News: Luca Todesco (Qwertyoruiop) manages to get Linux booting on Apple A10 devices & the Switch sees updates for N-Xplorer (VitaShell-inspired file manager) & Cathery’s sys-con
Across different hacked devices and consoles, one of the goals that some parts of the community always have is to get Linux up and running. Developers were successful in reaching this goal on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PSP and now, even modern iDevices thanks to Luca Todesco’s latest revelation! In this article, we’ll also be looking at updates to 2 popular Switch homebrew offerings namely N-Xplorer and Sys-con.
iOS News: Luca Todesco (Qwertyoruiop) manages to boot Linux on the Apple A10 SoC
With Apple locking down iOS devices so much, getting any other OS to run on them is no trivial task and it requires a BootROM exploit like limera1n or checkm8. As a result, the newest iPhone that could boot some form of Linux is the iPhone 4 thanks to efforts of the now-defunct OpeniBoot/iDroid project but end-user distributions (in the form of Android and some others) are only available on the iPhone 2G, 3G and iPod Touch 1st generation as progress on A4 devices never got so far.
However, things may change in the ‘Linux on iDevices’ world because thanks to axi0mX‘s checkm8 BootROM exploit, developers are able to boot unsigned code at very low-levels with Luca Todesco and others using this opportunity to create the checkra1n jailbreak and now, for further research into what can be done with iOS devices. Yesterday, Qwertyoruiop tweeted out that he’d been able to boot Linux on the T8010 (Apple A10 SoC which is found in the iPhone 7(+), iPad 6/7 & iPod Touch 7) along with some pictures as evidence that the Linux kernel was able to reach the shell and accept commands!
In a nutshell, this means that development on getting a useable Linux distribution on modern iOS devices is currently on-going in some form or another although it doesn’t directly imply an end-user release any time soon. It’s important to note that drivers may need to be written for various hardware devices so even if a Linux distribution is released, some features like graphics acceleration may not be available as it’s extremely difficult to write drivers from scratch. That being said, Luca Todesco’s revelation about getting Linux up and running is undoubtedly exciting especially for iPad users as the device could be turned into a fully fledged hybrid tablet with a desktop Linux distribution and perhaps, we’ll also see Android some day!
Switch Releases: N-Xplorer 0.6.4 & Sys-con 0.5.3 released
Moving over to the Switch front, which very recently saw a significant update to its Ubuntu distribution L4TUbuntu, we have updates to CompSciOrBust’s N-Xplorer and Cathery’s Sys-con. Starting off with N-Xplorer, a VitaShell-inspired file manager for the Switch that’s seeing active development, it received an update to version 0.6.4 which brings along:
- The addition of parental controls when accessing the NAND
- The text editor gained GUI-based options for Save (and exit), Save As (and exit) and Exit without saving
- As a result of this, the shortcuts with the ‘-‘ button in the text editor have been removed
- A bug was fixed which mounted the user partition to both user:/ and sys:/
You may grab N-Xplorer 0.6.4 from this link. Its developer plans to add the ability to sort files by size/name in the next version together with improving sub-menu text.
Changing subject over to Cathery’s offerings, sys-con, a sysmodule letting you use DualShock 3/4, XBOX One X/S and 360 controllers on your Switch, has been updated to version 0.5.3. This minor update brings along:
- The maximum and minimum stick values generated by the sysmodule have been fixed and games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Resident Evil 4 no longer crash
- When swapping the left analogue stick with the d-pad, the analogue values generated by the d-pad are clamped to a circle radius
- You can now manually enable/disable sys-con from Kosmos Toolbox’s toolbox menu provided you have the latest version
There’s also some more stuff to be excited when it comes to the Switch as Hydr8gon plans to release a WIP version 0.1 build of NooDS for the console and Kirikiri will be seeing some substantial updates in the next version while sys-screenuploader 0.0.7 is out. On the iOS front, the Apple TV 3rd generation jailbreak, etasonATV gained support for AppleTV3,1 units.