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Xdsl Remaster For Gaming?

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#1 NobodyHere


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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:42 PM


I recently have been doing a bit of testing here and there on the gaming capabilities of Xdsl.

Specifically, the 0.7beta 0.02 linked to from HERE. Yes, the Mediafire link is still valid.

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of native Linux games, or ports, that won't work due to dependencies on later kernels. My first tests were with Wine. Although only old versions of Wine were available, I proceeded.

Considering I have no way of connecting my *box to the net, I had to manually download the following DSL packages, or any other Debian Sarge debs.

* dsl-dpkg.dsl
* XFree86.dsl
* wine-0.9.28_with_opengl.dsl
* nvidia_1.0.8762.dsl (warning!)
* zsnes-1.42.dsl

Keeping it simple, I also downloaded the following Windows binaries.

* ScummVM installer version
* prboom-plus latest
* Zdoom mouse enabled svn build
* Others...

There are several versions of Wine in the DSL repository. I did get the latest Windows Zsnes to load in Wine, but not the Wine version required for everything else... I left it out.
Because I had seen so many threads mentioning it, I also tested out the Windows PC game 'StarCraft'.

The first step was FTP installing Xdsl to the E:\ drive, and transferring all the above downloads to a directory on my F:\ drive. I then re-installed Xdsl (through the frugal) as a loopback install. After rebooting into the loopback install, I opened up the MyDsl browser, and loaded the 'dsl-dpkg.dsl' enabling apt. I also loaded the 'Xfree86.dsl', and used the option in the Xdsl menu to run the install script.

As root I'd suggest editing the '/opt/bootlocal.sh', and appending the line 'modprobe joydev' to it without quotes. Save the file changes.

Before installing the Nvidia package, I'd recommend doing the following. Reboot the system, with the 'backup' option checked for safety. Either reload the system in 'frugal' mode, or FTP into the Xbox from your PC. While in the Xbox system through Xdsl frugal, or FTP, copy the loopback install compressed image to your Xbox's F:\ drive, or your PC.

You can mount your Xbox's F drive (if available) by opening up Emelfm, navigating to '/mnt', highlighting 'hda55', and choosing mount from the right mouse click menu. Alternatively, you could open a command prompt, and type 'sudo mount /mnt/hda55' without the quotes.

Okay, once your loop-back image is backed up you can proceed to install the Nvidia package. Reboot into the 'loop-back' install. Open your MyDsl extension browser, and load the 'nvidia_1.0.8762.dsl'. The reason this is installed after a backup is that it makes Xdsl unstable. If for any reason you have to manually power-off the Xbox while in Linux, there's a good chance the system will be rendered non-bootable. This happened to me a few times, when the mouse was 'grabbed' by Windows apps running in Wine.

That's the first part. The second post will be the results, before my only Xbox controller detected by Xdsl was rendered useless.

Edited by NobodyHere, 21 June 2011 - 08:47 PM.

#2 NobodyHere


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Posted 21 June 2011 - 10:19 PM

Now for the Doom ports. Yes... I know there's a few of em ported directly to the Xbox, but I did it anyway.
After extracting the Zdoom to a directory on my F:\ drive, I installed the Wine package.

No, there isn't actually support for OpenGL, but it's also the last DSL wine package to respond to the virtual keyboard.

After installing wine, run the following command in a terminal.


Then through Emelfm, launch the 'zdoom.exe' executable (uses wine by default), or open a command prompt to type the following.

wine zdoom.exe

This will launch Zdoom for the first time, and you'll receive the message that it couldn't find any doom wads.

After this has happened, you can now edit the 'zdoom-dsl.ini' with beaver, or nano, to include a path to your Doom wads. For instance I had Zdoom in the directory 'F:\zdoom\' , and the doom wad in the 'F:\DOOM' directory.

What I added to the zdoom*.ini was the following under the appropiate section.

The '../' signifies one directory up.

I'd recommend changing the fullscreen option to 'false' while your editing the file. As far as I could tell the default fmod didn't option didn't offer any midi playback, but it did work with the mod tracker formats. While I didn't get around to testing it, you could try the different sound engines by changing the option at the end of 'snd_mididevice' to the following.

OPL emulation:
Fmod (Default):

WARNING: May cause reinstall to be necessary!

Relaunch zdoom, and it'll ask you to select the available wads.

