The Homebrew Channel is a homebrew application loader by Team Twiizers which allows users to load homebrew applications without having to run the Twilight Hack every time. Once installed, users can access the channel from the Wii Menu just like any other Wii channel. It can launch homebrew applications in dol or elf -- either from an SD card, or via TCP or USB Gecko using Wiiload. It is also capable of downloading online updates for itself.
The Homebrew Channel can be downloaded from the official site.
This method is only applied prior to 3.3 firmware update
Using Twilight Hack
Assuming the Twilight Hack is already installed on your Wii;
- Download the installer from the link above.
- Expand the archive to find README.txt, wiiload and boot.elf
- Place the boot.elf file in the root of your SD card.
- Run the Twilight Hack, and allow the installer to load.
- READ THE DISCLAIMER! In the VERY unlikely case your Wii should be bricked by the installer, this will let you know where you stand in regards to Team Twiizers.
- Press the RESET button on your Wii.
The installation should be automatic from this point on, and your Wii will reboot.
In order to make an application appear in the Homebrew Channel, the following steps must be taken:
- Make a folder on the root of your SD card called "apps".
- In the folder "apps," create a folder for the application (for this example, ScummVM will be used).
- Copy the files for the application into its folder (e.g. apps/scummvm/).
- Find the executable file (either .elf or .dol) and rename it to boot.elf (or boot.dol if it was a .dol file) if it is not already named that (e.g. apps/scummvm/boot.dol).
Now the application will appear in the Homebrew Channel. However, its appearance on the menu is difficult to distinguish from other applications. To fix this, text and an image can be added.
To add text to an application in the Homebrew Channel, do the following:
- Make a file in the folder of the application (e.g. apps/scummvm/) called "meta.xml" (e.g. apps/scummvm/meta.xml).
- Open "meta.xml" in Notepad and add the following text as a template:
- Add the appropriate information in between the relevant indicators. For example, the name of the application goes between <name> and </name>. The purpose of each field is as follows:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <app version="1"> <name></name> <coder></coder> <version></version> <release_date></release_date> <short_description></short_description> <long_description></long_description> </app>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <app version="1"> <name>The name of the application</name> <coder>The name of the person or group that wrote the code for the program.</coder> <version>The version of the application.</version> <release_date>The data the application was released. It has to be a timestamp using this format: YYYYmmddHHMMSS</release_date> <short_description>This is displayed on the main menu of the Homebrew Channel (before you select an application) and is used as a space to add a few words to describe the program.</short_description> <long_description>This is displayed once the application is chosen. It describes the program and its function in great detail, and can be used to elaborate on a program's controls.</long_description> </app>
An example of a completed "meta.xml" for ScummVM is provided below:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <app version="1"> <name>ScummVM</name> <coder>dhewg</coder> <version>rev32231</version> <release_date>200805230000</release_date> <short_description>Point & Click Adventures</short_description> <long_description>ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this: ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the games, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed! Some of the adventures ScummVM supports include Adventure Soft's Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2; Revolution's Beneath A Steel Sky, Broken Sword 1 and Broken Sword 2; Flight of the Amazon Queen; Wyrmkeep's Inherit the Earth; Coktel Vision's Gobliiins; Westwood Studios' The Legend of Kyrandia and games based on LucasArts' SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) system such as Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max and more.</long_description> </app>
A web application to create meta.xml files and code was made by abeisgreat, and is available here 
Adding an Icon
- See also: Homebrew Channel/Icons
In order to make icons for the Homebrew Channel show up, they must be in .png format with dimensions of 128x48 pixels. The full alpha channel can be used. Copy it into the folder of the application under the name "icon.png" (e.g. apps/scummvm/icon.png).
Homebrew Channel Packs
Preassembled Homebrew Channel Packs (boot.elf/boot.dol, meta.xml,and icon.png) featuring all compatible Emulators, Apps, OS, Media Players, and Games seperated in packs which are verified daily for the latest releases can be found here.
Complete Setup Format
After you install the apps on your SD card. It should look something like this. If you have any problems having your Applications showing up on the 'HBC', make sure you are following the correct format.
Removing the channel can be done by simply deleting it with the channel management in the Wii system software.
- you don’t need to eject your memcards anymore
- switched from IOS35 to IOS21, this makes the hbc usable on older firmwares
- improved SD card loading performance (thanks, svpe!)
- improved some translations
- the IP label isn’t cut off anymore
- fixed argv support when loading SD apps
- fixed a minor wiiload issue
- the SD app entries are now sorted alphabetically
- wiimote rumble support
- installer overhaul, it now warns you if your System Menu is too new (future updates)
(Initial Public Release besides chainloader)
- minor bugfixes and last GUI updates
- more translations
- ISO distribution
- first public beta
- GUI overhaul chapter two
- wiimote dragging on memo widget
- auto disconnect wiimote after idle time
- various fixes
- GUI overhaul chapter one
- IR pointer smoothing
- improved argv support
- fixed bugs introduced with wiimote code
- fixed update bugs
- SD card is scanned for boot.dol then boot.elf
- wiimote IR cursor
- flicker fix
- stable wiimote libraries
- argv support
The official FAQ from the developers of the Homebrew Channel can be found here.
If you believe you've found a bug in the Homebrew Channel, report it here.