How to Install SX OS and SX Pro

[SWITCH] How to Install SX OS and SX Pro exploit by Team Executor

Team Executor’s custom SX OS firmware has been released for the Nintendo Switch. Because it is a hardware exploit, it is a future proof solution that works on any version of the Switch, even users on the latest 5.1.0 official firmware. So what can you do with SX OS? A few of the benefits are:

  • Play Nintendo Switch Homebrew
  • Play downloaded/backup copies of your Switch games
  • Card2 games are supported
  • eShop games are supported
  • SX Pro dongle is highly portable and eliminates the need of injecting payload via PC cable. Dongle firmware can also be updated.
  • Stealth Mode for ban protection while using SX OS

This tutorial will cover everything you need to install SX OS and SX Pro firmware on your Nintendo Switch.

How to Install SX OS and SX Pro

Requirements

  1. Any Nintendo Switch console
  2. microSD card (≥ 128 GB recommended)
  3. microSD card reader (I use this one)
  4. SX Pro dongle
  5. Jig Tool (included with SX Pro)
  6. SX OS firmware files – official download
  7. NX Homebrew Launcher – official download
  8. PC, Mac, or Linux

An internet connection is optional. SX OS can be installed without ever connecting your Nintendo Switch online.

Where to buy SX Pro

SX Pro comes with a license for SX OS installed as well as a jig tool. It is the easiest way to get SX OS onto your Nintendo Switch. Without an SX OS license, you will be limited to only  being able to play Switch homebrew. In order to buy an SX Pro, check out the official list of SX Pro Resellers here.

How to Install SX OS Using SX Pro

1. Prepare your microSD card

Your micro SD card can be formatted as FAT32 or exFAT, it does not matter. However, exFAT is more convenient because it can be read by both Mac and Windows platforms.

  1. Visit Team Executor’s official website  and download the latest version of SX OS onto your computer.
  2. Visit the official NX Homebrew Launcher release page and download the latest .zip archive.
  3. Extract the SX OS .zip archive and place the contents of the archive on the root of your microSD card.
  4. Extract the NX Homebrew Launcher .zip archive and place the “hbmenu.nro” file on the root of your microSD card. Make a folder named “switch” on the root of your microSD card. This is where you will place switch homebrew .nro files.
    Your microSD card should look similar to the screenshot below.
  5. Remove the microSD Card from your computer and insert it into your Nintendo Switch

Switch not reading your homebrew or game files?

If your microSD card is exFAT you may experience an issue where SX OS is not reading your game or homebrew files. To fix this, you need to remove archiving for the contents of your microSD using a Windows PC.

  1. Select all the files and folders on your micro SD
  2. Right click and select “Properties”
  3. In the “General” tab click “Advanced…”
  4. Uncheck the box that says “Folder is ready for archiving”

3. Prepare your Nintendo Switch

Insert the SX Pro dongle and jig tool into your Nintendo Switch. The dongle goes into the USB-C charger port and the jig tool goes into the right joycon rail as seen in the picture below.

How to Install SX OS and SX Pro

4. Boot into RCM mode

To boot into RCM mode, hold the volume-up button as you press the power button. SX OS should start. You can remove the dongle and jig tool once SX OS starts. In a couple of seconds you should see the SX OS logo and the screen below.

Select the “Boot into custom FW” option.

5. Activate your SX OS License to enjoy all features

Before activating SX OS you may see the screen below:

Offline Activation Method

  1. A license-request.dat file will be generated and placed on your microSD Card.
  2. Simply insert your microSD card into your computer and upload your license-request.dat file on the official SX OS activation website .
  3. A license.dat will be generated. Download this file and place it on your microSD card

Online Activation Method

  1. Make sure your Switch is connected to the internet
  2. Enter the “album viewer” from the Nintendo Switch main menu and click on “license”
  3. Your license should activate online and a license.dat file will be placed on the microSD card

6. Enjoy the latest Switch games and Switch homebrew!

Congrats, you can now enjoy Switch homebrew and game backups!

You can leave the Nintendo Switch console in CFW mode to be able to play backups/homebrew. If the console goes into Sleep Mode, SX OS CFW will still work after the console wakes up.

If you turn off or reboot your Switch you will need the SX Pro dongle and jig tool to boot into RCM Mode and start SX OS again. You’ll have to hold the Volume Up and Power button with the jig tool and SX Pro dongle inserted.

  • To play Switch homebrew: hold the R button and then enter the Album application
  • To view screenshots and videos: hold the L button and then enter the Album application
  • To play game backups: simply enter the Album application

Where to find Switch Homebrew?

