Create a bootable homebrew disc

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Introduction

This guide explains the necessary steps to produce a homebrew iso9660 bootable disc for the Nintendo GameCube.

It can be booted with any modchip or drivechip installed and through IPL replacements like GCOS or Swiss.

What you need

  • A working PC with Linux or Windows
  • A homebrew dol program, that will be booted
  • dolLZ 3 or udolrel (dolLZ preferred)
  • A gbi.hdr file
  • mkisofs

What you may need, depends on your needs

  • A DVD Writer and a (mini)DVD-R
  • A Drive Replacement like Wiikey Fusion or WODE
  • A SD(HC) Card

Making a bootable disc

We will build an iso9660 image with the "El Torito Specification" boot extensions, with a Boot Image (gbi.hdr) and with a DOL file we want to boot (bootldr.dol).

1. Create the a directory with the following structure:

homebrew_disc\gbi.hdr
homebrew_disc\disc\

2. Copy all files you want to include in the disc to the "disc" directory. The directory must not be bigger than 1.35 GB.

For example: If you are creating a SNES emulator disc, you can add your rom files to a "rom" folder inside the "disc" directory.

3. Relocate the DOL program you want executed during disc boot

dollz3 my.dol bootldr.dol -m

4. Move the "bootldr.dol" to the "disc" directory

5. Build the iso9660 disc image.

mkisofs -R -J -G gbi.hdr -no-emul-boot -b bootldr.dol -o homebrew_disc.iso disc/

6. Burn the image you have created to DVD-R media or transfer it to sd card or hard disc for use with swiss.

Additional steps for WODE

The WODE will not load gamecube iso's that are too small. So it could be necessary to add a dummy file to increase the iso size. You can use DummyFileGen for this. I do not know the minimum size for use with the WODE, but yamaharacer tested a disc created by me with a 100mb dummy file and it works, maybe smaller dummy files will work too (further investigating required).

Additional steps for Wiikey Fusion

If you created a simple homebrew disc iso with just the hombrew dol on it, it could be useful to use my header faker. The reason: All gamecube images added by the WBFS Manager 4.0 will use 1.35 gb on the wbfs partition. If you use the header faker, it tricks the Wiikey Fusion / WBFS Manager so it will only take 2 mb on the partiton.

Booting a bootable disc

In order to boot the homebrew disc built, use the appropiate option of your GameCube IPL replacement (GCOS, NinjaShell, Qoob, Viper, ...) or direct boot it through XenoGC or DuoQ.

Additional Information

This Howto is based on this one (thx gc-linux.org)

It has been tested by me with Swiss r52 and XenoGC.

A sample package (gbi.hdr, swiss r52 as bootldr.dol, mkisofs, dollz3) can be found in the forum (here)