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Current homebrew status: Working for most Wii consoles as of System Menu 4.0.
The recommended method of homebrew application loading is currently the Homebrew Channel, which can be installed either via the Twilight Hack (works on system Menus below 4.0) or Bannerbomb (works on all System Menus as of 4.1).
- 1 Compatibility
- 2 Downgrading
- 3 Hacks
- 4 Updates that affect homebrew
- 4.1 System Menu 4.0, added IOS16, IOS60 and IOS61, updated IOS38, updated Photo Channel 1.1 (to 1.1-b), Wii Shop Channel and Wii Speak Channel (to 2.0).
- 4.2 System Menu 3.4, added IOS50 and dummy IOS254 (just IOS9), updated IOSs 30, 31 and 37, bc and mios, updated Mii Channel.
- 4.3 IOS51 & Updated all IOSes except IOS30, IOS31 and IOS37 (these were already partialy updated, see below), added some IOSes that were only previously available from Wii Discs, updated Wii Shop Channel.
- 4.4 System Menu 3.3 & Updated IOS30 and IOS31, updated bc and mios, updated Mii Channel.
- 4.5 IOS37
- 4.6 Other Updates
Important information about what you can do based on your System Menu version.
Older than around 2.1
You will most likely not be able to get the Homebrew Channel installed. It is recommended you update with a game like Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, or other games released around those.
Around 2.1 to 3.2
Best versions. These work with almost every Homebrew app out there, 3.2 obviously being the best (unless you want gamecube homebrew, in which case less than 3.0 is advised).
3.3 (without Oct 23 update)
This works with almost all Homebrew, but you will not be able to boot fakesigned DVDs from the system menu disc channel (you will still be able to read content from DVDs using DVDx, as well as boot anything using alternate loaders such as Gecko OS). This version is, practically speaking, very similar to 3.2.
3.3 (with Oct 23 update)
The October 23 update installs new versions of all IOSes to block the signing bug. Most Wii Homebrew can still be loaded with the Homebrew Channel, but any applications that rely on fakesigning will not work. This includes:
- This means you can't install any patched IOSes.
- You are unable to delete any unused channels, such as weather and news. This also affects the unofficial versions of AnyTitle Deleter.
It is unlikely that the signing bug will be restored, as it is commonly used by pirates.
System Menu 3.4 removes the Twilight Hack on every boot. Due to this inconvenience, you will have to copy the Twilight Hack back onto the console each time you want to use it. Bannerbomb does not suffer from this inconvenience, as it is never copied to the console. As with the October 23 update, fakesigning is disabled.
System Menu 4.0 completely disables the use of the Twilight Hack. You will need to use Bannerbomb to run the HackMii Installer, and from there you can install the Homebrew Channel, DVDx, and/or BootMii. As with the October 23 update, fakesigning is disabled.
Homebrew has not been affected since 4.0 with this update.
Newer Wiis prevent the usage of the HackMii Installer for currently unknown reasons (the console will reboot if you try to run it). You cannot currently make a fresh install of the Homebrew Channel on these consoles, but you can still run homebrew with a combination of Bannerbomb and a homebrew loader such as LoadMii or the Wii Homebrew Launcher. As with the October 23 update, fakesigning is disabled.
It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt to downgrade your Wii's firmware to an older version. The methods used to do this are risky and often illegal. Instead, remember that even the latest version will let you enjoy most Wii homebrew, and that newer homebrew is likely to work with the latest version of the Wii software. The risks of downgrading are large at this point, and you could easily render your Wii completely bricked with no possible fix.
The Zelda: Twilight Princess Exploit (Twilight Hack)
Requires: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii), a non-SDHC SD card (all SD cards that are 2GB or less are non-SDHC, and if you search very hard you might be able to find 4GB non-SDHC cards), a Wii.
bushing, tmbinc and segher were able to modify a save game for Zelda: Twilight Princess that would make the Wii execute a stack smash and were then able to inject their own code. No hardware modification is needed. Firmware version 3.3 attempted to block use of this hack, but failed in implementation. The second-newest version of the firmware (3.4) tried once again to block this point of entry, and once again failed. Twilight Hack(v0.1beta1) is only compatible with Wii firmware versions up to and including System Menu 3.3. v0.1beta2 works with system menu 3.4 only.
The Twilight Hack is incompatible with System Menu 4.0 and 4.1
Fake Signing (Signing bug)
Requires: Varies. For homebrew enablement, a drivechip and a Wii below firmware version 3.3.
This method of signing content for the Wii exploits a bug in the implementation of the RSA algorithm used in some of the Wii's software. It is simple to create a fake signature for any content, allowing the installation of custom channels (such as the Homebrew Channel) and IOSes (via PatchMii or Custom IOS Installer), the running of modified game discs (only with a drivechip), the Datel Freeloader disc, and more.
However, as of October 23, 2008, all IOSes have been patched to remove the signing bug, rendering all fakesigned discs, as well as any homebrew software reliant on the signing bug (such as AnyTitle Deleter and AnyRegion Changer) useless.
