Below is the guide, to quote from his blog (linked above): This guide assumes that you found a user mode exploit in a game, and that you were able to write a binary loader.
So now what’s next? Well, as you probably know if you’ve gone that far, the PSP scene doesn’t really like “hello worlds”. A hello world is nice, but it accomplishes nothing, it just draws Sony’s attention to your exploit, and you know the vulnerability will be patched soon, while nobody really used the exploit.
Well, the next step is, ideally, a HEN or a custom firmware. Of course, this requires a kernel exploit, and we know how these are difficult to find. A much more doable task, that will make lots of people happy, is to port HBL to your exploit. HBL opens the door to lots of legal contents on the PSP and the Vita, and we designed it so that porting it to your game exploit can be done fairly easily.
This tutorial is valid at the time of its writing, for all games, and up to firmware 6.60 (Vita firmware 1.61). In theory, HBL will work on future firmwares, but of course new kinds of security might be introduced in new firmwares. Additionally, depending on your game (and its function imports), the compatibility and speed of homebrews might vary.
0. Easy as pie
HBL was designed to be easily ported to new game exploits. Most Game-specific files (except one) go in a subfolder that I will describe below. To complete this tutorial, you need basic shell skills, a working pspsdk, a working game exploit and the associated binary loader / hello world, a ruby interpreter, and basic ruby skills (usually, if you know any other scripting language, you’ll figure it out easily, there are not so many changes required).
1. Get the HBL sources and compile them
The first step is to get the HBL sources, compile them, and if you’re motivated, test them on an existing game exploit, to make sure the copy you have works correctly. (As I write this, it is recommended to test compilation with either the Mototrstorm or the Everybody’s tennis exploits, as we might have broken backwards compatibility with older exploits)
The sources of HBL can be downloaded here (SVN client required: http://code.google.com/p/valentine-hbl/source/checkout)
In order to compile it, you need the PSPSDK (which you probably already have if you wrote a binary loader). Compilation is fairly easy, but in order to compile the HBL for a specific exploit, you have to specify the folder of the exploit. for example, make FOLDER=lifeup will compile HBL for the Motorstorm (EU) exploit.
2. Create your own exploit’s folder
As you guessed, you will create a folder dedicated to your own exploit. Let’s imagine you game is called wololo, then you can create a subfolder “wololo” in the eLoader folder. Basically, we want to reproduce the files that are in this folder for another exploit, and adapt them to our exploit. Let’s have a look at the lifeeu folder:
The folder contains 6 files and 1 folder (which contains 1 file) that you will want to adapt to your exploit. I will describe each of them separately. Most of these files are automatically generated by a script, so this should be fairly simple.
3. Create your exploit’s files
This is the linker file for h.bin. If you created a binary loader and a hello world, you already have this file from your hello world, and most likely you named it “linker.x“. Copy linker.x from your hello world to linker_loader.x. Done!
This is the sdk for h.bin. If you created a binary loader and a hello world, you probably already have this file, and named it sdk.S. Copy sdk.s to sdk_loader.S. If you don’t have this sdk, you can create it either by running prxtool on the EBOOT.BIN of the game, or by using the moskitool (a ruby version of the moskitool can be found in the eLoader/tools folder of the HBL). Most likely, if you created a hello world, you already have this file so I won’t give more details for now. Done!
config folder, exploit_config.h, sdk_hbl.S, loader.h,
The contents of the config folder, as well as sdk_hbl.S, loader.h, and most of exploit_config.h (details below for exploit_config.h) are automatically generated by a ruby script that you can find in eLoader/tools/gen_exploit_config.rb.
The gen_exploit_config.rb has 2 “modes”, but I will only describe the first one, which is required the first time you adapt your exploit. You need to have a usermem dump named memdump.bin (that you acquired from psplink with the command savemem 0x08800000 0x01800000 memdump.bin). Important note: For Vita compatibility, that dump must be done on a PSP running firmware 6.60. In addition to memdump.bin, you need a list of UIDs from the same psplink session, that you will name uidlist.txt.
You can get that file by typing uidlist > uidlist.txt in psplink. That file needs to be in unix format, so be sure to convert it if you are running windows. Finally, you need a file named sdk.S, which is nothing else than the sdk.S you created for your game exploit, the one we just named sdk_loader.S above.
Put these 3 files (memdump.bin and uidlist.txt obtained from the same psplink session, as well as sdk.S from your exploit) in the tools folder, and run gen_exploit_config.rb
This should display a list of addresses (you will want to copy these addresses inside the stubs array of gen_exploit_config.rb so that other people who want to improve your exploit won’t need a memory dump/uidlist anymore, although they will still need the sdk.S file), and generate a series of files in the tools/output subfolder.
