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This page serves as a glossary of commonly used Wii homebrew terms. Think of it as a mini dictionary for words you'll hear a lot while reading through our wiki. It was started to help newcomers to the homebrew scene better understand our jargon.

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Stands for Advanced Encryption Standard. It is used for encryption/decryption on the Wii.
See also: [[Encryption]]

The CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) mode of AES with a 128 bit key, that is used on the Wii.


A dump used in case it should become unusable due to wear/damage. Since the same method is used to pirate games, and it is officially considered piracy by Nintendo, they are not discussed or encouraged here.
The animated graphics displayed on a channel's icon and startup screen in the System Menu. A channel with a corrupt banner can cause a banner brick.
See also: Banner Brick, System Menu.
An exploit used to run homebrew on any System Menu version as long as it is 4.2 or below (4.3 patched Bannerbomb). It uses a malformed banner to crash the Wii to load an .elf or .dol.
Banner Brick
An error preventing the Wii's channel menu from displaying. It occurs when a WAD is installed with a banner that uses the wrong image sizes.
See also: System Menu, Brick, Semi-Brick, WAD.
Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code - An old programming language very few apps are programmed in via a BASIC to C converter and compiler.
See also: Source, Compile.
A term used to describe the base 2 number system when used with electronics. As slang, it also refers to an executable file.
Stands for Binary Digit; it represents smallest amount of digital data possible. It is either a 0 or a 1.
The first piece of code the Wii runs at power-on. It is burned directly into the CPU, so it cannot be modified. Its function is to initialize the hardware and load boot1.
The second stage of the boot process. The program is stored in flash memory, but is verified against a SHA-1 hash stored in OTP, so any modification of it will brick the system. Because of this, the signature checking bug in boot1 cannot be patched in existing units, although newer Wii systems ship with a fixed version.
The third stage of the boot process. This program is responsible for loading the system menu.
Team Twiizers latest project. It is basically a replacement for boot2 that loads and runs code before the system menu.
See also: System Menu.
A console that is no longer working due to damaged hardware or an error with the internal software/filesystem. Usually the fault of the owner. Sometimes recoverable through special means.
Brick Recovery
The restoration of bricked systems to partial or full functionality.
The codename for the primary PowerPC processor.
A predominant member of Team Twiizers.
Eight bits, on all modern processors; the smallest number of bits that can be sent to/from memory at a time.


A language homebrew developers program in.
An object oriented language homebrew developers program in. Like its name suggests, C++ is essentially a step up from C.
A language completely different from C/C++, but used widely in programming.
A Wii application bundled in a WAD which typically also contains banner animations and sound that make it loadable from the System Menu, but some channels are "hidden".
See Also:Banner, WAD, System Menu.
A customized/hacked version of an IOS, mostly installed in the slots of IOS222, IOS223, IOS249, and IOS250. Due to it's association with piracy, the term "Patched IOS" is used instead when writing programs that require a customized IOS.
A customized/hacked version of MIOS.
Code Dump
Crash that displays code (or seemingly random numbers and letters to those that don't know how to read it) on the screen for debugging purposes. Wii Homebrew code dumps will generally read "Exception DSI Occurred" or "Exception ISI Occurred".
The development blog of the Homebrew Browser.
See also: Homebrew Browser.
Author of the Bannerbomb hack and primary author of a derivative of the Twilight Hack involving the stage loader in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Comex has also worked on a variety of other homebrew related projects, often in collaboration with other coders. He is a member of fail0verflow.
To convert the instructions in source code to an executable format usable by the target platform.
See also: Source, Binary.


The SDK all homebrew developers use to create apps.
Most common executable file format for Wii and GameCube homebrew.
See also: Binary, Homebrew.
To extract the protected contents of something like a chip or NAND drive or disc which are otherwise inaccessible and/or incomprehensible under normal circumstances. Examples of dumping tools include CleanRip and BackupMii.


