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'Mini' Kernel Preview Five (aka MIKE p5)

MIKE p5 is the fifth public preview release of a Linux kernel for the Nintendo Wii video game console that can run under 'mini', the alternative firmware from Team Twiizers.


This kernel release is targeted at people interested in Linux on the Nintendo Wii which have already installed Bootmii on their video game consoles.

What's new in MIKE p5

Linux kernel 2.6.32

MIKE p5 is based on the recently released Linux kernel v2.6.32.

Experimental support for the Wii DVD unit

This new version adds support for the internal DVD drive unit found in the Nintendo Wii video game console.

The driver uses the native commands of the DVD drive unit to read DVD discs and has been tested only on a non-chipped Wii.

Updated support for the Nintendo Wii WLAN daughter card

The Nintendo Wii WLAN card is now officially supported in the mainline kernel.


You can find links to some pre-built binary images compatible with whiite-linux based distros (i.e. you can use one of these kernel images instead of the one that came originally with your whiite-linux system). Please, read the whiite-linux article to learn how to setup a barebones whiite-linux system, and the rest of this document to learn how to properly use the kernel images.

Environment Video mode Kernel image
mini 480i PAL (60Hz)
mini 576i PAL (50Hz)
mini 480p PAL (60Hz)
mini 480i NTSC (60Hz)
mini 480p NTSC (60Hz)
IOS auto mikep5-zImage-2.6.32.ios.elf

The kernel patches are available for download via Sourceforge File Release System (FRS).


Supported Hardware

The following hardware/peripherals are supported by the MIKE p5 kernel:

 "Classic" hardware
 - Non-accelerated 2D video hardware (VI)
   - Note: correct RGB framebuffer support requires our SDL library port
 - Audio hardware (AI,DSP)
 - EXI hardware (EXI)
   - (not compiled-in) Nintendo SD Card Adapter (DOL-019) or compatibles
   - (not compiled-in) Non-SDHC MMC/SD cards in SPI mode via a Nintendo DOL-019 or compatible
   - Real Time Clock / SRAM
 - Serial Interface hardware (SI)
   - Nintendo GameCube controllers
   - Nintendo GameCube WaveBird wireless controllers
 "Native" hardware
 - MEM2 memory as normal RAM
 - SDHC and Non-SDHC SD cards in SD mode via the front SD card slot
 - Internal USB Bluetooth dongle
 - Nintendo Wii Remote (RVL-003) and related expansion accessories
 - Sensor bar
 - USB 1.x and 2.0 devices
 - Internal wireless network card
 - DVD drive unit

Unsupported Hardware

The following hardware/peripherals are NOT yet supported:

 "Classic" hardware
 - Nintendo GameCube memory cards


mini must have IPC_SDHC_EXIT support

MIKE won't work properly unless a version of 'mini' with IPC_SDHC_EXIT support is used. Neither the version of mini included in Bootmii beta1 nor the one bundled with Bootmii beta2 support the IPC_SDHC_EXIT call.

You can use Bootmii public Beta 3 or later, or alternatively you can download a ready-to-use armboot.bin with IPC_SDHC_EXIT support.

You can also build your own binary from sources using latest git from:


Make sure that you have copied armboot.bin (either mikep1-armboot.bin or armboot.bin from Beta 3 or higher) to /bootmii/armboot.bin within your SD card before attempting to use any of the mini-based MIKE kernel images.

Note that you don't need to upgrade armboot.bin if you already installed the one that came with MIKE p1.

Extra features of MIKE p5 when running under mini (vs IOS)

  • EHCI (USB 2.0) is supported
  • Increased I/O bandwidth for SDHC, USB 1.x and USB 2.0
  • Additional 11 MB of RAM are available
  • Internal WLAN is supported
  • DVD unit is supported

Notes when running MIKE p5 under mini

Root device name changes

The same MIKE p5 binary can run under mini and under IOS. However, if you plan to run MIKE p5 under IOS you need to make sure that the kernel command line is modified to reflect the proper root device, as the name is different in each case:

Environment Root Device
mini /dev/mmcblk0p2
IOS /dev/rvlsda2

Video mode may need to be specified on the kernel command line

When mini boots the kernel (as ppcboot.elf) the video hardware isn't initialized, and thus, the kernel cannot guess the right video mode.

See the Graphics and Sound article on how to specify a video mode using the kernel command line, or use a pre-built kernel image that matches your video mode settings.

Hint: You can hexedit the kernel image and replace the existing kernel command line with your own. Look for the string "placeholder_for_additional_kernel_options_targetted_at_hexedit_lovers" within the kernel image.

OHCI (USB 1.x) may have issues

The OHCI controllers found on the Nintendo Wii video game consoles seem to have hardware bugs. The current OHCI driver adds two quirks to workaround the observed incorrect behaviours until now.

Issues will be addressed as they are detected.

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