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This page serves as a glossary of commonly used terms frequently encountered when working with homebrew.

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A console that is no longer working due to damaged hardware or an error with the internal software/filesystem. Usually the fault of the owner. Sometimes recoverable through special means.


Without going to assembler, one of the lowest-level languages used in homebrew. C code is far more portable than assembler, and most standard libraries have been ported to the different console development toolchains.
An object-oriented language homebrew developers program in, essentially an upgrade to C. Applications built in C++ can, for the most part, use all the same libraries that C programs can use.


The Executable and Linkable Format (formerly named Extensible Linking Format), is a common standard file format for executable files.
A piece of software/code that takes advantage of a bug, glitch, or vulnerability in the target system to execute arbitrary code. In the case of proprietary game consoles, an exploit allows the execution of unofficial homebrew software on the system.


Fixed low-level code written directly into a programmable chip. The bootloader that loads the PS3 hypervisor or that loads up the memory card screen on the PlayStation are examples of firmware. High-level applications like the Wii Channel Browser or DS menu are not firmware.


An ISO file is a exact digital copy of an optical medium, such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or UMD. It usually has the exact capacity of the data stored on-disc at an uncompressed size, so can often be compressed to a smaller file. The name comes from the ISO 9660 standard, the file format used on CD-ROMs.


A dump of a game file from a cartridge, such as from the NES or SNES.