Installing Rockbox on the Sansa Fuze+
2022 June 8
Related: 2022 review: Sansa Fuze+
- This guide comes with no warranty, don't sue me if you brick your device, etc.
- I installed Rockbox 3.15 onto my Fuze+.
- Here's the Rockbox manual for the Fuze+.
- I had some issues installing Rockbox based on the manual.
- I was unable to use the Rockbox Utility to install the bootloader.
- Once I had installed the bootloader (following the steps below), I was able to use the Rockbox Utility to make changes to other parts of the installation.
1. Connect the Fuze+ to your computer
- In the regular firmware, go to
Settings → USB Modeand set it to
- Connect the Fuze+ to your computer.
- Mount the Fuze+.
This means when you connect the Fuze+ to a computer, the computer will treat it as a mass-storage device (like a flash drive).
It should appear as a storage device.
You should be able to do this from e.g., your file manager.
2. Install the firmware
- Download the Rockbox firmware.
- Extract the firmware.
Get the .zip for your device from https://download.rockbox.org/release/. Here's Rockbox 3.15 for the Sansa Fuze+: https://download.rockbox.org/release/3.15/rockbox-sansafuzeplus-3.15.zip
I have this SHA-256 hash for rockbox-sansafuzeplus-3.15.zip:
Extract this .zip to the root directory of your mounted device storage, such as /run/media/user/SANSA FUZEP/.
3. Install the bootloader
This is the hard step. You need the following:
- firmware.sb - the original Sansa Fuze+ firmware
- bootloader-fuzeplus.sansa - the Rockbox bootloader for the Fuze+
Steps 1-3 tell you how to get them.
- Download the original firmware.
- Download the Rockbox bootloader.
- Get mkimxboot.
- Ensure you have the required packages installed.
- Clone the Rockbox repo.
- Change to the mkimxboot directory.
- Compile mkimxboot.
- Patch the bootloader.
It's available from here: https://mp3support.sandisk.com/firmware/fuzeplus/fuzeplus02.38.06.zip
Get version 02.38.06 or later. (I don't anticipate there ever being a later version.)
SHA-256 for fuzeplus02.38.06.zip:
Extract this file to get firmware.sb.
Get it from https://download.rockbox.org/bootloader/sandisk-sansa/fuzeplus/bootloader-fuzeplus.sansa
SHA-256 for bootloader-fuzeplus.sansa:
You should now have bootloader-fuzeplus.sansa.
This is a tool which modifies the original firmware for you. I couldn't find a complete build, so I had to compile it from source.
If you don't want to do that, here's the version I compiled for amd64 Linux. This file is licensed under the GPLv2, and the source can be obtained and compiled using the steps below.
SHA-256 for mkimxboot (downloaded from here):
This is at least git, make, and a C compiler (gcc).
git clone --depth=1 git://git.rockbox.org/rockbox.git
You should now have an executable file called mkimxboot.
At this point, you should have the three files:
Put them all into the same directory.
Now, in that directory, run mkimxboot to patch the bootloader:
./mkimxboot -i firmware.sb -b bootloader-fuzeplus.sansa -o patched.sb -t dualboot
The name provided with
-o (in this case patched.sb) will be the output filename.
While we're at it, SHA-256 for patched.sb:
I think this should always be the same, as long as you apply the same bootloader-fuzeplus.sansa patch to the same firmware.sb.
Copy the output file (patched.sb) to the root of your device as firmware.sb. For example:
cp patched.sb /run/media/user/SANSA\ FUZEP/firmware.sb
The device will need to be unplugged for a few minutes to update. Make sure it won't power off during this time, or risk bricking your device.
Safely eject the Sansa Fuze+ and then unplug it. It should display a clover leaf-style animation and say "Updating Fuze+". Once it's done, it should boot into Rockbox!