How to Run Linux on Nintendo Switch

How to Run Linux on Nintendo Switch
Photo by Alexandr Sadkov / Unsplash

Have you ever looked at your Nintendo Switch and thought, "I wish I could run Linux on this!" If you have, then this article is for you.

In recent years, the Nintendo Switch has emerged as a powerful and versatile piece of hardware capable of more than just gaming. One such capability is running the popular open-source OS known as Linux. This post will guide you on how to run Linux on your Nintendo Switch.

Preparing Your Console

The first step for installing Linux on Switch is to ensure your device is suitable for the task. Compatibility is often determined by the device's hardware rather than the software.

Note: Running Linux on your Nintendo Switch can risk bricking your device if not done correctly. Proceed with caution, and understand that it may void your warranty.

How to determine if my console is hackable

Basically, all versions available on the market are hackable. If you want to go the easy way, you'd be looking for an unpatched version (you can check whether your Switch is patched or not by checking your serial number using this website).

In case your console is patched, the only way to "hack" your Switch is by using a modchip (for example PicoFly). This process demands advanced soldering skills, so it is definitely not for everyone.

Choosing The Right Payload

You'll need a payload to boot Linux on your Switch. A common choice for this task is the Fusee Gelee payload. It's a trusted exploit compatible with most Switch devices and actively maintained by the community.

git clone

cd fusee-launcher

python3 install

Transfer the payload to your Switch and run it to start the Linux installation.

Choosing The Linux Distribution

There are various Linux distributions available for the Nintendo Switch. A widely popular option is Switchroot LineageOS, an Android distribution based on Linux kernel that provides a user-friendly interface and wide compatibility with Switch hardware.

Download the latest Switchroot LineageOS image available and write it to your Switch's microSD card.

Booting Into Linux

To boot your Nintendo Switch into Linux, hold the volume up button while switching on your device. The payload you transferred should then boot into your chosen Linux distribution.

The transformation only happens when you boot up. When you turn off your console and restart normally, it will still be a Nintendo Switch.

Playing Safe With Nintendo Switch Linux

While running Nintendo Switch Linux can offer exciting possibilities, there are a few risks worth noting:

  • Running Linux on a Switch could potentially void its warranty
  • There's always a risk of 'bricking' the console, rendering it unusable
  • Nintendo may also ban hacked consoles from online gameplay.

A World Of Possibilities Awaits

Once you've successfully installed Linux on your Nintendo Switch, you'll have transformed your portable gaming device into a fully-fledged computer system.

Running Linux on a Nintendo Switch may seem like a daunting task, but the rewards make it truly worthwhile for those seeking to expand the capabilities of their console. Explore new horizons with your Nintendo Switch and the power of Linux- happy computing.