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Linux Software Hardware

Linux On Unmodded Xbox, Improved 375

Posted by timothy
from the ms-linux-ready-for-launch dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like pSyCo from XEmulation.com Has found a way to boot Xbox Linux Live on an unmodified Xbox with nothing but an Xbox and Linux PC (no memory card of any kind, etc). Also a guide to using this method to flash your Xbox's onboard TSOP with the bios of choice, making the Xbox modded without an actual mod-chip. $5 to rent 007 to mod my xbox sounds nice =) Check it out at: XEmulation.net Forum or XboxHacker.net BBS. *Wonder what the DMCA would think about this...*" This builds on the "007"-based method discussed earlier. Update: 04/15 01:11 GMT by T : XEmulation.com, not .net. Sorry.
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Linux On Unmodded Xbox, Improved

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  • no mods? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alwsn (593349) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:10PM (#5731121)
    What you'll need:

    "Soldering Iron + Solder (and torx screw drivers)

    Now you must open up your Xbox *which I don't think I need to explain how to do*, take out the motherboard, and solder the 2x2 jumpers. Now put everything back together, but leave the case top off, and keep the Xbox near your pc!


    While this method might not require you to use a mod chip, it definately requires you to mod the xbox in that you have to take it apart, and solder stuff. The only think that will make me run linux on my xbox is if I can install a working system withou touching a screw driver.
    • Re:no mods? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:28PM (#5731284)
      No, you misunderstand.

      You can run Linux without flashing the TSOP.

      You flash the TSOP so you can put on the hacked BIOS to play pirated (excuse me, "legitimate backups").

      The BIOS is write protected, and can be made flashable by bridging a couple of solder points. This wont be overcome with any sort of sofware trick or backdoor. The BIOS just aint writable.

      Of course, all you budding warez kiddies (excuse me again, Linux enthusiasts) need know that if you leave it bridged, your bios can be flashed at any time, like say from some joker who puts bios-destroying code in a file called "Halo 2.ISO" and uploads it to your favorite gene6 ftp.

      If all you want to do is run linux, all you need is a copy of 007, and do the trick every time. Or, you can flash the linux bios onto the TSOP.

      A smart person would realize that constant updates to the TSOP for different linux bootloaders is just asking for trouble. One bad flash and your xbox is a brick. You're much better off getting a mod chip, which required no soldering, or very dead-simple soldering to the LPC points (preferred, the no-solder ones jiggle loose).

      Then you can switch it off.

      Anyways. Dont think the majority of the chatter on these forums is really about running linux. It's about using linux as a "legal" front to getting a hacked bios on the box that allows warezed to be played. There are "fair use" backups, sure. You can use linux, sure. But 99.999999% of the posts on the forums are of the nature of "how do u copy renterd gamez?"

      Oh yeah, buy a copy of 007 NOW if you want to do this, as an updated version of the game will no doubt be silently released (if it hasnt been already).
      • Re:no mods? (Score:3, Informative)

        Of course, all you budding warez kiddies (excuse me again, Linux enthusiasts) need know that if you leave it bridged, your bios can be flashed at any time, like say from some joker who puts bios-destroying code in a file called "Halo 2.ISO" and uploads it to your favorite gene6 ftp.

        So you should unbridge it once you are done with the flash?

        Although everyone yells "warez" when they here about something like this, and it's probably true, there are some legitimate uses. Independantly written software is o
      • Re:no mods? (Score:3, Funny)

        by TopShelf (92521)
        It seems that /. could use a new topics logo for Piracy (perhaps modeled on the Pittsburgh Pirates logo?)...
      • Re:no mods? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by orn (34773)

        You flash the TSOP so you can put on the hacked BIOS to play pirated (excuse me, "legitimate backups").

        I know that stealing is a common reason people are doing this... but personally I like the idea of trying to get MythTV [mythtv.org] running on the beast. Once again - a single box that combines as many forms of entertainment as possible. The _mythical_ TV.

        That's legitimate. Maybe M$ should just release a version of linux, properly encyrpted and all that jazz, for the X-Box.

        Wouldn't that be a hoot.