Electronic Gate
A device which takes electronic signals (inputs) and outputs a signal based on the status of its inputs. Some examples of electronic gates are AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, and XOR.
An executable file format used for some Wii homebrew.
See also: Binary, Homebrew.
Software that simulates a specific hardware environment (such as an old gaming console) so that programs designed for that hardware (such as old games) can be run on different hardware (such as a PC or different game console) which those programs were never designed to run on.
Encryption is a common security measure used to obscure information, making it unintelligible unless a special "key" is applied during the reading process, thus "unlocking" it. A simplistic example would be to replace the letters in a text message with corresponding numbers so that only someone who knows which numbers represent the correct letters would be able to read the message; however, true encryption is much more complex and secure than this.
A clever circumvention of security allowing a user to perform tasks that are not normally permitted. Often several exploits will be employed in a series with the user gaining increased authority over a system at each step, the goal typically being complete access and control.
See also: Stack Overflow, Twilight Hack, Fakesign, BootMii.


Homebrew that exploits a bug in the Wii's signature handling to bypass the digital signature. This exploit was fixed in IOS' distributed with System Menu version 3.3.
A type of data storage used internally by the Wii.
See also: NAND.
Fixed low-level code written directly into a programmable chip. The Wii's system menu software is NOT firmware, despite what some misguided people may think.


Graphics Processing Unit, responsible for rendering everything you see on screen.
See also: Hollywood.


The development blog of Team Twiizers.
A way of verifying file integrity, often as a security measure. Basically, a hash function is a complex math algorithm used when examining a file, outputting an integer value as a result. This value can be stored for later comparison. If the file has been altered, repeating the same process with the same hash function will produce a different result. When the result is compared to the stored value, if it does not match, it is an indication that the file cannot be trusted.
Hexadecimal (Hex)
A term used to describe the base 16 number system, in which each digit represents four bits. After the digits 0-9, the letters A-F are used to represent the values 10-15. Hexadecimal is the preferred format for displaying binary data, as it is easy to mentally convert to/from binary and uses only 2 characters per byte.
The Wii's integrated graphics chip, manufactured by ATi.
See also: GPU.
Unofficial software created for a platform by its users, without the involvement of the vendor. While some vendors support or ignore homebrew, most video game companies (including Nintendo) disapprove and make efforts to prevent it, due to the potential for unofficial software to brick the system or be used for piracy.
Homebrew applications
Generally refers to an application run on the Wii via the Homebrew Channel.
Homebrew Browser
A homebrew application that lets users download other homebrew applications directly to their SD card without the need to use a PC.
Homebrew Channel
A channel created by Team Twiizers that allows you to run executable .dol and .elf files.
Homebrew Developer
Refers to someone who develops homebrew applications.


Integrated development environment (IDE) which is software for building applications that combines common developer tools into a single graphical user interface (GUI).
The main operating systems used on the Wii. These programs run on the Starlet coprocessor and control access to Wii hardware and security.
See also: Starlet.
Internet Relay Chat; that is, realtime text-based chat over the Internet.
A modchip that can read and write data to and from the Wii's internal NAND. Very useful for hacking.
See also: Modchip.


Generally given the extension *.a, a library is a compilation of source code that may be linked into a program.


A formerly predominant member of Team Twiizers.
The IOS used in Gamecube mode, responsible for locking out all new hardware to make the system functionally identical to a GameCube.
A device containing simple firmware that is usually soldered or clipped onto a circuit board typically for the purpose of altering or circumventing the normal functions of a device. In a game console, a modchip almost always serves to enable the playing of backup and/or pirated copies of games.


Typically refers to the Wii's internal storage, which uses a NAND-based flash chip. The term actually stands for Not-AND; an electronic gate whose output is low only when all inputs are high.
See also: Flash.


Partial Brick
See "Semi-Brick".
Printed Circuit Board. The Wii has a few of these, most notably the mainboard containing all the crucial parts and the game disc drive's control board where modchips are typically installed.
Illegal copies of any type of software.
PowerPC; Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC Performance Computing. The processing architecture of the GameCube and Wii consoles. Also used in the Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3 consoles and Macintosh computers made from 1994 through 2006.


Random access memory, a type of volatile memory used to store working data and machine code. The Wii has a total of 88MB of RAM.
Read only memory. Usually describes a ROM chip such as those located on the Wii's motherboard, but can also be used to describe the Wii's discs, which are DVD-ROMs. ROMs contain non-rewritable data.
An asymmetric encryption scheme that can be optionally combined with a cryptographic hash to create digital signatures. It is used by the Xbox, DS, Wii, and DSi, as well as secure (HTTPS) web sites. When implemented correctly it is too strong to be broken with modern technology. The acronym is made from the names of its inventors.


