Install ReactOS on Xbox

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Revision as of 14:17, 11 August 2019 by PurpleGurl (talk | contribs) (Minor grammar/punctuation fixes)
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ReactOS can be either installed to your Xbox or started via Live CD without installing.

Cromwell BIOS starting ReactOS

A modified Cromwell BIOS is required, which allows you to boot ReactOS or Linux. It's available in two forms: a flashable BIOS image and a standalone XBE file. First, one can be flashed into the BIOS (if you have a modchip, it works very well), and second one can be started directly from the dashboard. It's fully free and can be downloaded below:

If you are using XQEMU, simply pass it via command-line parameter:

-bios image.bin

Before boot

  1. Don't forget to detach your Xbox Gamepad controller because currently, ReactOS won't boot with it.
  2. Attach your keyboard and mouse before booting into ReactOS (well, hotplug should work too, but since whole USB stack is now in experimental mode it may not work).

In the case of XQEMU, find these parameters:

-usb -device usb-xbox-gamepad

And replace them with:

-usb -device usb-kbd -device usb-mouse

Running Live CD

Just insert your burned CD into the drive, and select CD-ROM (hdb) boot in Cromwell BIOS.

In the case of XQEMU, specify a file for cdrom:

-drive index=1,media=cdrom,file=livecd.iso

Installing to Xbox HDD

Installation from the Boot CD currently is not supported, however, there's an alternative install method which is fairly simple.

Some prerequisites

  1. You should be able to transfer files to Xbox's HDD somehow (best is FTP server, running on Xbox Linux ( but you can also attach the HDD to your PC – manuals for this are located on the same great site).
  2. Your knowledge how to run custom software on the Xbox (you can gain it from the same site).

In the case of XQEMU, you can just use XboxHDM to create a disk image with FATX partitions:

Steps to install

  1. Copy freeldr.ini and freeldr.sys into root directory of E: drive.
  2. Copy ReactOS folder from where you have it working (virtual machine, real HDD) to ReactOS folder on E: drive.
All files in place

In the case of XQEMU, just move these files into /xboxhdm/linux/E/ directory. Optionally, if you are using stock BIOS for gaming, you should place reactos.xbe in /xboxhdm/linux/C/ directory. Once all files are in place, generate linux.iso which will allow to run XboxHDM and create a virtual HDD for XQEMU with your files.

Booting from PC HDD

Note: you should have Cromwell BIOS flashed to the chip to use this boot method. It won't work with Xromwell XBE loader, and it will break your Xbox dashboard! Also note that hard disk should be formatted as FAT32, not BTRFS or any other file system.

Latest Cromwell BIOS firmware supports booting from native FAT32 partitions. You can use dd utility to write HDD image, or just replace Xbox hard disk with PC hard disk where you have ReactOS installed.