Here's the issue. While in windowed mode, open the virtual keyboard, and focus it on the Zdoom window. You'll know be able to use the keyboard to navigate the menu. Setup your mouse, or controller if it works. I couldn't test the controller support as mine was started to have issues. If you actually start a game you'll be able to play with the mouse for sure, and possibly a controller if detected.

The problem here is that there isn't any way to map the menu key (esc) to either the mouse, or controller. Once you start the game, you'll be stuck until you power down.

I'd assume of course that if you are using a REAL keyboard & mouse, this won't be an issue (I cant test this personally).

End results showed I could play Zdoom with the regular Doom wads at 640x480 resolution, with a rate of about 25-30fps. But after loading a Zdoom specific mod like 'Knee-Deep In Zdoom', the port stuttered to a crawl. I didn't test any non-zdoom mods, but I'd imagine that any vanilla compatible would perform alright.

If there was some effort put into remapping the Xpad keys like in the Xmugens, it may eventually be possible to use this Windows port with a controller only setup.

Edited by NobodyHere, 21 June 2011 - 10:21 PM.

#3 NobodyHere


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Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:15 PM

Before I get any further, I forgot to mention this.

If Wine gives you any type of color error like it can't display n depth (where n is most likely 24). Change your Xfree86 settings, and retry the app. I'm going off of memory here now, so...

Change the 2, or so, lines in the '/etc/X11/XF86Config-4' file that says something like
DefaultDepth 24

DefaultDepth 16

and save.

This setting should be the best for compatibility for the xfree86 settings. I don't know if any of this will work with the Xorg plugin as I'm unsure where to manually download the one listed in the Xdsl menu.

#4 NobodyHere


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Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:27 PM

Well, on to the other Doom ports.

Prboom-Plus is pretty much like the Zdoom. Start it in windowed mode, unless you have a real mouse+keyboard. As the menu only responds to the Xpad mouse, but not the virtual keyboard, all you can do is confirm your way through the menu to the first map of the first episode. The mouse is full functional for playing by itself. At, and only at, the completion of each level is it possible to free the mouse long enough to quit the port.

As the menu doesn't respond to the VK, edit the *.ini settings to change the resolution. I personally had it running smoothly all the way up to 1440x900. I'd estimate it running the standard Doom wads at 45-55 fps, but I didn't test any (pr)boom specific mods.

I have no idea how to mod the *.ini file for music, so I can't comment on getting music working.

Chocolate-Doom doesn't run sorry to say. The setup executable works fine when in Windows GDI mode, but will crash if switched to DirectX. The actual game launcher doesn't work period, crashing with some type of 'fault' error.

In summary no chocolate-doom, but again maybe with modified Xpad settings could prboom-plus be playable with a controller only setup.

#5 NobodyHere


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Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:56 PM

Ahhh, ScummVM. Yes, there's a port of it. But... then again, people have been asking for an update for years.

Turns out they probably could have been playing it all along through Xdsl. I really can't/don't have the time to see if that's true, but the latest stable Windows version does indeed work.

Using the 'Win32' installer version, I loaded it up in Wine with the following command. Make sure the terminal is open in the directory the installer (exe) is located.

wine scummvm-*-win32.exe

I suppose this might work with a SVN version as well. I didn't test it.

Confirm at the prompts, leaving everything at their defaults. If you try launching ScummVM right away from it's location in '/home/dsl/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/' (check the 'H' in Emelfm), you'll get an error message relating to the 'ApplicationData' directory. This is a reference to the location in Windows 2K/XP/Vista where the 'scummvm.ini' file is installed. To fix this, type the following command in a terminal, or from the 'run a command' option in the menu.



In the 'applications' tab, select 'add application', and navigate to the '/home/dsl/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/ScummVM' directory. Select the 'scummvm.exe', and changes it's Windows version in the drop down menu to 'Windows 98'. Close the winecfg gui by focusing the virtual keyboard on the settings window, and pressing 'enter'.

Now start ScummVM by using Emelfm, or opening a terminal in the scummvm folder by typing in 'wine scummvm.exe'.

If you only have a controller, DO NOT start it in fullscreen mode. You'll need the ESC, F5, or other game specific keys to exit the games.

What I did was center the window as best as possible on my screen. Open the virtual keyboard, and focus it on the ScummVM window. Double click the virtual keyboard windows to minimize it to a small horizontal bar, and drag it to the top of the screen where it's still visible.

Play with the Xpad mouse, and when needed, double click on the VK to maximize it. Enter the needed keyboard keys.

In summary; this is a completely legal way to play ScummVM on the Xbox. It could, or most definitely would, benefit from having remapped Xpad controls for a few select keys.

