FAQ

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Contents

About

What is this project all about?

The gc-linux project is a port of the Linux operating system kernel and associated GNU userspace tools to the Nintendo GameCube and Wii video game consoles

What does gc-linux mean?

The name probably was born as an acronym, but it is less applicable since the project widened its scope. Let it be just gc-linux.

Is this project related to wiili?

No.

General

Why Linux? Why not Windows? Why not MacOS?

There is no Windows (any more) for PowerPC processors, and besides, Windows is not Open Source. Parts of Mac OS X are open source, and it runs on the PowerPC, but the Nintendo GameCube and Wii are very tight in memory resources. Linux is Open Source, powerful, and it's available for the PowerPC CPU.

Is the Nintendo GameCube/Wii a Mac?

No. Although Apple Macintosh computers and the Nintendo GameCube and Wii video game consoles used to share the PowerPC CPU (Apple had finished phasing out PowerPC chips by the end of 2007), the architectures of these systems are completely different.

Why not do homebrew development with the Nintendo GameCube/Wii SDK?

The Nintendo GameCube/Wii SDK is unlicensed software to anyone who is not an official Nintendo GameCube/Wii game developer. There are Open Source replacements like libogc but the Linux run-time environment has the advantage that, using it, it is easier to port existing applications to the Nintendo GameCube and Wii video game consoles.

Can I already run Linux on the Nintendo GameCube/Wii?

Yes. You can transform your Nintendo GameCube and Wii gaming consoles into small PowerPC Linux systems on the cheap.

What took you so long?

The Xbox had to come first.

I'm a newbie. Where can I get information about Linux and how to use it?

A good starting point is The Linux Documentation Project: http://www.tldp.org/

Running Homebrew Code on the Nintendo GameCube

So how do I run homebrew code on the Nintendo GameCube?

There are several methods. Some of them are covered in the Getting Started article.

Do I need a modchip?

No, you can use a software-only solution.

Will any of this disable the ability to play games?

No.

Can I just burn a 8 cm DVD and use it in the Nintendo GameCube?

Yes, with the help of a volatile firmware extension as implemented in the DI (Disk Interface) driver. This extension makes the GameCube DVD drive interoperable with most DVD-R and DVD+R media brands. The firmware extension is not permanent and disappears as soon as the drive is reset.

Running Homebrew Code on the Nintendo Wii

How do I run homebrew code on the Nintendo Wii?

Please, refer to the WiiBrew site.

Getting Linux running on the Nintendo GameCube/Wii

How do I run Linux on my Nintendo GameCube/Wii?

Take a look at the available Documentation.

Where can I download wii-linux?

wii-linux is just a general term describing anything related to running Linux on a Nintendo Wii. It's nothing specific.
Anyway, you can download our own developed Linux kernel port and a Debian-based distribution called whiite-linux from the Download page.

Helping

I have access to Nintendo confidential data / the Nintendo GameCube/Wii SDK. Can I help?

No. Using this information or the SDK would risk the legality of our project.

How can I help?

The start page explains how you can contribute.

I want to join your project. Can you send me Nintendo's GameCube/Wii SDK?

No. We do not have it, we do not know where to get it, and if we had it, we would not use it. There is no legal way for a hobbyist to use the SDK. We don't need it anyway: the only part of the project that depends on the GameCube/Wii executable file format and the IPL is the DOL bootloader, but its structure is trivial.

The Law

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 Nintendo GameCube and Wii gaming consoles. Nevertheless, if you live inside the USA or another country with a similar legislation, and you work on hacking the Nintendo GameCube and/or Wii rather than on Linux developing, you can of course join the project anonymously.
If you are either a lawyer or a Nintendo representative, you are of course welcome to talk to us about any changes.

Will I lose my warranty when doing anything as shown on this site?

As long as you do not open your Nintendo GameCube or Wii, there is no evidence.
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