How to Turn Your XBox Into a PC
By Jason Candanedo
Updated September 22, 2017
Items you will need
Kingston Data Traveler 32 and 256 MB.
Lexar JumpDrive Secure 128 and 256 MB
USB cable adapter
It is possible to convert your Microsoft Xbox video game console into a fully functioning computer, since it shares the same hardware specs of some older computer desktops. This is only possible by using the Linux operating system, since Microsoft operating systems such as Windows cannot be used. Turning the Xbox into a computer requires installing some outside software directly into the Xbox console with the right accessories.
Via the cable adapter, attach your USB memory device and the USB cable into your Xbox console.
Turn on your Xbox console. This will reformat your USB device and it will be recognized by the Xbox, displaying the device in the dashboard.
To install Linux into your Xbox, you need the Mechassault “savegame” image. Download this image from websites such as SourceForge.net.
Attach the USB memory device into your PC.
Transfer the Mechassault image to your USB device by clicking and dragging.
Remove the USB device and reattach the device to your Xbox.
The USB will reappear in the dashboard. Open the USB and view the contents. You will see these options--emergency Linux, remove Linux and install Linux.
Select “Memory” and then select the USB device. Select the save game image “Install Linux” and then select “Copy,” and finally select “Xbox hard disk.” Repeat the same process with the other two options.
Insert a copy of “Mechassault” into your Xbox console.
Go into the Xbox dashboard and select “Emergency Linux.” If done correctly, the Xbox will restart and a black screen with white letters will appear in place of the Xbox dashboard. Linux is booting.
Use the telnet default address is 192.168.0.3 and log in with “root” as your username and “Xbox” as your password.
Type the command "xbox_tool-a" when you are logged in. This will display the hard disk key. Save this key as the hard disk is encrypted and can be used to do modifications or recover information.
If you took out the Mechassault game, put it back in the Xbox. Select “Install Linux.” After this, you do not have to use Mechassault again.
Install the full version of Linux. Your best bet to do this is to burn your own copy on a DVD-R with files from the Ed’s Debian website. Place the disc into your Xbox and boot from it. Type “su” to login as an administrator and “Xbox” for a password when the virtual keyboard shows up. Type “XBOXLinuxInstaller” and complete the installation by following the onscreen instructions.
With Ed’s Debian, you can use an USB compatible mouse and keyboard.
Jason Candanedo is currently a student at Empire State College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in social theory, social structure and change. He has been writing since August 2008 on his political blog and since September 2009 as a freelance writer for various websites.