      • Re:no mods? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Monday April 14, 2003 @06:50PM (#5731871) Journal
        Anyways. Dont think the majority of the chatter on these forums is really about running linux. It's about using linux as a "legal" front to getting a hacked bios on the box that allows warezed to be played. There are "fair use" backups, sure. You can use linux, sure. But 99.999999% of the posts on the forums are of the nature of "how do u copy renterd gamez?"

        You're right, I'm sure, for the sites that this was originally posted on, but I would think that most /. users actually do want to run linux on their Xboxes. It may be a front, but it's a front that benefits alot of us around here (spare computer, multi-use DVD player, file storage etc.) and it'd be unfortunate if people thought that ALL modders simply wanted to playe warez.
      • Re:no mods? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mark-t (151149)
        It may be a lot simpler to USE a mod-chip, but the effort required to actually OBTAIN a mod-chip in the first place can be substantial, unless you are lucky enough to know where you can obtain one without resorting to international mail order, which is often subject to inspection.
      • Re:no mods? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by John Hurliman (152784) on Monday April 14, 2003 @07:53PM (#5732345) Homepage
        Why so focused on pirating games? I'm going to buy an XBox because of this, so I can turn my XBox in to a media center that plays DVDs, MP3s/OGGs/WAVs, DivX/Xvids/AVIs/MPEGs, view images and more with a nice remote to control it for $150. I can also work on the open source software myself and add my own changes in there.

        I want a single interface to watch all the DVDs I buy, all the amateur skateboarding/snowboarding movies I make, listen to all the music CDs I buy, and look at all the pictures I take with my digital camera. Corporate America isn't able to come up with a solution that isn't completely bogus, and certainly not for under $200, so I'll build it myself. Two soldering points and a single ROM flash doesn't seem like too much work.
    • Re:no mods? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by deanpole (185240) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:32PM (#5731315)
      Be glad we have to physically remove the jumbers to write the flash. It also means Microsoft can't "upgrade" BIOSes when connecting to Xbox Live. :-)
    • The only think that will make me run linux on my xbox is if I can install a working system withou[t]> touching a screw driver.

      If I bought an x-box; I'd mod it the first chance I got.

      All you have to do is open a case(which any moron should be able to do) and solder some jumpers to get a working, usable, system.

      Has anyone claimed that prize money yet, or does the X-box have to be completely unmodded?
    • Re:no mods? (Score:5, Informative)

      by slagdogg (549983) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:41PM (#5731385)
      You can do it without modifying it, but you need a memory card to store the code that executes the exploit. Also, the memory card trick works ONLY for running Linux, not other games or Xboxmediaplayer :(

      See this link [xboxhacker.net] for more.
    • by Naikrovek (667) <jjohnson@[ ].com ['psg' in gap]> on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:50PM (#5731448)
      the cop says: "I want body armor the size of a handkerchief that can stop a howitzer."

      the fireman says: "i want a firehose that weighs less than a pound that can fight fires 250 feet away."

      the scuba diver says: "i want an oxygen tank that holds 10 hours of air, and fits in my back pocket - those backpack tanks are HEAVY!"

      the hot rodder says: "i want a car that goes from 0-60 in 1 second with a top speed of 400mph in the quarter mile and i don't want to spend over $500."

      the alwsn says: "i want to make some electronic equipment i own do something it was never intended to do without opening the case, changing anything, and i want it to work flawlessly every time."

      ALL RIDICULOUS.
      • by Groo Wanderer (180806) <charlie&semiaccurate,com> on Monday April 14, 2003 @08:18PM (#5732502) Homepage
        There was an old quote on l0pht a while back, before they went corporate and scrubbed the site with the wire brush of PC-ness, that went something like:

        "That problem is strictly theoretical" -Microsoft
        "L0pht, making the theoretical possible since...."

        What you are decrying is innovation, not MS style word corruption, but the real thing. My parents bought a building in the 70's. It was ~75,000 sq feet, 30 foot ceilings, and a HUGE air conditioner, but almost no heater. It was built in the 1950s to house a computer. I shudder to think what it cost, much less cost to run. Today, my $27 timex wristwatch has over 10x the computing power of that HUGE computer, runs for about 3 years on a button battery, and never breaks, can work under water to 100m, survive heat, cold shock, and me beating it.

