Homebrew Channel/Help

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Please place all support questions here, in the correct area.

NOTE: If you think you've found a bug, please refer to the Bugs page instead. If you don't see your question here, check to see if it's been moved there.




Q: What is the Homebrew Channel all about?

A: It's a channel that lets you run Wii Homebrew in .elf or .dol format. Currently, you can load them from an SD card, a USB Gecko or via local network (WiFi or wired). Each application may have a customised icon of certain size, and various metadata which is displayed when selected, such as name, short description, long description, version, release date, and coder, stored in an XML file.

Installing the channel

Q: I keep getting an error ("Exception 300" or similar) when trying to install the Homebrew channel via the TP hack

A: You followed the bogus installation instructions that were posted here earlier; try reinstalling using the revised instructions. (Hint: If you're renaming anything, You're Doing It Wrong.)

Also verify that boot.elf has not been corrupted after you've extracted it. The correct MD5 for boot.elf alone is 80dd6b7c096dcba88b7996a4cd8a5935 for HBC 8.

Q: After installing the Homebrew Channel using the twilight princess hack, will the Homebrew channel still function if I delete the twilight princess hack and reinstall my original save file?

A: Yes. Once the Homebrew Channel is installed, the twilight hack save is no longer required.

Q: Do you need any special software version to run HBC? Will it work with all versions? How do I find out which version I have?

A: No; most Wii owners should be able to install the HBC. If you receive a message during installation saying you are missing required system components, try renting or borrowing a recent Nintendo-authored game such as Super Mario Galaxy or Mario Kart; these games contain full updates and should install anything you need.

Q: Would the installer install properly if it were booted through the Homebrew Channel? ie Add it as a Channel and then boot it

A: Yes. It is also possible to transfer it to the Wii using the Wiiload method.

Installing apps

Q: What type of file format should I put into the SD?

A: Apps need to be called boot.elf or boot.dol (wii .dol only). Icons should be called icon.png, and information should be in meta.xml.

Q: I've downloaded the "XYZ" app. It's a file in .dol. or .elf format. I've stored it into the SD card, but the HomeBrew's menu does not list the new app. What I'm doing wrong? Maybe should I have to store the app in a certain folder and/or should I have to run such an installing procedure?

A: You need to create a folder in the root of the SD card called apps. Then you need to create a folder inside of that for each DOL or ELF file. Put the File in there, and rename it to either boot.elf or boot.dol(depending on the file type). You can then add an icon for each app in the same folder, with it named icon.png, and a description file name meta.xml.

Using the channel

Q: Is there a way to prevent the Homebrew Channel - and the time spent using it - from being logged on the Wii message board?

A: No, nor is there any real need to.

Followup: This information is uploaded if you use the My Nintendo channel and share usage information (required if you want to download DS demos). The concern is that Nintendo will know you are running the Homebrew Channel and they could quickly identify individual Wii numbers if they decide to block all online access (Like Microsoft did with Live). It is a real concern. Can you remove the information from the logs when the Homebrew channel shuts down?
No, it's not a real concern. They don't care. Really. Put your tinfoil hat away.

Q: Is it possible to sort the applications running in the Homebrew Channel?

As of beta8, the Homebrew Channel sorts your applications alphabetically by their name (i.e. the content of the <name> Element in the application's meta.xml).

Q: Is there anything I can do to allow the Homebrew Channel to automatically update, assuming that I may be behind a http proxy? Or would a slow internet connection affect the update checker?

A: The self-update feature is still experimental; sometimes it does not work and we do not know why. Proxy support is something we'll need to explicitly add.

Issues with specific apps


Q: Is there any chance at all that Nintendo can/will brick a Wii that has the Homebrew Channel?

A: Possible, but unlikely. It's far more likely that a future Nintendo update could *accidentally* conflict with the HBC. Keep checking on WiiBrew before installing updates and you'll likely be safe.

Q: Does this void my warranty even though it is just software and not a hardware mod?

A: Technically? Perhaps. Realistically? No.

