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Author Topic: Any regrets going with Linux?  (Read 9630 times)

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digitalhobbit

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Any regrets going with Linux?
« on: November 03, 2012, 03:56:27 am »
I'm strongly considering going with Linux (probably Lubuntu) for my arcade cabinet. For the past 10 years, I've mostly used Linux and OSX as my primary operating systems, so I'm most comfortable with Unix based systems. I haven't really used Windows since XP. I actually briefly installed Windows 8 on my computer, but ended up with major stability issues (random blue screens resulting in reboots, etc.). The same computer seems completely stable running Linux (I briefly had Ubuntu 12.10 running on it).

My primary motivation for running Windows was to use one of the popular frontends (most likely Hyperspin, possibly Mala or GameEx), as well as pinball games like Visual Pinball or Future Pinball, which only seem to be available for Windows. But with the stability issues (as well as annoying UI for a Unix / OSX guy like myself), I'm starting to feel that it's just not worth it.

My main question is whether you think I'm going to regret going with Linux for my arcade. Here are some specific considerations:

1. Arcade hardware support

I have two UltraStik 360 joysticks (each running in input mode with 6 buttons attached), a TurboTwist 2 spinner (with USB cable), as well as a MiniPAC for admin buttons and a few additional game buttons (pinball left/right/plunger). Are you aware of any incompatibilities with these controllers? What's the state of the recent Ultimarc Linux tools? Are they comparable in functionality to their Windows equivalents, or will I run into severe limitations (or need to use a separate Windows machine to configure my 360s etc.)?

I don't need arcade monitor support (I'm using an LCD). My PC is reasonably powerful: i3-3225 with Intel 4000 HD Graphics, 120GB SSD drive, 8GB RAM.

2. Emulators

I'm mainly interested in running the latest Mame, but might want to run some console emulators as well (NES, Dreamcast, etc.), and perhaps some home computer emulators (especially C64 and Amiga). Most of these seem to exist for Linux. Are they all pretty usable, or lagging behind their Windows counterparts in any way?

3. Frontends

I was hoping to run something like Hyperspin, but the actively maintained Linux frontends seem to be more basic. Cabrio looks promising, but probably isn't as mature as some of the more established frontends like WahCade. Do you feel that they look and work well enough? How about ease of setup / configuration? Do any of the frontends provide any sort of integration with emumovies.com or any similar features?

I'm actually mildly tempted to build my own opensource frontend (I'm a software engineer, mainly working with Ruby these days)... Hmm... ;)

Any other thoughts?

Any input would be very appreciated. Thanks!

-Mirko
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 04:17:35 am by digitalhobbit »

General_Faliure

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 09:42:39 am »
I am using Lubuntu 12.04 for my cabinet with Mame, Mess, Daphne and some more.
My hardware is a bit old and i plan on upgrading it soon.
I am staying with Lubuntu because it's fast, free and just works well on my old hardware.
For amiga there is FS-uae wich is as fast as winuae, i have been playing with Lxdream for Dreamcast, but i can't get it to work well yet.
Vice for C64 also works well.
My minipac works fine, i haven't tried any other controlers.
I am using Mahcade as frontend, wich is a fork of wahcade, here is the link: http://www.mameau.com/mahcade/
I did some posts with links to emulator PPA's here: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,114917.0.html
Maybe you can help develop Wahcade or Mahcade, i think it's a great frontend for cabs, because it's highly configurable and looks good.
See the link below for pictures of my cab
My Arcade cab: https://goo.gl/photos/yE1KACHryQjCaaCj7
Core2 duo8400 @3.6 Ghz, 4Gb of mem, Geforce 9500.
Linux Mint 17.3 XFCE, Mame, Mess, Daphne FS-Uae, Mednafen and some more.
Mah!cade

digitalhobbit

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2012, 02:42:59 pm »
Sounds promising, thanks General_Failure!

I'll go ahead with Lubuntu, and will make sure to read through that thread.

cigardude

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 04:22:20 pm »
I am planning a vertical cab soon and want to do the linux thing. What has been your experience with a rotated monitor?

Tysonv48

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 07:23:55 am »
Linux Rocks

General_Faliure

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 10:27:29 am »
I am planning a vertical cab soon and want to do the linux thing. What has been your experience with a rotated monitor?

It should be possible, but i never tried it.
My Arcade cab: https://goo.gl/photos/yE1KACHryQjCaaCj7
Core2 duo8400 @3.6 Ghz, 4Gb of mem, Geforce 9500.
Linux Mint 17.3 XFCE, Mame, Mess, Daphne FS-Uae, Mednafen and some more.
Mah!cade

krisbee

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 08:28:03 am »
No regrets, have had my cab for 3-4 years now - and things just WORK, plus I can bend the system to do exactly what I want, usually with just a one line script.  Having said that, I am using VERY old equipment, a 2006 Distro, and older emus as well.  However, with what I do with it, which is PLAY, it works great (even the laserdisc games).

digitalhobbit

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 11:56:22 pm »
I ended up going with Lubuntu 12.10, and it's been working out great. My system boots up in just a few seconds (from SSD), straight into Wahcade (or rather the latest devel version, aka Mahcade). My MiniPac and my two U360s are working great, although I haven't attempted to configure the system to load any custom joystick maps yet (instead, I'm keeping it in analog mode and letting Mame handle the mapping). I still need to tie up the last few lose ends (create a custom Wahcade layout for my 1920x1200 LCD display, set up console emulators, etc.), but so far I'm very happy with this setup.

The only thing I've struggled with is finding a good USB wifi adapter. The two I've tried (with different chipsets, one of which was supposed to have good Linux support) both turned out to be pretty flakey, frequently dropping the connection. I ended up going with a cheap TP-Link wifi / ethernet bridge from Fry's instead, and connecting this via an ethernet cable, and my wifi connection has been working flawlessly since then.

And I love the fact that I can ssh in (or use NX / NoMachine when I need a GUI) to remotely administer my machine.

galaxian77

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2016, 08:37:09 am »
Linux is a great base for emulation. I've successfully been using "Groovy Arcade" (which is based on "Arch Linux") for many years now on several cabinets, and it's excellent, stable, and more importantly, very accurate in emulating MAME. If someone was setting up a cabinet for the first time, I would recommend Groovy Arcade (Live distribution) over any other setup, due to it's ease of installation. Another (VERY) important feature of Groovy Arcade, is that it nativity supports most arcade monitors "out of the box". It really is easy to setup - even if you aren't a Linux head!
Still loving the classics, 30+ years later!

NightSprinter

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Re: Any regrets going with Linux?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 03:22:17 pm »
I know I'm bringing an old thread up, but for emulation and overall classic gaming, it's been great to be honest.  The only minor issues are that some retro style games (Rocky Memphis and the Temple of Ophuxoff) won't run at all in Wine, and for some reason I get errors when trying to rotate vertical games in MAME.  Other than that, sourceports of a lot of my favorite DOS games (Doom, Tyrian, etc) just look gorgeous in 15KHz.
It doesn't matter how bad things are, it'll work out in the end.

  
 

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