I played through some of the mid range games like Sam & Max, DoTT, and Monkey Island 2. There was some moderate frame-skip at parts, but the game's playback seemed to be at the correct speeds.

I didn't test the audio settings as the default emulation scheme worked for the few games I tested.

#6 NobodyHere


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Posted 22 June 2011 - 02:48 AM

On to the last thing I was able to test, StarCraft.

I should note that I'm running a 1.6 version Xbox with overscan issues. Obviously, you'll want to use the included fix from the Xdsl menu. There's a post here on the forums somewhere demonstrating how to get the perfect settings, butI can't find it right now.

Based on what I read from the other forum post here on getting StarCraft to run, they seemed to rely on an illegal no-cd crack to get it to work. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

As of the official 1.15.2 patch, Blizzard enabled the ability to do this themselves. Download the last official patch 1.16.1 HERE, and read the 1.15.2 document subsection HERE to see how to do a no disc install.

Pretty much all I did was install my discs to Windows, patch them to the latest, apply the no cd fix including the movies, and FTP them to my Xbox hdd. I imagine you could simply install the game under Wine if you want, but you'll find tutorials for that elsewhere on Google (you'll need a very large loopback install).

Launch the game with Emelfm, or launch from the cli. Open a terminal in the directory Starcraft is installed in, and type the following.
wine StarCraft.exe

Well the results were mixed. You can use the mouse exclusively, so I closed the VK completely.

The game ran well ... slow, then okay, slow, then okay in a cyclic fashion (even outside large battles). Most likely the data being written to, and from, the paging file. In this instance, there's probably a bit of an advantage to be had doing a native install, for a better experience. But... that's not an option for most people.

If I had had the chance, I would have tested by messing around with disabling portraits, the swapfile size, setting swappiness (not sure if possible), and others...

What I originally wanted to do was remaster the live iso, remove unnecessarily features, include any legal stuff I had tested here, test more PC games like 'Fallout', include the Linux espxe sans bios, find a way to allow a controller only setup, etc...

The method to remaster Xdsl doesn't look too difficult, and using the packages from the repo here as templates, I should have had no problem removing quite a few of the pre-installed apps in Xdsl.

What ended up happening was my only Linux compatible controller gave out. I'd been having left analog 'drift', it got way worse to the point of being unusable as a mouse. It then started rumbling randomly, and the last straw was an error message at boot.

Something along the lines of "Key combination for user content deletion detected". Sorry, but I'm done with Xbox Linux for now

Edited by NobodyHere, 22 June 2011 - 02:50 AM.

#7 Master13


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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:12 AM

good stuff man sorry to hear about your controller I'm really glad to see that starcraft works and even scumm

#8 ldotsfan


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Posted 24 June 2011 - 05:07 PM

The controller problems may be fixable. A post at the relevant section and somebody may be able to offer help

#9 NobodyHere


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Posted 26 June 2011 - 04:13 AM

QUOTE(ldotsfan @ Jun 24 2011, 05:07 PM) View Post

The controller problems may be fixable. A post at the relevant section and somebody may be able to offer help

Nah. After taking the controller apart, I can tell that the stick are just too worn out. I'll have to get a new one when I have the opportunity. When it hadn't been used for Halo 2 in a couple years, I gave most of my Xbox controllers/games away to family members, and I only kept one Microsoft controller (the original style).

It's too bad I only got home internet a couple years back, and more recently the motivation to finally try the Xbox softmod methods.

Edited by NobodyHere, 26 June 2011 - 04:14 AM.

#10 Clockface


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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:55 PM

This is very interesting indeed! I know nothing of Linux, so I can't test things myself, but if you do decide to continue your work with XBox Linux then could I ask you to perhaps try the following two PC games: Carmageddon (DOS), which is too slow on the XBox under DOSXBox, and Unreal Tournament (Windows and Linux). To run the Linux version of UT I think (don't quote me wink.gif ) that you can use the data files from the Windows CD and the Linux binaries from:



The above two links are from a quick Google search, I don't know if they'd be what you need, or if you'd need to look further.

It would be fantastic being able to play these two on the XBox, but if you don't have the time then fair enough.

Thanks for any answers.

Edited by Clockface, 28 June 2011 - 03:56 PM.

#11 elypter


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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:29 PM

A toolkit for making xdsl+wine+specific_game packets that automatically start the game after booting would be awesome.
then windows games could become as easy to play as original xbox games or emulator games.

...just in case anyone is still/again working on this

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