Installing and Running Linux on Nintendo Wii

Posted by jun auza On 3/24/2010
Installing and Running Linux on Nintendo Wii: We've shown you that installing and running Linux on Sony PS3 is possible and is not that difficult to accomplish. This time, we will share to you an overview of installing and running Linux on another popular game console, the Nintendo Wii.

The Linux kernel has been ported to the older Nintendo GameCube console, but the features were very limited due to hardware constraints. On Wii, Linux can be a quite usable and has a lot of room to grow since it has a powerful processor, USB ports, SD card slot, and Bluetooth among others.

Wii-Linux is a port of the Linux kernel and related GNU userspace utilities that can be loaded to the Nintendo Wii via the Twilight Hack, bootmii, or the Homebrew Channel. The kernel can communicate and supports nearly all the Wii peripherals including the Remote, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, and the DVD drive.

To install Linux on Wii, these are the hardware prerequisites:

*Nintendo Wii Console (Homebrew Channel/alternate loader installed. bootmii installed in boot2 and/or ios for Wi-Fi)
* SD Card or USB Storage Device
* USB Keyboard

There are quite a few Linux distributions available for the Nintendo Wii. Among others, there's the Gentoo-based WiiToo!, Archi-based Archii, and Debian-based Whiite.

WiiToo! Features:

* Ready to use, uncompress, copy, configure and run
* Highly configurable, like Gentoo
* USB keyboard isn't a requirement; simply configure your network and use SSH
* Can use all the hardware that Wii-Linux is able to use

Archii Features:

* Is designed for more advanced users to create from scratch but minimal and X11 file-system tars are available
* The X11 tar has X.Org installed along with the OpenBox3 WM and Cwiid for Wiimote input
* It also includes the Opera Browser, X-Chat IRC client and Pidgin IM client
* The Minimal image is just enough to get you booted and the end user can install any packages they wish using pacman

Whiite Features:

* Based on Debian Lenny 5.0
* Major update with many new apps and features
* Wifi Support when running with MikeP4
* DVD Support when running with MikeP5
* Easy wifi config tool (in /home/wii/)

Perhaps the most popular among the three is Whiite-linux because of its easy-to-use GUI installer. The Whiite-linux installer is a special gc-linux kernel image that can be used to prepare and install a Whiite-linux system into a compatible SD card using the Nintendo Wii video console. The full instructions of installing Whiite on the Nintendo Wii can be found HERE.

After installation, you can go HERE for instructions on using Linux on the Nintendo Wii.

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