Booting into Wahcade in X?

A nice (keyboard based) front end for Arcade / Console game emulators.

Moderator: battlecat

Do you run Wah!Cade in a...

Poll ended at Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:24 pm

Standup Cabinet
1
33%
Cocktail Cabinet
1
33%
Just on my desktop
1
33%
deep deep cave under the sea....
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 3

Booting into Wahcade in X?

Postby battlecat » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:24 pm

Hi:

I was given an old Intel Celeron with 256mb ram, 20 gig scsi HD, and 1-8 megs of video ram. I plan to upgrade that to at least a 64meg AGP card. Pretty low end I know but I have installed Xubuntu 7.10 with the full XFCE desktop and surprisingly it is rather snappy and LOL somewhat faster than what I use at work with XP bloatware.

I have an ipac and two authentic 9" Ms. Pacman controllers from an old Ms.Pacman cabinet that was in a flooded bar.

I plan to use Advanced Mame and Wah!Cade as the starting emulator for a cocktail cabinet I have built from fine veneered birch cabinet grade plywood. I would like to add other consoles if it is possible in the future. Like the NES and SNES or even the SEGA Genesis and Atari systems (You can't beat KaBoom!).

The reason for my choice of Advanced Mame is:
- I really only want old-school games like Space Invaders and Galaga
- I know my computer is not powerful enough to play the newest games but that is okay with me.
- Advanced Mame allows the disabling of both the information screen and the "do you own this game" nag screen.
- Advanced Mame also handles the whole cocktail table rotation thing really well.
- To many buttons on a game makes my head spin! :)

Does Wah!Cade have a way to be rotated 90 degrees to either side for a cocktail table mode?

The thing is of course I do not want the user to see the underlying Linux foundations. Ideally I would like to be able to (from the ground up) turn on the machine and during the boot sequence see a Wah!Cade GRUB boot logo instead of Xubuntu's default GRUB logo. I could design this graphic of course (its what I do for a living) but to get it installed well that is different.

I would like to be able to bypass the whole XFCE desktop and save some resources by going directly into X with a Wah!Cade wallpaper and then have Wah!cade come up automatically with no user interference in between.

I have done some research and I have only been using Linux for about 6 years, as a power desktop user not a programmer, and still I cannot manage to get it to do what I just listed above.

If anyone is really good with this kind of thing a short tutorial would be really helpful.

Thank you! :)
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Postby amacieli » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:52 pm

What I did for my eeePC is install the minimal Ubuntu - the command-line version (Google for "ubuntu mini.iso" and you'll see roughly what I'm talking about). No logos, no X windows, no Gnome, no nothing (except for a flashing cursor and wired network support).

I then just installed X (sudo apt-get install x-windows-system) and SDLMAME and Wahcade (after a bit of literal blood, sweat, and most certainly tears).

Plenty of posts out there telling you how to auto-login and auto-run applications - will follow them to start Wahcade automatically on boot (once I get Wahcade to work, that is).
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Postby battlecat » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:35 pm

GREAT!!!

I am so thrilled you got that to work! So now next week I can give it a try. I will document everything I do as well.

The main difference is that I will be forced to build Advanced MAME from source because there is no .deb file. I cannot use SDLMAME on a low end machine because it just drags the machine down to the ground.

Please document everything you do and post it so that others can benefit from your work.

Many thanks!
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Postby amacieli » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:53 pm

All the posts I've read say that SDLMAME should be as fast if not faster than AdvanceMAME, but maybe that doesn't apply to lower-spec machines (although SDLMAME on my eeePC, which probably runs at 600MHz and has only half a meg of RAM, runs pretty well).

The point of me going with the stripped-down Ubuntu was to minimize all that GUI stuff that would just eat up memory and processor resources.

AdvanceMAME is pretty straightforward to compile as far as Linux goes (and I'm a total novice at Linux let me assure you). I used this guide:

http://advancemame.sourceforge.net/doc-build.html

The only strange thing was having to download and unpack the zip for AdvanceMAME as well as for MAME, creating a single directory structure with source from both inside.

After that it was pretty easy to build. I paid particular attention to section 5.1 in the link above before trying to build AdvanceMAME. Can't remember exactly, but I probably did "apt-get install svgalib ncurses zlib" and more. I used the apt-get method to install everything that was required in that list - a bit of Googling told me the exact package names.

Didn't keep a track of how I did it because SDLMAME installation was so much easier and up-to-date.

If I ever get Wahcade to launch SDLMAME properly (keep getting a grey screen - any ideas?), I'll certainly post instructions.
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Postby battlecat » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:58 pm

I must admit I have no experience with an eeePC.

I have been slowing working on a wiki with someone else:

http://theatre.msu.edu/wiki/index.php/UbuntuMAME

It helps me to document all the stuff I have been doing with Advanced MAME.

