What is iBLab?

iBLab is (intended to be) a replacement set of open source tools for accessing and manipulating Dallas Semiconductor's range of 'one touch memories', commonly known as iButtons.

Where is iBLab?

iBLab lives at:


The iBLab code is available by anonymous CVS or as a tarball.

The tarball snapshot is updated daily at midnight, UK time. It can be fetched from:


Anonymous CVS lives at:

to check out with CVS, do the following:

  cvs -d ":pserver:anoncvs@anoncvs.aldigital.co.uk:/cvsroot" login
password is "anoncvs". Once logged in, do:

  cvs -d ":pserver:anoncvs@anoncvs.aldigital.co.uk:/cvsroot" co anoncvs.aldigital.co.uk-iBLab
this should create a directory called "anoncvs.aldigital.co.uk-iBLab", which will contain the current source tree. At any time, anwhere within this tree, you can type:

  cvs update
to get the latest versions and keep your tree up to date.

Where is everything else?

Dallas Semiconductor can be found at:


The offical Dallas Semiconductor iButton home page can be found at:


Cyclic's CVS tools can be found at:


Ryan Lackey runs a related mailing list, "ibuttonpunks", which can be found by mailing:

majordomo@venona.com with "help" in the body of the text. iBLab issues should be discussed there.

Why is iBlab?

Because (at the time of initial writing), Dallas Semiconductor required developers to enter licence agreements with them in order to develop/resell software products that utilised the iButton technology. We felt that this was unreasonable, as they would benefit from increased hardware sales through such development anyway, and licensing agreements were an unnecessary and unwelcome complication, and were impeding our progress. It also meant that it was difficult (even impossible) to to incorporate iButton functionality into other open source products due to licencing complications.

Also, Dallas only supported Windows and DOS.

What can I use iBLab for?

You can use iBLab for any purpose you desire, non-commercial or otherwise, so long as you stick to the licencing agreement described in the file LICENCE, distributed with the iBLab source. This licence is extremely open, reasonable and flexible, and we doubt you will have any issues with it.

If you develop a useful application using iBLab, please let us know and we'll link to it from here.

How do Dallas Semiconductor feel about this?

The original licence from Dallas Semiconductor stated "All users of Touch Memory(tm) products are required to use Dallas Semiconductor's TMEX(tm) Software to communicate data from the products to any other device or system." However, when we asked them if we could write our own, and, having done so, if we could put it into the public domain, their response was:

A.L.: If we develop an application that communicates with the i-buttons,
      without using the SDK (i.e. we develop our own drivers from the
      information contained in the data book), are there any licencing
      issues, or can we freely distribute that code under any conditions
      we see fit?

D.S.: If you develop your own code...it is yours.  Adam, you will be doing a
      lot of work that has already been done for you.  Using TMEX will save
      you a lot of time, but it is your choice.
So I guess that means we don't have to use TMEX.

How can I support iBLab?

If you wish to help, you can submit bug reports, patches, ideas, ports, code, coffee or anything else you care to think of. We would more than welcome it.

Please send submissions to: iBLab@aldigital.co.uk

Copyright © 1998,9 Ben Laurie, Adam Laurie.