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The Homebrew Launcher (new-hbmenu) 2.2.0

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The Homebrew Launcher


The Homebrew Launcher (hbmenu for short) is a fairly simple (and beautiful) menu that lists homebrew applications in the 3DSX format and lets you run them. It can be used with the following entrypoints:

  • ninjhax 1.x (the original 3DS homebrew exploit, originally released in November 2014)
  • hax 2.x (the followup to ninjhax, originally released in July 2015)
  • Rosalina (part of Luma3DS 8.0+ custom firmware, originally released in June 2017)


To install hbmenu, simply copy boot.3dsx to the root of your SD card. If you are using a recent version of Luma3DS you probably already have a copy of hbmenu installed, as it comes bundled with it.

Use the D-Pad, Circle Pad or the touchscreen to select an application, and press A or touch it again to start it. Use the C-Stick alternatively on New 3DS to scroll the list of applications.

On certain entrypoints (ninjhax 1.x and hax 2.x), it is not possible to go back to the 3DS HOME menu using the HOME button. As an alternative, you can press the START button where you can reboot your console or (in the case of hax 2.x) relaunch HOME menu.

hbmenu starts in the sdmc:/3ds/ directory for applications and it will look for 3dsx files inside it. You can navigate the directory tree and open/browse folders as you would expect. Old style application bundle folders are also detected, however this functionality may be removed in the future.

Here is an example directory structure that hbmenu will have no trouble recognizing:

  • sdmc:/
    • 3ds/
      • games/
        • Hermes.3dsx
        • cubemadness.3dsx
      • 3dscraft.3dsx
      • blargSNES.3dsx
      • gameyob.3dsx
      • 3dnes.3dsx
      • ftpd.3dsx
      • Themely.3dsx

If hbmenu does not find an icon file (either embedded in the executable or provided separately) to associate with a given 3dsx, it will display a default icon and the path to the executable as a fallback.

hbmenu also allows you to create "shortcuts" which are xml files containing a path to a 3dsx file and optional arguments to pass to the .3dsx. This file can also include a path to icon data as well as name, description and author text using tags as follows:

    <executable>The path to the 3dsx file goes here.</executable>
    <icon>path to smdh icon data</icon>
    <arg>Place arguments to be passed to 3dsx here.</arg>
    <name>Name to display</name>
    <description>Description of homebrew app</description>
    <author>Name of the author</author>

Arguments are space or tab separated but can use single or double quotes to contain whitespace.

Name, description and author will be read from the .3dsx if it has embedded SMDH data or from the supplied icon path. The fields in the xml file will then override their respective entries.

You should not hotswap the SD card while hbmenu is running since it compromises the 3DS OS's stability amongst other things. It is recommended that you instead use a file transfer homebrew application such as ftpd to transfer files without rebooting.

Technical notes

hbmenu does all its rendering in hardware thanks to the citro3d library. The 3DS system font is also used to render all text.

hbmenu uses some funky mechanisms to launch 3dsx files. If you're interested in launching 3dsx files from your own application, you should look here; although these mechanisms may change in the future.


hbmenu contains support for the 3dslink protocol, which allows you to remotely load applications. Press Y to activate as usual then run 3dslink <3dsxfile> if your network can cope with UDP broadcast messages. If 3dslink says 3DS not found then you can use -a <ip address> to tell it where to send the file.

All the other arguments you give 3dslink will be passed as arguments to the launched 3dsx file. You can also specify argv[0] with -0 <argument> which is useful for setting the current working directory if you already have data files in a particular place, i.e. 3dslink myfile.3dsx -0 sdmc:/3ds/mydata/

3dslink is provided with devkitARM.


  • smea: code & original hbmenu version
  • fincs: code & rewrite
  • GEMISIS: code
  • mtheall: code
  • WinterMute: netloader code
  • Fluto: graphics
  • Arkhandar: graphics
  • dotjasp: graphics (regionfree icon)
  • gruetzkopf, TuxSH, AuroraWright, Soph1a7, SentientTurtle, Yami-chan, d3m3vilurr, daedreth, JixunMoe, yy-codes, MCPE-PC: translations

Que novedades incluye la versión 2.2.0


  • Built with latest tools and libraries.
  • Added starring system (backported from nx-hbmenu): press SELECT to star or unstar an application.
  • Added key repeat support for scrolling.
  • Added wave rendering!
  • Removed support for ninjhax 1.x.
  • Simplified app bundle detection support, removing some obsolete edge cases.
  • Miscellaneous optimizations and bug fixes.
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.
  • Binary hotfixed on 2020/07/18 01:50 (UTC+2) to solve a hax 2.x compatibility problem

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