        Looking down the list of 'rediculous' things you mention, that is far and away 'more rediculous' than any of the things you mention.

        For another example, my roommate has a bullet proof vest. Another friend makes plate mail armor. The plate costs ~$2500 and takes months to build. A .45 will put a hole in one side, a bigger hole in the soft squishy thing in the middle, and a bigger hole in the back. The bulletproof vest will stop it, and probably only leave you with a big briuse and possibly a cracked rib or 3. The vest cost less than 1/10th of the armor, weighs about 1/100th of the weight, and is more readily available.

        Rediculous!

        So, what is your problem with innovation. The very best things that you use came from the same spirit that the people doing XBox hacks have. I mean, why bother with things like transistors, antibiotics, lasers, nuclear power, and CIA mind control lasers. Oops, you aren't supposed to know about that one.

        Rediculous!

        Before you decry cool stuff that others do, I suggest you try the following in order.

        1) Take a deep breath.
        2) Try ignoring things that bother you.
        When that fails
        3) Don't bitch at people doing things you don't like.
        4) Move out of your mother's basement
        5) Do something usefull yourself.

        Rediculous!, I know.

        Seriously, the world needs more cool things, be they useful or frivolous. Strange things come from seemingly random events, and noone tends to see the next killer app ahead of time. Don't be a roadblock.

        -Charlie

      • the alwsn says: "i want to make some electronic equipment i own do something it was never intended to do without opening the case, changing anything, and i want it to work flawlessly every time."

        ALL RIDICULOUS.


        One of those things is not like the others- one of those things does not belong!

        The 4 examples you give are examples of equipment that is impossible because it violates the laws of physics. The last example is a violation of the will of Microsoft- which is a much softer target to attack.

        The X-B
  • I still hope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sielwolf (246764) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:11PM (#5731126) Homepage Journal
    The guy who came up with the 007 method gets whatever rewards were for booting Linux first on an Xbox. Yeah, this seems more like what "people want". But that wasn't the challenge. It was to boot Linux.

    I'm sorry but the fuss around the backdoor-ness of the 007 method was blown way out of proportion.
    • He doesnt qualify anyway. An unmodded xbox means an unchanged one. You have to take it apart and bridge some jumpers (i.e. mod the xbox) to make this work.
      • Re:I still hope (Score:2, Informative)

        by robotbrain (579211)
        Actually, you can boot to linux without opening the case with the original method. This method is to flash the onboard bios so you don't have to go through the 007 workaround everytime you want to run unsigned code.
    • Re:I still hope (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ikeya (7401) <daveNO@SPAMkuck.net> on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:41PM (#5731380) Homepage
      At a bare minimum, he earns my respect as a hacker. Holes like this can often lead to great developments. Look at the TI calculators. Holes were found in the ROMS in order to get to the Z80 assembly layer and produce some of the greatest games (and useful applications) that have been published on calculators.
      This was so much a success that TI eventually starting allowing access to the Assembly layer natively (ala the TI86 and TI89/92+)
      Besides, it's so much fun hearing about all of these cool holes and backdoors. Like the TI82 was cracked through the Matrix variable named "Q" (which doesn't really exist).
      Anyway, kudos to all involved!
      ikeya
  • FYI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skrowl (100307) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:12PM (#5731145) Homepage
    The previous method that they're talking about involved a buffer overflow in the savegame handling from 007:Agent Under Fire.

    You were able to execute code (in most cases, a BIOS flash to flash the internal TSOP) tacked on to the end of your save game.

    Hopefully this comes as a lesson to ALWAYS ALWAYS sanity check ANY USER INPUT, even if it comes in the form of a file that you THINK you know the layout of.
  • by Sonicboom (141577) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:13PM (#5731153) Journal
    I think the first link should read Xemulation.com [xemulation.com] and point there, too.

    C'mon editors - don't you check your stories and links before you post?

  • sure.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:13PM (#5731155)

    [l337 kid returning xbox]

    kid: g1bb0r m3 my m0n3y b4ck, f4gg0rz. My k-r4d Xb0x0r 15 fux0r3d.

    clerk: Ok.. let's see.. Hmm.. the screw heads are worn, indicating you've opened this XBox up. Oh, I see solder splattered on the board.. wait a sec, this isn't even an XBox board, it's from an old Betamax!

