Ndless v3.1 User Guide

Need help with the installation? Please read the Troubleshooting Guide.

A tutorial with screenshots is  provided by tiplanet.org. You will also find a video tutorial by OnlineGamerDOTcom on YouTube.

This is an Open Source project. You like it? Support the Ndless effort, Flattr  or  Donate

What is Ndless for TI-Nspire?

Ndless combines an executable loader and utilities to open the TI-Nspire to third-party C and assembly development.

As a TI-Nspire user, installing Ndless on your calculator will enhance the Operating System with the functions required to run assembly programs.


Installation and upgrade

Upgrading from Ndless v2.0

Upgrade your OS to v3.1 and follow the installation procedure.

Installing from a computer

Create a directory called ‘ndless‘ on the calculator. Send the files ‘ndless_resources.tns‘ and ‘ndless.cfg.tns’ from the ‘calcbin/‘ directory of Ndless to this new directory. Dismiss on the TI-Nspire the popup for the file reception  (this is important).

Then locate the file ‘ndless_installer-.tno|tnc|tco|tcc‘ in the ‘calcbin/‘ directory of Ndless which matches your device type:

  • .tno: classic TI-Nspire
  • .tnc: classic TI-Nspire CAS
  • .tco: TI-Nspire CX/CX-M
  • .tcc: TI-Nspire CX CAS/CX-M CAS
  • .tmo: TI-Nspire  CX-M
  • .tmc: TI-Nspire  CX-M CAS

Send this file as an OS upgrade to the calculator. The calculator will display a popup about the success of the installation. The linking software’s progress bar will freeze, and an error message may be displayed on the computer side. Just ignore it. You may have to close and reopen the linking software to be able to use it again.

If you have forgotten to dismiss the ndless_resoures.tns reception popup and can’t dismiss Ndless’s popup, just turn off and on the TI-Nspire to make it disappear.

Note that only ndless_resources.tns will be visible in the Documents screen. The .tno|.tnc|.tco|.tcc|.tmo|.tmc file won’t appear as it is a special OS image.

That’s it! The installation is reboot-proof. Never delete ndless/ndless_resources.tns as long as Ndless is installed.

Upgrading from a computer

Follow the installation procedure. The calculator needs to reboot.

Installing on the nspire_emu emulator

Create a folder named ‘ndless‘. Set the target to ‘ndless‘ (menu Link->Set target folder…). Send ‘ndless_resources.tns‘ as a document, and ‘ndless_installer-.tno|tnc|tco|tcc‘ as an OS.

Running native programs

Native programs have the same ‘.tns‘ extension as standard documents. Transfer the executable with a linking program to any folder of the TI-Nspire. Then run the executable from the Documents screen of the TI-Nspire.

You may try the particles demo available in the calcbin/samples/ directory.

Programs built for Ndless v2.x should work as is on classic TI-Nspire. Programs must be rebuilt and slightly adapted to run on TI-Nspire CX. If a program is not yet available for CX, ask his author.

File association

(since v3.1 r538) You can directly run files with extensions from the OS native document browser, for example to open .png files with mViewer or .nes files with NESpire (demo for NDoom).

Ndless comes with default associations for several TI-Nspire programs. These associations are configured in ndless.cfg.tns. You can edit this file on a computer with a text editor my renaming it to ndless.cfg.txt. To add a custom file assocation for a program (for example to associate .txt files with a program named textviewer.tns), add the following line:


Rename the file back to ndless.cfg.tns, and send it to the ‘ndless/‘ directory of the TI-Nspire.

When a document named <document-name>.txt.tns is open from the OS document browser (and displayed as <document-name.txt on the TI-Nspire) a program named “textviewer.tns” will be searched in all document folders and used to open the .txt file. Note that programs must explicitely support file association, ask their authors for it.

Startup programs

(since v3.1 r540) Some programs such as OS patches have to be run at OS boot time. The startup programs feature is useful for these kind of programs.

Any native program stored in the folder ‘ndless/startup/’  and its subfolders will be run at OS boot time sequently in alphabetical order. You have to create the ‘startup/’ directory manually. Maintaining the ESC key pressed during startup (when the progress bar is almost done) skips these programs – this is useful when a buggy program has been stored in the startup folder.


Open ‘ndless_resources.tns‘ from the Documents screen. A reboot will be initiated.


