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Dreamcast Runs Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the before-and-after-ready-to-rumble dept.

Games 221

Daikak writes "Just saw this news post on Zophar's about a guy running Linux on his Dreamcast." Update: 07/16 9:37 AM by CN : Looks like the links here ended up broken, so they've been removed. Who reads old articles anyway?

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Re: Dreamcast Runs Linux (1)

sargon (14799) | more than 13 years ago | (#574725)

I continue to be amazed at the ever-broadening array of boxes on which Linux runs.

What will Linux NOT run on these days?

I wonder... (1)

ocie (6659) | more than 13 years ago | (#574728)

If you could run MAME on this.

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (2)

minkeyboodle (217651) | more than 13 years ago | (#574729)

Now I can burn a CD with a minimal system, and MP3 player, and a whole group of MP3's. I plop the CD in and off I go!

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (5)

Kagato (116051) | more than 13 years ago | (#574730)

Well, the largest benifit would be people could actually port software over to the dream cast with out paying any fees. Sega sells the dream cast at cost or less than cost in order to get people to buy the system. The games in turn, which probally cost 3 dollars in materials, and maybe 10 dollars in RD also pay sega a percentage. Just to get your hands on the development information costs you an arm and a leg. Now if you're activision, or capcom this really doesn't matter.

If you're joe shmoe user then this is a big deal. You could actually make your own shareware dreamcast game. People could download it over the internet. We go back to the days of the Apple II and C64 where big game makers started out of someones basement.

From a business stand point this is also a "Good Thing" (TM). If a number of game systems run Linux (Dreamcast, PS2, etc.) then the cost of porting could become cheaper. A company like Loki would do one main port of a game, then a could mini ports to tweak the games. The plus side to the linux comunity is games could be avalible on Linux x86 before the windows version is complete.

Just some stuff that should get you wondering.

Re:Clustering! (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 13 years ago | (#574732)

Thanks for not using the "B" word =P

Re:Damm, now we have "of course it runs Linux.." (1)

niklaus (139415) | more than 13 years ago | (#574733)

I remember seeing a slashdot article saying that some guy got NetBSD running on his Dreamcast quite some time ago. I'm too lazy to find that link, but there's no reason for you to be pissed off.

Watch it boot... then what? (2)

antoniol (125305) | more than 13 years ago | (#574734)

I would imagine for this thing to be of any use, use would need a port of gcc. Does anyone know what the status of that is? From the "assortment" of screenshots, I seems it has a running bash. Other than that? The boot messages say something about a framebuffer device, I think. Does that mean it will run X? Antonio.

Re:Searching....searching.... (1)

Tuzanor (125152) | more than 13 years ago | (#574736)

People have been moving linux to so many plaotforms because Microsoft loves to say that linux doesn't have the expanability that windows does. SO to prove them wrong they prot them from everything from watches, to PDAs, to IBM mainframes...

another mirror here http://209.233.130.20/slashdot (1)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 13 years ago | (#574737)

http://209.233.130.20/slashdot/
nice and tar gzippd for easy downloading

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (1)

ErikJson (27997) | more than 13 years ago | (#574740)

Total world domination!

/E

My cat has a favorite scripting language (1)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 13 years ago | (#574743)

purrrrl

gaming (5)

Docrates (148350) | more than 13 years ago | (#574747)

well, what if people started writing games for dreamcast booting on a linux kernel (after all the OS can reside on every CD or GDROM, like the almost never used winCE): wouldn't that make gaming for linux desktops way closer to reality? we could have a set of drivers a la DirectX as an abstraction layer that would make the difference between PC hardware and Dreamcast hardware almost irrelevant....

Re:Searching....searching.... (1)

Vryl (31994) | more than 13 years ago | (#574749)

Errr ... proof of concept of readiness for the much heralded, but still largely invisible 'Internet Appliances' market.

From memory, they have had NetBSD running on dreamcast for a while, not to mention WinCE.

It is another market, another great place for an Open Source, Free, GPL'd operating system to be, uhhh, operating in.

Re:This is pathetic. (1)

Octal (310) | more than 13 years ago | (#574752)

The simple reply to this would be, "Hey, NetBSD did it first! And we're beating them!"

There was a DreamCast gap, and we couldn't just let those dirty commies win could we? They must be commies! Their mascot is covered entirely in red!

*slap*

Sorry, got carried away.

another mirror @ http://209.233.130.20/slashdot/ (1)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 13 years ago | (#574754)

http://209.233.130.20/slashdot/
all the files including screenshots nice and tar gz'd for easy downloading. enjoy.

