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FreeBSD Ported to XBox 194

NetFiber writes "FreeBSD has been ported to the XBox. "Over the last 2 weeks, I have been working on a port of FreeBSD for the XBox. The port is fully functional. The framebuffer is fully supported, same goes for sound and USB devices (such as an USB keyboard). Only ethernet is missing, currently." The FreeBSD on XBox website is here, downloads included." Update: 07/27 14:50 GMT by T : Rink Springer writes with a request that you use the primary mirror instead.
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FreeBSD Ported to XBox

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  • But does (Score:5, Funny)

    by mboverload ( 657893 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:19AM (#13175083) Journal
    But does FreeBSD on Xbox run Linux? Yeah.
  • by MaestroSartori ( 146297 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:20AM (#13175087) Homepage

    "This XBE file hasn't been tested, as we don't have a modchipped XBOX."

    Anyone out there with a chipped xbox know if this works at all? :)
  • Ethernet missing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by coflow ( 519578 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:21AM (#13175089)
    This is pretty cool, although from TFA: Only ethernet is missing, currently, as the binary only driver in /usr/ports/net/nvnet fails with an error 5, for some reason. Assistance there would be very welcome.

    I suspect this is a feature that would be fairly important to most users.
    • nah. all I ever do wil my freeBSD box is play GNUchess.
    • by zyche ( 784345 )
      If all you whiners cared to actually RTFA you would have spotted "A lot of USB ethernet controllers" listed under hardware support. These doesn't cost much these days, and *BSD supports most of them.
      • by nxtw ( 866177 )
        I'm sure they'd all work great with the Xbox's USB ports. That is, after you get an adapter for the controller ports. But why spend money on getting USB to work just to have Ethernet over USB 1, when there's already a builtin 10/100 Ethernet port right on the back?
      • Whilst Im sure you put in alot of effort and should be commended, claiming "fully functional" whilst admitting that something *isn't* functional seems like asking for trouble.

        "Almost fully functional" would have gotten you almost as much credit without the hastle.
      • Re:Ethernet missing? (Score:5, Informative)

        by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @09:08AM (#13175338) Journal
        You can't just plug in "a lot of USB ethernet controllers" because the XBox controller ports, albiet USB, are not a USB connection. You need a converter, and THEN the controller. And when all is said and done, you'd left with a crappy 11Mbit of USB Ethernet speeds whereas the onboard controller (e100) is actually very good.

        I'm not whining - I really don't give a crap either way. But this isn't a solution by any means.
        • Re:Ethernet missing? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:38AM (#13175992)
          you can quickly and easily make a MS USB to normal USB adapter with a USB extension cord, a solder gun, solder, and an xbox breakwaway cable in about in 5 mins... Instructions are on the linux xbox website
          • Well no shit. But it's a pain in the ass. I'm not sure why you're intent on defending this lack of ethernet support like this?

            I made my own USB - PS2 connector for the Xbox ports and that was enough for me. I don't need to spend more time on it then that. If BSD isn't going to run on the machine properly, it's not a big deal. I hardly run Linux on it anymore either (which, incidently, has always worked just fine with the network card.)
            • You're probably going to want/need a usb adapter anyway if you're planning to use X-Box freeBSD or X-Box Linux. I mean, you want to be able to plug in a mouse or keyboard, right? Also, you practically require one to use either without being a chump and spending fifty bucks on a modchip(softmods are ambrosia. :) )
    • Re:Ethernet missing? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ezdaloth ( 675945 )

      No shit this driver fails, it is supposed to support NVidia nforce2 chipset with AMD processors. Not the (also nvidia) network chip in the xbox. The ethernet chip is probably quite similar to the nforce chip, but the rest of the hardware isn't ...

      The best bet might be to port the linux forcedeth drivers. They're the only OSS drivers for the chip.

  • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:21AM (#13175090) Homepage
    The perfect way to prove BSD is more secure than Linux: no ethernet.

    I'll go RTFA now...
  • How long till the get Ethernet working?

    As soon as they can get the Ethernet working I can have the low cost, small form factor webserver I have been looking for.
  • ..the original Xbox is dead. They better release the next one quickly!
  • by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:22AM (#13175101)
    It's simply amazing the amount of progress two dedicated youths can make in such a short time.

    One thing I used to have a lot of time to think about was how much time I was wasting, having forced myself into a very uncomfortable place. It's quite heartening to see these kids doing great work, even if it is just for themselves as a hobby (even moreso, in my opinion).

    I'm not sure that the thing is useful, but it's definitely a cool hack.

