back to the 3DS : ctrulib, yeti3DS, homebrew channel ?

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post; I was really busy in November and December and basically got no 3DS work done back then. Fortunately though my schedule’s cleared up quite a bit since then and I’m happy to say that I’m back on track and making some fairly good progress. Let’s start with a little video I uploaded last night :

For those of you too lazy to watch the video (you know who you are…), it shows me booting into redNAND mode on 7.1 from 4.2 (works on 4.1-4.5 ofc) and running a homebrew game contained within its own little channel, complete with custom icon and banner. It also gives some other stuff.

This video is a glimpse at what I want for the up and coming 3DS homebrew scene, ie a way for people to make their own homebrew applications and install so that they’re directly accessible from home menu. This has a number of advantages over running code “on the bare metal” as some are already doing. For one thing, it means that homebrew code will be strictly limited to user mode code, the same way commercial games and applications are, which drastically lowers the likelihood of anyone’s (*cough*GW*cough*) code accidentally bricking your console. For another, it means that our code will be able to interface with every service provided by the 3DS’s OS; it’ll make stuff like FS, wifi and GPU access much easier. And of course, it just looks cool having your own channel in the menu, and being able to return to menu and switch between games instantly is a nice plus.

For that goal to become a reality, we basically need two things : a way to create new channels and a way to install them. I’m proud to say that I’m taking steps to make creating channels possible, by starting ctrulib (whose code is freely available on github). The idea is to make interfacing with 3DS services easier, by providing functions designed to do so and example code to understand how they’re used. Of course it’s not much at the moment; very few services are implemented and the examples don’t necessarily use them in exactly the way they were meant to be used. Nevertheless, it already provides the basics; enough to do basic interactions with NS, the HID module for user input and the GSP module for VRAM and later on GPU access. It’s very much a work in progress and will only keep growing. yeti3DS is an example of what can be achieved with ctrulib at the moment; not much, but a pretty cool start if you ask me. yeti3DS’s code is also available on github.

Now the thing is, there is at the moment no public way to install new channels, which means that even though you can just clone the ctrulib repo right now and compile it, you probably won’t be able to run what it produces. The reason for that is, basically, that I don’t have an installer ready. That’s the next big step for me and I’ll have to ask you to be patient. There is a fair bit of work involved and while I do expect to have an installer POC ready within the next couple weeks, there’s no telling how long it’ll take to get a safe package ready for mass consumption; users have already suffered through enough bricks, I’d rather my software didn’t add to the list.

So sit tight ! We’ll have nice 3DS homebrew soon enough. Feel free to ask any questions you may have (other than ETA requests), I’m not sure how clear this post was. (I’m pretty tired…)

  1. benjam62217 said:

    ACOT sur 3DS ? :D

    • smea said:

      putain j’y avais même pas pensé ! si je retrouve le code faudra que je fasse ça :P

      • salut smea je voudrai savoir si un jour on va avoir droit a un homebrew channel pour quon puisse i glisser quelque emulateur et programme pour pouvoir mod sa 3ds se serai magic!

  2. Huntereb said:

    Are you against applications that work similar to the Action replay? That’s like, the only reason I’m playing the waiting game in homebrew right now. Maybe a program that let’s you dump the ram of games to a program on your computer (Like Gecko OS!)?

    Cheats on Mario Kart 7, please. PLEASE!!

    • smea said:

      wouldn’t say that i’m against it but also would rather not ruin 3DS online play. so basically, we’ll see.

      • Huntereb said:

        It would be a bit difficult to ruin anything at first with Nintendo banning people and all, but yeah I see what you mean. I’d be waiting for spoofing codes before playing online. :P

        Thanks for the response.

        • Alexenochs said:

          so I have to ask smeal as I know this uses the basic same method as the gateway emunand I have the gateway installer installed on my 3ds so I can use it to play Mario kart 7 online…I don’t own a gateway and I don’t plan on it but..are your homebrew apps going to be able to run on that aswell?..I mean when u release rednand obviously ill be switching to that but I mean as alike as they are will these homebrew applications like yeti3ds and such work on emunand in the future?
          (I realize im at risk of bricking my console huntereb/smealum from running gateway mode)

          • smea said:

            that depends on what GW decides to do with its emunand platform. but there is no way to get yeti3DS to run on current GW emunand if that’s what you’re asking.

  3. Thorhian said:

    This is awesome smeal :D if only I could get a 4.x 3DS Mainboard (I’m stuck on 6.3).

  4. LoveMHz said:

    Dev here, for someone who hasn’t been following the 3DS scene what will I need to start writing homebrew when this comes out? (3DS with low CFW, flash cart, etc.)

    • smea said:

      console has to be on FW version between 4.1 and 4.5 for this to work. anything higher won’t work. anything lower will have to be updated to at least 4.1 with a game.

      • 173210 said:

        Will I need flashcart?
        As far as I know, Profile Exploit needs flashcart.

        • alexenochs said:

          Yes when/if smealum releases a version of his rednand you will need almost any Ds flash cart a crappy clone r4 that cost like 5 bucks should do he has stated that its possible to do it without a card but that its not a priority right now

          • 173210 said:

            Thank you for your reply. I understood.
            I’m looking forward to the installer!

  5. the_randomizer said:

    Oh how I can’t wait to see the face on those Gateway Team twats ROFL XD

    • alexenochs said:

      How does this relate to the gateway team smealums red nand will not enable you to do any pirating so I don’t think the gateway team will be super bothered by this

  6. Stakhanov said:

    Vraiement génial, comparé a ce qu’on a vu avant, c’est de l’ordre du voyage sur la lune ce que tu nous montre la :o

  7. Kasumi said:

    I imagine we will still need a DS flash cart that runs on our 4.1-4.5 DS to begin using the eventual release?

