Homebrew setup tutorial
The methods on this page will walk you through running Homebrew Launcher and any downloaded apps on your Wii U from the SD card. Before we get started, please keep in mind the following:
The Homebrew Launcher, or HBL, by Dimok is the primary way that the average user should run Homebrew apps at this time. It has a few limitations, but overall it is comparable to the Wii's Homebrew Channel.
The most common way to get Homebrew up and running, is to download HBL and any apps your want to the SD card, and then run the gx2sploit from the Wii U's browser. This can be done through one of several exploit sites, or by self-hosting (see below).
- 1 Step 1: Installing HBL and apps
- 2 Step 2: Running the browser exploit
- 3 Step 3: Use homebrew!
- 4 Step 4: Blocking updates
Step 1: Installing HBL and apps
HBL is installed to an SD card, as per the notice at the top of this page. There are a few options on how to install it to the SD card:
Option A: Copy the files to your SD card
This method requires a computer. To "install" the Homebrew Launcher, you only need to ensure that it is in the appropriate spot on the SD Card. Download the zip file from the release page and copy the "wiiu" folder to the root of the SD card. It must be formatted as FAT32.
Option B: Visit wiiubru.com/go
This method can be done on the Wii U directly. Insert a FAT32 formatted SD card into the Wii U, and then visit http://wiiubru.com/go on your Wii U in the browser. This requires the latest Wii U firmware 5.5.1. After going there, click the "Let's go" button, and then download HBL from the menu that pops up. If no menu comes up within 2 minutes, try it again.
Step 2: Running the browser exploit
Option A: Use an exploit site
This method requires an Internet connection. The exploit site is responsible for executing the downloaded files that are on the SD card. There are several public exploit sites available. Due to the nature of the kernel exploit, some sites may perform better than others. These sites must be opened on the Wii U by using the system's built-in browser.
Here are a few sites (choose 1):
And here's a list of more.
Option B: Self-host
This method does not require an Internet connection. Rather than using an exploit site hosted by someone else, you can directly host the exploit packages on your computer. For more information on how to do this, see Kafluke's Self-Hosting guide.
You can also try the web hosting zip resource from from Dimok.
Step 3: Use homebrew!
If the kernel exploit runs successfully, you should be looking at the Homebrew Launcher main screen, in addition to whatever other apps you have installed in
For a full list of homebrew apps available to download, see the homebrew directory.
Step 4: Blocking updates
As opposed to the Wii, the Wii U console will automatically update itself when a new firmware version is released. As a result, it is a good idea to install some form of protection from allowing your Wii U to perform a system update. Note: The Wii U WILL STILL UPDATE even if automatic updates are DISABLED in settings (the setting refers to game updates, not system ones).
Option A: Use Tubehax
Tubehax blocks Nintendo's update URLs at the DNS level to prevent system updating. To set it up, set the Primary DNS for your Wii U's wifi connection in system settings to 107.211.140.065. Leave the secondary at 0.0.0.0 or also set it to 107.211.140.065. The instructions are similar to the 3ds.
Option B: Block in your router
These are the domains that need to be blocked to prevent system updates. There may be more (someone please fact check this):
Option C: Keep it offline
For the paranoid user, the Wii U can simply have no Internet connections configured.