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XBox (Games)

GNU/Linux bootable CD on XBOX: dyne:bolic 261

jaromil writes "The dyne:bolic bootable CD distribution is almost getting to its final 1.0 release, includes a whole bunch of multimedia applications making it easy to edit and stream audio and video, encrypt mails, share p2p and of course play games, all with a fancy GNUStep desktop. download the 1.0 alpha 5 ISO (~350Mb) and try it on your PC or XBOX!" One more reason to mod an xbox.
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GNU/Linux bootable CD on XBOX: dyne:bolic

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  • best of both worlds? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sweeney37 ( 325921 ) * <mikesweeney AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:42AM (#6284266) Homepage Journal
    would this work with the 007 Hack []?

    • by dhm4 ( 584969 )
      sure it will. just set the write enable pin of the xbox-flash, run the savegame & flash the bios the way you like it.
      there is already a new savegame exploit for the M$-game MechAussault, that also updates the xbox-live runtime. perhaps the dashboard is exploitable too & linux gets _independent_ from a modchip or hardware modifications.
  • FIRST POST!!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AlexMax2742 ( 602517 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:44AM (#6284276)
    Thanks, but I would rather wait until the "Xbox Live 2.0" comes out.

    Just in case they figured out how to foil current mod chips this time. I still would prefer to use my Xbox for online gaming *gasp* than as a Linux box.

    • Heres some ideas (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) * on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:47AM (#6284318) Homepage Journal
      Why cant we try to use Wine or something like it to trick the Xbox into running the Microsoft gaming live software from withinn Linux?

      Second, if its done right people might use Xbox Linux, if its useful, it depends on how its done. Overall though I'd use it to promote Linux, as a marketing technique.

      Linux needs marketing, so that when the time comes a year or two from now, when Longhorn is released, Linux can take the market or at least be competitive, people have to actually know what Linux is though, as of right now people either dont know what it is, or they believe a bunch of myths about it being a hackerOS.
      • Why would you want to mod the XBox to run Linux so you can run Windows and play games the games you could without the MOD?

        I don't think XBox support is going to win over many people. Linux IS popular now as a sever platform (Redhat's survival in the market place is a testament to this).
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I am appalled at the excitment that the idea of running GNU/Linux on a closed and proprietary system such as the XBox has caused. We at the GNU Project have the answer, and have been working on connection with OpenCores [] to produce the GNUBox console for all your GNU/Linux and The GNU/HURD requirements.

          GNUBox version 0.14af2_1-1 is now available, and comprises of a blank sheet of mylar with a single -12v DC power line and a ground trace. We expect the hardware to be completed at around the same time as t
        • Why would you want to modify your already configured Windows box to run Linux?

          I mean choice isnt important as long as it works just use it right??RIGHT?

        • by hobbesmaster ( 592205 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @11:17AM (#6284596)
          Why would you want to mod the XBox to run Linux so you can run Windows and play games the games you could without the MOD?

          You must be new here.
      • So the best way to dispell myths about it being a "hackerOS" is to show how hackers have broken hardware protection schemes to get it working?

        ...sounds good to me!
      • "Why cant we try to use Wine or something like it to trick the Xbox into running the Microsoft gaming live software from withinn Linux?"

        RAM, output, and interface limitations? Do you really want to run Quake in swap mode on a 720 by 480 interlaced screen with an XBOX controller?
    • Re:FIRST POST!!!! (Score:3, Informative)

      by /ASCII ( 86998 )
      Most modern mod-chips come with the option of switching to the original BIOS instead. Microsoft can still check you HDD for strange-looking software, and out of spec HDDs, but the bios mod should be fine.
    • missing the point (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hatta ( 162192 )
      The point is not that you would want to use linux instead of playing games, but that this makes the x-box an affordable and effective linux box for those not interested in playing games.

      From the Dyne:bolic User's Guide:

      I hope you enjoy using those beasts for something more useful than what they are made for: after all XBOX is about a CHEAP pentium celeron 733, 8Gigs of harddisk and nvidia chipset everywhere; dedicated to everybody who loves reusing hardware leftovers.

      I'm not a big gamer, but with this

  • by zedmelon ( 583487 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:44AM (#6284284) Homepage Journal

    It's quite invigorating browsing interactive pr0n with the Xbox controls.


