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UBI Reader

UBI Reader is a Python module and collection of scripts capable of extracting the contents of UBI and UBIFS images, along with analyzing these images to determine the parameter settings to recreate them using the mtd-utils tools.

Testing Branch

The testing branch includes a tools/ directory, that has scripts to help when trying to extract data from broken images. These also serve as examples of how to use parts of ubi_reader in custom scripts.

An override system is also included, for manually setting certain parameters that may be reported wrong by the UBI/FS data.

This branch will probably remain seperate, as it is meant to be customized to aid in extracting data from problematic images. You can install it with 'python develop' to make it easier to modify ubi_reader as needed.


Python 2.7 or 3.

$ sudo apt-get install liblzo2-dev
$ sudo pip install python-lzo


Latest Version

$ git clone
$ cd ubi_reader
$ sudo python install


$ sudo pip install ubi_reader


For basic usage, the scripts need no options and if applicable will save output to ./ubifs-root/. More advanced usage can set start and end offset, specify an output directory, or for debugging can print out what it is doing to the terminal.

Run program with -h or --help for explanation of options.

Extracting File Contents:

ubireader_extract_files [options] path/to/file

The script accepts a file with UBI or UBIFS data in it, so should work with a NAND dump. It will search for the first occurance of UBI or UBIFS data and attempt to extract the contents. If file includes special files, you will need to run as root or sudo for it to create these files. With out it, it'll skip them and show a warning that these files were not created.

List/Copy Files:

ubireader_list_files [options] path/to/file

The script accepts a file with UBI or UBIFS data in it, so should work with a NAND dump. It will search for the first occurance of UBI or UBIFS data and treat it as a UBIFS. To list files supply the path to list (-P, --path), e.g. "-P /" to list the filesystems root directory. To copy a file from the filesystem to a local directory supply the source path (-C, --copy) and the destination path (-D, --copy-dest), e.g. -C /etc/passwd -D . (extract /etc/passwd from the UBIFS image and copy it to local directory).

Extracting Images:

ubireader_extract_images [options] path/to/file

This script will extract the whole UBI or UBIFS image from a NAND dump, or the UBIFS image from a UBI image. You can specify what type of image to extract by setting the (-u, --image-type) option to "UBI" or "UBIFS". Default is "UBIFS".

MTD-Utils Parameters:

ubireader_utils_info [options] path/to/file

The script will analyze a UBI image and create a Linux shell script and UBI config file that can be used for building new UBI images to the same specifications. For just a printed list of the options and values, use the (-r, --show-only) option.

Display Information:

ubireader_display_info [options] path/to/file

Depending on the image type found, this script displays some UBI information along with the header info from the layout block, including volume table records. If it is a UBIFS image, the Super Node, and both Master Nodes are displayed. Using the (-u, --ubifs-info) option, it will get the UBIFS info from inside a UBI file instead.


Some general option flags are

  • -l, --log: This prints to screen actions being taken while running.
  • -v, --verbose: This basically prints everything about anything happening.
  • -p, --peb-size int: Specify PEB size of the UBI image, instead of having it guess.
  • -e, --leb-size int: Specify LEB size of UBIFS image, instead of having it guess.
  • -s, --start-offset int: Tell script to look for UBI/UBIFS data at given address.
  • -n, --end-offset int: Tell script to ignore data after given address in data.
  • -g, --guess-offset: Specify offset to start guessing where UBI data is in file. Useful for NAND dumps with false positives before image.
  • -w, --warn-only-block-read-errors: Attempts to continue extracting files even with bad block reads. Some data will be missing or corrupted!
  • -i, --ignore-block-header-errors: Forces unused and error containing blocks to be included and also displayed with log/verbose.
  • -o, --output-dir path: Specify where files should be written to, instead of ubi_reader/output

Known Issues

  • Socket files will be ignored, you can change modules/ to have it create dummy files in their place.

  • For NAND dumps and the like, this will not fix anything ECC would take care of, so some bad data may be extracted, this can also cause erratic behavior.

  • This does not replay the journal, so uncommited data will not be retrieved.

  • Assumes things are in good condition and where it thinks they should be...


  • Arbitrary block analyzer script.


Collection of Python scripts for reading information about and extracting data from UBI and UBIFS images.







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