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How to install Debian Linux on MS Xbox

Written by: Xboxmod08 Team Of Sweden Version: 1.0 Date: 13 September 2002

xbox's profile picture
Published in 
 · 29 Dec 2018

This tutorial will guide you thru the basic steps for installing the Debian Linuxdistribution. Thanks to The Xbox Linux Project for making this possible on the Xbox. And this tutorial is based on the “How to Install Debian GNU / Linux on your Xbox” from Edgar Hucek, props to him!

The reason I write this is because I haven’t been working with Linux in a few years and have forgotten most of it. The “How To” by Edgar Hucek was primarily for those with good knowledge of Linux, but this tutorial is for everyone with little or no Linux experience. Thanks to Belial for all the help and Frodo for tips on booting.


Download the “Xbox Linux Install CD” from the place above. Once downloaded, use Winrar to extract the “xbox-linux-install-cd-0.0.3.iso.bz2” file to a temp directory. Now you have a file called “xbox-linux-install-cd-0.0.3.iso”, use winrar to open this file and you will some files in the .iso file. Mark the “hddboot.iso” file and drag-and-drop it to the same temporary directory. Now use CDRwin or any other program to burn “xbox-linux-install-cd-0.0.3.iso” and “hddboot.iso” to two cd’s.

Boot up your Xbox to EvoX Dash and open the tray and take the “xbox-linux-install-cd-0.0.3.iso” CD and put it in and close it. Go to MS Dashboard and the CD will hopefully boot. If it doesn’t boot do this:

  1. Edit evox.ini or menu.ini and add the following line to your Apps section: Item “Linux” “D:\default.xbe”
  2. Save and upload the new .ini file to your Xbox and reboot (don’t forget to take out the CD)
  3. Once EvoX Dash I booted insert the CD and go to MS Dashboard, it will then take you back to EvoX Dash, now go to your Apps section and you will see Linux there. Execute it and you will see Linux booting up.


 Section "Apps" 
AutoAddItem "e:\Apps\"
AutoAddItem "f:\Apps\"
Item “Linux” “d:\default.xbe”

When Linux has finished booting you execute SecureCRT and choose to do a quick connect, it should look like this.

How to install Debian Linux on MS Xbox
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A new window will appear where it asks for the password, type: xbox

You are now connected and can continue the installation.

What we will do now is partitioning your hard drive, I will do this quick so just type what im typing.

  1. fdisk /dev/hda [ENTER]
  2. n [ENTER]
  3. p [ENTER]
  4. 1 [ENTER]
  5. 15534 [ENTER]
  6. +128M
  7. n [ENTER]
  8. p [ENTER]
  9. 2 [ENTER]
  10. 15795[ENTER]
  11. [ENTER]
  12. w

What you basically have done is made one partition that starts at block 15534 and made it 128mb large, this one is to be the swap partition, next you made a new partition that starts right after the first partition at block 15795 and becomes as large as there are free space left on the drive. With “w” you wrote the partition (like saved).

When you are back at the command prompt you type “mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda2” which will format the drive then type “XBOXLinuxInstall” and press Enter twice, and that will make the first partition the swap partition and second the root partition. Then it will do some things for a few minutes.

When it’s done you turn off your Xbox and the other CD that you burned “hddboot.iso” onto and do the exact same thing as you did to boot the first CD. When Linux is booted logon via SSH or use the Xbox keyboard.

Now it ́s time to install some applications. Type “apt-get update” and you will see that it installs some programs. Be sure to have the internet connection on cause it will download the files from internet. Now you are all set, finito, klart... good work!

This is where the help stops. You have a working Linux dist on your Xbox and you can do whatever you want with it.

Tip: Since ftp and www doesn’t work at the beginning you can use “wget -lR.gz” to download files.

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guest's profile picture

Buongiorno per caso lei ha un video su questo sistema?,un altra cosa se uno non ha il floppy disk,se potrebbe usare una chiavetta USB, grazie

15 Feb 2024
DrWatson's profile picture

The Xbox does not have a floppy disk drive. The files can be transferred to the xbox via ethernet or, as written in the tutorial, by burning a CD.

15 Feb 2024
Dreamcast's profile picture

I confirm. The Xbox doesn't have a floppy disk drive

16 Feb 2024
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