How To: Burn an XDG3 Formatted Xbox 360 Game ISO with Linux

Burn an XDG3 Formatted Xbox 360 Game ISO with Linux

Gamers who have their Xbox 360's firmware flashed may have recently noticed an inability to play backups, or even make backups of newer games that have come out, such as Gears of War 3 and Dead Island, to name a few.

This is because Microsoft has come out with a new disc format to fight piracy, called XDG3. This burns an extra gigabyte of data to the inner-ring of the dual-layer DVD, which is not burnable with commercial disc burners. So how on earth can we burn our fully-legal back-ups that we should rightfully be able to have? Well, on October 9th, 2011 c4eva and the good people at iExtreme released the iExtreme LT+ 2.0 firmware, which allows you to play XDG3 games, and back-ups! It allows the same data to be read from normal dual-layer DVDs, even if they are written to different sectors of the disc. But how can we burn these games?

The new firmware has allowed us to burn discs with a different layer-break and the drive will read it and play it as if it has been burned properly (identical to the factory burns). However, not many people know how to burn the new XDG3 games, so that is why we are going to do it in today's Null Byte! I'm going to be teaching you all how to do this under Linux, since there is next-to-nothing for documentation on it.

Be on the look out for pre-XDG3 and XDG3 guides for Windows soon.

Note: As of yet, there is no way to verify if XDG3 games were burned properly.


  • This tutorial is not condoning piracy. This allows you to burn your back-ups of games, which is fully legal.
  • You may become banned from Xbox Live if you do this. To make your chances of being banned nearly impossible, follow my tips at the end of this guide. With that said, you are still taking a risk.


  • Linux OS
  • Root access
  • A dual-layer DVD burner
  • A dual-layer DVD
  • Installed copy of growisofs

Step 1 Install growisofs

Text in bold means it is a terminal command.

Let's search our package repos for growisofs. Here's how to do it in Arch, but the rest of you are probably using Ubuntu, in which case, it is installed by default.

    sudo pacman -S dvd+rw-tools

Step 2 Burn the Media

  1. Throw the disc in your DVD drive.
  2. Run growisofs to burn the dual-layer game.
        growisofs -use-the-force-luke=dao -use-the-force-luke=break:2086912  -dvd-compat -speed=2.4 -Z /dev/sr0=<file-path>
  3. Repalce sr0 with your drive name if it differs, and replace <file-path> with the path to the .iso file.

Staying Safe on Xbox Live

  • Whenever there is a system update (not a game update), reflash your drive back to the stock firmware that you saved. Connect to Xbox Live, do the system update, then reflash it.
  • Don't tell anyone you have a flashed DVD drive, or that you can play back-ups. Microsoft is always listening.
  • Always stealth patch your games before you burn them.

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For windows, just use ImgBurn set the book type to ROM, drop the .dvd file into it press burn and allow it to truncate when the error pops up. If you dont have a .dvd file you gotta find one or make one - it has the layer break info set into it.

That's right! :) Layer break == 2086912

Im a little sad that my drive is Hatachi 46 i cant wait till 2.0 comes out hopefully by the end of the week!

I know right, with Skyrim being leaked and all, I hear you.

So XDG3 is burnable. . but are they safe to play? Since there are no stealth patches for XDG3 games yet?

That's where it's trivial, you play the games with a risk. You have to trust that the ISO was ripped perfectly :( though I heard on efnet that ABGX 1.6 was supposed to be coming out REALLY soon, which does XDG3.

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