Linux 5.15 To Allow Reading From The Nintendo OTP Memory Area

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 13 August 2021 at 07:31 AM EDT. 16 Comments
For hobbyists that enjoy tinkering around with Linux running on the Nintendo Wii or Wii U game consoles, a new driver coming for Linux 5.15 allows accessing the specialized OTP read-only memory area that contains the encryption/decryption keys and other data.

The "nintendo-otp" driver was published by independent developers in working towards allowing this read-only memory area on at least the Nintendo Wii and Wii U consoles to be exposed by Linux. This special memory area contains encryption/decryption keys and signatures. The one-time programmable area contains just 128~1024 bytes for these keys and signatures. These per-console keys can be necessary for accessing peripherals and dealing with various attached storage.

This driver has been used with the downstream linux-wiiu kernel while now is in the process of being mainlined. For those interested, that downstream link also covers various details for those wanting to run Linux on the Nintendo Wii consoles.

With the mainline Linux 5.15 kernel it looks like all the pieces are ready for the (unofficial) Nintendo OTP driver. Currently the DeviceTree changes for the Wii and Wii U are part of POWER's "next-test" but there still is time to comfortably make it into the "next" branch with 5.15 not opening until the end of August or early September.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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