Emulators and the R-pi


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by abishur » Mon May 14, 2012 4:19 pm
Standard disclaimer: The legal status of ROMs and Emulators vary from country to country I've never heard of the RPF endorsing illegal activity and as such doubt they would support the illegal use of ROMs and Emulators. Please find out the legal restrictions of your country before making use of this information. Please do not provide binaries of Emulators or links to any ROMs.

*whew* With that out of the way has anyone gotten any emulators working on the r-pi yet? While I don't want you providing links to emulators, clear instructions on which emulator you used and how to compile it would be *awesome* :-)
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by nimitz » Mon May 14, 2012 5:03 pm
Just to make things perfectly clear to the mods: Emulators, source code of emulators, binaries, etc are perfectly legal in *every* country out there.

ROMs, BIOSes and any other kind of software running on those emulated systems is under copyright law and is indeed problematic if not completely illegal.

Emulators themselves are very interesting software that allow to run non-native machine code on the target system and are often beautiful examples of reverse-engineering.
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by abishur » Mon May 14, 2012 5:09 pm
nimitz wrote:Just to make things perfectly clear to the mods: Emulators, source code of emulators, binaries, etc are perfectly legal in *every* country out there.

ROMs, BIOSes and any other kind of software running on those emulated systems is under copyright law and is indeed problematic if not completely illegal.

Emulators themselves are very interesting software that allow to run non-native machine code on the target system and are often beautiful examples of reverse-engineering.


While that is 100% true (for the countries that I am aware of at any rate) I made the restrictions a little broader because something being legal unfortunately won't stop a corporation from suing you and the RPF just doesn't need that kind of attention, so we restrict it a little more than needed, but people still get the information they need. You just have to do a little extra foot work ;-)
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by mkopack » Mon May 14, 2012 5:12 pm
I know Hexxeh gave the VICE C64 emulator a try for me a week or so ago, and I plan to try that one myself tonight when I get home and hook up my new Pi.

I know there's the thread regarding MAME on this forum as well...

Others I'm planning to give a try:

UAE (Amiga) (not expecting this to work, but worth a try...)
NES, SNES
Intellivision + Collecovision (if I can find them...)
Stella Atari 2600...

About 8 years ago I got a batch of 50 DVDR's full of ROMs + programs for like every old 8+16 bit console + home computer, so I have a ton of stuff to give a try on these... I really want to turn the RPi (or at least one of them) into a retro gaming system.
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by nimitz » Mon May 14, 2012 5:18 pm
The worst that could possibly happen is a C&D letter (one without legal basis at it) from a company/corporation, which is still a ludicrous premise considering the "limited" processing power of the Pi.

But assuming that could possibly happen, removing the problematic material and providing an explanation to the forum users would be more than enough.

I'd say start with a lenient policy and tighten it if need arises, not the other way around.
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by gcat » Mon May 14, 2012 5:52 pm
I ported a couple of emulators I originally wrote for Android, there's a thread about them in the Projects section. Done Master System and Gameboy ones so far, maybe more to follow.

(I did provide a link, didn't realise that might not be ok :oops: ... there is nothing infringing in the emulators themselves though, only in potentially distributing game ROMs, which I haven't linked to).
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by abishur » Mon May 14, 2012 6:05 pm
gcat wrote:I ported a couple of emulators I originally wrote for Android, there's a thread about them in the Projects section. Done Master System and Gameboy ones so far, maybe more to follow.

(I did provide a link, didn't realise that might not be ok :oops: ... there is nothing infringing in the emulators themselves though, only in potentially distributing game ROMs, which I haven't linked to).


I'm not gonna go ballistic on the random link ;-) It's just on a thread dedicated to an already dicey topic I'm erring on being overly cautious. I did see some other android ports that seemed to be a nice option, but I couldn't find any source code for them, just a link to the app store.
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by Eros » Mon May 14, 2012 6:51 pm
I am not sure what the limitations would be for getting UAE to work on the RPi, I know it is avaliable on the mac, and iv compiled that from source. But that doesnt mean very much as we all know.

