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HOW TO: Stop SDLMAME / MAME on Linux freezing on exit - Ubuntu


Silas (son of Silas):
For a few months now I have struggled with 3 separate Ubuntu desktops running SDLMAME that all refused to cleanly exit SDLMAME when I hit escape. Problem solved

If SDLMAME freezes, hangs, crashes or pauses when you try to exit SDLMAME fire up a terminal and type:

--- Quote ---sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian-pulseaudio
--- End quote ---

Tested working on Intrepid, Jaunty and Karmic

SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) is a library that allows programs low level access to a video framebuffer, audio output, mouse, and keyboard. Installing libsdl1.2debian-pulseaudio is SDL but with added X11 and PulseAudio options. Since SDLMAME is using PulseAudio to handle the sound in games this package adds the relevant code to correctly handle the audio requests between SDL and Pulseaduldio.

A nice 'bonus' of installing this package is that you can play music from another app in the background (say Rhythmbox) at the same time as playing SDLMAME games without that annoying glitching sound that tends to occur by default without affecting the game audio.

Edited to add more detail for those that want to know why it works rather than just how to fix the problem.

Edited again to add:
This also works for MAME 0.136u1 and newer on Linux. As of 0.136u1 SDLMAME became part of the main MAME release and is no longer a separate offshoot.

Oooh thanks for this...


Saw this yesterday, and it worked great.  When I saw that it was a PulseAudio package, I presumed it would help with some of my audio issues as well as the crashing...and it did!

I think this should fix the lag problem I have with xmame-sdl as well.  SDLMame is better and up-to-date, but I have a much older machine that needs an older version of MAME, and XMame is running well on it, aside from the lag.  On a Debian machine with ALSA and no PulseAudio, it works fine, but with PulseAudio, it lags even on my Core2.  I'll try it within the next few days and post results.

[ EDIT = slight addition ]

PulseAudio is a dog.   I disable it in GNOME and switch to ALSA instead, and gain 10-15% CPU performance.

To do so, in Ubuntu do the following:

1) Right-click on "Applications", and select "Edit Menus"

2) Scroll to System -> Preferences,  tick "Multimedia Systems Selector", and click "close"

3) Now click System -> Preferences -> Multimedia Systems Selector.  Change your output plugin to ALSA.  This will fix MAME, and give you your performance back.


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