  • by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) * on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:45AM (#6284287) Homepage Journal

    These new live CDs finally give us the chance to introduce Linux to the masses. Recently I emailed dozens of my friends, and I will attempt to introduce them to Linux in a way thats safe, with these new CDs you dont have to actually install Linux, It also gives us the ability to introduce Linux to the gamers. So the question here is how many of you people have actually used this to show people Linux? I wish we had a Redhat live-CD, or Mandrake because those are my favorite brand, but a Lindows promotion CD(Thats what I will start calling these CDs) should be given away in stores and to college students.

    How about a grass roots program? I plan to do something like that. I hope through these new live-CDs that it can act as a type of marketing where people who are interested in Linux can try it without actually installing it. The easy way to get them to try it is to give it to them for their Xbox game console, a Console with no OS such as the Xbox would actually be perfect for the gamer who wants to do more than just play games on their Xbox. I also wonder if something like this could be brought to work or run on computer labs in college campuses, I havent tried it so I dont know. But yes, I have ideas for marketing.

    People are going to read this and think i'm some kinda Linux zealot, but the truth is the best thing we can do for the computer industry right now is create competition, Linux is competition, competition fuels growth.

    So all who are with me, please post a reply/response about how you plan to actually use these live CDs for marketing purposes, perhaps it would be wise to put these live CDs in some videogame magazine if possible, or even get Linux to run on the PS2.
    • Linux [] has been available [] on the PS2 [] for quite a while now.
      • Linux for Playstation requires the addition of a hard drive and whatnot, which can not then be used for gaming, and which is not (yet?) upgradable to a larger disk. It's an inanely crippled system. On top of that you don't get to treat VU0 and VU1 as different processors or anything, so you're stuck with a single 300MHz processor, which is way too slow, and 32MB of ram, which is way too little.

        By contrast the Xbox may not have a 128 bit processor, but it does have a 733MHz one, and it has 64MB of ram, which is still well on the lean side but more than twice as useful as the 32MB in the PS2. In the $130 price for a used console plus another $30 for a memory card with a serial interface, you can hack that mofo and have what ends up being a much more open system than the PS2. That might not be intentional, but it's still more useful.

        The only edge PS2 linux has over Xbox linux is the lack of a need for hacking, but it's still cheaper to buy a hacked Xbox than it is to buy a PS2 with the Linux kit.

    • Mod Chip? (Score:5, Informative)

      by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:55AM (#6284401) Homepage
      I emailed dozens of my friends, and I will attempt to introduce them to Linux in a way thats safe DO realize they have to mod the box first, right? Your friends are all handy with a soldering iron, I take it?

    • I just gave my dad a KNOPPIX cd to test linux with; a complete debian system with kde and all your standard stuff (openoffice, mozilla, etc) on one bootable CD. It's pretty nifty. It booted on my Dell Precision (which, accidentally, damn well isn't slower than any G5, lying apple sons-of-bitches), the same system which gave SuSE quite a few headaches at install time.

      And with KNOPPIX you don't need an X-BOX, which are still manufactured by our evil arch enemy Microsoft, as far as I remember.
    • Perhaps we can mail 1-2 CDs per month to each address in the continental US!

      • Although it could indeed work, It worked for AOL, I'd prefer a grass roots movement occur in the same manner people convinced management to use Linux as a server, people have to now convince the average person to use Linux on the desktop.

        Once Linux is competitive in all markets, can we finally be happy, when I can buy a PC and the vendor asks "Would you like Linux or Windows on your PC?" Then I will be satisfied.

    • Huh? If you're going to distribute CDs to encourage people to try Linux, why not focus on hardware that has a mature Linux environment, doesn't require mod chips or Goldeneye and is a real computer?

      Like, oh, I dunno, computers?

      • The goal is to build mindshare, you cannot get people to try Linux on their mission critical desktop PCs unless they trust you, truely trust you.

        You can however get a stranger to run a CD on their gaming console, people dont have to trust you for that. The goal is to get the average person to know Linux exists, once they know it exists then you can market Linux to these peoples PCs.

        Actually I'd do it in this order, consoles, college campuses(laptops), computer labs, and finally desktop PCs.

        People after
        • So what is so wrong with Knoppix? Its much more mature than this distro and runs on regular PCs without affecting the system.

          And I think you're order is wrong. I work for a college IT department so I have a decent idea of how this stuff works.Basically if it doesn't look like the computer in their rooms, the students bitch. So you can't just put Linux on the lab machines (no matter how it'll be better in the long run).

          • First, we can make Linux look like the computers in their room, check out Lycoris Linux []

            See it looks like Windows. What you dont understand(I am a college student), is that college students dont care how it looks, they care how it functions, if the function is close enough to Windows they wont even notice the differences.