    Is anyone offering them a job yet?
  • A couple of kids got the Daemon running on the Devil's hardware???

    Smartass comments aside, I'm actually curious on the bechmarks for this latest computer OS on a console system. The specs on the XBox basically make it a mid-range Pentium 3 box. With the heager 64 megs of onboard RAM, though, that might be a bottleneck.

  • And they'll already start working on Linux for the Xbox 360, though. Take your pick ;)

    In seriousness though, I applaud the effort. Maybe with this knowledge of what had to be changed and a quick port of Linux to the 360, maybe FreeBSD can be ported to the 360 with a much quicker turnaround.
    • I doubt any leasons learned in porting either Linux or FreeBSD to the XBox will help with the XBox 360. The 360 has a significantly different architecture than the original.
  • XBox pwn3d (Score:5, Funny)

    by spaztech ( 899194 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @08:52AM (#13175254)

    All obvious jokes aside, this is an awesome job by these young up-and-comers. Porting FreeBSD to a Microsoft gaming console, what a task.

    1: Load FreeBSD on XBox
    2: Install nMap, Nessus & Metasploit, hack CitiBank
    3: ??
    4: Profit!!

    When the F.B.I. shows up just play dumb and say, "I don't have a computer."
  • only if they'd invest the energy used porting to 300 obscure pieces of hardware and work on functionality and features instead.
    • This is FreeBSD. It's the second-least portable BSD (second only to DFly) and yet one of the most functional, depending on what you need. It was ahead of Linux with many features for a time and still has things it doesn't (e.g. clean tty snooping). You should try using systems before assuming they focus on the wrong things. Obscure hardware? FreeBSD has trouble running on some MAINSTREAM hardware, saying nothing of obscure.
  • A secure Microsoft machine? Now I've seen it all...
  • If they could make it run windows then it could rum games. An XBox with a wide game selection. . . That would be nice.
  • Has anyone tried to a mod an XBox to play Atari 2600 games? Now that would be retro. :)
  • Only!? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "Only ethernet is missing"

    For sale '94 Pontiac Grand Prix 150,000 miles. No engine.
    • You analogy is flawed, it's more like having no built in phone. It still can do anything a computer is supposed to do, you just cannot communicate with others with it.

      Hardly the be all and end all of computers or cars.

  • by NotFamous ( 827147 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @10:06AM (#13175690) Homepage Journal
    I have ported NetBSD to run on my toaster. I have full support for quad-processing (requires four slots), hyper-breading and hot swapping. Unfortunately, fork() is not currently implemented...
  • Linguistic note... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pegr ( 46683 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:20AM (#13176363) Homepage Journal
    The framebuffer is fully supported, same goes for sound and USB devices (such as an USB keyboard).
    Interesting that the submitter choose "an" rather than "a" before USB. This implies he pronounces USB "usby" rather than "yoo-ess-bee". I've never heard that before. Anyone else? Do I sound square pronouncing each letter of USB?
    • Isn't the rule that once a word starts with a vowel, you have to use 'an' : It doesn't have anything to do with how you pronounce it, does it ? [/non native english speaker]
      • There is some variation among dialects, e.g. between British and American usage. In Standard American English, the initial sound is what determines the usage of a/an, i.e. "an honorable profession" or "a USB controller" (assuming you pronounce it U-S-B). I've seen "an" occur more often in British usage, but I'm not sure exactly what their rules are.
        • Ahright, I've seen the "an honorable profession"-example before, but never really realised it was an exception to that rule. Thanks for the explanation.
        • British English is vowel sound as well.

          Sometimes, when written, you will see an or a used in front of an abbreviation, where if the full words were used in place of the shortened letters the abbreviation would start with a vowel sound.

          e.g. A MSc - meaning A Master of Science.

          but that doesn't follow in this case as it's A Universal Serial Bus.

          I tend to do this as I abbreviate to save writing.
    • jsut wrod slection, or a tpyo...

      (anti-script word image: harmony)

      (I guess the /. admins changed the word images to dictionary words possibly due to typo-complaints?)
  • Try porting Windows to the XBox! Ha! ... Wait..
  • Automatically do I have, the links to MirrorDot and CoralCache inserted.

    +++ for the truth.
  • ... and claim that thanks to Darwin being BSD based, it's been "running on the XBox for years". Rumors on SlashDot will surface about pirated versions on the upcoming 'Liger' release ('bred' using GAs for its magical cross platform qualites) all ready being available in Torrent form.

    Oh and of course Marathon will replace Halo as the defacto multiplayer game on the XBox... Did I miss anything? Oh the rumors of the upcoming Amiga port.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.