Please follow the Troubleshooting Guide.

Known issues and limitations

  • Ndless v1.x/v2.x programs which use the show_msgbox() function must be rebuilt to be compatible.

A more complete list of known isues can be found in the tracker: http://www.unsads.com/projects/nsptools

Support and suggestions

Problem report

First make sure that:

  • You are using the right ‘ndless_installer-.tno|tnc|tco|tcc‘ file compatible with the Operating System (OS) version currently installed on your calculator
  • You have followed the steps in the troubleshooting section above
  • You don’t find a solution on the web sites above

E-mail anything which may help the author to fix the issue, or fill in a new ticket on http://www.unsads.com/projects/nsptools

Many thanks to

calc84maniac (HW info), Goplat (TI-Nspire emulator, HW info), hwti (OS info, v1.0 64-bit support), squalyl (Hackspire and development tools hosting), tiplanet.org (data hosting).

Thanks to all the contributors and beta testers, including Adriweb, apcalc, BrandonW, bsl, bwang, calc84maniac, calcforth, chronomex, critor, Levak, Lionel Debroux, shrear.

Development team

Olivier Armand aka ExtendeD – < olivier.calc@gmail.com >

Former team member: Geoffrey Anneheim aka geogeo – < geoffrey dot anneheim at free dot fr >

Ndless is brought to you by Omnimaga: The Coders Of Tomorrow www.omnimaga.org

Legal stuff

Most of the work is covered by the Mozilla Public License, version 1.1 (MPL). Please read careful the file “Mozilla-Public-License-v1.1.html” before distributing of any part of Ndless, with or without modification.

Some parts are covered by other licenses. Others are in the public domain. These parts are identified by the files LICENSE.txt or LICENSE.html in the sub-directory.


See Changes.txt in Ndless folder.

Need help with the installation? Please read the Troubleshooting Guide.


106 thoughts on “Ndless v3.1 User Guide

  1. Halfway through OS install, the pc gives an error message (The Handheld is Not Responding). Is this to be expected, and if not, what am i doing wrong?

    1. Edit: This is on the nspire CAS, OS version 3.1. The gameboy emulator does not work after the installation, so apparently the installation has indeed failed.

  2. There are two betas, 515 and 526, which one should i download? my calculator is TI Nspire CX CAS, and i want to use the gbc4TINspire

  3. After many fruitless attempts at calc to calc installation, I come here to ask if anyone has actually successfully done it. I transfer the ndless directory from mine to the other, and then send the os, but I constantly run into errors. Both are cx cas on os Of the 3 that I have tried c2c installs on, none have worked. Any help is appreciated.

    1. Hi lilb,
      I got both success and failure reports, but nothing can explain why it works randomly.
      Are you getting the error message “”transfer error, check cable and retry” or “”the OS was refused by the receiving unit”?

  4. I have upgraded my CX to version, and selected Install OS in the computer linking software and selected the “ndless_installer-3.1.0.tcc” file (all the others were greyed out) and tried to install. It game me this error: Wrong handheld type for the OS being sent. I have done this successfully on my Touchpad calculator with the same OS, but it doesn’t seem to work. Can you help?

  5. I can not tranfer the files to the TI-Nspire cx, an error “There were one or more files not supported.
    So were transferred files supported”
    May you help me?

  6. I can not tranfer the files to the TI-Nspire cx, an error “There were one or more files not supported.
    So were transferred files supported”
    I’m referring to games for gameboy and wad to nDoom.
    May you help me?

  7. I did all of those things what listed, but still after ”installation” it says that filetype isn’t supported. Other thing what I noticed after putting the ndless_installer.tcc in it doesnt show the pop-up window after rebooting. Im running CX CAS with latest OS 3.1. Where should I start looking for the problem?

    1. Before sending the .tcc file, did you make sure to transfer the file ndless_resources.tns to a directory called ‘ndless’ under ‘My Documents’ that you need to create?
      The calculator shouldn’t reboot when installing Ndless, it will if you haven’t correctly transfered ndless_resources.tns.

  8. hi im currently using a ti-nspire calculator CX CAS and whenever i try to upload the .tcc or even .tno file (because it comes up on things that can be moved) it wont work and it just says, “Wrong handheld type for the OS being sent” and it doesn’t let me do it. Can you give me some help please. Ive even tried going onto tools and then going onto install OS but says the same thing. :(

    1. damo, are you using Student or Teacher Software? Computer Link Software doesn’t support transfers of .txx files.

