From GameBrew

AuthorDSLinux team
Last Updated2013/06/21
TypeOperating systems
LicenseGPL, LGPL, or BSD

DS Linux is a port of the Linux operating system to the Nintendo DS. DSLinux works on real hardware and was maintained until sometime in 2010. Since Apr 28 2007, RAM build is integrated in the DLDI build.


  • Web browsing: DSLinux features 2 text mode browsers, links and retawq. For graphical browsers you can use the graphical mode of links or the web browser in PIXIL.
  • SSH: You can use it as a handheld wireless ssh/telnet terminal or ssh in remotely from your PC.
  • FTP/WWW: You can use it to download from FTP/WWW sites using the aforementioned web browsers or the ncftp client. You can also use your DS as a FTP/WWW server using ftpd and boa.
  • Games: You can play various text based games, including frotz. GPF has also ported xrick.
  • IRC: You can use irssi to chat on irc networks.
  • MP3/MOD: You can use madplay to play mp3's or use xmp to play modules whilst doing other tasks. You can also use EsounD and MPD to listen to mp3's remotely.
  • File management and editing: Along with the usual basic file operations you can also unzip, untar, gunzip, bunzip and dldi patch files. You can also edit files using Vi, nano and hexedit.
  • Mail: You can use nail to read and send POP3/IMAP emails. Most web based emails such as Hotmail and GMail can be accessed using the text mode browsers.
  • Spreadsheet: You can create spreadsheets using sc.


Multiple builds are available, for the following 3 builds, you must extract the linux directory in the root directory of your card.

  • dslinux-dldi.tgz - For many devices, including Supercard and M3 with RAM support (requires DLDI).
  • dslinux-gbamp.tgz - For GBA Movie Player.
  • dslinux-dsmem.tgz - For Amadeus' Memory Extension.

Alternaitvely you can use the single file build.

  • dslinux.ds.gba - For GBA flash, G6.
  • dslinux.nds - For WMB.

There is also the gbamp-ext2 build, which uses an ext2 partition as root filesystem.

  • dslinux-gbamp-ext2.tgz - For GBA Movie Player, uses an ext2 partition.

More details can be found here. For best use, use DSLinux with a Slot2 expansion pack.

User guide

Login and usage

Some versions will prompt for a login, where the default username is root and password is uClinux (case-sensitive).

When you have logged in successfully, DSLinux will open up a shell.

A shell is a command interpreter. It displays a prompt (#) and a blinking cursor. You can type a command, and when you hit return, the command will execute.

The command may produce output on the screen. Or the command may not produce output at all, but do something else instead, like deleting a file, for example.

Please see the official documentation of the list of available features and commands.


The following games are available in DSLinux, simply type the name of the game and press enter to launch.

  • advent4 Colossal Cave Adventure! A text based game that is really fun.
  • bs Battleship - Information on how to play it is included in the game.
  • dungeon - Yet another text adventure.
  • hanoi Towers of Hanoi - A game where you must move the stacked disks from one pole to another in order of size, largest to smallest.
  • knight KnightSMove - a logical solitaire Some version of solitaire. Instructions are in game.
  • blue Another solitaire game. Refer to the in-game instructions for help.
  • sudoku - It was all the rage last year.
  • snake - Grab the money and escape before the snake eats you.
  • fish - Play GO FISH! with your DS.
  • tetris - The old classic that everybody knows.
  • hangman - spell out the word before you get hanged!
  • boggle - Find words hidden in the random letters.


D-Pad - Cursor keys (up/down/left/right)

A - Return

B - Space

X - Page up

Y - Page down

L - Shift

R - Ctrl

L+X/Y - Scroll up/down through the buffer

Note: The K in the upper right corner of the soft keyboard switches to M when pressed and back to K when pressed again. That means switching between keyboard and mouse mode.


dslinux2.png dslinux3.png


Hardware known to be compatible with DSLinux.

Known issues

Use on emulators is not entirely supported.

Both of the graphical browsers are very buggy at the moment. Flash and javascript are not supported.

If you do not have a RAM extension you may experience crashes and out of memory errors when running most of the applications.


revision 2428

  • Restored 'lib/audiofile/src/audiofile.spec'
  • Restored 'user/games/noiz2sa/src/bulletml/tinyxml/xmltest'
  • Restored 'user/esd/src/esddsp'
  • Restored 'user/esd/src/esound.spec'
  • Restored 'user/bzip2/src/manual.html'
  • Restored 'user/bzip2/src/manual.ps'
  • Restored 'user/bzip2/src/manual.pdf'
  • Restored 'user/mc/src/intl/libintl.h'
  • A user/fbview/pixmap.c
  • A user/fbview/pixmap.h
  • A user/fbview/ds_bmp.c
  • A user/fbview/ds_bmp.h
  • A user/fbview/ds_gpm.c
  • A user/fbview/ds_jpeg.c
  • A user/fbview/ds_gpm.h
  • A user/fbview/ds_jpeg.h


See all the contributors here.

External links