Hacking Requesting pointers for wiping Wii U and installing Linux

aemacleod

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Hi all,

I am in the process of teaching myself computer science, currently studying servers and databases using Lynda.com videos. I am interested in creating a home server to play around with, and while looking at what old hardware I have lying around I noticed my Wii U gathering dust.

Since nobody has powered it on in over a year, I have no interest in preserving the native OS and gaming functionality. I want to use it as a Linux home server for learning purposes. I am fairly tech savvy, have successfully installed and done basic troubleshooting for an Ubuntu install on an old MacBook, and am comfortable with the command line.

I have looked around for instructions, and the stickies in this board and others are very well developed, but since I am trying to do something slightly different (wiping vs. running homebrew) I need some help to adapt the existing instructions to my particular situation.

A few questions:

1) Is what I want to do currently possible?
2) If possible, would it make sense to do this, or are there problems I am unaware of that would make it too much of a pain in the ass?
3) I see that FlimFlam69's kernel exploit uses the SD slot, and I see elsewhere that SD cards can be used for the installation media. What else would be required for running the installer?
4) After a lot of Googling, I could not find any tutorials or instructions that seemed to pertain to my situation, but if you know of any, can you please post a link?

Thank you!
 
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lordelan

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For a Linux home server the "hardware" is a bit expensive, don't you think?
I mean there are so many ways to obtain cheaper hardware which would run Linux at same speed as the Wii U hardware but with much more support.
Just sayin'. :P Nevertheless good luck to you. Since there's "only" a vWii Linux solution right now you might be the one to do it with the Wii U itself.
 

aemacleod

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After looking through all a number of threads, I think you might be right. I'll leave the trailblazing for others :) I don't have a whole lot of hardware lying around, so the Wii U seemed like a good candidate. After researching it, it seems like what would be required is a little more in-depth than I'm comfortable with or want at this point in time.
 
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I believe @Marionumber1 had a method of booting his DarkSide OS kernel on a Wii U, so a similar process may be possible to boot a Linux kernel. I'm not sure if he used an IOSU exploit to do this or not, the only one who truly knows the specifics of this is @Marionumber1 himself.
 

The Real Jdbye

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Hi all,

I am in the process of teaching myself computer science, currently studying servers and databases using Lynda.com videos. I am interested in creating a home server to play around with, and while looking at what old hardware I have lying around I noticed my Wii U gathering dust.

Since nobody has powered it on in over a year, I have no interest in preserving the native OS and gaming functionality. I want to use it as a Linux home server for learning purposes. I am fairly tech savvy, have successfully installed and done basic troubleshooting for an Ubuntu install on an old MacBook, and am comfortable with the command line.

I have looked around for instructions, and the stickies in this board and others are very well developed, but since I am trying to do something slightly different (wiping vs. running homebrew) I need some help to adapt the existing instructions to my particular situation.

A few questions:

1) Is what I want to do currently possible?
2) If possible, would it make sense to do this, or are there problems I am unaware of that would make it too much of a pain in the ass?
3) I see that FlimFlam69's kernel exploit uses the SD slot, and I see elsewhere that SD cards can be used for the installation media. What else would be required for running the installer?
4) After a lot of Googling, I could not find any tutorials or instructions that seemed to pertain to my situation, but if you know of any, can you please post a link?

Thank you!
1) Not without IOSU, I think. Wii U mode kernel access does not really give us enough access to run a linux kernel with direct access to hardware (though virtualizing it would be possible it would probably be slow) and trying to replace Cafe OS with Linux would result in a guaranteed brick without a bootloader exploit or some other early boot time exploit allowing us to run custom code automatically on boot (something like menuhax on 3DS could work)
2) It might be viable once an IOSU exploit is released, but even then you'll probably need an additional exploit to run Linux at boot time.
3) A working wifi connection (or wired with a LAN adapter), and a SD card reader :P
4) Wii U hacks are not quite there yet, so that's why you can't find any instructions.
 

roots

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I believe @Marionumber1 had a method of booting his DarkSide OS kernel on a Wii U, so a similar process may be possible to boot a Linux kernel. I'm not sure if he used an IOSU exploit to do this or not, the only one who truly knows the specifics of this is @Marionumber1 himself.

yes i asked on a thread few month ago about install a linux distribution on wiiu and marionumber1 said that is possible but have some tricky parts
 

NWPlayer123

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Last edited by NWPlayer123,
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FaTaL_ErRoR

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If you feel like being "hardcore" you could do a nand install like done on a cubie board. But you are going to need to be able to run the hardware. And if memory serves me correctly you'll need to short the otp. And jumper it properly. After that you'll need a combo arm/ppc linux. I dont know if any exist so you may be writing your own. I think somewhere the hardware specs are floating around. One easier thing you'll have going for you is you aren't attempting to exploit current software. You are using the hardware you purchased for a different purpose.
I see you have done ubuntu but how are you at actually programming? You need a nand tool to pass new install to wii u. You will need to keep nand access open as you attempt programming. Now you could in fact only make use of the ppc processor and use the arm to run some what of a bios. There was a great article on doing that aomewhere but I cant remember where.
I dont know about triunix because i think is running from sd card. And you want a full install.
You have a different situation than most. You are done with your wii u and no longer need their software. For you it depends on your knowledge if you want linux prior to some software exploit.
 

mhayen

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scuse me if i m a little out thread but what about android, heard somewhere between branch that the wii u have an arm achitectur in it so it s probably possible, but didn t see any update about that. nwplayer did you heard some update about that do you think after some year it will be possible to see that? finaly someone post some answer in same time i was asking nice,so it should be easier to install android like on the cubieboard?
 
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NWPlayer123

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scuse me if i m a little out thread but what about android, heard somewhere between branch that the wii u have an arm achitectur in it so it s probably possible, but didn t see any update about that. nwplayer did you heard some update about that do you think after some year it will be possible to see that? finaly someone post some answer in same time i was asking nice,so it should be easier to install android like on the cubieboard?
The Wii U can run ARM but only on the Starbuck which is incredibly underpowered for any kind of Android nonsense, it'd need to be a small kernel running on the ARM and all the main stuff running on the PowerPC side
ARM926EJ-S according to F0F's Omake https://fail0verflow.com/blog/2014/console-hacking-2013-omake.html which is at like 200MHz (PowerPC is at 1.243GHz with 3 cores, Starbuck only has one IIRC)
 

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