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Coders aim to bring Linux to the GameCube

Open-source operating system would let Cube browse the web, play movies.

Following the success of the project aimed at bringing the Linux operating system to Microsoft's Xbox console, a group of programmers has announced that they are working on a version of the OS for Nintendo's GameCube.

Although only in its infancy at the moment - apparently the most impressive thing GameCube Linux can do at the moment is draw a picture of Tux, the penguin who is the mascot of Linux, on the screen - the project eventually aims to add full computer functionality to the console.

Once completed, users should be able to browse the Internet, play back movies and music and run various applications on their Cubes. However, since unlike the Xbox, the GameCube has no hard drive, the entire system will have to be run over a local network, using the GameCube broadband adapter.

According to those working on the project, it will utilise a bug found in Phantasy Star Online which allows external programs to be loaded onto the GameCube over the broadband adapter. This exploit has also been used, with limited success, to run copies of pirate Cube games stored on a networked PC.

The GameCube is the last of the current-generation consoles to receive a port of Linux, but only the PlayStation 2 has an officially sanctioned version of the operating system. The Linux implementation on the Microsoft Xbox is something of a thorn in the platform holder's side, as many customers are thought to have bought Xbox consoles with no game software, intending to use them as cheap Linux PCs or media players.