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Can You Turn a Gaming Console Into a Computer?

Can You Turn a Gaming Console Into a Computer?

Can your video game console be turned into a PC? It’s possible, but the process itself can be quite daunting, especially if you aren’t familiar with some of the more technical aspects involved. If you want to play online slots or other PC exclusives on a console, the only way to do so is by following the tutorial we’ve prepared below.

Turning Your Console into A Computer

There are a couple of things we need to mention before we get started. First of all, if you own a Playstation, there’s no way to turn your console into a PC, at least not at this point in time. Secondly, no Windows operating system (OS) is compatible with an Xbox. However, the good news is that an alternative OS exists – the Linux OS.

Linux OS is more than capable of running on native Xbox architecture, making it the only viable option for converting your console into a PC. In order to transform your Xbox successfully, be prepared to get familiar with what is currently the most popular alternative to Windows OS.

There’s one more special caution before we can begin listing the requirements for a successful console conversion. If you’re still unsure as to whether or not you have the technical skill to perform this procedure after you’ve completed reading this guide, be advised that a failed step has the potential to render your console inoperable.

Make sure that you are well-prepared beforehand, ready to perform a little bit of coding, and in possession of all the required hardware and software. With all the prerequisite information out of the way, let’s begin our conversion tutorial by listing all the items you’ll need for the process.

Required items

  • Working PC
  • Blank DVD-R
  • Xbox console
  • USB cable adapter
  • Linux kernel installer (MechInstaller)
  • Linux OS
  • MechAssault (Xbox game)
  • USB flash drive (256 MB or greater)


Photo by Kote Puerto on Unsplash

Step 1: Create a bootable Linux image

With your console turned off, plug the USB stick into your console via the USB adapter. Turn on your console and wait for the device to be formatted. You’ll know it’s complete when the USB is listed on your Xbox dashboard.

Download MechInstaller from a reputable file-hosting website, such as SourceForge, for example. Remove your flash stick from the Xbox and plug it into the same PC that’s downloading MechInstaller. Once the download is complete, extract the files and then flash the FatX image on your USB stick. Transfer the downloaded MechAssault image to your USB and then reattach the USB to your Xbox.

Step 2: Copy Fatx to your Xbox

Once you’ve plugged in your FatX USB and turned on the console, your USB device should show up in the Xbox’s dashboard. Open the USB directly from the dashboard, and you should be presented with three options: Emergency Linux, Remove Linux, and Install Linux. If not, your format has been unsuccessful and will need to be repeated.

Now that we’ve confirmed whether or not the USB is working, select the “Memory” option from the Xbox drop-down menu. Select “USB device” from the sub-menu, then “Install Linux,” and then “Copy.” When asked to select the target drive, select “Xbox hard disk.” You will be asked to repeat this process three times, but once it’s complete, the majority of the legwork will be behind you.


Photo by Alex Chumak on Unsplash

Step 3: Install Linux

Step 3 is to install Linux on your Xbox, as up to now, we’ve had what amounts to an emergency boot device. Here’s where the MechAssault video game comes in. Put simply, MechAssault, a video game from 2002, allows us to exploit a vulnerability in Xbox’s architecture, making it possible to verify an installation of Linux on an Xbox console. 

Insert the physical copy of MechAssault, select your Xbox hard drive from the dashboard, and select the “Emergency Linux” file that we copied earlier. Once you’ve selected the file, if all previous steps are performed correctly, your Xbox should restart and show a command-line interface, signalling that Linux is booting correctly.

Type in the IP address “”. You will then be faced with a login screen. Type “root” as the username and “Xbox” as the password. Once you’ve successfully logged in, type “xbox_tool-a” to display your hard disk keycode. Take note of this code, as it could come in handy in the future.

Download a copy of Linux and burn it to the blank DVD we mentioned in the requirements. Linux is free to download and, unlike Windows, doesn’t require a costly licensing fee in order to function properly. Once you’ve copied Linux to a DVD, place the disc in your Xbox and turn the console on.

On the login screen following a successful DVD boot, type “su” for administrator login credentials and use “xbox” as the password. Use the command prompt to type “XBOXLinuxInstaller,” follow the on-screen setup instructions, and your installation of Linux will be complete.

Once Linux has been installed your conversion project is complete. Your Xbox will now operate exactly as a Linux computer would. With any luck, you’ll be playing PC exclusives in no time.

DISCLAIMER: This article is a sponsored article and does not substitute for professional advice or help. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility.

Feature picture by Sahand Babali on Unsplash 

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