I already have plans for this puppy! (2)

MrBlue VT (245806) | more than 13 years ago | (#574756)

I've written a touch-screen mp3 jukebox that I have hooked up to my stereo down near the TV. It is now running on an extra linux box. However if I could get my Dreamcast running linux, I could put it on that and get rid of that computer sitting there.

Mmmmmm. I can imagine it already. And I wouldn't have to use the crappy SB16 card in there now that produces some feedback on the stereo.

-Steve

Re:Damm, now we have "of course it runs Linux.." (4)

T-Punkt (90023) | more than 13 years ago | (#574757)

Not true, NetBSD had a single user shell on the dreamcast in October [netbsd.org] .

Re:Searching....searching.... (1)

Defiler (1693) | more than 13 years ago | (#574758)

Thanks for the great quote, man:
"Figuring out that something runs Linux means that it can and will be hacked"
I couldn't have said it better myself. Microsoft should put that quote in their literature.

Re:another mirror @ http://209.233.130.20/slashdot (1)

bludstone (103539) | more than 13 years ago | (#574759)

cixel you sucka. why arnt you on irc anymore? msg me on efnet. bitch.

Re:another mirror @ http://209.233.130.20/slashdot (1)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 13 years ago | (#574761)

bitchface i cant get on efnet cuz all of home.com is blocked im me at CiXeL78

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#574762)

Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the person(s) who developed this port didn't sign any contracts with Sega?

~~~

How about my PDP-10? (1)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 13 years ago | (#574763)

I have a DECsystem-2020 that's going to run ITS, but booting Linux on it once would be good for laughs...

Here [umtec.com] are pictures of it. :P

My cat runs linux (2)

maccroz (126399) | more than 13 years ago | (#574764)

My cat runs linux. Oh...if only I had the picture scanned online. It is a picture of this monitor on top of my cat running linux. What a crafty cat he is, I never thought he had the storage, but I was tinkering around with him one day and decided to install it.

Re:Searching....searching.... (1)

Funky Jester (24420) | more than 13 years ago | (#574767)

To each their own...

It's better that there's such a diversity of interest.
What fun would it be if everybody focused on the same thing?

herm (2)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 13 years ago | (#574768)

until it can brew a cup of coffee too, i don't want it.

I think this is sorta neat though, because the dreamcast is able to go on the net, so I think the next thing to come out of this project is a sega dreamcast webserver.. That would be sweet. I suppose it could work pretty easily...the sega's come with a 56k modem and all..and you can get network interface for it.....I think that this guy should try running his dreamcast as a server..that would rule.

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (3)

dsplat (73054) | more than 13 years ago | (#574770)

OK, so Linux can run on this device and that device and this watch and that shoe


[nasal voice] "Hello, Chief"

[short pause while listening]

"Why yes, I am taking to you on my new Shoeix sneaker-phone."

[another short pause]

"No, Chief, I don't think that's what they meant when they called it portable."

Re:Searching....searching.... (1)

the_ph0x (157769) | more than 13 years ago | (#574771)

Sometimes ideas come to us whilst doing obscure things.
Like say trying to get an OS on a smaller device for portability (PDA's).

.ph0x

Re:Searching....searching.... (4)

mihalis (28146) | more than 13 years ago | (#574772)

What's this "point" and "we" crap? There doesn't have to be a "point" and "we" aren't spending any time running Linux on obscure anything.

If I had a Dreamcast, or for that matter a room full of supercomputers, or a digital watch with a cpu, I might think it was fun to try to run Linux on it. Or some kind of BSD, or BeOS, or whatever.

It's not for you to tell me not to because that effort should be spent on making Linux commercially ready. What happens if I couldn't care less for commerciality, desktop-focus or robustness? Nothing. It's my hardware, my time, my effort. If I do something useful in my efforts, then the other linux efforts may benefit, if not, then tough!

No offence intended, but that's how I feel.

The point is... (3)

Coins (3612) | more than 13 years ago | (#574774)

With a wide array of devices working on an open OS, it is possible to choose any device you want when faced with a project. For example, a palm computer is first and foremost A COMPUTER. If you could run a familiar and open OS on it, it could effectively be used as a specialized controller in a slew of different situations. The more devices that can run Linux, the more options we have. If MS wanted to port to a bunch of different devices, that would be cool too. The difference is that they'll wait until they have a good business reason...which will probably be inspired by articles like this.

We need a board of lawyers (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#574775)

Not really.

Re:Kernel site /.'ed - mirror (1)

Optic (6803) | more than 13 years ago | (#574777)

No source. So much for the GPL. :)

Re:The Konami Code (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 13 years ago | (#574783)

Oh fond memories of god codes - live virtually forever! (actually, when I first started playing Contra, that would increase my average game time from 20 sec to almost three minutes)

X... yuck! (3)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 13 years ago | (#574786)

Now, who's gonna want to write and debug X drivers for the PVR2? :)

And after that, who's gonna want to write/debug DRI/GLX/whatever 3D drivers you need for it?

This certainly is a cool hack, but all you've made yourself an expensive TV-based vt100 terminal that can probably get a shitload of distributed.net keys. :)

Come to think of it, maybe d.net on here WOULD make them worth buying...

-Chris
...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...

Dreamcast Linux (1)

Cable (99315) | more than 13 years ago | (#574789)

Ok so it runs Linux. Does it also run XFree86 and GNOME? Do you use the Controller as a pointing device? Can you hook up a hard drive to it, or is it limited to a CDR?

give me an image!! (1)

babz (256670) | more than 13 years ago | (#574791)

this is very cool, don't care what anyone here says... is there a discjuggler image of the disc, we can just burn--to play around with?

Linux has run on the DC for awhile now (4)

jordan_a (139457) | more than 13 years ago | (#574792)

Linux runs on the Dreamcast with little changes at all. This guy [allusion.net] has already got Linux working on the DC and is working on a custom OS.

Re:My cat runs linux (1)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#574793)

Well my two little dogs run Linux too.

They are a Beowolf cluster.

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (3)

infra-red (121451) | more than 13 years ago | (#574794)

Personally, I think its very cool that people are trying to see if they can get this or that working on this or that. They aren't doing it to benefit anyone, just too see if it can be done. Unix was created in a similar fashion.

The more that corporate and/or commerical intrestes get invested into Linux the more people are critical of projects that they don't see benefiting themselves. I would suggest that if you (refering to everyone here) don't see value in a specific project, then just ignore it.

I hacked your firewall (2)

chainsaw1 (89967) | more than 13 years ago | (#574798)

You left filesharing on with read write access to all your drives... some firewall you have!

Even _my_ security is better than that!

Re: Dreamcast Runs Linux (3)

BrK (39585) | more than 13 years ago | (#574800)

What will Linux NOT run on these days?

