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Dolphin logo.png
Author(s)GoogleCode Contributors
TypePC utility

Dolphin emulates the Wii and GameCube consoles, as well as various accessories for and derivatives of said consoles. It runs Wii, GameCube and Triforce software on a x86 or x86_64 PC (Windows, Linux, OS X). As of June 2008 Dolphin's source was released under the GPLv2 license and is under active development.

Obtaining a build

Compilation from Source

Follow the instructions to build under Windows, Linux or MacOSX.

Recommended third party builds

The fan-run site provides daily windows builds from SVN and a FAQ to help users.

Usage with Homebrew

  1. Run Dolphin
    • If you compiled Dolphin, run the appropriate executable located within Binary\Platform directory, where Platform is win32, linux, etc.
  2. Run your homebrew
    • From the menu, File -> Open.... Select the elf or dol file you would like to run. If successful, a new window will be displayed with the output.
      • Note that you can cause the screen to be rendered to the main Dolphin window with the Config->Display->Render to main window option.

General Notes / Disclaimer

  • Dolphin is useful to homebrew as it allows developers to test code on a PC before running it on real hardware. However, Dolphin does not support all the features of the Wii and some problems may be experienced running homebrew.
  • Dolphin hooks the typical printf functions when it is able to determine their location. If you are running an elf file (with symbols), and cannot see your debug output, this is could be the reason. Either strip your elf, run the dol, or modify dolphin so this HLE does not take place. The other reason could be that you are writing directly to the XFB (libogc's console output does this). In this case, you additionally need to enable the Graphics->Use Real XFB setting.
  • Homebrew applications may hang while initialising sound, i.e. on calling ASND_Init(). A work around would be to skip sound initialisation, so no sound, but there's no need to remove other sound calls in your code.
  • You can find an SD Card image in something like \User\Wii\sd.raw, kept in the Dolphin folder. If missing it may create it on the first run, you can add things to the sd.raw image with a tool such as winimage.
  • When using code that makes use of the SD Card make sure you use the full path name i.e. (sd:/apps/MyApp/gfxfiles/Image.png), using a relative path (/gfxfiles/Image.png) will not work as your application is launching from an unknown location.


The following was tested with examples from devkitPro svn r4455, running on Windows 7 (64bit), Dolphin svn r6430. Apps run with default settings unless noted otherwise. These results are provided so that one can quickly realize which options are needed for common tasks - such as using SD support, homebrew text console, etc.

Title Notes
examples\wii\audio\* Work acceptably. Requires DSP LLE plugin to be used. Audio may have artifacts.
examples\wii\devices\network\sockettest Does not work. Socket is not setup successfully.
examples\wii\devices\usbgecko\gdbstub Works correctly. Requires USBGecko device selected. Sets up a TCP server to accept connections (instead of a serial device). The TCP port used will be displayed on-screen when dolphin begins emulation.
examples\wii\devices\usbkeyboard\basic_stdin Works correctly. Requires Graphics->Use Real XFB to be enabled. Requires Config->Wii->Connect USB Keyboard to be enabled.
examples\wii\filesystem\directory Works correctly. Requires Graphics->Use Real XFB to be enabled. Requires Config->Wii->Insert SD Card to be enabled.
examples\wii\graphics\gx\gxSprites Works correctly.
examples\wii\graphics\gx\neheGX\lesson1-7 Work correctly.
examples\wii\graphics\gx\neheGX\lesson8 Texturing is broken.
examples\wii\graphics\gx\triangle Works correctly.
examples\wii\template Works correctly. Requires Graphics->Use Real XFB to be enabled.