  • by RLiegh (247921) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:14PM (#5731158) Homepage Journal
    Whatever Microsoft TELLS THEM to think about this.
    (I may get an -1 redundant since that is the whole reason for the DMCA. Oh well. )
  • by Vardamir (266484)
    Has anyone made progress on hacking the nvidia drivers to work on the XBox? If so, there is software, called Chromium I belive, that can take advantage of multiple OpenGL rendering nodes, making the XBox a very cost effective platform for such a project.
  • Here's the article (Score:5, Informative)

    by JoshuaDFranklin (147726) <joshuadfranklin.NOSPAM@ y a h oo.com> on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:16PM (#5731186) Homepage
    SAVE THEIR SERVERS: Ok, I've never written a tutorial of any kind in my life... so if this is posted anywhere, you can edit it (to a point ... keep the main writing.. but adding photo's, etc are fine by me, just give me a lil credit) And with that said .. I'll start...

    This tutorial will explain how to go about mounting your Xbox HD's game save partition under Linux on a PC, in order to get habibi_xbox's 007:Agent Under Fire game save along with raincoat and your bios of choice onto the Xbox's HD, eliminating the need for a Mega-X-Key!

    What you'll need:

    Xbox
    PC running Linux (distro of choice)
    Linux kernel 2.4.20 source ( http://www.kernel.org [kernel.org] )
    "Kernel" folder from xbox-linux's CVS ( http://xbox-linux.sf.net [sf.net])
    007: Agent Under Fire retail DVD
    Soldering Iron + Solder (and torx screw drivers)

    *Warning... i installed a fresh copy of Slackware Linux on an old PC just to do this, following this tutorial can cripple your linux system if you don't revert back to your old kernel... or compile a new one... unless you know what your doing*

    1st things 1st! Now you must open up your Xbox *which I don't think I need to explain how to do*, take out the motherboard, and solder the 2x2 jumpers (one's on top, ones on the bottom of the mobo) pictures: http://www.xbox-scene.com/articles/tsop.php [xbox-scene.com] . Now put everything back together, but leave the case top off, and keep the Xbox near your pc!

    Now, download the Linux 2.4.20 kernel source from http://www.kernel.org [kernel.org] *look in the archives!*, move the tar.gz or tar.bz2 file to /usr/src and extract. This should leave you with a folder named "linux-2.4.20". Next, get the "Kernel" folder from the Xbox-Linux team's CVS *sourceforge tells you how to get on their CVS server... just user kernel as the module name*. After doing so, move the contents of the "kernel" folder to the "linux-2.4.20" folder.

    Go into the linux-2.4.20 folder and read the README.xbox file! Follow it's instructions to the point right before compiling the kernel! Next, run "make xconfig" or "make menuconfig" in console while in the folder. Configure the kernel as you normally would *I assume you have some knowledge about Linux*, remove USB support, and turn off all Xbox specific functions... Make sure to leave FatX support in though! When done, run *without quotes* "make dep ; make modules ; make bzImage ; make modules ; make modules_install ; make install" This will automatically do everything needed. Next, shutdown, and use the Xbox HD swap trick to unlock your Xbox's HD and connect it to your PC (Turn on your pc, wait for it to boot RIGHT BEFORE it gets to your Linux boot loader screen press the Pause / Break button. Turn on Xbox, wait for it to boot to the dash, unplug IDE cable from Xbox, connect an IDE cable from your PC into the Xbox's HD and press any key. Your pc should boot as normal, into Linux... except now it see's your Xbox's HD!

    *NOW, BACK UP YOUR XBOX HD! MAKE AN IMAGE FILE OF THE HD!!! I don't know the command do to so under linux, but I used HDD Driver under windows to do it ... but seriously, if something goes wrong here, you can be left with a bunk HD if you don't have a backup!*

    Now, make a new folder in /mnt (I used /mnt/xbox myself). Now, look in the /dev folder, you should see "hda50 hda51 hda52 hda53, etc..." *it may not be hda, it could be hdb, hdc, or hdd...*. After seeing what block device it is, type this command into console"
    mount -t fatx /dev/hda50 /mnt/xbox" ... if it works, you will see no error message. Go into the folder in which you mounted the partition to, and guess what! You should see TDATA and UDATA folders!
  • Still need 007..... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Another AC (151302) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:16PM (#5731190)
    with nothing but an Xbox and Linux PC

    Um, no!