Q: Why didn't my Homebrew Channel detect the update? Connect 24 is on... And the World Icon on the Channel is white

A: You could be behind a http proxy, the channel does not currently account for that. Also, the check is only done when you start the channel, we have not yet bothered reverse engineering connect 24.

Q: If I can not update through the Homebrew Channel's auto update, can I install Homebrew Channel beta8 over beta7 via the twilight hack?

A: Sure, btw other ways of booting the installer also works. (like from the HBC itself ;) )

Q: Will the source code be released?

A: When both it and the audience is ready for that.

Q: Nintendo has just relased an update for the Wii System Software. In the relase notes, Nintendo says that modded savefiles and so on will be removed by this update. I've installed the HBC. What will I do? Is it sure to install this update?

A: Although we recommend you not update, the Homebrew Channel is unaffected by the update.

Q: I have downloaded the TP Hack and the homebrew channel and renamed it boot.elf and put it at the root of my sd card like it says. I turn on the wii delete the zelda file, copy the TP hack to the wii and go to the disc channel, let it load, start it, do the vision test, load the TP hack file and talk to the man, but then this comes up and it freezes. I already reformated the sd card to FAT16 and everything but i dont know whats wrong? someone told me one of nintendos updates fixed the hack?

here is the error message:

FAT_ReadFile (boot.elf) failed with error -1 No elf image at adress 90100000 Dol image detected? loading binary files

A: There are three known causes for this:

  1. Your card is formatted as FAT12; it needs to be formatted as FAT16 or FAT32. This is only a problem with small SD cards (less than 32MB or so)
  2. Your card is formatted without a partition table, in violation of the SD Card Spec.
  3. You followed the incorrect instructions that used to be posted hear and renamed the .tar.gz file to boot.elf. Instead of renaming the file, you should have extracted it (using WinZip or another archiving program), and copied the boot.elf that came from there onto your SD card.

The first two problems can often be fixed by reformatting the card.

Q: My homebrew channel used to work, but now when i start it up it says its reading the SD card and it suddenly changes to code and says code dump and a long string of numbers. Everything else is normal though. What's wrong?

A: Try a different SD card, or see if it still crashes without an SD card inserted.

Q: How do I write an app for the homebrew channel? I have some knowledge of c++, and would be open to learn any graphics libraries I would need. What do I need to do to start creating the app? Is there anything different while making the actual game? How do I compile into an .elf or .dol file?

A: Look at Getting Started with devkitppc to get started with compiling apps. Development Tools has some libraries, I suggest libwiisprite.

Q: Would it be possible, if you get a keyboard working for HBC, to create a compiler, so you can just compile and run the apps, without ever leaving your Wii?

A: Not likely. Embedded systems are generally not used to compile code for themselves.


Q: Why was the hack made for Zelda? Wii Sports comes with the system, are you trying to work on a version that would work with Wii Sports?

A: The exploit was found where the exploit was found. It came about by a mistake by some of Nintendo's programmers for not limiting a buffer.

Q: I succesfully installed the HB channel and the provided apps package too, but I cannot setup the modern style into the ScummVM. The Wii ScummVM has only the classic style built-in, so I tried to copy the "modern" style from my PC to the SD card. The Wii ScummVM now does list the new style, but even if I choose it, the interface does not change. What am I doing wrong?


Q : Is there a way I can install Homebrew Channel without Twilight Princess? If not, could you make a Super Mario Galaxy Hack?

A: Yes, but it requires a modchip, which WILL void your warranty. Another soft-hack such as the Twilight Princess Glitch, is unknown at this time.
A2: If you have a modchip, and version 3.2 or lower of the Wii, you can do it.

Q: Is there a Japanese translation for the Homebrew Channel planned?

A: Not yet, because we do not yet have Japanese-characterset support for our text rendering code. A good first step would be for us to make Japanese text work in meta.xml. Can you provide some examples of meta.xml with Japanese text, along with a screenshot of how it should work? Bushing 11:27, 23 June 2008 (CEST)

The Wikipedia article on the Japanese language has a fair amount of Japanese text, as does the article on Japanese grammar. If your computer doesn't support it, I uploaded a screenshot of some of the text.

