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Wii-Linux turns a Nintendo Wii into a quiet and energy efficient PowerPC-based Linux system. This page details useful and interesting things for beginners to do on a Linux PC.

Logging in

Once a Wii has booted Linux, you have 60 minutes to log on with the credentials below before it times out.

  • For debian-etch-4.0+whiite-0.1:
   Username: root
   Password: whiite
  • For Proof of Concept builds:
   Username: root
   Password: cube

The Debian release comes with a lot of news, only available if you boot using the kernel that comes with that package. You will need a USB keyboard to use this release. If you are able to boot with it and login, you will stop in a command line where you can navigate through the filesystem, and execute some applications. Here are some things that you can do:

Edit text files

   nano [text file]

Play MP3s

   mp3-decoder <mp3 file> 

There is an mp3 sample in the /root directory. You can play it if you type:

   mp3-decoder Synapse-Stealing_Science.mp3

You can also use this:

   mpg321 <mp3 file>

Type & after the command to have the mp3 play in the background:

   mpg321 Synapse-Stealing_Science.mp3 &

To play MP3s from a USB flash drive, mount the drive (see below). Navigate to the directory where they are stored on your USB flash drive, and use the "mp3-decoder" or the "mpg321" tool to play them.

Mount USB Drives

  • Mount an external USB hard disk

Not all USB hard disks work, but if they are formatted in FAT or EXT2 they might be recognized. Connect a USB flash drive, and type:


The dmesg command will show you the last kernel message. If the USB flash drive is compatible, it will show you some debug messages, and a message with the status of the new drive. If it is recognized as sda, you can mount and navigate to that using these commands:

  mkdir mnt
  mount /dev/sda1 mnt 
  cd mnt 
  • To show the identifiers of the devices connected to the USB: Type lsusb
  • USB hubs work.

Use the internal Bluetooth

There is a driver that manages the Wii internal Bluetooth. You can connect to the Wiimote, but there isn’t any application to manage it yet. You can type these commands to configure it:

Shows you the Bluetooth configuration.
hcitool scan and press "1&2" on the Wiimote
This will find the Wiimote and show some information.

Chat on IRC


Install Debian Packages

After setting up an internet connection, you will be able to install new Debian packages directly onto the Wii using apt-get. Alternatively you can download on a PC then use dpkg to install packages manually.

  • cmatrix is confirmed to run which displays a simple curses screensaver. The font suggested for it has not been tested.
  • ninvaders is a simple curses based game played like Space Invaders. Seems to work 100%
  • pacman is a curses pacman game. Currently the Linux console is not large enough to view the lives, levels, and score. The game is compiled from scratch with wiiuse and Bluetooth and ncurses devs.
  • sc is a curses spreadsheet application.

Install MPlayer

  • Download the source to Wii MFE Port
  • Copy these files to the corresponding places on your SD card:
  • Extract the contents of these archives to your SD card:
  • Log on to whiite and type (you only need to do this once):
 mknod /dev/fb0 c 29 0
  • Type:
 mplayer <file>.avi