FreeBSD ported to the XBox!

Rink Springer rink at
Tue Jul 26 09:04:44 GMT 2005

Hello everyone,

Over the last 2 weeks, I have been working on a port of FreeBSD for the
XBox. During this effort, Ed Schouten has given me assistance by
reviewing patches and giving advice.

The port is fully functional. The framebuffer is fully supported, same goes
for sound and USB devices (such as an USB keyboard for the console). 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 have made patches for FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE and FreeBSD 6.0-BETA1.
Currently, the port requires the Linux Cromwell BIOS (which was patched
so it would understand FreeBSD kernel ELF files). More information on the
patch can be found in the mail archives of xbox-linux, at
You will need the latest CVS version for it to work, or 2.40 + patches
(patches can be found at the URL above)

Also, a live CD has been created, which has 4 kernels: a 5.4-RELEASE and
6.0-BETA1 patched kernel with /dev/acd0 and /dev/ad0s1a root devices, a
patched Cromwell BIOS (which you can load from a normal Cromwell BIOS),
as well as the base installation files and kernel patches; as the framebuffer
driver isn't ready enough yet to provide proper ANSI support, installation
should be done manually.

The project's results (including patches, todo items etc) can be found at and The patches are
available there, including a BitTorrent file of the LiveCD (which is about

As the patches are so minimal (about 1000 lines, including sample kernel
config), I hope they will be considered for 6.x-RELEASE or HEAD, as they
can easily be integrated on a i386 CD without hurting anything. I would be
happy to help with this effort.

Rink P.W. Springer                                -
"God, root, what is difference?"                  - Pitr, Userfriendly
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