    It's true you don't need a memory card, but you still need 007 Agent Under Fire to do this.

    I think it's less work and easier to do it with a memory card though. This method requires hooking the xbox drive up to your pc and a lot of recompiling kernel stuff.. the other way just requires you putting some files on a memory card (you can do it with a previously modded xbox or a couple of other ways) and that's it. Once you've got that memory card you can reuse it on each xbox you want to mod too. It takes about 90 seconds to get an unmodded-xbox to run linux with the memory card:

    • Turn on xbox with no cd in drive, but with memory card in controller.
    • Use the MS dashboard to copy the 007 save game to the harddrive.
    • Put in 007 Agent Under Fire and reboot.
    • Wait for lots of annoying intro stuff.
    • Choose "Load Mission", pick the game off the hard drive.
    • Linux boots!
  • is that I believe the goal of the whole boot linux on your xbox without a modchip was to make it so you don't have to void your warranty. Also, this sounds like it has tons of potential for a bad solder and then some kind of power surge thus frying your xbox. I think I'll stick with my matrix.
  • Another problem is (Score:5, Informative)

    by chadamir (665725) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:20PM (#5731226) Homepage
    that you still can't use the xbox to play unsigned code without modifying it. So yeah you can boot linux, but I can't just bring some software I wrote over to my friend's house and pop it in and show him. He needs to have it modded which is still a big problem.
  • by captaineo (87164) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:21PM (#5731231)
    This wonderful example shows how even hardware-enforced media protection schemes aren't going to work, as long as there are any vulnerabilities in the "trusted" software.

    e.g. say you have a DVD player program that is "trusted" and prevents you from taking a screenshot or recording anything from a DVD. If you can find a buffer overflow or any other kind of exploit in the program, you can just have it execute your own code (rip the whole DVD) at its super-trusted privilege level.

    Given that MS has a hard time keeping its HTTP server secure, I don't think buffer overflows will be too hard to find in typical razzle-dazzle media player programs :)
    • But the memory is protected and encrypted. One of the benefits (if any) of palladium is that its more secure. The reason why is buffer overflows are impossible with it if its signed.

    • Microsoft fully knows and expects that the first incarnations of Palladium will be cracked. The issue is that eventually Palladium logic will move from being a seperate chip on your motherboard to being right in your CPU's die. At that point it will become extremely difficult for even very talented hackers to break. When Palladium is integrated with your CPU, you'll need some very expensive equipment to find out what's going on inside the chip let alone crack it. At that point the cost of entry for breaking
      • Actually Palladium logic into the cpu, memory, video card, chipset, bios, hard drive, and cd-rom are part of the design. [microsoft.com] Its setup as a tamperproof nightmare that if one key is cracked the rest of the components will come in and reblock the code. Same is true for the xbox. Its a moddified pentiumIII and not the same ones at the store. However only the chipset, bios, and cpu are signed. The memory and hard disk are drm free.

        However I believe preventing opensource and creating headaches for competition is r
    • by nick this (22998) on Monday April 14, 2003 @07:07PM (#5731979) Journal
      This wonderful example shows how even hardware-enforced media protection schemes aren't going to work, as long as there are any vulnerabilities in the "trusted" software.

      This is true as far as it goes, but you have to think that the goal (from Microsoft's perspective) isn't to lock hackers out of the hardware, it's to lock them out of the hardware only long enough to ship the next version, built on a platform immune to the vulnerabilities of the previous platform.

      Look at the satellite TV folks -- once pirated satellite got out of hand, they just dropped the H cards and started shipping HU cards. Once the community started getting traction on those, they moved to the next version of smart cards.

      DirectTV doesn't have to lock the hackers out forever, just make it hard enough to reverse engineer that they can move to a newer platform when the dam starts to break. So Microsoft can do the same thing. They can move faster than the community can, particularly when the protection is on die. Makes reversing it *really hard*... both expensive and time consuming.

