Burning Xbox 360 games with linux
The day I bought a Saints Row disc and it would freeze 20 seconds in every time I tried to use it even though it was brand spanking new is the day I started backing up my games. If you are one of the many people who back your $60 Xbox 360 games you may have been used to burning them in windows and now want to in Linux don't worry the process is quite simple in Linux as well.This guide does NOT cover flashing you xbox 360 dvd drive or the process of ripping the games.
Xbox 360 games come in two image formats. Those are .iso and .000 formats. They are burned on Dual Layer DVD R Disc with a Dual Layer burner. You MUST use a dual layer disc and you MUST use a dual layer burner there is no alternative that is the way is must be done. Many people recommend that you use expensive Verbatim Brand discs and that you use a specific Pioneer burner. This is completely false. I use cheap Memorex media and a cheap $50 Memorex burner (most cost around $70-$100). I can not tell a difference from when I'm playing the real game or the backup. Just make sure you burn at the slowest possible speed it will greatly decrease the risk of write errors.
Stealth Patching is the process of patching the game image with the proper security sectors this is done to make the game passes the security check done by the xbox360 when the game boots up. If you use a non-stealth firmware then you do not have to do this. If you have a stealth firmware even if you do not go on xbox live this still must be done. The actual process is very simple with a tool called abgx360. You may get abgx360 from the AUR here.
Now lets actually patch a game.You may patch both .iso and .000 images with abgx360. We will use the game Tales of Vesperia as an example. The proper command to use is the -af3 flag.
~$ abgx360 -af3 TalesOfVesperia.iso
The -af3 flag will verify the game and automatically patch the image file. It is a quick all-in-one step for patching. The game will almost always fail verification and it will almost always patch the game even if it has been pre-patched. It will list a lot of information about the game such as region(NTSC/PAL) publisher,developer,size,etc.
Burning ISO files
Burning an iso is best done through the command line with growisofs. This is found in the dvd+rw-tools package, install it with
~$ pacman -S dvd+rw-tools
There are other methods using k3b and other gui tools but its easy to overlook something in configuration, and with DL media you only have one shot and the DL discs aren't cheap. The command to use is
~$ growisofs -use-the-force-luke=dao -use-the-force-luke=break:1913760 -dvd-compat -speed=2 -Z /dev/dvd=TalesOfVesperia.iso
"What about .dvd files?" You do not need .dvd files all they contain is the layer break information. The layer break information is always the same it will be 1913760. This is specified on our command with -use-the-force-luke=break:1913760 (Don't ask me about the use the force thing because I dont have an answer 0.o)
-speed=2 This will burn at the lowest speed even if your lowest speed is 2.4 like mine.
/dev/dvd=/path/to/file.iso Now your device may not be /dev/dvd. To find it you should look in /media and it should list some folders such as "dvd" or "cd" just try to eject some of them through the command line until your dual layer drive ejects. You can do that with:
~$ eject /dev/dvd
If everything has been set up correctly you should see some messages like this.
Executing 'builtin_dd if=TalesOfVesperia.iso of=/dev/dvd obs=32k seek=0' /dev/dvd: splitting layers at 1913760 blocks /dev/dvd: "Current Write Speed" is 2.5x1352KBps. 3538944/7835492352 ( 0.0%) @0.8x, remaining 45:39 RBU 89.7% UBU 7.1%
Then you wait for it to finish burning and then your done! And yes for one game it takes around 40 minutes at 2.4 speed. Although this ensures that everything is written properly! You don't want to end up wasting your blank dvd's because you were a little impatient when it came to burning.
Burning .000 Images
There are some misconceptions about burning .000 images your may have heard. It is very important you clear these up! I have tried all of these and wasted 3 dual layer discs in the process NONE of these techniques work in Linux!
Renaming the file from IMAGE.000 to IMAGE.iso DOES NOT WORK!
Simply burning it as you would burn a .iso DOES NOT WORK!
Using imgburn under wine. STILL DOES NOT WORK!
To burn a .000 image you must first patch it with a java app called imagebpatch.jar. You can get it here. You will need to have java installed to use this.
~$ pacman -S jre
Then logout and log back in to be able to use it.
Now you open up a terminal and enter. NOTE: Patching the .000 file like this will also work in windows.
~$ java -jar imgbpatch.jar IMAGE.000
Now it can be burnt like a regular .iso just use
~$ growisofs -use-the-force-luke=dao -use-the-force-luke=break:1913760 -dvd-compat -speed=2 -Z /dev/dvd=IMAGE.000