The files generated by gen_exploit_config.rb in the output folder can be copied “as is” into your game’s folder.
Final edits to exploit_config.h
You’re almost done, but the file exploit_config.h need to be edited in two places, that you will find because they say “TODO” in big letters.
HBL_LOAD_ADDRESS This is where you will load HBL in RAM. You want a value that is outside of the boundaries of the game, and basically, a place where the PSP will accept to alloc roughly 200kB. you can get such an address in psplink while the game is running by typing malloc 2 test l 204800
HBL_ROOT is the name of the folder where your exploited savedata is. That folder name looks like ms0:/PSP/SAVEDATA/UCUS12345000. Important note: my tutorial on how to create a binary loader assumes you will load a file named ms0:/h.bin. On the PS Vita, this is not possible anymore, so you will have to adapt your binary loader in order to load the exploit from ms0:/PSP/SAVEDATA/XXXXXXX/h.bin (where XXXX is the folder of your savedata). In the Vita version of HBL, all HBL files for in that folder, and there is no subfolder.
copy linker_loader.x into linker_hbl.x, and replace the address value with the value of HBL_LOAD_ADDRESS that you figured out earlier while creating exploit_config.h. Done.
Run make FOLDER=yourfolder (alternate ways: make distrib FOLDER=yourfolder to remove debug messaging, make nonids FOLDER=yourfolder to remove NIDs-related heavy debug messaging)
You’re done, grab the h.bin and hbl.bin in the root, the config folder from your exploit’s folder, and the libs_… folders from the root. You now have the meat of your HBL port ready.
5. Last but not least
HBL is licensed under the GPL. If you plan to distribute your compiled binaries, it is required that you provide your source code as well. Don’t make us ask for it
This tutorial is voluntarily vague. Porting HBL is fairly easy, but we assume that if you made it that far, you probably are skilled enough to do some research on your own. Nevertheless, don’t hesitate to ask questions if you are running into problems
You are allowed to reproduce this article on other websites and/or translate it on condition that you put a clear link to this page in your copy.
6. More details
Porting VHBL is simple in theory, but many games do not import some functions that are necessary for HBL to run properly. One goal of the script gen_exploit_config.h is to analyze the imports of your game (this is why the sdk.S is necessary), and define some workarounds in exploit_config.h in case your game does not have all the necessary exports. This should work in most cases, but that script is still experimental and might make mistakes. Below are a few details on some of the “define” sections it creates:
TH_ADDR_LIST, EV_ADDR_LIST, SEMA_ADDR_LIST, and GAME_FREEMEM_ADDR can be computed for you by the tool eLoader/tools/freemem.rb. For that you will need a memory dump and a file uidlist.txt which is the output of the uidlist command in psplink (uidlist > uidlist.txt ). It is important to note that the memory dump and the uidlist need to be from the same session, otherwise the addresses will be incorrect. If you’re on windows, also make sure that the uidlist.txt file is in the unix format (use your favorite editor to convert it if needed). For those interested, here are some technical details about those variables, but basically the tool should do it for you
TH_ADDR_LIST, is the list of threads you want to kill. Threads are defined by a SceUID, but since this value changes all the time, what we actually want is the addresses where they are defined. in psplink, while your game (or your hello world) is running, you can get a list of these thread by typing thlist. Then look for each thread’s uid in ram. The address (hopefully unique) where the thid is defined, is what you want to put in this list.
EV_ADDR_LIST is the list of events you want to kill. You get this list by typing evlist in psplink. The rest is similar to the construction of TH_ADDR_LIST
SEMA_ADDR_LIST is the list of semaphores you want to kill. You get this list by typing smlist in psplink. The rest is similar to the construction of TH_ADDR_LIST above
GAME_FREEMEM_ADDR this is the address in Ram where the game’s memory was allocated. Most game have this but for those that don’t have it (patapon2), this value can be commented out. To find this value, type uidlist” PSPLink and look under the SceSysMemMemoryBlock section. You’re looking for blocks that have a 0xFF (user) attribute (not 0×00!), and are not “stack”. In the golf exploit, this block was simply called “block” and was easy to find. Again, you’re interested in the entry address, not the uid.
UNLOAD_ADDITIONAL_MODULES : define this variable if possible. Comment it out only if you run into issues at the “free memory” stage of HBL
Other variables: The variables above are the basics of the config file. With those, HBL should basically work, or at least take you to a step where you can start debugging. But with time, HBL has grown and has been updated by several people. In order to maintain backwards compatibility and increase game coverage, the exploit_config file was added several config values.
