The Homebrew Channel is a self-updating homebrew application loader by Team Twiizers which allows users to load homebrew applications without having to run an exploit every time. Once installed, users can access the channel from the Wii System Menu just like any other Wii channel. It can launch or install homebrew applications from an SD or SDHC card or via TCP/USB Gecko using Wiiload. You can install the Homebrew Channel as part of the HackMii Installer by seeing the Installation part of this page.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Configuring Applications
- 3 Controls
- 4 Removal
- 5 Compatibility
- 6 Changelog
- 7 FAQ
- 8 Bugs
- 9 Easter Eggs
- 10 Notes
READ THE DISCLAIMER! In the VERY unlikely case your Wii should be bricked by the installer, this will let you know where you stand in regards to Team Twiizers.
Using The Twilight Hack, Bannerbomb, Smash Stack, or Indiana Pwns.
- Download the HackMii Installer.
- Expand the archive to find README.txt, wiiload and boot.elf or boot.dol
- Place the boot.elf or boot.dol file in the root of your SD card.
- Run the Twilight Hack, Bannerbomb, Smash Stack, or Indiana Pwns, and allow the installer to load.
- Press 1 when given and continue installing things you want.
The installation should be automatic from this point on, and your Wii will reboot.
The DVD method requires a drivechip and won't work with the 3.3 firmware update or newer. DVD images for the more recent versions are currently unavailable, though you can install beta8 and then update.
Using a previous unsigned code-loading method
If you have an older version of the Homebrew Channel or another means of executing unsigned code, you can use that to install the latest version.
In order to make an application appear in the Homebrew Channel, the following steps must be taken:
- Make a folder on the root of your SD card called "apps".
- In the folder "apps," create a folder for the application (for this example, ScummVM will be used).
- Copy the files for the application into its folder (e.g. apps/scummvm/).
- Find the executable file (either .elf or .dol) and rename it to boot.elf (or boot.dol if it was a .dol file) if it is not already named that (e.g. apps/scummvm/boot.dol). If the app comes with these files, copy the icon.png and meta.xml files into this folder.
Now the application will appear in the Homebrew Channel. However, if the application did not come with icon.png or meta.xml, its appearance on the menu is ugly, and difficult to distinguish from other applications. To fix this, text and an image can be added.
To add text to an application in the Homebrew Channel, do the following: (note: you may install the Homebrew Browser and download pre-formatted apps without performing this step for every app)
- Make a file in the folder of the application (e.g. apps/ScummVM/) called "meta.xml" (e.g. apps/ScummVM/meta.xml).
- Open "meta.xml" in Notepad and add the following text as a template:
- Add the appropriate information in between the relevant indicators. For example, the name of the application goes between <name> and </name>. The purpose of each field is as follows:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <app version="1"> <name></name> <coder></coder> <version></version> <release_date></release_date> <short_description></short_description> <long_description></long_description> </app>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <app version="1"> <name>The name of the application</name> <coder>The name of the person or group that wrote the code for the program.</coder> <version>The version of the application.</version> <release_date>The data the application was released. It has to be a timestamp using this format: YYYYmmddHHMMSS</release_date> <short_description>This is displayed on the main menu of the Homebrew Channel (before you select an application) and is used as a space to add a few words to describe the program.</short_description> <long_description>This is displayed once the application is chosen. It describes the program and its function in great detail, and can be used to elaborate on a program's controls.</long_description> </app>
An example of a completed "meta.xml" for ScummVM is provided below:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <app version="1"> <name>ScummVM</name> <coder>dhewg</coder> <version>rev32231</version> <release_date>20080523000000</release_date> <short_description>Point & Click Adventures</short_description> <long_description>ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure games,provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this: ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the games, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed! Some of the adventures ScummVM supports include Adventure Soft's Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2; Revolution's Beneath A Steel Sky, Broken Sword 1 and Broken Sword 2; Flight of the Amazon Queen; Wyrmkeep's Inherit the Earth; Coktel Vision's Gobliiins; Westwood Studios' The Legend of Kyrandia and games based on LucasArts' SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) system such as Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max and more. </long_description> </app>
Adding an Icon
- See also: Homebrew Channel icons
In order to make icons for the Homebrew Channel show up, they must be in .png format with dimensions of 128x48 pixels. The full alpha channel can be used. Copy it into the folder of the application under the name "icon.png" (e.g. apps/scummvm/icon.png).