      So really, the security on Palladium doesn't have to be great, just good enough.

    • This wonderful example shows how even hardware-enforced media protection schemes aren't going to work,

      It only shows that the schemes won't work by merely technical means, and that they'll need the help of laws to make hardware media protection work.

      Legal methods alone won't work, because people will ignore laws that are totally easy to break. And it's impossible to arrest/intimidate millions of people for a non-sexual, non-violent, drug-free, victimless crime.

      Hardware methods alone won't work, because
  • by csteinle (68146) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:23PM (#5731248) Homepage
    Not very much, I would imagine. Given that's it a law. It's not even an object, let alone an animate one capable of thought.
  • Isn't the TSOP just the name for a chip package type? I thought it meant Tiny Small-Outline-Package or something like that. Why are they throwing the word around like it has something to do with the funtion of the chip itself.
    • Re:TSOP? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      Yeah, though I thought it was Thin-line Soldered On Package or some such.

      The xbox' bios is a TSOP eeprom.

      You'll also note they talk about burning an "ISO of Halo", when of course, the filesystem they're burning is anything but ISO 9660 (either UDF or Xboxes native system)
    • Isn't the TSOP just the name for a chip package type? Why are they throwing the word around like it has something to do with the funtion of the chip itself.

      Because they don't know anything about hardware. Speaking as a programmer, I don't really blame them...

      <rant>BTW, TSOP flash is the bane of my existence. Those pins are always getting bent when I take the chip out of the socket.</rant>
  • by CrazyJim0 (324487) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:35PM (#5731338)
    Is there a .exe for Linux or Windows?

    I just run the .exe and then I can flash roms over?
  • by sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:41PM (#5731381)
    1) Because the establishment DOESNT WANT YOU TOO :) 2) Because if you dont buy games and only buy the XBOX M$ actually loses money! 3) Because seeing a M$ box totally violated and made to run Linux just makex me LAUGH MY ASS OFF!!!! My god people you do this because its WRONG and everybody knows 2 wrongs dont make a right but 3 lefts do :)
  • Great news! This puts us that much closer to being able to run Linux on anything such as a PC! Oh, wait...
  • Why I'm doing this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigDish (636009) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:52PM (#5731465)
    The most common question here seems to be why? Well, for my, XBMP is the answer. Few months ago, I installed a mod chip in a friend's Xbox. One of the first things he did was get XBMP running. Wow, all I can say is XBMP is the killer application for the Xbox. Just to run XBMP, I picked up a used Xbox and DVD remote just before the initial exploit was discovered, and I grabbed 007 off ebay for like $10. Though when trying to bridge the 2 resistor pads, I knocked another resistor off the board, so I need to obtain a replacement resistor (soldering iron I was using was WAY too big) to finish this project Really though, if you haven't seen XBMP, look at it. It is a killer app-ESPECIALLY for college students. For $150 or so I have a box that will play damn near any media file I through at it, off CD, DVD, or SMB share, and is designed to be hooked to the TV, with an interface designed for it too. To me, the Xbox with XBMP is the media PC Microsoft has been trying to create.
  • by Rinikusu (28164) on Monday April 14, 2003 @05:56PM (#5731484)
    Why isn't anyone trying to get Windows to run on one of these things, as well? Sure, Linux is nifty and all, but some of us actually *prefer* using Windows. Just curious.
    • There could be a couple of answers to your question.

      One, because the people who are toying with this are not trying to get their effort stopped. If they would try to get windows working on this they would be breaking one of Microsoft's little license agreements and thus will have federal authority to put a stop to this in many different countries.

      Two, people know more about Linux then they know about Windows. If something at the kernel level needs to be edited in order to get the thing to work it is much
    • by aderusha (32235) on Monday April 14, 2003 @06:06PM (#5731553) Homepage
      as soon as m$ open-sources windows, i'm sure somebody will compile it to run on xbox.

      just don't hold your breath...
    • Because it's easier to change a driver for Linux than for Windows, especially when the manufacturer doesn't help, or just get it if that's the case. Actually, NetBSD might have been another try (doesn't it run on the Dreamcast already?), but I think more people are more familiar with Linux than NetBSD (and that doesn't mean BSD is dying).

