Hacker Group make Nintendo Switch a Linux machine

As reported earlier this month, Hacker Group fail0verflow had tweeted a picture showing that they had managed to run Linux on Nintendo Switch. That was February 6; now, 12 days later, they have released a video on their account, providing proof of the same.

The video shows a Switch console running a Linux-based desktop environment KDE Plasma, with full touchscreen support and a web browser, something which the gaming console did not originally have.


While usually people hack into gaming consoles to play cracked versions of games, some people just enjoy running whatever kind of software they want on them. This seems to be one of those cases.

Fail0verflow is a hacking group that focuses its hacking efforts on gaming consoles and has recently taken up Nintendo Switch, as have many others.

While the hacking group has still not made public their exact method and code, it reportedly involves exploiting a flaw in the boot ROM of the Switch’s Nvidia Tegra X1 chip. As they revealed last time, the video maintains that the flaw can’t be patched up by Nintendo on current devices but allegedly can be discussed in future production.

Hackers run Linux on Nintendo Switch

Last week, hacker group fail0verflow shared a photo on Twitter, showing that they had managed to run Linux on the Nintendo Switch.


This tweet followed after a previous one in January where they explained that their Switch coldboot exploit is a boot ROM bug, which as suggested in the name, is a piece of code containing instructions about the booting process stored in a read-only memory.

They also revealed that it is not possible to fix the flaw using patches in the current Switches.


Earlier, they had also tweeted a scroller for the Switch.

While they have teased the exploit to the public, it may be a while before fail0verflow publicly release the details and code for their hack, as evidenced by the PS4 exploit that they demonstrated in 2016 and only revealed the details of over a year later.

Meanwhile, the Switch hacking community continues to make progress. After the 34C3 conference which left the console’s security wide open, it seems that it’s going to be easier for hackers to create homebrew software for the Switch and even pirate games, which could mean serious financial repercussions for Nintendo.

For those with technical knowledge who prefer the white hat route, however, Nintendo is still offering bounties on reports of vulnerabilities.