Complete Setup Format
You should have a compatible SD or SDHC card. See here for a list of SD and SDHC cards known to be compatible or incompatible. Note: it is by no means a complete list.
An SD card should be formatted in FAT16 or FAT32. After you have installed the apps on your SD card, its folder structure should look something like this:
- Removable Disk (eg: (E:) on Windows and where it is mounted to on Linux or Mac OS X eg: /media/disk/ )
If you have any problems having your Applications showing up on the 'HBC', make sure you are following the correct format.
Loading from USB
Files and folders on your USB storage device must be structured in the same way that they would be structured on an SD card for use with the Homebrew Channel. For example, you must have an "apps" folder on the root of your USB storage device with sub-folders containing an executable, meta.xml, and icon.png for each homebrew application. Any specific homebrew instructions related to file and folder placement on and SD card also apply if you are using a USB storage device instead.
Your USB storage device should be plugged in before loading the homebrew channel, but it is not required. If you do not have it plugged in when the Homebrew Channel is loaded, simply plug it in and then bring up the Homebrew Channel menu, then select the "Reload" option.
Notes: At this time, loading applications from USB is considerably slower than loading from an SD or SDHC card. When reading the applications to display from the "apps" folder of a usb device, an SD card icon will appear even though it is loading from USB. If you have an sd card inserted at the same time as a USB storage device, the SD card takes priority and apps from the USB device will not be shown even if there are no visible apps on the SD card.
|/||/||Move through the applications Up/Down|
|or||or or||Change applications page left|
|or||or or||Change applications page right|
|Returns from app screen|
Removing the channel can be done by simply deleting it with the channel management in the Wii system software.
Note: The Homebrew Channel requires that you system have at least one unpatched IOS in order to guarantee reliable performance; we've received too many bug reports that were later traced to misbehaving versions of IOS. The HackMii Installer will automatically choose an appropriate (unpatched) IOS to use when installing the Homebrew Channel; if you attempt to defeat this safety measure by replacing its IOS with a corrupted version, you may experience an "impaired HBC experience" (reportedly an upside-down screen). Please just don't do it.
- Freeze fix
- Some other minor hiccups
- Added support for System Menu 4.2
- Faster startup.
- Prefer boot.elf over boot.dol when launching apps.
- New shiny fonts, tweaked to the last subpixel.
- Widescreen support :
- If your Wii is set to 16:9 in the system menu options, HBC won’t stretch the picture like it did on older versions. Unfortunately the fonts might look a little weird then, it really depends on the used display unit. Blame the lack of true widescreen support on the Wii for that.)
- Grid view :
- Hit 2/Y while browsing applications to switch between the old and the new view. This shows 4 columns on 16:9 setups, 4:3 users only get 3.
- Device hot-plugging :
- You can remove and insert devices (front SD slot, USB mass storage, and SDGecko in both slots) at all times now without reloading HBC. To change to another device, hit 1/X to bring up a simple option dialog.
- Application sort order :
- You can now choose how to sort the shown entries. Current options: either by the name or by the release date. Note that for the latter sort order a valid release_date tag has to be present in the meta.xml file. Again, hit 1/X for the options dialog to set this.
- wiiload overhaul :
- On-the-fly compression: Uploaded files are automatically compressed on PC side: This makes it way faster, especially on bigger files. Improved USBGecko support: Faster uploads, and you don’t have to stop reading debug messages from the device while uploading files. libftdi support: Because ftdi-sio fails, especially on OSX. Note: Because of these improvements, older wiiload version and 3rd party upload clients are incompatible. Use the bundled v0.5, binaries and source code are included.
- Basic application management :
- To add apps: Just wiiload a ZIP archive, it will then get extracted to the active device. The ZIP file must be structured in a certain way, check this description for the details. To delete apps: There’s a new button on the application dialog.
