the date/time in the Advanced Settings area.

    The only downside to sideloading APKs is the need to use a computer. It would be much nicer to be able to use the familiar store interface instead, at least to me it would be.

    I would imagine that the file you pulled from totalOUYA is still on the OUYA servers, since it does not seem like they remove old versions of apps either, but if they shut them down, things like totalOUYA would cease to work as well, unless they are actually hosting all the APKs on their own servers which would require about 43GB in space (I know as I've downloaded all the free apps just in case they do shut down the servers ).
    Last edited by Eldon.McGuinness; 04-28-2016 at 12:50 PM.

  9. #9


    43Gb isn't a lot in these days of multiple terabyte hard drives...

    And yes, a proper hosted storefront is better than side loading, but side loading isn't difficult for anyone with a bit of PC literacy. I assume sideload would work offline since the Ouya uses a local IP address, ie 192.xx.xx.xx

    You'd certainly have to jump through less hoops to run homebrew on the Ouya as opposed to the Nintendo Wii or some other closed console, for instance.

  10. #10
    OUYA Developer Eldon.McGuinness's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Indeed, sideloading is easy, but by no means as informative as the store front, I think the biggest issue is it requires a pc to first get the files to the OUYA.

    EDIT: Just checked and TotalOUYA is indeed using OUYA's own file hosting to provide the apks, so again if the servers go off so will totalOUYA.
    Last edited by Eldon.McGuinness; 04-29-2016 at 03:09 AM.

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