Id be quite interested in getting an Amiga Emu up and working, since i purchased the kickstarts and bits yonks ago would be a new lease of life.

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by jonv » Mon May 14, 2012 7:16 pm
There was a Sinclair Spectrum emulator running on a Pi at the 30th Anniversary event in London. I believe it was a port of Fuse.
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by paaland » Mon May 14, 2012 7:45 pm
The real question is are there any BBC Model B emulators out there? I'd love to play those old games again.
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by schneeee » Mon May 14, 2012 10:48 pm
@abishur: Thank you very much, and a *lol* at the coincidence :D

I would suggest, that the first post could be updated every time, that there's a statement about a running emulator on the RPi. So everyone can see exactly which specific emulator works, right from the beginning of the thread.
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by abishur » Mon May 14, 2012 11:02 pm
schneeee wrote:@abishur: Thank you very much, and a *lol* at the coincidence :D

I would suggest, that the first post could be updated every time, that there's a statement about a running emulator on the RPi. So everyone can see exactly which specific emulator works, right from the beginning of the thread.


Good idea! I'll make sure to do so as soon as someone give some information on how to actually get reliable emulation going :-P
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by cpressland » Tue May 15, 2012 11:41 am
I'd love to get some SNES Emulation going!
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by abishur » Tue May 15, 2012 2:47 pm
cpressland wrote:I'd love to get some SNES Emulation going!


Me too! But I guess no one has gotten it worked out yet (or NES for that matter). Otherwise I would *hope* they'd share the knowledge with the rest of us ;-)
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by mkopack » Tue May 15, 2012 3:43 pm
Ok, I got the C64 emulator up and working last night - Vice.. No sound support, but otherwise it seemed to work (albeit with LOTS of pauses, the CPU meter was pegged the whole time...), and I couldn't figure out how to get it to let me type into the console, but I was able to load up some games and play a bit:

http://elinux.org/RPi_VICE_C64_Emulator

Stella (Atari 2600) also worked (again, no sound). That one was straightforward, just "apt-get install stella"

I did have to do: "apt-get install joystick" to get usb joystick support working for both of those. Once I did everything worked fine.

I installed UAE (there's also E-UAE, but I don't know what the difference is between them.) again: "apt-get install uae" I didn't move over my kickstart + such data, so didn't get a chance to try that one out, but it did start up and show the control panel.

I still need to try out AdvancedMAME, which there's a thread about on here... I also want to install OpenTTC + Q3...

If anyone knows of a good Collecovision and Intellivision emulator, let me know!
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by abishur » Tue May 15, 2012 3:52 pm
Nice work! I see you had to run it from lxde, I bet that's what your CPU was pegged out. It will be really interesting to what things take off once a gui that takes advantage of the GPU comes out!
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by AndrewS » Tue May 15, 2012 4:20 pm
I don't have much interest in emulators myself, but IIRC it's quite a popular topic in the GP32X and OpenPandora communities, if anyone's looking for some "which emulators are any good" leads... ;)
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by blc » Tue May 15, 2012 4:20 pm
I had Hatari, an Atari ST emulator (with my own TOS ROM dump & disk images), up & running, but it was pretty much unusable - it was nearly into the realm of "frames per minute" ;). The GEM desktop was OK, but forget about running games. At least until X is accelerated...
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by abishur » Tue May 15, 2012 4:26 pm
At this point in time one of the big deals for me is the ability to run it straight off framebuffer. I had an NES one working without sound, but I re-imaged and now I can't remember which one it was or how I had to working :oops: running it through LXDE just isn't working at the moment.
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by stornnation » Tue May 15, 2012 7:31 pm
abishur wrote:At this point in time one of the big deals for me is the ability to run it straight off framebuffer. I had an NES one working without sound, but I re-imaged and now I can't remember which one it was or how I had to working :oops: running it through LXDE just isn't working at the moment.


