Patches Updated For Booting Linux On The Nintendo Wii U
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 22 June 2022 at 01:55 PM EDT. 7 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Back in March there were Linux kernel patches posted for review to boot Linux on the Nintendo Wii U game console after this Linux porting work has long been done out-of-tree. A new iteration of those Wii U enablement patches for the Linux kernel have now been posted.

The "v2" patches were posted today for getting the platform support, DeviceTree files, udbg console, Espresso processor handling, and other work so Linux can boot on this game console. The decade-old Nintendo Wii U game console features a 1.24GHz IBM PowerPC tri-core processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 550MHz AMD Radeon GPU based on R600/R700 IP, and 8GB of internal flash (or 32GB for Nintendo's premium model).

The v2 patches amount to just 1.6k lines of new code beyond the PowerPC code already in the mainline kernel. The updated patches have various style and formatting changes made that were brought up during the March review. We'll see if there is enough interest in getting this Wii U port mainlined. Then again, it was just last year Nintendo 64 support was mainlined in the Linux kernel.


Running Linux on the Wii U itself is non-trivial and does require special handling. As mentioned in the Linux Wii U guide, "due to the Wii U's security model and chain of trust, you need to keep the stock OS working so that we can boot it, exploit bugs in it and load Linux over the top."

The information on linux-wiiu.org has more information if wanting to run the currently out-of-tree Linux code on this Nintendo game console.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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