xbox is an Xbox that I turned into a pydance machine. My brother Jimmy gave the Xbox to me.

I used the information from the Xbox Linux project and a little bit from

I used the “Hardware/TSOP flashing” method. It turns out I have a version 1.0 Xbox, apparently one of the first made.

Because I didn't want to mess with memory cards and USB adapters, I installed the MechAssault savegames using the hard disk hotswap method. I had a number of false starts doing this. The filesystem on the Xbox's hard drive is called FATX. The Xbox-Linux project provides patches to add FATX support to Linux. I first tried compiling a 2.6 kernel with the patches, but it turns out that they were broken at the time. I managed to compile a 2.4 kernel and write the savegames.

I had never done any soldering, so instead I used a CircuitWriter pen from RadioShack to enable write on the BIOS chip.

I decided to first install Xebian before trying to adapt Gusto to run on the Xbox. None of the brands of CD-R/CD-RW/DVD-RW/DVD+R I had around were readable by the optical disc drive (see the compatibility list), so I temporarily replaced it with a spare CD-ROM drive. The Xbox's DVD drive has a non-standard power connector, so you'll need to get a power splitter to connect a standard drive (or, if you're just anxious to get it working, you can put another computer next to the Xbox and use one of its power connectors).

It was easy to install Xebian, and pydance was only an apt-get install pydance away. My dancepad, however, wasn't recognized as a joystick, so I couldn't use it with pydance. I had to patch the kernel on top of the Xbox Linux patches to get it to work. (The patch is now in Xbox Linux CVS.)

I then applied the necessary patches to Gusto and packaged pydance and its dependencies. It took me a while to get sound working, but that was eventually figured out.

The system is rigged up to jump straight into pydance after it's booted and shut down when pydance terminates. It's not as slick as a real game system, but it's not as clunky as a personal computer.

All the Xbox-specific changes to Gusto are in the gusto--xbox branch in my Arch archive at You can check it out with

tla register-archive
tla get -A gusto--xbox

Joey dancing

Here's my younger brother Joey dancing.

The dancepad is the Deluxe Xbox dance mat 3.1 from Level Six. I can't recommend it. The fabric started to tear after only a couple of months.