Q: This is more of a suggestion, rather than a question...I'm just not sure how to contact you guys any other way. :) I'm envisioning something like this - you'd just add an extra (optional) field to the xml file for each homebrew app. That would be a link to an xml file hosted on the app's own project website containing the latest version number. When an app is run, that remote file is checked by the homebrew channel. If it's the latest version, the app runs. If it isn't, the hbc prompts the user to download whatever's linked to in the remote xml file, be it a new .elf file, .xml, .png, or any combination of the three. This could help lots of people stay up-to-date as many homebrew project updates are buried within pages and pages of some random forum on a website somewhere. This could encourage homebrew authors to set up some kind of 'real' hosting somewhere to ensure consistent access to the latest versions of their work.

A: We have some plans for functionality along these lines -- stay tuned.

Q: While this has probably been thought before, I'm not sure the reasoning why it isn't done. Would it be possible to COPY the actual channel from one machine onto another. If it's machine locked out, why not edit the file. Also, publishing a disc like action replay or gameshark might be able to force a channel!

A: Taken separately:

Q. Would it be possible to COPY the actual channel from one machine onto another.
A. No.
Q. If it's machine locked out, why not edit the file.
A. Because it doesn't work that way.
Q. Also, publishing a disc like action replay or gameshark might be able to force a channel!
A. Huh? Bushing 11:27, 23 June 2008 (CEST)

Q: Have you guys been working on any way to get a keyboard working with the Homebrew Channel? The way I see it is that you have two ways of doing it. Either through the USB or through the Gamecube Powerboard attachment via GC controller port. I just figured it would help with some of the games like Tyrian where you need to type in order to save.

A: There is no dependence between the Homebrew Channel and the applications it launches. Device support has to be included with the applications themselves. Drmr 15:54, 29 July 2008 (CEST)

Q: Using Wiiload is great for loading .elf/.dol files, but could it be possible to load folders? I'd like to load my snes9x.elf with my roms and saves when I'd like to play, instead of keeping the on an SD card. Also, if this is possible, a feature for wiiload should be added so you can send the data BACK to your computer. A reason for this would be in case your save game file is updated.

A: You can use Homebrew apps/FTPii for this.

Q: I downloaded the newest version of Twilight Hack to my SD Card, yet it doesn't show up when I go to Data Management --> Save Data --> Wii --> SD Card. I then cannot copy it to my Wii's NAND. How do I fix this? (It worked once, and this was before I formatted my SD Card. It was also before I deleted it by accident.)

A: Check if you put the correct file with the correct name in the correct folder. If that doesn't help, try a different SD card, or formatting it with the official tool.

Q: Will there be any background music added to the channel?

A: There are certainly plans for that, but it's not our top priority right now. Drmr 15:56, 29 July 2008 (CEST)

Q: Has there been any cases so far of the Homebrew Channel bricking a Wii?

A: None we are aware of (as of right now, which is two months after the initial release of the Homebrew Channel). Drmr 15:58, 29 July 2008 (CEST)

Q: My Homebrew Channel loads fine, all the apps come up, complete with banners and the descriptions from the meta.xml files; however, when I go to run any of the apps, it comes up and says "Loading Wad-Manager" or whatever app I run, but it stays at 0%. The bubbles keep moving in the background and the cursor still comes up, but none of the buttons work (like the home button) and I have to do a hard power off to get out of it. I'm using a 512MB MicroSD card in TransFlash adapter. I've used the same one on two of my friends to install the HBC and load wads through the WAD-Manager.

Q: Are there any plans to release the source to THC (is it available already?). =

(Opening up the source would allow more people to understand how exactly THC works, and aid in developing other channels. It would also allow us all to try and improve THC or go in our own direction with it. I also noticed there wasn't any contact email address, which is what brought me here.)