DISABLE_P5_STUBS is useful if you run into a crash/freeze even before hbl is loaded (just after firmware detection). SYSCALL_* are used for perfect syscall estimation on firmwares where this is available (TODO: explain syscalls estimation), etc… at this point you will probably need to dig in previous exploit_config.h files in order to find more on each macro you can possibly define.
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!
As previously reported, PlayStation Vita developer wololo has now released the PS Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL) and updated the source code for the Motorstorm Arctic Edge buffer overflow exploit according to plan!
To quote: If you are lucky enough to be one of the few owners of Motorstorm Arctic Edge, VHBL is now available for download.
Please report Success/Failure here or on our forums (wololo.net/talk). As you will see, installing homebrews is a bit of a pain, so if you’re a good hearted guy who understands my explanations in the readme, please feel free to share homebrews packaged “correctly” for VHBL.
Note: you can have several homebrews in one “install” file. For example if you zip all your PSP/GAME folder, all the homebrews in there can be installed at once by VHBL.
HBL port to the KR/US/EU/JP versions of the exploit by Wololo. Thanks go to:
Teck4 for the Motorstorm exploit
All the devs who made HBL what it is today, in particular m0skit0 and JJS
Mamosuke, j416, Some1, and all the other devs who kept the secret, that’s much appreciated guys
Monsieur2T2R for the cool VHBL icons/wallpapers
For now, I’m off to bed, but I'll be sure to post more in the days to come, with updates, tutos, technical explanations, etc...
Vita Half-Byte Loader
Vita Half-Byte Loader is a project to port the PSP homebrew loader HBL to the Playstation Vita, through the PSP emulator on the Playstation Vita.
For the latest news about Vita Half Byte Loader, check the VHBL Category on this blog.
Half-Byte Loader (HBL) is an open source Homebrew Loader for the Sony PSP and the PS Vita. It allows to play fan-made games on any PSP up to firmware 6.60, and on the Vita up to firmware 1.61. HBL allows to run emulators for the Game Boy, Nintendo 64, Sega Megadrive, NES, Super NES... and many other applications.
VHBL does not technically allow you to play any pirated PSP or Vita games.
Although VHBL is free and open source, the current version relies on a vulnerability in a specific PSP game (Motorstorm Arctic Edge) that you need to buy from the PSN. VHBL comes with no guarantee, especially I cannot guarantee it will work on your Vita, so remember that you pay for a PSP game, and not for anything else. I do not do refunds for the money you gave to Sony
It is super easy for Sony to patch the vulnerabilities used by this tool, given the amount of control they have on the PS Vita. VHBL runs fine on firmware 1.61, but for all I know it is possible for Sony to patch the game’s vulnerability without a firmware update. So, once again, before buying the game and downloading VHBL, you need to understand that you pay for the game, and VHBL is a bonus that might or might not work
How to Install and Run HBL
It is *strongly* recommended that you turn of all wireless connections on your PS Vita, and that you use OpenCMA (wololo.net/downloads/index.php/download/1252) on your PC instead of the regular CMA. This is recommended because otherwise your console has a way to force you to upgrade the firmware even before you get a chance to use the exploit.
Extract this HBL archive in your CMA PSP Savedata folder. It is a folder on your PC named PSSAVEDATA/[lots of random characters here]. If you don’t know where it is, check your settings in CMA
Connect your PS Vita to the PC through the CMA, it should give you the possibility to copy the savedata from your PC to the Vita. If not, you probably extracted it in the wrong folder. (Note: You will also want to install some homebrews with a similar technique, read the section below)
To run HBL, start the Motorstorm game, select “Load” in the savegame menu, open the HBL savegame, then go to “Wreckreation > Time Attack” and select “No”. At this point, HBL should start. See the video below for details:
Motorstorm Arctic Edge VHBL r141 Changelog:
Games using the Quake Engine such as KurokPSP (and probably Quake itself) now work!
Geometry Wars Portable, which was also not working for some reason, is now working fine.
How to Install and Run Homebrews
Installing homebrews on the PSP was an easy task. On the Vita, until better solutions are provided, it’s quite a pain in the ass.
The CMA will only let you copy savedata, and will not recursively browse folders.
To address this, HBL comes with a tool that can extract archives with a specific structure.