  • Reverse Engineering (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meta-monkey (321000) on Monday April 14, 2003 @06:01PM (#5731512) Journal
    Wonder what the DMCA would think about this...

    Even if you didn't have to open the box and do some soldering, I think this would still violate the DMCA, because MS will claim that there's no way anyone could have discovered this method without reverse-engineering either their BIOS or the assumably proprietary 007 save game format and code.

    Probably the only way you can get Linux or any other software to run on an unmodified XBox would in some way involve using MS's Xbox SDK. Most likely, that includes code that must be licensed from MS. I don't know that to be the case, but that's my guess.
    • I would think that this would be a great case to contest the reverse engineering DMCA rules. Unlike the DeCSS it would be harder for Microsoft to argue that they were using this to copy games.
  • What for? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kavau (554682) on Monday April 14, 2003 @06:08PM (#5731573) Homepage
    This is meant to be an honest question, not a flame: What's the point of running Linux on your Xbox? Linux runs fine on a PC. Is it just the "because we can" factor, or are there any really useful things you can do with Linux on an Xbox that you can't do on a PC?
    • Regardless of what people will claim the development of these projects happen only because of the geek factor. The Dreamcast, the Playstation ext. the units are to low ended to run anything of meaning in the real world. As for the claim that they are cheap, so are PDAs... and the PDAs tend to have more functionality.
      • Re:What for? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tweek (18111)
        Actually the xbox is of more use than any of the others. You've basically got a pretty decent spec'd PC in a small formfactor for $149 bucks.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I mean, where's the point in hot-plugging devices which by design are not supposed to be hot-plugged (i.e. the IDE/ATA bus), "for safety" doing backups seemingly no less risky than the patches that follow this way afterwards, but then reassembling your Xbox with the tiny hard drive still in place, once the TSOP does hold a BIOS that should also support huge replacement HDDs of 120(+) GB (or shouldn't it)?
    Sure, you still need the original hard drive to boot one last time before flashing the TSOP, but wouldn
  • by RichiP (18379) on Monday April 14, 2003 @06:11PM (#5731602) Homepage
    I'd find it REALLY neat if some game write would write a game for Linux which will compile without much change for Linux/XBox as well as Linux/PS2 (and even Linux/PC). Or are there games out there now? I wouldn't mind buying an XBox or PS2 if someone would release/sell Linux games for it.

    (They'd have to use the game controller, of course)
  • by evil_one (142582) on Monday April 14, 2003 @07:13PM (#5732004) Homepage
    I hear so many people talking about the TSOP. "the TSOP this," "the tsop that" - TSOP stands for Thin Small Outline Package.
    It's just a flash chip. You can get much more than memory in TSOPs.
    Why don't people call it what it really is?
    How about "the flash chip" or "the firmware chip"?
  • Conspiracy Theory (Score:3, Interesting)

    by riclewis (617546) on Monday April 14, 2003 @07:13PM (#5732007)
    Just thought of this...

    Has the fellow who first figured out the 007 hack come forward with his real identity yet? Seems like awfully good fortune to find this vulnerability lurking around.

    <Conspiracy Theory>
    I can't help but wonder if Microsoft didn't plant this 'hack'. Follow me out here--MS doesn't really care if Linux runs on XBox. Sure it's a black eye, but it doesn't hurt their bottom line. But--all of a sudden there's a flaw in the closed system, and it's in --gasp-- a program written by someone other than MS. Now when future software is released for the Xbox (or Palladium) MS can use this 'incident' as an excuse to call for complete code disclosure from 3rd parties

    I can hear Microsoft saying "You need to show us all your code so we can test it--otherwise how can we be sure it won't break our 'perfect' security system?"...
    </Conspiracy Theory>

    I don't mean to say this to take away from the guy who came up with this, but it's just an interesting, plausible scenario.
    • Re:Conspiracy Theory (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DarkZero (516460)
      They have to give all of the code over to Microsoft anyway because Microsoft, just like Sony and Nintendo, has an extensive reviewing process for all of the games on their console. This is why so few console games have crash bugs and such when compared to the PC. The company that runs the console verifies that the product is ready for market before licensing it for it sale and the game cannot be sold until that time. If any company bypasses this and just releases a game to market without consulting the cons

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