  

Check out the SwitchBrew wiki for a  huge database of released homebrew including games, emulators, and utilities.

Download the switch homebrew app store to be able to download and install Switch homebrew apps and games without removing your microSD card. An internet connection is required.

Nintendo Switch homebrew menu hbmenu

How to play Switch game backups?

Playing switch game backups is easy. However, before doing this please consult with your country’s specific laws regarding the use of backup games.

Switch backups/ROMs come in the form of .XCI files. Trimmed .XCI files are supported by SX OS. To play them follow these simple instructions:

  1. Download the Switch .XCI file and place it on the root of your microSD card or in one of these directories
    • /sxos/games
    • /sxos/xci
    • /sxos/nsp
    • /sxos
    • /switch/games
    • /switch/xci
    • /switch/nsp
    • /switch
  2. Boot the Switch in RCM mode and start SX OS CFW
  3. Launch the Switch Album application and your game should appear. Launch the game by pressing A
  4. The game will appear on the Switch main menu
  5. Simply press A to launch the game and enjoy!

 

FAQ

Q: How do I re-enter SX OS boot menu
A: Press and hold vol+ and keep holding until you see the TX splash screen
Q: How do I access my albums while in SX OS CFW mode?
A: Hold down L while opening album
Q: How do I access Homebrew?
A: Hold down R while opening album
Q: How do I load my backup ROMs/XCI files?
A: Simply enter album and select your ROM/XCI file, all ROM/XCI files should be placed in the root directory of the console micro SD
Spoiler title
A: As far as we are aware this battery desync problem currently only occurs when running Linux on your Switch. While extensively testing SX OS, including booting SX OS with AutoRCM we have not ran into a single battery desync issue ourselves. SX OS itself isn’t based on Linux. We *do* allow people to run Linux (and other payloads) through our “external payload” functionality. This is at your own risk. If we had to give the community a hint as to where to start looking into this “battery desync” problem we’d suggest looking into how the Fuel Gauge IC (MAX17050, I2C1 addr 36) is being used by Nintendo’s OS and by Linux.
Q: If I boot in OFW mode and play my original purchased game online, am I safe?
A: Yes, you are safe to play original games online in OFW mode.
Q: Does SX OS play original games in CFW mode?
A: Yes, it does.
Q: If I download eShop games to an SD card, can I also run SX OS on that card? Or do I need separate cards for Nintendo eShop games and SX OS games?
A: You can use the same SD card.
Q: Can I play my Switch running SX OS while being docked?
A: Absolutely. You just need to have it undocked when you power up your Switch to load SX OS. Once done, dock it and play for as long as you don’t completely power it off again.
Q: Why is there – and + symbols engraved in the SX Pro dongle? Since USB-C devices can be plugged in either way, people are worried if dongle plugged in upside down, the + on left and – on right, and SX label facing down, that the Switch will blew up or get bricked, etc.
A: They are here just for cosmetic reasons. The – symbol is also the LED window.
Q: Huh, two caps, how do they get 'charged'? Do I have now and then plug my dongle into micro-USB cable to charge it, what happens when it runs out of power? — Why not battery instead? — Does it instead drain my Switch battery, what happens if I leave it plugged in.
A: The SuperCap’s are charged from either usb port ( USB-C or Micro USB ). The caps offer approximately 1 week standby time with enough energy left for one boot, or at least 5 successive boots without the opportunity to auto-charge. Charge to 80% is achieved (automatically) within 1-2 seconds of entry into the Nintendo start menu. We are working reducing that considerably … (see above for why not battery). Because we are powered by s-cap’s we have a very power conscious design. Leaving the dongle in the console for more than a minute is pointless but will do no harm in any way to the dongle and drain very little battery ( currently we draw ~25mA but will work on reducing that considerably after ~1-2 minutes charge mode).
Q: Can I charge my Switch via dongle? Using just micro-usb cable, removing the need of needing a proper usb-c cable.
A: Sadly no, our intent for the micro USB port was for charging the dongle and firmware updates, but might be something we will consider for future hardware revisions, thanks.
Q: There been reports of cables, and docks without that bricked the battery charging circuit, are we at risk with SX Pro solution?
A: No, simply because we do not support charging. The dongle uses both USB ports only for receiving charge.
Q: Will Switch data such as savegames and updates be shared between the OFW and SX OS? Or are both systems separated?
A: Yes, SX OS and the original Switch OS share savegames and update data.
Q: Does SX OS support trimmed XCI files or do they need to remain unaltered?
A: Yes, trimmed XCI file are supported.
