Linux On Xbox

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Need some help here plz I heard and went to a few sites and decided to buy and XBox for Christmas but I want to play burnt games I don't to buy orignal games $60 is too much so I rather get it for $10 a pop heres where Linux comes in I heard you can install Linux on the XBox but you need Mech Assault the orignal copy and a USB thumb drive which I don't own so is there any way I can get it moded and not let Microsoft find out (I'm not going to go on XBox live) if so plz help me out and tell me what to do

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linux will not help you at all. .as a matter of principle they made sure that the bios you load with mechassult to put on linux will not let you to keep MS from shuting down their site.

you need a mod chip see anandtech web page for infor on mod chips.

you can turn your Xbox into a media center thought.

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the question is not can you put linux in the xbox. linux willnot let you play pireted games. linux willnot play any xbox games at least nto until the xbox emulater id done. the only thing haveing linux will do is one you have to redo the bios. some bios will let your xbox read cdr's (again linux has nothing to do with this its a bios thing)

I have linux on 4 xboxs I use for my myth tv front ends.

see above for modchips.

agin if your goal is to pirate Xbox games the Bios a bios chip or mod chip is your only way.

linux on xbox faq


I installed a modchip into my Xbox, and now it says "Xbox Linux Clean BIOS", with a link to your website. How do I run copied games now?

Many modchips ship with the "Xbox Linux Clean BIOS", because it is the only working fully legal content of a modchip. This BIOS will not run copies and we have nothing to do with these modchips. Ask your modchip vendor.

Is your project illegal? Doesn't the DMCA forbid all this?

The DMCA forbids circumventing copy protection, but this is not our goal. We develop an alternative operating system for the Xbox gaming console. A side product could be the ability to run unsigned code, but this alone does not make it possible to play pirated copies of games. Nevertheless, if you live inside the USA or another country with a similar legislation, and you work on Xbox hacking rather than on Linux developing, you can of course join the project anonymously.

If you are either a lawyer or a Microsoft representative, you are of course welcome to talk to us about any changes.

Read on here (

Aren't mod chips illegal?

Not as long as you do not use them for piracy. We now also offer Cromwell, an alternative ROM that contains no Microsoft code and won't permit running pirated games. Cromwell is able to install and boot Linux on your Xbox with no question about illegality.

Will I lose my warranty when running Linux?

Microsoft is very clear about this: Yes. But it isn't that easy, because there is a difference between the "warranty by law" and the "insurance of the manufacturer" (commonly called "warranty"):

* "Warranty by law" means that if the product already had a flaw when you bought it, you have 24 months (in the EU) to return it. If the product breaks within this time and you did nothing wrong that could have caused it, it must have been because of a flaw in the product, and the manufacturer is bound to replace it. In the EU, within the first 6 months, the manufacturer has to prove that it was the user's fault, if they don't want to replace it; afterwards, the user has to prove that it was the manufacturer's fault, if he wants it to be replaced.

* "Insurance of the manufacturer" ("warranty") is an insurance of the product which the manufacturer provides. They can add any set of rules that will void this insurance. The Xbox manual for example says that you have a 1 year warranty, but that you void it if you open the Xbox or run software other than games on it.

This means that you void the "warranty"/"insurance" if you open the Xbox or run Linux on it, but it does not necessarily mean that Microsoft is no longer bound to the "warranty by law" if you do this. We know of at least one (unopened) Xbox with Linux that has been repaired for free. If you have your own experiences concerning this topic, especially if you had problems, please add the info here.

Some countries might of course be different. If you can add anything to this topic, please add the info here

and to end this thread ... if you what to know about hacking the Xbox to run linux or just moding it to do what ever... that is ok but never ask on this board how to hack the Xbox to play pireted games.. some of us work places that make it a problem for people asking the question ..hint hint nudge nudge.

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  • 1 month later...

I didn't bother reading the entire thread, but i've got Linux on my Xbox, so i guess I'm entitled to some input :P

First of all: Linux does NOT allow you to play burned games

Yes, the newer xboxes to not have the same exploits as the older ones. give you tips on looking at the serial numbers on the boxes to figure out the approximate version might be able to find one it'll work on. Also, if you have an xbox with an okay kernel number but the dashboard is updated too much, you can downgrade the dash...if you need help with that you can PM me or something cause Xbox-linux wasnt very helpful with it.

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Efwis: I see nothing in this discussion that is breaking the guidelines sans the issue of burnt games, which has been laid to rest. Though, I do understand you are just doing your job.

X-Cannon: After reading the entire thread: IMO, as it seems you have rightly decided, Linux is not the correct route to go for your needs.

And to squash some of the myths floating around this thread: Linux does not let you play burnt games. You cannot go onto XboxLive after installing Linux; they will try to update your dash, wiping your modifications off. After installing Linux, you can still play any games you were able to play previously (off-line only). There is more than one way to install Linux; however, the software modifications is the easiest and most time-effective (you don't have to rip apart your box to do it).

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"You cannot go onto XboxLive after installing Linux"

not 100% true... . putting linux has nothing to do with a dashboard (minus mechassult/007 hack)

with a modchip (not aginst the law if you are not playing hacked games.....

) you can load linux on the + 8gig of the hard drive (if you have 10 gig or add another drive..)

replacing the dashboard is aginst the law as all current dashboards were developed using the xbox development kit.. the opesource xbdc is not working yet so untill that day that part does break the law.. remeber Microsoft belives you should not eb alowed to open the Dell computer let alone your Xbox...

by the way putting linux on a Xbox is covered under Everything done on this project is for the sole purpose of writing interoperable software under Sect. 1201 (f) Reverse Engineering exception of the DMCA.

Edited by iccaros
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NA , I have a smartXX V2 chip and no dashboard replaced to put Xebian on. If I used the softmod then my menu item for Xbox live would be replaced with the boot linux option.. but that is not aginst the law as you are not using any software.. the menu is in a ini file ..its just changed.. while things like uix are dashboard replacments and *compiled* versions contain code from the XBDC from MS and is aginast the "copy" write laws to distribute.. as the agreement with the XBDC is you will not make any homebrew applications..

but you are correct.. if you changed the menu to boot linuxx and ran a say halo2 adn you click join Xbox live it will update your dashboard and the menu item will go away.(to be fixed latter)

I'm running my mythtv frontends on my Xbox.. 3 wintv250 cards in my gentoo box connected to DirectTV ... my entire home entertainment is served from my basement.. that is what full mesh is about.. I could do it all with a mini-itx board.. insted of a Xbox.. but at $70 used in the DC area.. why.. and plus I liek playing mechassult...

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