            Lindows with ClickNRun functions just like Windows, installing programs is easy, etc, perhaps if we set up a Linux distro which made applications easy to install,
            • Re:Not true (Score:2, Informative)

              by zog karndon ( 309839 )
              hell even a new file system was involved so most people cant even access their old files.

              What are you smoking, and can I get some?

              XP runs on FAT32 as well as NTFS; it also has a filesystem conversion program to (transparently) convert FAT32 (or FAT16, I suppose, but I don't know anyone who still uses it).

              I've upgraded a half-dozen Win98 systems to XP, and every last one of them can access their old files.
        • The goal is to build mindshare, you cannot get people to try Linux on their mission critical desktop PCs unless they trust you, truely trust you.

          You can however get a stranger to run a CD on their gaming console, people dont have to trust you for that.

          I believe that's why Knoppix [] was created -- so you could pop in the CD, reboot, and have a Linux desktop to play around with, without having to install/partition/nonsense.

    • by X86Daddy ( 446356 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @11:14AM (#6284572) Journal
      Here's a good way to have a bootable Linux CD at all times, ready to demo whenever the opportunity shows:

      Buy a Bootable Business Card from the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Shop []! You get to spread the word of Linux while sending $5 towards a wonderful cause!
    • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @12:27PM (#6285396) Homepage Journal
      "These new live CDs finally give us the chance to introduce Linux to the masses."


      Sorry, this is not going to get Linux out to the masses.

      1.) Playing around with the XBOX on a fuzzy TV is not going to impress people to the point of installing a new OS.

      2.) If they've got an XBOX, they're likely a gamer. They're not going to dump Windows for Linux. Bad audience to target.

      3.) More people have PCs than XBOXs, so why target a niche product anyway?

      " Recently I emailed dozens of my friends, and I will attempt to introduce them to Linux in a way thats safe, with these new CDs you dont have to actually install Linux."

      I have a better idea, use Knoppix []. (Slashdot also recently had an article about Knoppix MAME which comes with MAME...) You burn an ISO, leave the Knoppix CD you just burned in your drive, reboot computer, wait for a minute and Linux comes up. No fuss. No installation. Completely useful.

      Here's the best part: Knoppix can access NTFS. So, the big bonus here is that if anybody ever fries their Windows system, they can just pop this disc in and get back to their files. Heck, if they really feel like tinkering with it, it's like having their workstation on a CD. Bitchin.

      "People are going to read this and think i'm some kinda Linux zealot...."

      Actually, I was thinking karma whore. ;)

      "... or even get Linux to run on the PS2."

      It's there, but it's not free.
  • by bytes256 ( 519140 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:45AM (#6284289)
    SCO sues Microsoft because the X-Box is "capable of illegally running SCO IP"
  • only if they had included [] it would have made my life easier. :) with dav FS, you can mount a HTTP based WebDAV repository on your system. Very useful for storing files etc....
  • It isn't that we have to introduce *gamers* to Linux. It's that we have to introduce *game developers* to linux. Gamers don't write games [well some may but most don't].

    If you build it, they will come, etc, etc.

    Same can be said for hardware manufacturers. Some working CMPCI drivers would kick ass too.

    • Most of the game programmers I know use Linux. Why don't we make Linux games? Hint - its not because we don't like Linux...
  • xine on the Xbox? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gooofy ( 548515 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:50AM (#6284348) Homepage
    would be interesting to see what xine [] could do on this platform. maybe any xbox could be turned into a full-featured dvd player (including menu support) that way?
  • by johnthorensen ( 539527 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:52AM (#6284364)
    MicroSoft XBox: $169.00
    Mod Chip: $30.00
    CD to burn the latest distro to: $0.20

    Using the above system to call MicroSoft Tech Support via VoIP to complain about how bad KDE looks on a 20" black-and-white TV: PRICELESS.

  • by Prince_Ali ( 614163 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:52AM (#6284366) Journal
    Me: If you don't like Microsoft, why buy their game system.
    You: They lose money on all of their systems.
    Me: Even if they lose money that doesn't mean that they sell them for below variable cost. You are just helping recover fixed cost.
    You: I don't understand your fancy moon language!
    Me: Why not get a Lindows computer?
    You: The X-Box has better hardware!
    Me: It has like 48 megs of ram.
    You: It has a nice graphics card!
    Me: Fine, it has a nice graphics card.
  • Sounds Good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by trublaha ( 650819 )

    Over the past few months, I've been working towards getting a server up and running on my university network to provide streaming videos of club activities and music from uni-bands.