Packaging the homebrew for installation on the Vita:
1) download PSP homebrews from your favorite Web site (wololo.net/downloads)
2) extract the homebrew somewhere on your hard drive, and with your favorite utility, zip it again with the *store* setting (no compression), in a file that you will name “install.zip”
3) take any PSP savedata (but not the one used for HBL!), and add the “install.zip” to that folder, in your PC CMA folder. so your PSP Savedata will look something like this:
in folder PSSAVEDATA/1a2b3c4def5678/UCUS12345000/ (or something like this) you will have the following files:
Here you can download an example of packaged homebrew: Doom (http://www.mediafire.com/?yl8518xxh8v9xvp)
1) run OpenCMA on your PC, and CMA on your Vita
2) copy the previously packaged SAVEDATA (see above) with your homebrew in “install.zip” on your Vita
3) run HBL (how to run HBL is explained in the previous section)
4) navigate with the HBL menu to the SAVEDATA folder, then go to the folder you just downloaded (in my example, UCUS12345000), and clikc cross or circle on it
5) At this point, the HBL menu should ask you if you want to install the homebrew. select yes, and wait until HBL is done extracting your homebrew
6) The homebrew is now installed, and you can run it by going to the GAME folder, if everything went well, a new subfolder with your homebrew has been created here, and you can run the homebrew
OpenCMA is strongly recommended to install if you want to use VHBL. Open CMA is a tool by Virtuous Flame that allows you to copy files from and to your vita without being connected to the internet. This is useful, especially if you don’t want Sony to forcefully update your firmware.
Looking for homebrews that run on VHBL? Check this list (wololo.net/wagic/2010/07/18/15-essential-homebrews-that-run-on-half-byte-loader/) of 15 essential homebrews that run fine with VHBL.
Quick Installing/Using VHBL FAQ
As you might have noticed, using HBL on the PSP wasn’t easy, but on the vita it’s even worse. That’s partially because of the many limitations enforced by Sony’s CMA, but also because I was too lazy to make too many improvements to HBL and the wMenu (mostly because I didn’t want to spend too much time on a tool that people might ditch at the next Firmware update)
Anyways, here are quick answers to the most frequently asked questions I got over the past 3 days
Do I really need to have Motorstorm Arctic Edge in order to run VHBL?
For now, yes. Later versions of VHBL (if any) might rely on other games, but for now, MAE is required.
I don’t have Motorstorm Arctic Edge, and I can’t find it on the Store, where do I buy it?
You can’t. Sony removed the Game from their store on March 2nd.
Is there a way to install Motorstorm Arctic Edge even if I didn’t buy it in time? By sharing my account with somebody, or downloading it from somebody’s server?
No. Each copy of the game is tied to the account that bought it, and Sony made it so that the game cannot be re-downloaded for now, even for those who bought it.
I tried to copy the exploit savedata, but The Vita tells me the data is corrupt, and refuses to copy it?
This seems to be happening mostly with the JP version of the VHBL exploit. Some sites have reported that if you mark all files in the savedata to not be read only, this will work. I’ll see if I can fix that in a future release.
I put a homebrew in “install.zip” as you explained, but the HBL menu isn’t able to install it. I’m pretty sure I did things right the “install.zip” file has to be a zip with “no compression” (also known as “store”. This option is available in most compression tools. I recommend 7zip.
I installed an emulator (or a Book reader). Now I want to install roms (ebooks) for it, do I have to reinstall the entire emulator?
In theory no, if you put the full path in your install.zip archive. For example, if you have a rom named “wololo.bin”, and want to put it in PSP/GAME/Snes9xTyl, just create all those folders, put the rom in it, and create an install.zip that will contain your rom (install.zip/PSP/GAME/Snes9xTyl/wololo.bin).
Practically, that can be difficult to remember, in which case the best is indeed to re-install the full homebrew with the roms in it. The benefit of this technique is that the HBL menu will detect the EBOOT file in your archive, and automatically understand where you want to install your stuff.
Note: you can have many homebrews in one install.zip, as long as they are in different subfolders. I personally simply zipped my entire PSP/GAME subfolder from my PSP Go, and installed the result on my vita)
How do I delete homebrews?
The easiest way is to go in the CMA on your Vita, and delete from there. Unfortunately it makes it difficult to know what you’re deleting. An alternate way is to install PSPFiler and use it to delete. I’m hoping to see some volunteer devs out there to provide alternatives if possible
oh well, there must have been a problem with the upload. i don't think that there is a way to transfer the game anyway. it says must sign in and redownload the content. the only other method i can think of is if sony puts a patched version of the game back on the store we could maybe link to this version with the vulnerability using charles and install it that way..