FreeBSD Xbox

roddierod

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 145
Messages: 833

I have an old xbox sitting around doing nothing and I thought maybe I should try FreeBSD Xbox. I was wondering if anyone has experience with it? I tried the FreeBSD Xbox Project page but it never loads for me.

I assume once you install FreeBSD you can no longer run xbox games, which is fine, but I'd like to turn it into something like a dedicated Freevo machine? Can I use the Xbox dvd remote etc? Or is this a dead project?
 

Chikanon

New Member


Messages: 1

The code to support Xbox is now merged into main branch of FreeBSD(since 6.2R).
You need a hacked Xbox, Cromwell loader, and HDD with FreeBSD installed.
Also, Xbox cannot load the kernel from HDD, so you need to boot from a CD-RW(Xbox cannot read CD-R!) with FreeBSD(>6.2) kernel.
The kernel must be built from config file named 'XBOX'.

My Xbox is working fine with 6.2-STABLE.
ISO image with 6.2-STABLE XBOX kernel
 
OP
OP
roddierod

roddierod

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 145
Messages: 833

Chikanon said:
You need a hacked Xbox, Cromwell loader
So I have to get a mod chip first...well since it just sitting around I guess I can try that.

Thanks
 

jnr

Member

Reaction score: 12
Messages: 73

Cromwell is a replacement BIOS for the xbox, which means there are two ways to run it. You can run it on a modchip, because xbox modchips simply override the Microsoft BIOS, or you can flash Cromwell to the system's TSOP itself on version 1.0 - 1.5 consoles. 1.6 consoles have ROM instead of TSOP.

Keep in mind that Cromwell is incapable of running games (signed code) at all, even legitimate ones. It was developed specifically as an alternative OS loader and attempts to deter piracy.

Another option is Xromwell. I've not personally used it, but it's Cromwell in the form of an XBE you can launch from your homebrew dashboard of choice. The softmod method is very easy to set up. Search the Internet for "NDURE", my mod of choice. This option is somewhat less lawful, because a softmodded xbox is capable of playing copied game discs, and the vast majority of homebrew is compiled with a stolen XDK.

Regardless, performing the softmod is as simple as:
  • Transferring a special game save file to your console with an Action Replay or via another modified console
  • Running one of three vulnerable games. I use Splinter Cell.
  • Installing NDURE with the options you choose
After that, you should have a functioning FTPd on the console and the ability to run unsigned code.

Be warned, the hard drive in the xbox is very small, usually 8GB. It's possible to replace the hard drive with a much larger one by the softmod or modchip methods, though softmod users must re-lock the new drive with the console's identifier. The xbox is actually the only time I've ever seen ATA security in use.

For another suggestion, xbox consoles make very nice media centers using XBMC, though they are not powerful enough to play HD content.
 

wonslung

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 16
Messages: 850

cool cool, i used a different method to softmod my xbox back in the day which was a pain....it was for xbmc.

It required booting the xbox up normally, then removing the ide cable from the xbox and hooking in an ide cable from a computer without removing the power cable.
Then booting the computer with a special os.

It had something to do with the xbox hard drive getting locked....but anyways, that's the way i softmodded all mine, i forget everything i needed to do it but it's all saved in a file somewhere on my NAS.
 

jnr

Member

Reaction score: 12
Messages: 73

You can do that as well. It's usually called the "hotswap" method if you're looking for it on Google.

The xbox hard drive is formatted in a FAT-derivative known as FATX. The Xebian Linux distro ships with a driver for this file system so to hotswap you would boot the console and have it unlock the drive, quickly swap the ATA cable to a computer with a Xebian LiveCD, then turn the computer on and mount the drive. Then you have access to the MS dashboard on partition C: and all the content/saves on partition E:.

Xebian was how I transferred my NDURE save file, also. The xbox controller ports are USB with a proprietary connector, so I purchased a $3 adapter on eBay that plugs into a controller port and terminates in a female USB A. Any USB flash drive attached to this port shows up as a memory card in the dashboard. The console will format it as FATX, then you can use Xebian to copy files to it.
 

wonslung

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 16
Messages: 850

that's badass, i have about 10 old xboxes. I used to go to all the pawn shops in the area and get the broken ones for next to nothing and fix them (ps2's too) Then around the holidays i mod them and give them to the poor families. I never considered turning them into a computer but that's actually not a bad idea at all.
 
Top