Q: There has been a wave of bans happening lately. Does that confirm we won't be able to play online with SX OS?
A: There have indeed been a number of isolated ban incidents happening lately among some homebrew developers. The exact cause of these bans is not known as of yet. We are not aware of any bans due to SX OS usage. But be cautious and use online functionality at your own risk!
Q: Can SX products run homebrew software as well?
A: The initial release of SX OS will have support for running homebrew software for all firmware versions. In the initial release, launching the homebrew menu can be done by starting the album application while holding the R button on the Joy-Con. A file called “hbmenu.nro” needs to be on the root of the microSD card and a folder “switch” needs to contain all the homebrew applications.
Q: When you put your Switch into Sleep mode, do I need to insert dongle again upon waking up?
A: No, you don’t. Just resume playing where you left it
Q: Is it possible to install Game Updates (and does it requires to be on the latest firmware)?
A: Yes, you can install game and system updates. The game updates can be applied following Nintendo’s usual rules, which sometimes requires you to be on the latest or a higher firmware than your console’s current firmware.
Q: If a game runs natively on an OFW x.yy and above, can SX OS run the game even if the console has a lower firmware?
A: Currently no. We have added that request to our list of features to look into.
Q: Does SX OS support online gaming?
A: SX OS supports playing online. However, we can’t guarantee Nintendo is not able to detect you are using SX OS. So playing online is at your own risk.
Q: Can I buy one SX Pro and one SX OS license separately, and use the dongle and tool with two switches?
A: Yes, you can buy additional SX OS Licenses and use one dongle and tool for all your Switch consoles.
Q: Which file format does SX OS support? What about split files?
A: We support both FAT32 and exFAT. SX OS will also try to look for split files in the form of “filename.xc0” “filename.xc1” “filename.xc2” and so on to support ROMs larger than 4GB on FAT32.
Q: Can I backup my games with SX OS and create my own game ROMs?
A: Currently there’s no easy way to backup games with SX OS. We will add support for this in an update.
Q: Will you (Team Executor) allow the use of different payloads?
A: Yes. Custom payload can be put on the microSD card. Details will follow.
Q: How much space is used up on microSD for SX OS?
A: Only 16MB. To clarify, our OS will not alter in any way your microSD game & homebrew capacity.
Q: Can I update my Nintendo Switch to the latest firmware?
A: Yes, you can. SX OS is compatible with all firmwares and all regions!
Q: How are game ROMs launched? What format do they need to be in?
A: Games ROMs available right now from release groups are compatible as-is. Copy the XCI files to the root of your Nintendo Switch microSD card so SX OS will be able to find them.
Q: How does the tool (jig) and dongle operate? Are they needed everytime you turn on the console?
A: If you don’t want to make any (software) modifications to your Switch Console, both the Tool (jig) and dongle are needed every boot. SX OS has an optional “AutoRCM” feature that can be installed to your Switch Console such that the jig tool is not needed anymore on boot.
Q: How does the AutoRCM feature work?
A: The AutoRCM feature makes a tiny modification to your system’s on-board storage via software, and from there on you will ONLY need the dongle (and won’t have to press the volume key) when booting your console. Please note: With the AutoRCM feature installed, your Switch will only boot up with the SX Pro Dongle inserted or by any other USB-C launching method currently available. Once booted, you can always uninstall AutoRCM through SX OS.
Q: Is the license for life and updates included?
A: Yes, it is! All updates are free and for the lifetime of your console.
Q: What do I need if I only buy SX OS?
A: We strongly recommend buying SX Pro for the ease of use and safely streamlined procedure. That being said, SX OS standalone can be launched from Windows using TegraRcmGUI (TegraRcmSmash) or from NXLoader on android (with a USB-otg adapter). We offer support & warranty on your devices, please note any issues you face by errors/misuse of other methods will not be covered by our warranty.

Updates and SX OS features coming soon

Team Executor is hard at work with providing frequent updates and support to their SX OS. Within the last two weeks they have released two updated to their firmware, one of which included Card2 game support. Here are a few features to look forward to:

  • Chainloading Linux
  • eShop games – SUPPORTED as of v1.5
  • Stealth mode for ban protection while using SX OS
  • Cheat support
  • Emunand support
  • Dump cartridges
  • Better menu for accessing game backups

SX Pro and SX OS Review

Check out my in-depth review of the SX Pro and SX OS here.

If you have SX OS, how do you like it? Leave your comments below.

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