About GeeXboX for Wii


What is GeeXboX ?

To quote the GeeXboX homepage, ‘GeeXboX is a free embedded Linux distribution which aims at turning your computer into a so called HTPC (Home Theater PC) or Media Center.’


What is GeeXboX for Wii?

GeeXboX for Wii is GeeXboX ported, UNOFFICIALLY, to run on Nintendo Wii game console. This has been made possible by the exellent work of Wii ‘hackers’ and homebrewers, especially TeamTwiizers and the gc-linux team.


What does GeeXboX for Wii actually do?

GeeXboX for Wii basically turns your homebrew-enabled Wii into a fairly decent media center. Its main functions include media (audio/videco) file playback, image file viewing, file hosting and sharing with other PC, console and handheld devices over USB ethernet, bluetooth or wifi (MINI version only). It can be controlled using wiimote, USB keyboards (including wireless ones), or certain models of bluetooth-enabled mobile phones.


What’s with the two GeeXboX for Wii versions, i.e. IOS and MINI?

Starting with 0.1beta1, GeeXboX for Wii is released as two separate versions: GeeXboX for Wii (IOS) and GeeXboX for Wii (MINI). It is difficult to explain the differences between the two to someone without prior knowledge about Homebrew Channel (HBC) and Bootmii, etc. You are advised to browse through WiiBrew, Bootmii, and even better, Hackmii.

GeeXboX for Wii (IOS) is basically the continuation of previous 0.1alpha releases and has to be launched by, preferrably, HBC or other similar homebrew loading methods. This version does not support native wifi or DVD; does not support USB 2.0; does not support front SD slot hot-swapping; does support returning to HBC.

GeeXboX for Wii (MINI) is basically the IOS version modified to take advantage of MINI firmware and has to be launched through MINI, i.e. manually from Bootmii GUI or automatically by replacing ppcboot.elf in bootmii folder. This version
does support native wifi (currently at a rather low speed); does support USB 2.0; does support front SD slot hot-swapping; does support native DVD; does not support returning to HBC.

Except the differences listed above, the IOS and MINI versions are nearly identical as far as other features are concerned. Please note that the extra features in MINI version do put heavier burden on CPU and memory usage. Therefore, if the MINI version-specific features are of little or no use to you, you are advised to stick to the IOS version.

Documentation on this site has been updated to reflect the similarities and differences between the two version. Information contained in paragraphs or sections not explicitly stated as version specific could be considered applicable to both.


What kind of performance can be expected of GeeXboX for Wii?

Performance of GeeXboX for Wii, especially multimedia playback performance, is restricted by hardware limitations of Wii. (Detailed specifications of Wii hardware can be found here.) Relatively low CPU power, lack of real optimization for multimedia applications in CPU architecture and unavailability (for now) of any form of hardware video acceleration to linux-based homebrew, all these combined make it impossible for performance of GeeXboX for Wii to be comparable to media players on any decent PC manufactured within the past few years.

The few things in Wii’s favour though, include its compact size and very low power consumption. If you have higher demands, however, such as HDTV capabilities, this is definitely NOT the right choice.


Acknowledgements

The GeeXboX for Wii project is possible as a result of the excellent work by the Team Twiizers, the GameCube Linux team, and of course the GeeXboX team.

This project is also greatly helped by the following donators, whose generosity is deeply appreciated:

torben_s
S. Lippert
elsnorro

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