the *new* open source xdk
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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.

Notable features:

  • No complicated cross-compiling or big library dependencies! Builds with make and just needs standard tools and llvm.
  • 3D graphics! nxdk includes and expands on pbkit, a library for interfacing with the Xbox GPU.


nxdk is currently in early stages of development.

Getting Started


You will need the following tools:


On OS X with Homebrew, this should do the job (XCode ships with make and bison and flex):

brew install wine llvm --with-lld --with-clang

Linux (Ubuntu)

On Ubuntu, the requried packages can be downloaded from the standard repositories:

sudo apt-get install build-essential flex bison g++ clang wine binutils-mingw-w64 git

Download nxdk

git clone
cd nxdk
git submodule init
git submodule update --recursive

nxdk comes with a set of tools necessary for building. Build them with:

make tools

Build Samples

To build the 0ldskoo1 sample, you can run:

cd samples/0ldskoo1

This will generate a single executable, default.xbe, in the bin/ directory which can be executed on your Xbox (or XQEMU emulator).

Generate XISO

To generate an ISO file that can be burned to a disc, or passed to the XQEMU emulator via the -drive index=1,media=cdrom,file=/path/to/your.iso parameter, define the GEN_XISO variable with the name of the ISO to be created in your project Makefile. For example:


You can include additional files in the ISO (they must reside in the output directory) like this:

ISO_DEPS = $(OUTPUT_DIR)/example.txt

include $(NXDK_DIR)/Makefile

    echo "Hello" > $@

clean: clean_iso_deps
.PHONY: clean_iso_deps
    rm -f $(ISO_DEPS)

For easy ISO generation, you can also just define it when you run make:

make -C samples/0ldskoo1 GEN_XISO=0ldskoo1.iso

Next Steps

Copy one of the sample directories to get started. You can copy it anywhere you like, but make sure that the NXDK_DIR variable in the Makefile points to correct place. Then, in the directory, 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: Academic Free License)
  • A very barebones libc is included based on lib43 (License: MIT)
  • vp20compiler is based on nvvertparse.c from Mesa (License: MIT)
  • fp20compiler is based on nvparse from the NVIDIA SDK 9.52.
  • A (Windows) copy of the NVIDIA Cg compiler 1.3 from the NVIDIA SDK 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/pbkit/ - A low level library for interfacing with the Xbox GPU.
  • lib/usb/ - USB support from OpenXDK. Hacked together parts of an old Linux OHCI stack.
  • lib/xboxkrnl - Stubs and import library for the interfacing with the Xbox kernel.
  • lib/xboxrt - A very simple libc implementation.
  • 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.