- Fix the POWER button bug with BootMii IOS
- Turned HBC upside down for those who modified the contents of the HBC or installed it using a "wad manager"
- SDHC cards are working again
- SD performance has been increased again (regression was introduced in v1.0.2)
- HBC works on all system menu versions now (stock 3.3 post Oct 23 has issues1)
- Fixed rare hangs when exiting HBC
- Translation added for "Launch BootMii" button
- Added "Launch BootMii" button (only for BootMii IOS version) to home menu
- Compatible with 4.0
- USB support added
- Wii's front power button now shutsdown the wii
- Fixed B button issues
- Wiimotes now keep the ordering from the System Menu (libogc)
- Hopefully fixed the USB Ethernet Issues
- Fixed wiimote auto-shutdown (libogc)
- Hopefully fixed "video after shutdown" Issues (libogc)
- Changes to () -> *
- meta.xml now handles all ISO-8859-1 characters properly
- Wiimote power button support (shutdown)
- Wiimote rumble honors system setting
- Fixed some crash bugs
- Fix meta.xml UNIX style newline regression
- All wiimotes work now, not just the first one
- Classic Controller support
- Nunchuk support (scroll only)
- Guitar Hero 3 guitar support
- Left and right change pages too
- Hit 1 on Wiimote for net reload (like net icon click or GC Z)
- Add information to installer
- Fixed some networking issues with net disabled
- Pushed in some text to avoid overscan crop
- Widened video width to match System Menu ("black bars" fix)
- B returns from app screen (unless scrolling)
- Try to initialize network earlier
- Retry network init a few times
- Fix a networking issue (libogc)
- Reload stub now identifies itself (magic number)
- Support broken HTTP proxies in update check
- Show IOS revision in main menu
- Installer / updater now works with the October 23 update
- SDHC support
- REALLY fixed the memcard bug
- Installer now picks newest sane IOS, fixes some beta8 regressions
- Added a reload button (for SD card changes)
- Return to System Menu skips warning
- Fixed some graphical glitches
- Compliant ELF loading code (if you get errors use ELF to DOL Converter)
- Saner XML load code
- Many fixes to underlying stuff in the newer libogc
- you don’t need to eject your memcards anymore
- switched from IOS35 to IOS21, this makes the hbc usable on older firmwares
- improved SD card loading performance (thanks, svpe!)
- improved some translations
- the IP label isn’t cut off anymore
- fixed argv support when loading SD apps
- fixed a minor wiiload issue
- the SD app entries are now sorted alphabetically
- wiimote rumble support
- installer overhaul, it now warns you if your System Menu is too new (future updates)
(Initial Public Release besides chainloader)
- minor bugfixes and last GUI updates
- more translations
- ISO distribution
- first public beta
- GUI overhaul chapter two
- wiimote dragging on memo widget
- auto disconnect wiimote after idle time
- various fixes
- GUI overhaul chapter one
- IR pointer smoothing
- improved argv support
- fixed bugs introduced with wiimote code
- fixed update bugs
- SD card is scanned for boot.dol then boot.elf
- wiimote IR cursor
- flicker fix
- stable wiimote libraries
- argv support
The official FAQ from the developers of the Homebrew Channel can be found here.
If you believe you've found a bug in the Homebrew Channel, report it here.
Pop the Bubbles!
Being able to pop the bubbles in the background of the HBC was a frequent request, and as of 1.0, it is possible.
Press + and the animated background will be the only thing visible, along with a score counter in the bottom right hand corner. Place the hand cursor over any bubble and it will pop, spawning smaller bubbles and adding to the score counter. The smaller bubbles can also be popped. When you are done, press + again to return to the list of applications. If you leave the wii on this screen for too long, it will crash.
NOTE: As of version HBC 1.0.5 the Pop the bubbles (with scoring) is removed. You can still pop the bubbles (without scoring) by pointing at the bubbles as usual, but you cannot prompt a score board. You can also remove the SD Card (and/or USB drive) to make more room on the screen.