Wii-Linux

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Template:Infobox homebrewappThe Wii-Linux is a small Linux OS for the Wii, based on GC Linux.


Summary

  • Creator: GC-Linux Team
  • Software type: Operating System
  • Accessories needed: Computer running Linux, SD card with a FAT16 and an ext3 partition, USB keyboard
  • Optional accessories: GameCube controller, USB Gecko, Wiimote, Nintendo Wii LAN Adapter, USB drive
  • Best PAL mode: 480i/p
  • Loaders usable: Twilight Hack, Homebrew Channel
  • Button to return to loader: No
  • Alternate installation: Setup USB gecko and load the software on the PC beforehand (see the readme).

Getting Started

The Whiite Installer

  • The GC-Linux.org team has released a new installer for certain distros including:
    • Bliight
    • XWhiite
    • Whiite
  • Download/Discussion

Manual Installation

Isobel has made some Official Instructions.

  • 1. Make a second partition on your SD card and format as ext3.
  • 2. Extract the debian-etch-4.0+whiite-0.1.tar.bz2 package to the ext3 partition of your SD card. You must extract the package as root or sudoer if you are using Linux or else files under /dev will not appear correctly.
  • 3. Copy the whiite-linux folder from the whiite-linux-0.1a.tar.bz2 archive to /apps/ for HBC or put the boot.elf on the root for the TP-Hack.
  • 4. Load the file using TP-Hack or HBC.
  • 5. Log in to access the terminal. You can now run commands and navigate directories.
  • 6. Configure bluetooth with hciconfig then type hcitool scan and press 1+2 on your wiimote to connect it.

Logging in

After you have booted Linux you will have 60 minutes to log on with the credentials below before it times out.

  • For debian-etch-4.0+whiite-0.1:
   Username: root
   Password: whiite
  • For POC:
   Username: root
   Password: cube

Things that work

The Debian release comes with a lot of news, only available if you boot using the kernel that comes with that package. You will need a USB keyboard to use this release. If you are able to boot with it and login, you will stop in a command line where you can navigate through the filesystem, and execute some applications. There are working drivers for the USB bus and internal bluetooth, but not for the internal wireless adapter. Here are some things that you can do:

Edit text files

   nano [text file]

Play MP3s

   mp3-decoder <mp3 file> 

There is an mp3 sample in the /root directory. You can play it if you type:

   mp3-decoder Synapse-Stealing_Science.mp3

You can also use this:

   mpg321 <mp3 file>

Type & after the command to have the mp3 play in the background:

   mpg321 Synapse-Stealing_Science.mp3 &

To play MP3s from a USB drive, mount the drive (see below). Navigate to the directory where they are stored on your USB stick, and use the "mp3-decoder" or the "mpg321" tool to play them.

Mount USB Drives

  • Mount an external USB hard disk

Not all USB hard disks work, but if they are formatted in FAT or EXT2 they might be recognized. Connect a pendrive to the USB, and type:

  dmesg

The dmesg command will show you the last kernel message. If the pendrive is compatible, it will show you some debug messages, and a message with the status of the new drive. If it is recogniced as sda, you can mount and navigate to that using these commands:

  mkdir mnt
  mount /dev/sda1 mnt 
  cd mnt 
  ls
  • To show the identifiers of the devices connected to the USB: Type lsusb
  • USB hubs work.

Use the internal bluetooth

There is a driver that manages the Wii internal bluetooth. You can connect to the wiimote, but there isn’t any application to manage it yet. You can type these commands to configure it:

hciconfig 
Shows you the bluetooth configuration.
hcitool scan and press "1&2" on the wiimote
This will find the wiimote and show some information.

Chat on IRC

   irssi

Install Debian Packages

If you find a USB network adapter that works with this kernel such as the Nintendo USB network adapter, you will be able to install new Debian packages directly onto the Wii using apt-get. Or you can download on a PC then use dpkg to install packages manually.

  • cmatrix is confirmed to run which displays a simple curses screensaver. The font suggested for it has not been tested.
  • ninvaders is a simple curses based game played like Space Invaders. Seems to work 100%
  • pacman is a curses pacman game. Currently the Linux console is not large enough to view the lives, levels, and score. The game is compiled from scratch with wiiuse and bluetooth and ncurses devs.
    If you would like the source for pacman with wiimote support check out my website. --Skibur 22:53, 21 July 2008 (CEST)
  • sc is a curses spreadsheet application.

Install Mplayer

  • Download the source to Wii MFE
  • Copy these files to the corresponding places on your SD card:
/src/native/fs/shipped/lib/
/src/native/fs/shipped/root/
/src/native/fs/shipped/usr/
  • Extract the contents of these archives to your SD card:
/src/native/libsdl/mfe-libsdl.tar.gz
/home/zach/Desktop/src/native/mplayer/mfe-mplayer.tar.gz
  • Log on to whiite and type (you only need to do this once):
 mknod /dev/fb0 c 29 0
  • Type:
 mplayer <file>.avi

Hardware Compatibility

Compatible ethernet adapters

Device Hardware ID String Description Cost
Nintendo Wii LAN Adapter Official Nintendo Product $24.99 US
Datel's LAN Adapter $29.90
. . . .

Incompatible ethernet adapters

Device Hardware ID String Description
Linksys USB Network Adapter USB10T VID_0x066b & PID_0x2206 device not supported
. . .


Troubleshooting

I get a black screen when I load the DOL.
Something is wrong with the filesystem format your SD card and try again.
It boots up with a lot of errors saying file system read-only then it freezes.
Turn off Wiiconnect24 or load from TP-Hack.

GUI

  • A GUI is still needed.

Note

  • XORG is available!
    • Miight
    • XWhiite
    • Bliight?
  • KDE in the near future?

Releases

Note

No current releases yet support the wii's wireless networking capabilities. This means, that if you want to access the internet or another aspect of your network, you will need a wii usb-to-ethernet adapter.

Miight

  • Seems similar to bertjan's but was announced first, can be installed normally like any other homebrew app (no partitioning needed), and includes many more features.
  • It was momentarily leaked but it was soon, for lack of a better term, unleaked.
  • A release is expected within the next few weeks.
  • After it is released, bertjan has said he will abandon his own distribution and contribute to this one instead.
  • For progress updates, see http://hbcapps.com/miight/blog. For older posts see http://tehum.blogspot.com, a blog I shared with someone else when I couldn't be bothered to get my own.
  • Made by Muzer

Bliight

  • A full Gentoo distro for the wii.
  • It uses the whiite method of installation.
  • Made by T7g
  • Download/Discussion

XWhiite

  • Whiite but with the XORG environment successfully implemented.
  • It currently uses kernel 2.6.27b.
  • It also includes some applications including FireFox.
  • It uses the whiite method of instalation
  • It has now been updated to v0.2
  • Made by bertjan
  • Download/Discussion

Kernel 2.6.27

  • New drivers with SDHC support, and optimized memory. Updated versions (2.6.27a & 2.6.27b) are also available.
  • Just replace your current boot.elf/dol with this(for any whiite-linux-method distros).
  • Download

Whiite

  • Based on Debian etch 4.0
  • Major update with many new apps and features.
  • Currently, only v0.1 is available.
  • Download.

PoC

These are small, stand-alone distros that were merely to demonstrate that linux could run on the wii. These distros are very limited in functionality and are not recommended. Instead, use one of the above distros (XWhiite, Bliight are recommended).

Proof of Concept 0.4

Proof of Concept 0.3

  • Adds read and write support for the front SD card slot.
  • Download

Proof of Concept 0.2

Proof of Concept 0.1

External links