L4T Linux Distributions

Understanding and setting up L4S distros

Various L4T-based linux distributions are available for the Nintendo Switch.

DistroVersionOfficial Release DateOfficial EOLMaintainer


April 2018

ELTS: 4/2028


April 2022

ELTS: 4/2032


April 2024

ELTS: 4/2034


November 2023

STS: 11/2024


April 2024

Setting up your SD Card

  1. Insert SD card to your PC

  2. Download TegraRcmGUI for Windows and run "TegraRcmGUI_vX.X_installer.msi" to install TegraRCMGUI (follow on-screen instructions).

  3. Launch "TegraRCMGUI" and Install The APX driver if needed. This can be located in "Setting" -> "Install Driver"

  4. Download Hekate latest release and extract "heakte_ctcaer_X.X.bin"

  5. Connect your switch to your PC/device via usb cable.

  6. First, power off your Switch then insert the RCM Jig in the right joycon rail and press/hold VOLUME UP + POWER BUTTON for three seconds to enter into RCM

  7. Find and select "heakte_ctcaer_X.X.bin" under "Select payload:" and hit "Inject payload". Then your Switch should now be in Hekate bootloader.

Flashing a distribution for the first time

First time Linux installation

  1. Partition the sd card in order to create an ext4 partition. hekate's partition manager can be used for that: Tools -> Partition SD Card.

    1. The process in hekate is destructive, so you need to backup your fat partition files (if they are more than 1GB total) or emuMMC.

    2. Move the sliders as you want them and then hit next. You will have plenty of chances/warns to backup your stuff if it's needed.

  2. Make sure your Switch is connected via usb to your PC/Device and Select SD UMS

  3. Extract your distro of choice 7z directly to SD

  4. Safely unmount and flash via hekate's Flash Linux

  5. Then go to Home and Nyx options and dump your joycon BT pairing

  6. Return to hekate's Home menu and choose "More Configs"

  7. Boot

Distributions layout

|- ini
|  |- L4T-XXXXXXX.ini
|- install
|   |- l4t.00        (4092 MiB parts. Last part can be 4 MiB aligned)
|   |- l4t.01
|   |- ...
|   |- l4t.XX
|- ubuntu
     |- boot.scr
     |- bl31.bin
     |- bl33.bin
     |- uImage
     |- initramfs
     |- nx-plat.dtimg

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