      And you should use the .tcc and not the .tno since you have a CX CAS. What do you mean exactly with “because it comes up on things that can be moved”?

      1. Im pretty sure its a student calculator but im not sure. And when I say, “because it comes up on things that can be moved” I mean that there are 4 different files in the folder (including, .tcc, .tco, .tnc and .tno that all have ndless_installer at the begining) and only .tcc and .tno show up to be transferred. And if I do have to use .txx files will I still b able to download a emulator?

  9. I can’t seem to download the ndless_installer for my ti-nspire cx cas which is odd because I was able to with my normal TI Nspire Cas…..I can’t really seem to figure out whats wrong. I looked at the file extensions and it says .tcc like it’s supposed to.

  10. When I drag any of the files (ndless resources, ndless installer) it comes up with an error message that this file type is not supported.

    1. For ndless_installer, make sure to pick the right version for your calculator model:
      .tno: classic TI-Nspire
      .tnc: classic TI-Nspire CAS
      .tco: TI-Nspire CX
      .tcc: TI-Nspire CX CAS

      Are you trying to drag files within Student Software, or from the Windows explorer to Student Software? If one fails, try the other one.

  11. Good afternoon,

    After instalation i had installed the gbc4nspire v0.91 emulator. I have a TI nspire CX CAS calculator and when I tryed install Pokemon emulator it was everything fine ( By the way, thank you for your work :D ) but it had a little issue, i can’t run the Game with colors.. I mean, it work but without colors. Is it a ndlessly issue or maybe it is because of the emulator?


  12. Hello,
    I know this is not the Actual post of your Blog, but i just want to say, that i didn’t need to restart my TI Nspire CX CAS (touch) when i sent the new ndless_resource to it.
    My last version was 568 and i could directly update it to 620 by overwriting the existing ndless_resource.

    So this might work too if i send the new ndless_resource from Calc to Calc, that it get an update to the new?

    Greetings Pomi

    1. Pomi: if you ndless_resources.tns alone, the newest features of Ndless will be enabled only after the next reset.
      Similarly, you need to force a reset on the target calculator after a calc to calc transfer.

      1. ok , thanks , and one more question , is it possible to run matlab codes (.m file) by this procedure ?

      2. Porting GNU Octave (required to run a .m file) to the TI-Nspire with the help of Ndless would be an interesting project, but probably not an easy one.

  13. >Computer Link is not supported.
    I was able to install ndless using Computer Link (v3.2.0.123) without a problem. Did a recent update in the Link change this or something?

  14. when i try to install the new OS, an error keeps popping up. it says “wrong handheld type for the OS being sent”.
    my calculator is a cx cas, and the file i tried update my calculator with is a .tcc
    i dont know what i’m doing wrong. help?

    1. Blake,

      “Will this damage my calculator?” > Although very rare failures have been reported, *no direct link* has yet been made between Ndless and these reports. Ndless still requires special usage precautions described in the user guide and the troubleshooting guide.

      “Will this void the warranty?” > Most probably has running native programs is not considered normal usage of the calculator by TI. But as a complete reformat through the standard TI-Nspire maintenance menu wipes out any trace of Ndless installation, this is not really an issue if you want to get support from TI-Cares or send back the calculator to the after sales service.

      Anyway if you have any doubt, you’d better not install Ndless at all.

  15. Hello, I made sure that I have the right OS on my cx handheld and the student software (3.1.392), the right (ndless_installer-3.1.0.xxx) program, and tried dragging and selecting the file to get it installed, but my Nspire always reboots and tells me that the handheld is “Not Responding.”
    I don’t understand why it won’t download :/

    1. Melody,
      Is your CX a CX CAS?
      – If yes you should use the ndless_installer-3.1.0.tcc file (mind the extension).
      – If not, use the ndless_installer-3.1.0.tco file.

      The “Not Responding” message on the computer side will always appear in the installation sequence. Just make sure to close and reopen Student Software.

      If you have any doubt whether Ndless was installed or not, try running the ‘particles’ sample provided.

  16. i already updatre my calculater to befor i wanna do this and i know ndless is still not suported for that is there anny wy i can get 3.1.0 back ?? or do i ahve to wait till the support for comes ??