    The hard part has been scrounging up bits and pieces to create a half-decent server for all this as the Clubs & Societies deperatment of our Student Union has been rather tight-fisted. A cheap x-box preloaded with this software would be perfectly within budget.

    Now to convince the less practical members of the committee to d

  • by iainl ( 136759 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:57AM (#6284415)
    OK, so turning my XBox into a Tivo with the aid of a modchip, a larger hard-drive and this bootcd would be great, but for one obvious thing. Where on earth is the video-in they plan to use this with?

    Similiarly, there is no audio-in for the sound recorders.

    And Blender is a nightmare of a gui in the first place, even when you've got a keyboard and mouse...

    At the end of the day, an Xbox version of KnoppixMAME would probably be more useful, I feel. Still, its an interesting experiment.
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:58AM (#6284417)
    What is the genesis of the name? There is no mention in the FAQ (that I could see).
  • go x-box! (Score:4, Funny)

    by ZipR ( 584654 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @10:58AM (#6284425)
    You're one step close to becoming a PC! Woot!
  • What? (Score:2, Informative)

    I'm afraid that distribution does not use GNUstep []; Window Maker and GNUstep, though intertwined in certain ways, are completely different projects altogether.

    Window Maker a GNUstep desktop does not make, I'm afraid.

  • by dhm4 ( 584969 )
    you can already run different linux distributions on a xbox (debian, mandrake, redhat, suse, ...) with a few kernel hacks, _but_ why does nobody make an own linu-X-box? it should be based on debian [] . just add a few features from knoppix [] or XLLPS. make some individual skins for mozilla, gnome or kde (or even an special window maker), gaim, etc. that are optimized for TV-resolution & gamepad as input device, multimedia (divX, mp3, vcr features), emulators (gba, mame, snes, ps, n64, ... + VMware _g_) &
  • by TheCabal ( 215908 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @12:19PM (#6285303) Journal
    Every time one of these "Linux on Xbox" stories pop up, I ask: Why?

    I've gotten a few vague answers, ranging from "it has a good graphics card, I can now do all that rendering I've been waiting to do!" to "Don't tell me how to use my hardware, you sancimonious pro-Microsoft clone!"

    I still ask: Why? Oh, yeah, there's that giddy little thrill of 'subverting' a Microsoft platform to run Linux, but you have to have actually purchased an Xbox to begin with, so you've already put money in Microsoft's coffers. With all the effort needed to get an Xbox to run Linux, there's tons of easier platforms so you fire up EMACS and check your email.
    Once you done it, what are you going to do with it? Compartively speaking, apart from the graphics controller, it's not that good of a computing platform.
    • Every time one of these "Linux on Xbox" stories pop up, I ask: Why?

      Well, here's an idea: because I own one, and I'd like to fuck around with it, just for fun.

      Surprisingly, some people actually buy the Xbox because they like the games for it. I for one wouldn't spend the exact same money on a PS2 that doesn't come with a hard drive or space for more than two controllers. And I've been a Bungie games fan for almost forever and now the Xbox is the only way to play them.

      So, since I have the thing, why not
    • If you're seriously asking why, on a geek-oriented newssite, people want to tinker with their hardware just for the sake of doing so...

      I'm afraid any answer you receive will seem just as trivial and nonsensical as the ones you've already quoted.

      (or, to take the urban legend Philosophy exam answer: Why Not.)

  • For the ones among us who do not have an XBox; why should the XBox be modded anyway? Once the CD is inserted and binaries run off it, Linux should just feel easy in an x86 surrounding and take on all the interrupts and memory ranges like in a PC but without a BIOS. Ive heard of Linux running on x86 System-on-chips with no BIOS (therefore not PC compatible).

    Or is it that the most privileged level in the CPU belongs to a small program that makes SURE Linux is not running, yet doesnt give a performance hit
    • You can't run unsigned binaries on the Xbox; the BIOS won't allow it.

      Modding your Xbox basically replaces the BIOS with one that will allow it. And no, there's no way to bypass the BIOS on an Xbox (least not that I've heard of), the machine is hardwired to boot that first - like every other PC out there.
  • "Bunnie" Huang has written a great book on reverse engineering BTW. Specifically the Xbox but there are lots of cool hardware tips that are applicable anywhere.

    Check it out!

    Bunnie's website []

    I have no affiliation with it blah,blah etc


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