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nxdk - the new open source xdk

nxdk is a software development kit for the original Xbox. nxdk is a revitalization of OpenXDK. It is maintained by the XboxDev community.

Notable features:

  • Portable toolchain that works on modern versions of Windows, macOS and Linux.
  • No complicated cross-compiling or big library dependencies! Builds with make and just needs standard tools and llvm.
  • Modern C / C++ standards and compiler features.
  • Supports popular APIs like Windows API and BSD sockets.
  • SDL2 support for input, audio and 2D graphics.
  • Custom API for 3D graphics using NVIDIA-designed shader-languages (with additional Xbox extensions).
  • Open-Source drivers which can be modified to get the most out of the hardware.
  • Modifiable startup code, for as much system control as necessary.
  • Supported by an active community that can help with problems and responds to bug reports.

Build Status

CI Status for "Build Samples"


While nxdk still is in early stages of development, it can already be used in many projects. Take a look at the list of projects that are build on top of nxdk. Additionally, the provided samples show how to use common features.

Getting Started


You will need the following tools:

OS-specific instructions for installing these prerequisites can be found in the Wiki

Download nxdk

git clone --recursive

Build Samples

Samples are easily built by running the activation script bin/activate, which will spawn a shell that is fully set up to start using nxdk, and then running the Makefile in one of the sample directories. Details can be found in the Wiki. nxdk also supports automatic creation of ISO files.

Next Steps

Copy one of the sample directories to get started. You can copy it anywhere you like. Run nxdk's activation script bin/activate, then, in the directory of your program, you can simply run make.


  • OpenXDK is the inspiration for nxdk, and large parts of it have been reused. (License: GPLv2)
  • Large parts of pbkit, by openxdkman, are included, with modifications. (License: LGPL)
  • A network stack is included based on lwIP (License: Modified BSD)
  • A libc is included based on PDCLib (License: CC0)
  • Large parts of the runtime library are derived from LLVM's compiler-rt library (License: MIT)
  • vp20compiler is based on nvvertparse.c from Mesa (License: MIT)
  • fp20compiler is based on nvparse from the NVIDIA SDK 9.52.
  • The NVIDIA Cg compiler is bundled.
  • extract-xiso developed by in et al. (License: BSD)

Code Overview

  • lib/hal - Barebones Hardware Abstraction Layer for the Xbox, from OpenXDK.
  • lib/net - Network stack for the Xbox based on lwIP.
  • lib/pdclib - Xbox port of PDCLib, a CC0-licensed C standard library.
  • lib/pbkit - A low level library for interfacing with the Xbox GPU.
  • lib/sdl - Xbox ports of SDL2 and SDL_ttf.
  • lib/usb - USB support from OpenXDK. Hacked together parts of an old Linux OHCI stack.
  • lib/winapi - Xbox specific implementations of common useful WinAPI-functions.
  • lib/xboxkrnl - Header and import library for interfacing with the Xbox kernel.
  • lib/xboxrt - Miscellaneous functionality for debugging etc.
  • tools/cxbe - Simple converter for PE executables to the Xbox executable format, from OpenXDK.
  • tools/fp20compiler - Translates register combiner descriptions to Xbox pushbuffer commands.
  • tools/vp20compiler - Translates vertex program assembly to Xbox microcode.
  • tools/extract-xiso - Generates and extracts ISO images compatible with the Xbox (and XQEMU).
  • samples/ - Sample applications to get started.