  17. This doesn’t break any native functionality of the calculator right? >.> I mean I would love to program on the thing and play pokemon- but only if I can actually still do math and stuff :P

    1. Support for OS v3.2 is not planned, as downgrading to OS v3.1 isn’t blocked at the moment and OS v3.2 introduces as much regressions as improvements. Updating Ndless for a newer OS version unfortunately requires much effort because of TI actively chasing it. Effort spent on Ndless means less time for projects that also deserve some.

  18. when i try to load the installer in, it says invalid or corrupt and to go to their website and get new OS file. I used to have ndless on my calc before I updated it though. Help?

      1. yeah. I forgot that you have to completely wipe the previous OS so it doesn’t override the new one.

    1. Hi, I’m afraid USB is not that simple, please have a look at http://www.beyondlogic.org/usbnutshell/usb4.shtml for a general overview.
      The Ndless SDK exposes the USBDI API, which is the standard API for USB in host mode used by the *BSD operating systems: http://www.daemon-systems.org/man/usbdi.9.html
      USB support several transfer modes (bulk, interrupt,isochronous, …) depending on the device type. Currently only interrupt mode has been tested with the keyboard and mouse drivers HIDn, other transfer modes are available but untested. You should have a look at the source code of HIDn for an example of interrupt driver: http://www.omnimaga.org/index.php?topic=16160.0

      Maybe you could try to port the FreeBSD serial driver if this is the kind of transfer you would like to implement? https://code.google.com/p/freebsd/source/browse/sys/dev/usb/ubser.c?name=release/7.4.0

      1. Okay, thank you,
        I already had a look at HIDn source code,
        But i’m wondering which USB Host mode you could use to transfer data between 2 calculators, I would say it needs USB OTG but is there any other method?

      2. There’s still some research to be done before calc to calc is available, currently only host mode (and not device mode) is supported.

      3. Oh, Well, I’m gonna start with host mode ^^
        Thank you for this, and for all you’ve made with ndless ;)

  19. How do I downgrade my OS? when I choose to install 3.1 it says i cannot downgrade my os. anyway to do this without screwing uo my calculator?

    1. I suppose OS 3.2.4 is currently installed on your calculator. TI purposely and once again enabled its anti-downgrade protection to block Ndless. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for Ndless to be updated for this new OS.

  20. I have a Ti-Nspire CX. I have done this installation 4 times, doing the same thing, trying to use other based OS’ but it never works, It always tells me the file has to be (.tns) to send it to the calculator. The calcs version is The Ndless I have been trying to use is the one linked on this website. This is getting really frustrating can anyone give me some advice so I can get this over with and play Pokemon in class? Please and thank you.

  21. Hi, I am currently using the version OS Ti-Nspire CX and i heard that it was possible to downgrade it back to 3.1. Can someone plz advice me to downgrade it and where can i find the previous OS to download?

  22. When I try to place the ndless installer.tcc onn my cx cas, the popup message shows up saying I am trying to upgrade my handheld OS so I click yes, bu then it tells me that the operating system file is corrupt or invalid. What am I to do now?

    1. Carlos, did you make sure to downgrade to OS v3.1 before the installation (see the post above)?
      If you have just bought a calc with OS 3.2.4, the downgrade is not possible, Ndless can’t be installed at the moment on your calc.

  23. I have a TI-nspire cx CAS and I don’t know if I just didn’t download everything correctly but when I try and open the gbc4cx.tns file to make sure it works after the installation it just says: this document format is not supported. How can I fix this?

    1. Anthony, Ndless is probably not correctly installed, did the installation popup show up?
      OS 3.1 is required. If you currently have OS 3.2.4, downgrade is not possible, you will have to wait for Ndless to be updated.

    1. Anthony, make sure ndless_resources is transferred to a top-level directory called ‘ndless’ (mind the case). If you don’t get the installation popup but a reboot instead, then something has gone wrong during the installation, and this is most probably that the file ndless_resources was not found.

  24. hello, my name is Diogo, I wanted to know how to install mveiwer on the calculator, already ndlless installed correctly, but I can not for the mveiwer working, I wanted to be able to see images and zoom in on them?
    Thank you!

  25. Hi, I’d like to know how to convert a TNS file to its original form, I’ve a gameboy save game in TNS that I’d like to convert again into .SAV(original form) so I could play on PC emulator.

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