Linux won't run on the new breadmaker I bought. I was kinda disappointed, I was looking forward to a weekly crontab for BananaNut Bread.

Excellent! (4)

ScratchDot (212666) | more than 13 years ago | (#574803)

Now I can run Quake III on my Dreamcast!

oh, wait...

Tux Racer (1)

jimmcq (88033) | more than 13 years ago | (#574804)

How long til I can play Tux Racer on my Dreamcast?

Now give DC a keyboard, mouse, X & a browser! (3)

poopie (35416) | more than 13 years ago | (#574806)

Great! I really like the idea of a "real" $99 computer, and what better hardware to use than a console system where the hardware is standardized and they're sold everywhere.

Is there any easy way to connect any sort of standard keyboard and mouse to a dreamcast (like firewire or usb, maybe?). I know the ps2 has these ports, so it should be very possible to turn a ps2 into a really versatile computer with *STANDARD* components, right?

I can almost envision a day when the 'PC' will lose the low end and much of the gaming market to PDAs and Consoles.

Re:Searching....searching.... (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 13 years ago | (#574807)

TiVo [tivo.com] runs linux also.
It started off as that.
Now there are lots of hacks that improve the TiVo (bigger harddrives, etc...). Figuring out that something runs Linux means that it can and will be hacked, mostly to improve the item.
I agree with you, though, that a toaster running linux is pointless, and that /. freaks out when something runs linux, but sometimes it is worth it...

--

Must be an error. (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 13 years ago | (#574826)

A well-behaved Dreamcast isn't supposed to run anything else than Soul Calibur.

And what usefulness does this have? (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#574828)

So you can now tweak your Dreamcast to turn it into a Linux box. What good is that? Can you use it as a remote client for telnet/ssh or other uses? No; for that to be done, there would have to be an interface connector. Someone would have to write a driver for the modem, and I don't think that Sega is going to release that information. Besides, it might even be a Winmodem, or even worse, it might be connected to an alien, non-16550/8250 UART controller.

So basically, this "Linux Dreamcast" consists of a CD-ROM/GigaDisc drive, some system for the keyboard, and maybe support for the controller. So what? Without any drivers for the PowerVR2 on there, this "Dreamcast Linux" would be worthless.

Either way, I'm wondering if that thing segfaulted at some point and he refused to take a picture of that. As you already know, the press only shows us what it wants us to see.

Backups... backups... (1)

Amadawn (43796) | more than 13 years ago | (#574829)

There is an evident point to this, and it is to be able to easilly copy Dreamcast games, which are stored in a propietary "CD-ROM" format (called GD-ROM) into normal CD-ROMS.

Maybe the guy did it just for fun, but I wouldn't be surprised if he "also" wanted to be able to make "backups" of his games! ;-)

Cheers,

Angel

Re:Kernel site /.'ed - mirror (1)

Xofer D (29055) | more than 13 years ago | (#574830)

Maybe it's on the original site - I don't know because I couldn't even log in. I would expect that Zophar's is just mirroring the binaries because it was fater than grabbing the source too and the idea was to quickly pull the load off the beleagured server. With any luck, the original server will be open again soon and people who want the source can go there.

Re:Spend a little less time posting.. (2)

tallpaul (1010) | more than 13 years ago | (#574831)

I think "we" should spend a little less time posting our verbal spew on Slashdot and making LINUX more commercially ready. Or maybe not. Maybe "we" should spend our time how we want.

Maybe *you* are not the same as "we." You are lumping yourself in with this guy who did a port to dreamcast, and what have you yourself done besides this worthless post to Slashdot? Hopefully something. But if not, *I* don't care. Because *I* am spending my time posting a worthless followup to your waste of energy post. Because that is what *I* want to do.

And I should think that is exactly why this port to dreamcast was created. Because it was what he wanted to do.

So if *you* _think_ at all, and you _think_ that time should be put into making LINUX commercially viable (maybe, maybe not. That's not what Linus had in mind when he made it after all. Or maybe I don't know what Linus had in mind) then *you* will have to be the one to do it.

Re:Dreamcast (4)

Juggle (9908) | more than 13 years ago | (#574832)

(OB Reply to firewall challange)

Hey I did too and all I found was porn, porn, porn, and more porn. And all stuff I'd seen before!

(Oh well, I didn't really need that Karma for anything anyway did I? Let's just hope enough people understand the joke in all of this.)

Re:Because it's there... (2)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 13 years ago | (#574833)

It's not done because it's practical.

While I agree with you on the issue that hacking certainly doesn't have to be practical, I suspect that there's at least one practical application of this one: making games.

We've already got some games being developed for Linux, such as the previously slashdotted Tux Racer [sourceforge.net] . It wouldn't be that much more a leap, once Linux-on-Dreamcast matures, to create a Dreamcast port of Tux Racer.

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (1)

mr (88570) | more than 13 years ago | (#574834)

>Total world domination!

Yes, but only when the BSD code is used as the example.

Windows "Where do you want to go today?"
Linux "Where do you want to go tomarrow?"
BSD "Hey, are you guys comming or what?"

It may *NOT* matter if this port exists or not....depending on how the IP was obtained to make the port, it *MAY* be in violation of the contracts signed to develop for the dreamcast.

The gamming market is a 'sell at a loss market, make it up selling games' market. Selling a Dreamcast then loading it with a X term CD using BSD or Linux as the base isn't going to thrill the staff at Sega.

Hopefully someone who has seen the contracts for doing Sega development will be able to comment on how hard getting a BSD or Linux version to 'ship pubically' on a Dreamcast.

Or on a Playstation, or N64.

Re:herm (2)

rograndom (112079) | more than 13 years ago | (#574835)