I never downloaded a seperate file for MAME and then one for Advanced MAME. I just download this file:

http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/adva ... z?download

This download seems to have everything for Advanced MAME. You might want to check out my documentation in the wiki though because I tried to be very detailed in what is needed.

If SDLMAME works for you that is sweet. The one thing I don't like about it , other than its really slow on my machines, is the inability to skip both the informational screens and the left right warning screens. Advanced MAME lets me do both. If SDLMAME had a hack that would allow that I would consider it for my new computer in my upgraded cabinet.

Thanks
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Postby amacieli » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:21 pm

That's cool - I saw your wiki before - good site, btw. Didn't realize that about SDLMAME not being able to get rid of those startup screens, sigh, if there's no way around it not sure what I'll do (AdvanceMAME doesn't play some of the games I want). SIGH.
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Postby amacieli » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:37 pm

Mmm, you're right about the game info not being able to be switched off. In mame.ini the skip_gameinfo line is there, but doesn't seem to do anything. Bug. Will log with developer if someone already hasn't.

Cheers,
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Postby amacieli » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:23 am

OK, it's not a bug, it's a feature.

In the source code, there are two subroutines - one for the "disclaimer" and one for the "warnings". The warnings are hard-coded to always appear regardless of any settings. The disclaimers are controlled by skip_gameinfo in mame.ini

It's very easy to get rid of the warnings as well. Here are the instructions:

1. Download sdlmame0124u3.zip from http://rbelmont.mameworld.info/sdlmame0124u3.zip
2. Open the archive.
Code: Select all
unzip sdlmame0124u3.zip

3. Edit the piece of source code that I was talking about:
Code: Select all
nano sdlmame0124u3/src/emu/ui.c

4. Press Ctrl-W to open up a search window, and look for
Code: Select all
show_warnings = TRUE;

5. Change
Code: Select all
TRUE
to read
Code: Select all
show_gameinfo

6. Press Ctrl-X then y then Enter.
7. Now we're going to compile SDLMAME. Run these steps:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install build-essential libsdl1.2-dev libxinerama-dev
and answer "y" to any questions that might come up. Then,
Code: Select all
cd sdlmame0124u3
make

8. When that finishes, a file called "mame" will be in the directory that you're in. This is the executable. Test it if you want by going
Code: Select all
./mame
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Postby amacieli » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:25 am

9. Now create the mame.ini file like this:
Code: Select all
./mame -createconfig > mame.ini

10. Now it's just a case of editing the mame.ini file to say where you're going to put your roms etc.

Enjoy.



Mr Battlecat - want me to post this in detail on one of your Wiki pages?
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Postby SeTTleR » Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:11 pm

Hey amacieli, nice thing, thank you very much.. I'm going to try that right away..
battlecat: starting only wahcade in X is not that difficult. I posted that somewhere in this forum.
http://www.anti-particle.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=123 <-- there it is.
Have fun with that.
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Postby amacieli » Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:55 pm

For my minimal installation, all I did was apt-get install x-windows-system, then install the wahcade deb, and all worked fine...! Well, OK, configuring it was a task best left for about 5,000 years of rainy days, but apart from that... :)
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Postby bagleemo » Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:30 am

Hmmm...
When I use skip_gameinfo as command line parameter I don't get any of the annoying screens. Perhaps sdlmame has recorded that I've already "OK"ed past the warning screens once.
Now it would be nice if I could get games to load directly to the start screens and skip the power on tests / etc.
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Postby amacieli » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:30 am

Skipping the power-on self-test screens are going to be "impossible", I think. This would involve hacking the individual original arcade ROM (hard) rather than MAME itself (relatively easy).
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Wait, there's more

Postby amacieli » Wed May 07, 2008 5:53 pm

I need to add something to my post above to make it more complete. Add the following after step 5:

5(a) After the line you just changed, there should be one that reads:
Code: Select all
int state;

After this line, insert a new one:
Code: Select all
show_disclaimer = show_gameinfo;


The reason for this is that there are three warning messages in MAME:
- Game information (switchable from the mame.ini file)
- Warnings (originally hard-coded to "always")
- Disclaimers (switched on by some MAME code I didn't delve too deeply into)

With the above fixes to my original post, all three warning messages will be controlled by the "show_gameinfo" switch in mame.ini.

Say goodbye to the "press OK or wave the joystick from left to right" nonsense.

Sorry I wasn't more precise before.
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Postby battlecat » Sun May 11, 2008 10:07 pm

WOW

Talk about really answering my questions!! Awesome. I cant wait to give this a spin on my laptop and if it works give it a go on my cabinet. I will see if SDLmame (with the hack) can run as well as I need it to.

:)

THANKSSSS

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