This page explains how to run homebrew on the DS.


First, you need a method to trick your DS into booting unofficial code. This requires either having FlashMeinstalled or more commonly some kind of device in Slot-1. In addition to a way to boot homebrew, you also need an add-on device to store homebrew programs on. There are several different devices that allow you to do this. They can be divided into two categories: Slot-1 devices and Slot-2.

Slot-1 Devices

Slot-1 devicesgo into the DS game slot.

They have been appearing on the market since December 2006. Typically, these devices include an integrated NoPassand some kind of storage in the form of a removable MicroSD or fixed flash memory, making them 'all-in-one' solutions for running homebrew.

Whilst popular, Slot-1 cannot provide extra RAM that DSLinux needs for lots of its features. Therefore, a Slot-2 RAM extension such as the one supplied with the Opera DS browser is recommended if you want to run DSLinux with a Slot-1 device.

Slot-2 devices

Slot-2 devices go into the GBA game slot. To allow the DS to run code from Slot-2 you'll need either some kind of NoPass in Slot-1 or FlashMeinstalled.

Some Slot-2 devices provide extra RAM, allowing DSLinux to run more sophisticated programs. See herefor a list of devices that can provide extra RAM.

DSLinux device support

DSLinux supports devices via the DLDI interface, so if a DLDI driver is available for a device it should be supported. For a list of of available DLDI drivers, see the DLDI wiki. Most devices now support DLDI autopatching in the latest firmwares.

The recommended setup for using DSLinux is a NoPassdevice in Slot-1 and a Slot-2 device that provides extra RAM. This configuration should also run most other available homebrew programs. You can also use a device in Slot-1 to boot DSLinux and it will automatically use any supported Slot-2 device for extra RAM.

If you want to install FlashMe, you can borrow one of these from someone else as you will only need to use it once. Please note that FlashME is not required if you are using a Slot-1 device.

Extra hardware you may need

You will also need an SD or CF card, depending on what device you have purchased, and a way of accessing them from a PC, such as a USB Card reader.

For further reading and reference, see the Wikipedia article about Nintendo DS homebrew

Where to go from here

See RunningDSLinux for instructions on how to obtain and boot DSLinux.