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johnnyblack 11-02-2009 05:35 PM

Building a linux box for emulator system
 
Looking at building a system that basically just runs emulators (nes, snes, etc). Haven't messed around with linux for a couple years so i thought this might be a great project to get back into it with. maybe.

Questions i have-

•how easy is it to have a linux installation that just boots directly into the emulator? Since it will be hooked up to a tv, I just want it to be as easy as turning on the power button and then i'm off.

•Is there a stripped down linux distro that would be best suited for this type of setup? Really any recommendations for a distro would be great.

•Its running on old hardware- 900mhz athlon, 512mb ram, geforce2 video. Will this be a problem if I'm trying to run something like i've described?

smeezekitty 11-02-2009 05:38 PM

Quote:

•how easy is it to have a linux installation that just boots directly into the emulator? Since it will be hooked up to a tv, I just want it to be as easy as turning on the power button and then i'm off.

i dont think it will be easy.
Quote:

•Is there a stripped down linux distro that would be best suited for this type of setup? Really any recommendations for a distro would be great.
Damn small linux with an upgraded 2.6 kernel
Quote:

•Its running on old hardware- 900mhz athlon, 512mb ram, geforce2 video. Will this be a problem if I'm trying to run something like i've described?
Damn small linux

cantab 11-02-2009 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnyblack (Post 3741867)
•how easy is it to have a linux installation that just boots directly into the emulator? Since it will be hooked up to a tv, I just want it to be as easy as turning on the power button and then i'm off.

Relatively. You need to set the emulator to automatically start when you log into the GUI, and then make it automatically login. Exactly how you do this depends on your desktop environment (former) and login manager (latter) and you need to make sure you choose ones that support autostart and autologin.

Quote:

•Is there a stripped down linux distro that would be best suited for this type of setup? Really any recommendations for a distro would be great.
ArchLinux might be good, but it requires a bit of effort to set up. If you want an easy-to-install distro, Vector Linux Light might be suitable.

johnnyblack 11-03-2009 01:37 PM

thanks for the suggestions.

here's another question- any recommendations for emulators? mainly looking for nes to start with.

lazlow 11-03-2009 03:23 PM

You can use about any distro you like. I run a 1GHZ PIII with 512Mb as a front end in the living room to play movies. It runs Centos 5.4 without issue. All of these older games require virtually no cpu power(relative to even a PIII). With an older GF2 video card the biggest issue will be what you connect to the TV with and getting good drivers(I think GF2 support was dropped a while back). SVHS was available on most of those cards but if your TV will take VGA you would be better off that way. Personally I would not boot directly into the emulator, it makes updating/changes a real PITA. Set the system to autoboot into a regular user and clear the desktop of everything but the icon that starts the emulator. Wireless mice are cheap and easy to set up. The problem I found was finding a controller I like(C-64 fan). I finally got a stelladptor which allowed me to use my regular wico joystick through a USB port.

johnnyblack 11-03-2009 03:29 PM

the controller i'm planning to use is actually a wireless xbox360 one. i have the wireless adapter for it, so the trick seems to be getting that to work under linux.

for the geforce2 card, it has a dvi output which i have a dvi to hdmi cable connected to the tv. it worked under windows using the nvidia drivers, so i would imagine it would work under linux. haven't tested that out yet, so we'll see.

lazlow 11-03-2009 03:36 PM

If DVI is an option by all means use it, relatively rare for a GF2 card. Getting it to work should not be an issue, getting it to perform as well as you like may be. By dropping support I meant that the new 185.XX(or whatever is newest) are not applicable to the GF2 series. The DVI output will eliminate a lot of the goofy settings one often has to use for SVHS/VGA(off center screens etc).


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