Requires: SD card, a Wii.
Bannerbomb exploits a flaw in the System Menu's banner rendering routine to inject arbitrary code. It is compatible with all System Menus up to 4.1.
Requires: SD card, a Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. See video.
Requires: Homebrew enablement via fakesigning (only on consoles that do not have the October 23 update), the Twilight Hack, or Bannerbomb.
While not a hack in itself, the Homebrew Channel is the first homebrew loading interface that does not require any other software or hardware to run. Installation, however, requires the ability to run either the Twilight Hack, fakesigned discs, or Bannerbomb. It currently works on all Wii firmware versions available up to this writing (currently 4.1). The Homebrew Channel installer utilized the fakesigning exploit until beta 9. The beta 9 installer uses a different exploit to install itself, to circumvent Nintendo's October 23 update which patched the fakesigning bug out of all IOSes.
Updates that affect homebrew
There have been many Wii System Updates for the Wii. Listed here are the ones that in some way affect homebrew.
System Menu 4.0, added IOS16, IOS60 and IOS61, updated IOS38, updated Photo Channel 1.1 (to 1.1-b), Wii Shop Channel and Wii Speak Channel (to 2.0).
Released: 25th March 2009
- Blocks installation of the Twilight Hack version 0.1beta2. To install homebrew, use Bannerbomb instead.
- This version of the System Menu uses IOS60.
- Blocks new installations of anything that uses the "3.4 exploit"; so the Homebrew Channel and DVDx will not install. The HackMii Installer contains a workaround.
- The Photo Channel 1.1 and the Wii Shop Channel have been updated, use WiiSCU to update these and install truchasigned versions of IOS60 and IOS61.
- The Wii Speak Channel 2.0 is not compatible with the original. Update the Wii Speak Channel to version 2.0 by using the Wii Shop Channel (update it if required)
System Menu 3.4, added IOS50 and dummy IOS254 (just IOS9), updated IOSs 30, 31 and 37, bc and mios, updated Mii Channel.
Released: 18th November 2008 - Found in games
- Blocks the installation of the Twilight Hack version 0.1beta1. Twilight Hack version 0.1beta2 (because of its not being version 0.1beta1) can still be installed for long enough to install HBC.
- This version of the System Menu uses IOS50.
- Does not appear to affect custom channels (although there have been unreliable reports to the contrary)
- Breaks PatchMii by installing a dummy IOS (IOS9) into the IOS254 slot (pointless, expect the next attempt to be slightly more effective)
- Adds the dev/flash/ blocks to IOSs 30, 31, and 37
IOS51 & Updated all IOSes except IOS30, IOS31 and IOS37 (these were already partialy updated, see below), added some IOSes that were only previously available from Wii Discs, updated Wii Shop Channel.
Released: 23rd October 2008 - Found in games
- This blocks new installations of anything fakesigned, that is, Homebrew Channel beta 8 and below (beta 9 contains a workaround), unofficial wads (legal and illegal), Starfall/Preloader, cIOS, anything that installs IOSes secretly like AnyRegion Changer or AnyTitle Deleter, xyzzy and DVDX (used for apps which have DVD support; the latest version contains a workaround). This list is not exhaustive, but please add to it if you think of anything else.
- This also blocks access to /dev/flash in all IOSes but IOS30, IOS31 and IOS37. This means raw nand dumping utilities, for example Yet Another Wii NAND Dumper, no longer work, since by default homebrew uses IOS35
- If something is already installed then it isn't affected, like Homebrew Channel, etc.
- The Shop Channel backend was also updated at this time. You need the new Shop Channel (first available with this update) to access the Wii Shop Channel, but this can now be worked around with Wii Shop and IOS51 installer.
- If you already have the Homebrew Channel and DVDX, and aren't planning to install anything big that will affect your Wii, then you are most likely unaffected. Normal everyday apps such as Homebrew Browser are completely unaffected as long as you already have the Homebrew Channel.
- It updates all IOSes with the fakesigning bug, and adds IOS51.
System Menu 3.3 & Updated IOS30 and IOS31, updated bc and mios, updated Mii Channel.
Released: 16th June 2008 - Found in games
This update blocked old versions of the Twilight Hack. The newest version contains a workaround, and retains compatibility with all Wii firmware versions. IOS30 and IOS31 have fixes for the Signing bug backported from IOS37. Since the System Menu uses IOS30, fake-signed discs have been blocked.
Released: 21st March 2008 - Found in games
This iteration of IOS contained a fixed signature checking routine--a fix for the Signing bug. Although installed on many Wiis, IOS37 has not been found active in any way that would disable any hacks.
Currently, no other updates, older or newer than these, affect homebrew. See System Menu Versions for more info on other updates.
Recent updates believed not to have affected homebrew are:
- System Menu 4.1
- (JP only) updated HCCJ (Room Channel & Food Delivery Channel apparently)