    • Alexenochs said:

      I believe he said yes to that on twitter seems like just about any ds based flashcart that runs on your 3ds will work

      • smea said:


  8. the_randomizer said:

    If FW downgrading is possible in the near-future, just about anyone will be able to run unsigned code :P

    • Alexenochs said:

      it is possible but I believe it requires you already have a nand dump of your 3ds and some soldering skills now what im interested to see is if someone will be able to alter someone elses nand dump to fit their 3ds keys etc.

      • Byte said:

        What might need to happen is to somehow “fake-version” to a lower version and then use a gamecard to upgrade to 4.5

  9. tralala said:

    ouch bien joué mec ! ca calme ! vivement la suite c’est juste énorme déjà !

  10. Vitor said:

    You’re running Yeti3DS on rednand with 7.1 firmware, but how is that possible? Wouldn’t you need an exploit working on 7.1 firmware?

    • Alexenochs said:

      my guess is he installed red nand updated it and backed up the current firmware and has some thing checked on/off as if it were in dev mode through rednand kind of how gateway is able to let u update to 7.1 through emunand and run gateway mode and still be able to play games from their piracy carts

      • smea said:


  11. Stolen_Goods said:

    So if I understand your post correctly, this means that any stock 3DS on the latest (7.1.0-14) firmware can utilize redNAND to go into 4.x and thus have access to homebrew, or is it more complicated than that?

    • Stolen_Goods said:

      I goofed and read the firmware versions in the wrong order. Bloody hell, I am tired. At any rate, I envy your skill, and wish you luck.

  12. Syphurith said:

    Well done! That’s quite surprising when i saw that running in 3d mode. i wonder what tools and references would one need if he want to try make one’s own, or help developing ctrlib reading 3dbrew’s docs.
    Besides maybe a memory viewer help such work right?
    hope you lucky everyday, and looking forward for your reply.

  13. Fantastic.
    Really great progress here.
    I absolutely loved the diversity and creativity of what came out of the DS Homebrew seen, so fingers crossed this leads to something like it.

    Good job!

  14. mr.fancypants said:

    wow real great stuff smea

    you said that your working for starting games/homebrew directly from the homescreen… but that does mean that you still have to use the launcher.dat or will the homebrew be accessible from the sysNAND.

    and also are you working on a hombrew channel ( or a look-a-like?)

  15. FIQ said:

    From what I know, the 3DS has a significantly slower CPU compared to the DSTWO’s built in CPU — does this mean that 3DS homebrew wouldn’t be as powerful as those? If this is the case, would it be possible in theory to access the DSTWO hardware from the 3DS directly for improved homebrew? I’m aware that they’re running 2 entirely different CPU architectures (ARM11/ARM9 vs MIPS), so it would be a fairly complex task requiring 2 completely seperate processes, but I’m just asking since I’m pretty sure the 3DS is, in fact, slower.

    • smea said:

      i don’t know much about the DSTwo so i can’t really say tbh. the 3DS’s arm11 isn’t the strongest of CPUs but it *is* dual core and clocked reasonably high. of course that kind of goes out the window when you’re talking about user mode but still, it’s not *that* weak.

  16. sage said:

    any hope for an exploit for newer firmwares?

    • smea said:

      all i can say is i’m not currently working on find new vulns myself and that it’s not looking great. but it might be possible, i don’t really know obviously.

  17. Clowkero said:

    Thanks a lot for everything you are doing!, To say true, I just want to play Japanese Games on my 3DS, I Had more than enough trouble getting mine [Being poor is bad] Even tough i always want to do things right, The 3DS Region-Block always crushes my dreams T-T
    PS:I’m Aspergic and I Want to start programming, Is there any website you recommend? [Google is simply not enough T-T]

  18. Jeff Alvis said:

    I need a way to test the 3ds games that I develope w/o allowing a window for piracy… Do you think it’s possible?

    • Jeff Alvis said:

      Such as DSCraft…

      • smea said:

        stay tuned, i might have something coming soon

  19. Gabri said:

    Smea, initially Sorry for my english (i’m italian LOL)
    I’ve one question, when the first hombrew channel ?

    Good work !

  20. PokemonYRules said:

    Hey Smealum! I just wanted to know, how did you get Pokemon Silver on your 3DS?

  21. zarx1554 said:

    Hey Smea’, I just wanted to know what coding language homebrew games would need.

  22. AcneGuy said:


  23. Wolfy said:

    Now anyone can get Shiny Xerneas/Yveltal/Zygarde as well as Lati@s using Powersaves 3DS. No Diancie/Hoopa/Volcanion yet.

  24. Wolfy said:

    (Sorry for double posting) Yet Diancie and Shiny Diancie were revealed last week by Nintendo. Diancie will be featured in the 17th Pokémon Movie, as I suspected. Soon Diancie will be distributed.

  25. TomAto said:

    It’s weird how the psp was hacked so well but the 3ds hasn’t

  26. Jeff A. said:

    How could I go about editing your “DSCraft” into survival? I mean, what software did you use to make it, and where could I get it?

    • Jeff A. said:

      Sorry for bugging you so much on the topic…
      Awesome work on the Homebrew though!

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    Hi Smealum. Great work and thanks for sharing! I’ve been trying to get yeti3ds to build/run, but the repository is missing your “script.ld” file. I’ve tried to recreate it, but I think I’m doing something incorrectly. Would you be able to commit this file or post the contents?

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