I have a NES emulator working without sound, using the Debian image, will only work running through console no LXDE

sudo apt-get install fceu

cd /usr/games

./fceu -input1 gamepad -inputcfg gamepad1 /home/pi/mario_bros.zip

Command above will map gamepad buttons to your keyboard, and load game image path you specify. Appears to work fine apart from no sound, I've had a few levels on Mario Bros.

Not tried with a joypad, I have a wireless xbox360 joypad that is discovered as a usb device, but have not had chance to try to get it working yet. It doesn't work by default
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by SquallStrife » Wed May 16, 2012 12:52 am
I've successfully run DOSBox and ScummVM, both with sound. (Yeah yeah, ScummVM isn't technically an emulator :ugeek: )

I think that using software DirectFB is causing performance issues though, once there is an OpenGL ES driver for SDL, I think these two will run great.

(E.g. when the screen pans in ScummVM, running an SCI1 game, the sound starts popping, but it's fine if just your character is walking around.)
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by Joefish » Wed May 16, 2012 11:23 am
jonv wrote:There was a Sinclair Spectrum emulator running on a Pi at the 30th Anniversary event in London. I believe it was a port of Fuse.

Also, Cliff Lawson of Amstrad wrote an email to World of Spectrum (viewable on the site) granting permission for not just them but others to distribute the Spectrum ROMs with emulators so long as no specific charge was made for the ROMs, even if the emulator was sold.

I don't know if he still works there or if it would be worth getting that permission renewed for the Raspberry Pi and FUSE, but it was pretty clear.

Amstrad were a bit cheeky themselves, distributing their 'Emailer' phone with a Spectrum emulator and ROM images they didn't necessarily have permission for. As remarked upon by Matthew Smith.

A resurrected 'Elite Systems' currently have a list of games they have permission to actually sell, as part of their iPhone-based emulator bundles. We're very grateful to them that they haven't sought to block free distribution of those titles on open platforms.

Liz asked if anyone who actually owned the rights to any games could give permission for them to be distributed along with emulators by the RPF. They can have mine - I'll even tweak the graphics to include a raspberry - but many other rights holders are not so easy to find. The WoS archive includes a catalogue of people who have been approached and given permission; in some cases, blanket permission for distribution, in others, to WoS only. But it could be a good source of contact details.
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by AndrewS » Thu May 17, 2012 5:58 pm
Unusably slow PowerPC Mac emulator: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6020
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by abishur » Thu May 17, 2012 6:32 pm
stornnation wrote:
abishur wrote:At this point in time one of the big deals for me is the ability to run it straight off framebuffer. I had an NES one working without sound, but I re-imaged and now I can't remember which one it was or how I had to working :oops: running it through LXDE just isn't working at the moment.


I have a NES emulator working without sound, using the Debian image, will only work running through console no LXDE

sudo apt-get install fceu

cd /usr/games

./fceu -input1 gamepad -inputcfg gamepad1 /home/pi/mario_bros.zip

Command above will map gamepad buttons to your keyboard, and load game image path you specify. Appears to work fine apart from no sound, I've had a few levels on Mario Bros.

Not tried with a joypad, I have a wireless xbox360 joypad that is discovered as a usb device, but have not had chance to try to get it working yet. It doesn't work by default


Oh yeah, that's the one! I tried to use mednafen, but even disabling openGL so it would use SDL for graphics would only give me a blank screen. I've tried to find some console emulators that use openGLES but every time I find one, it turns out that it's only available as a pre-assembled package for platform x.
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by Casalor » Mon May 21, 2012 2:14 pm
When I get the chance (what with a million or things to do that magically get in the way) I am going to have a go at finding a suitable Amstrad CPC emulator (such as Arnold) and compiling that.

If anybody has already managed it can they give any pointers or pitfalls on the libraries involved?
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