Install Ubuntu on Xbox 360 HD


FS Member
How to Install Ubuntu onto your Xbox 360 Hard Drive
(Using Debootstrap)

This is an advanced guide for installing Ubuntu to an Xbox360. I am assuming you already have Linux experience and understand the fundamentals. Anybody who is willing to write a guide for beginners can feel free to reference any information from this guide.

• Xbox360 with a kernel version of 4532 or 4548. (If your kernel version is lower then 4532, you will need to update using
• Hitachi 360 DVD Drive with modified firmware (Samsung does not work!)
• Patched King Kong disk with the new King Kong Shader exploit for XeLL.
• Cpasjuste’s Gentoo Beta Live CD found here
You must use the above version, because the first one lacks the tools needed.
• Internet Connection (High Speed is preferred, since you will be downloading the install packages from the internet.)
• Microsoft VGA cable for the 360 is also recommended, since it can be difficult to see what you are doing on a TV.
• USB Keyboard/mouse.
• Made a backup your retail xbox360 drive. (This is very important; not doing so will make it impossible to save 360 content to the drive again!)

Backing up your Xbox360 Retail Hard Drive WARNING:
Before even considering formatting your retail Xbox 360 Hard Drive for Linux, you must take a backup of either the whole drive or just the key sector to be able to use it again for saved games and other 360 content. This can be done with disk tools such as WinHex. If you’re unsure on how to do this, do not continue!

Installing Ubuntu Linux using Cpasjuste’s Gentoo Beta Live CD:
This guide is assuming that you have already patched and burned a King Kong ISO and have the new beta live CD booting your 360 into Gentoo. If you are not this far yet, then please refer to other guides to accomplish this. You will have to login as root before starting or put sudo at the beginning of each command, same goes for the rest of the guide.

At this point you should be in Gentoo Linux. DHCP should have setup your network connection. To check type ping into the terminal you should get a response if your network connection is up and running. If not follow these steps to manually configure your network connection:


ifconfig eth0 up

Replace with the IP address that you want to set.

route add default gw

Replace with the gateway address that you want to set.

vi /etc/resolv.conf

Replace with the nameserver address that you want to set.

Now test your connection again, ping you should now get a response, if you don’t get a response double check your settings.

Setting up the Hard Drive:

cfdisk /dev/sda

This will bring up a graphical fdisk program.
Create your Linux swap partition:
Select New > Primary > 1024 > Select Beginning
Create your Linux install partition (you have to arrow down to free space first):
Select New > Primary > Let it use the rest of the free space and just press enter

Now you should have two partitions, sda2 should have the largest portion of space and sda1 should be around 1 gig to be used for swap space, if this is correct then arrow over to write, press enter and type yes. Then quit

Once that is done you need to format the install partition with:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda2

Then setup your swap partition with:

mkswap /dev/sda1
sync; sync; sync
swapon /dev/sda1

Install Ubuntu to the Xbox360:
Now that your drives are formatted and partitioned, it is time to mount the install partition and make a directory to get started from:

mkdir /mnt/ubuntu
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/ubuntu
cd /mnt/ubuntu
mkdir work
cd work

Get the Debootstrap tools:


Extract debootstrap:

ar -xf debootstrap_0.3.3.2ubuntu3_all.deb
cd –
zcat < /mnt/ubuntu/work/data.tar.gz | tar xv

Change folder paths by typing:

export DEBOOTSTRAP_DIR=/mnt/ubuntu/usr/lib/debootstrap
export PATH=$PATH:/mnt/ubuntu/usr/sbin

Run debootstrap:

debootstrap --arch powerpc edgy /mnt/ubuntu

For the fastest installation, use a mirror closest to you. Mirrors are listed at

Downloading the basic installation can take an hour or so.

Configure the Base System:
Once the download is complete change root to your new Ubuntu file system:

chroot /mnt/ubuntu /bin/bash

Create a custom fstab:

editor /etc/fstab

You will need to add these entry’s to your fstab:

/dev/sda2 / ext3 defaults 0 0
/dev/sda1 none swap sw 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
sys /sys sysfs defaults 0 0

Configure Networking:
You will now need to configure your network, below is an example. Make sure to use the settings for your network. (If you do not set a loopback as shown in the example, gnome will fail to boot correctly)

editor /etc/network/interfaces

iface lo inet loopback
auto lo

# To use dhcp:
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

#To use static:
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Edit resolv.conf to insert your nameserver, below is an example. Make sure to use the settings for your network
editor /etc/resolv.conf


Now reboot the Xbox 360.

Booting into Ubuntu from the Hard Drive:
Since you are no longer using the live cd, you will need to burn this ISO that includes a kernel that will boot from the Hard Drive.

Boot this cd just as you booted the live cd. You should now be in Ubuntu Linux.

Adding users, groups, setting root password, and hostname:
Set a root password:

passwd root

Create a user for yourself:

adduser your_username

Create an admin group:

addgroup admin

Add yourself to the admin group:

adduser your_username admin

Add your username to sudoers:

your_username ALL=(ALL) ALL

Set a host name:

echo Xenon > /etc/hostname

Installing Ubuntu Desktop (Gnome):
Make sure your logged in as root and type:

aptitude install ubuntu-desktop

This also can take up to and hour or so. When it’s almost finished you will get a resolution setup screen, select 1280x768 as the default resolution with space bar, and deselect the rest. The setup will continue for ten or so more minutes.

Configuring X:
Next you will need to download the xenon Xorg driver.

cd /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/

Then run the visual Xorg configuration:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

Setup as follows:

1. Attempt to autodetect video hardware? > No
2. X Server Driver: Xenonfb
3. Generic Video Card > Enter
4. Video card’s bus identifier: Press enter for default
5. Amount of memory: Press enter for default
6. Use kernel framebuffer device interface? > Yes
7. Autodetect keyboard layout? > Yes
8. Keyboard layout: us
That’s if you’re in the united states, if your not then fill in your default layout.
9. XKB rule set to use: xorg
10. Keyboard model: choose your rule set based on the options
11. Keyboard variant: leave blank if you’re in the U.S.
12. Keyboard options: Leave as default
13. Mouse Protocol: ImPS/2
14. Emulate a 3 button mouse? > Your choice
15. Xorg server modules: Default
16. Write default Files section to configuration file? > Yes
17. Attempt monitor detection? > Yes
18. Use generic monitor if it doesn’t detect it.
19. Video modes to be used by the X server: 1280x768
20. Method for selecting the monitor characteristics: Medium
21. Monitors best video mode: Choose what’s best for your monitor.
22. Write monitor sync ranges to the configuration file? > Yes
23. Desired default color depth in bits: 24

Now reboot and you will be greeted by ubuntu with Gnome the next time you load the XeLL boot cd.

Have fun!!