SD Card
A common type of memory card, used by the Wii, digital cameras, music players, etc. Stands for Secure Digital.
Stands for Secure Digital High Capacity Card. A type of SD card with a higher storage capacity than normal SD cards.
Stands for Software Development Kit; An SDK is a group of libraries that allow a programmer to access the primary features of a platform. In the context of the Wii homebrew, "the SDK" generally refers to the official SDK, specifically the parts compiled into games, as discussion of other parts is illegal.
A predominant member of Team Twiizers. Originally found the fakesigning bug.
A console that is no longer working normally but still has some useful functionality which may be used to restore full functionality. Usually, a semi-brick is the fault of the owner.
The process of attaching two or more metal components by melting additional metal directly onto them. This process is used to add components onto circuit boards.
The code for a program before it is compiled into a binary executable.
The memory of a program. As one declares pointers and integers, the computer sets aside memory for each. That memory then "stacks" itself on the last declaration. Think about stacking up building blocks and each block is a piece of memory.
Stack Overflow
Simply put: Bad coding that makes the stack crash. There are a number of ways to do this. It can lead to an exploit in some cases. An exploit using a stack overflow is sometimes called a "Stack smash" attack.
See also: Twilight Hack.
The unofficial name for the ARM coprocessor located in the Hollywood, which is responsible for the peripheral access and security control.
See also: Hollywood.
Stub IOS
A Stub IOS is an IOS that serves no purpose other than a placeholder. They are typically released by Nintendo in order to overwrite any existing version of an IOS and render it unusable for piracy or homebrew purposes.
A very talented coder. He modified the libfat library which allows for support of SD and SDHC cards as well as USB devices in Wii homebrew. He also wrote a version of DVDX that installs on System Menu 3.4
System Menu
The Wii's main interface which appears after the health warning screen when the system is powered on. It is loaded after boot2. It allows the user to start channels, manage data, and change settings.


Team Twiizers
A team of people who have created many hacks for the Wii including the Homebrew Channel, BootMii, the Twilight Hack, and DVDX. They are now known as fail0verflow.
The author and maintainer of the Homebrew Browser.
See also: Homebrew Browser.
Basically, a ticket is just an encryption key used to read the encrypted title it belongs to.
See also: TIK, Encryption, Title.
A ticket file corresponding to an encrypted title.
See also: Ticket, Encryption, Title.
A title is a Wii game on a disc, a Wii channel or a virtual console game. A title is identified by a unique title ID, an 8 byte (4 character) long code used for title identification. All titles are encrypted for security purposes.
Title Metadata (TMD)
A format used for storing metadata about a title and its installed contents, including which contents they consist of and their SHA1 hashes.
Trucha bug
See "Fakesign".
Tweezer Attack
Involving some Gamecube homebrew code running on the Wii in combination with a pair of tweezers, the Tweezer Attack is what allowed hackers access to the locked portions of the Wii normally invisible when the machine is running in Gamecube compatibility mode. It allowed the creation of true Wii homebrew.
Twilight Hack
A hacked save game with a loader embedded in it for the Wii game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The file exploits a buffer overflow to take control of the system and run a program found on the SD card, such as the Homebrew Channel installer.


Universal Serial Bus, used to connect peripherals to the Wii such as Wii Speak, as well as allow the usage of USB flash drives.


Virtual Console, Nintendo's official emulated titles from the Wii Shop Channel.
Virtual Console
Nintendo's official emulated titles that were listed on the Wii Shop Channel. Uses in-house, proprietary emulators to emulate listed titles.


An archive format that channels and updates are contained in.
Refers to any pirated digital content.
A time limit regarding the unlikely event of a Wii getting bricked or broken. If a Wii breaks in that that time limit, Nintendo will replace or fix it for free. The warranty lasts one year from when you purchased the Wii, so it has expired for all Wiis. When the Homebrew Channel is installed the warranty becomes void.
A platform started by Nintendo that allows developers to cheaply create and then sell original content at low prices (compared to the prices of brand new Wii games).