I think this is sorta neat though, because the dreamcast is able to go on the net, so I think the next thing to come out of this project is a sega dreamcast webserver.. That would be sweet. I suppose it could work pretty easily...the sega's come with a 56k modem and all..and you can get network interface for it.....I think that this guy should try running his dreamcast as a server..that would rule.

hmm, 25,000+ or so people with ISDN/DSL/Cable/T1/T3, etc connections trying to view a web page on a dreamcast with a 56k modem... It would take like, what, five people to slashdot it?

XBox runs Linux (3)

Pac (9516) | more than 13 years ago | (#574836)

Redmond, WA - Graphics guru and senior XBox developer Michael Abrash announced this afternoon that he was able to install and run a modified version of the Linux kernel in the XBox specification documents.

"Look" said a grinning Abrash, "this thing here is still basically vapour. We have plans, we have specs and we have lots of Powerpoint presentations. So it was pretty easy to tweak the specs until there was enough degrees of freedom to aloow a theoretical kernel to compile in a theorical port of gcc and run. Piece of cake".

Abrash is now said to working on a port of the XBox specs that will run MacOS X.

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (1)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 13 years ago | (#574837)

Maybe now that someone made a Sega Dreamcast kernel level framebuffer driver they will be able to make a framebuffer driver for my Savage 4.

Well, you get the point...

Access to GD-ROM and file transfers?? (1)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 13 years ago | (#574838)

Just wondering if it is feasible to pull off a transfering of DC game to computer via this way. As in setting up a "dial up server" and ftp'ing into it with access to a DC game.

Am I dreaming or is this possible?

As far as I'm concerned this is about the only thing useful about this. Savegames and GD-ROM backup!

Re:Dreamcast (2)

Drone-X (148724) | more than 13 years ago | (#574839)

This reminds me of the kernel patch that is out that allows you to use your joystick to properly shutdown your system in the event of keyboard/network lockout.

Hm, I don't see what's useful about that really.

What is useful is programming your joystick to shut down X as it's about the only input device that's not controlled by the X-windowing system.

Re:This one summer at band camp... (1)

bflame (21224) | more than 13 years ago | (#574840)

Just what is wrong with posting something on /. for the geek factor? After all /. is News for Nerds. Many of us like reading about the geeky things like running Linux on some new hardware.

probing dreamcast perfs. (1)

_DaPinG_ (261434) | more than 13 years ago | (#574859)

and how many kernel/hour can a dreamcast recompile??? ... i'm just curious ;D

Re:Dreamcast (1)

hal9000 (80652) | more than 13 years ago | (#574860)

oh my lord, i have found the world's largest asshole!

Damm, now we have "of course it runs Linux.." (5)

jon_c (100593) | more than 13 years ago | (#574861)

this pisses me off as a BSD supporter. NetBSD [netbsd.org] is supposta be the number #1 ported OS, and here we have linux working on dreamcast before NetBSD?

fudge.

just makes me made.

Re:new game... (1)

leperjuice (18261) | more than 13 years ago | (#574862)

Troll?

It's been done. [slashdot.org]

This one summer at band camp... (1)

Aetrix (258562) | more than 13 years ago | (#574863)

This one summer at band camp...
This one time at band camp...

This one time I put linux on my...
Dude! You'll never believe I got linux running on my...
Yeah, I've got a (Insert kitchen implement here) that is running linux!
Remember that time you and I put linux on your mom's (insert fashionable gadget here)...?

Isn't it going a little far. It's obvious to me that the Linux installations on various game systems and small appliances is SOLELY for improved GF (Geek Factor).

Re:gaming (1)

OverCode@work (196386) | more than 13 years ago | (#574864)

How 'bout SDL? There's been some discussion about this on the SDL mailing list lately. It's not too terribly difficult to add support for new architectures to SDL, and it does a good job of abstracting possible hardware acceleration features where they exist. It also has support for creating OpenGL contexts.

If someone would port OpenGL to the Dreamcast (does it exist?), SDL could take care of the rest in short order.

-John (an SDL zealot)

Because it's there... (2)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 13 years ago | (#574865)

I'm not going to go out and buy a Dreamcast just because I could run Linux on it. (Mind you, it very well might "tilt the scales" towards my buying one one of these days...)

The real point of this is that it actually brings some truth to the Linux for N64 [heise.de] April Fools joke of a few years ago.

It's not done because it's practical.

It's done because it's a "cool hack."

IBM didn't make put a Linux port onto a wristwatch because they wanted to sell wristwatches. (I'm a little confused, mind you, as to why IBM are now selling 2.4GHz wireless phones, and getting into a market typically fought over by Sony and Panasonic...) They built the watch because it was a cool hack that would get them publicity.

Give an extra generation for the video game units to get a bit more powerful and this actually starts being realistically useful; while the video game may lack a hard drive, if it has:

  • Wireless networking
  • A keyboard
  • Is dirt cheap
That could make for nice "disposable" desktop boxes. Certainly not relevant this year, just as the Linux-based PDAs aren't powerful enough this year to be tremendously viable.

But if someone prototypes it on this year's wimpy models, this may make them quite ready to build something more useful based on next year's hardware...

Re:Now give DC a keyboard, mouse, X & a browser! (1)

dial0g (86962) | more than 13 years ago | (#574866)

Well, they won't hook up to your PC, but the DC has a keyboard and mouse. Also, you can buy a box that lets you hook up a normal keyboard (not sure if USB, PS/2, or AT) to your DC... don't think it supports a mouse though.

Clustering! (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 13 years ago | (#574867)

If we can get DC machines to talk to each other, and have a few file servers, we might see some pretty good performance for the bucks. The DC has high performance floating point arithmetic and such, right?

Now if that guy would just release the source, we could get cracking..

Re:This one summer at band camp... (1)

starling (26204) | more than 13 years ago | (#574868)

>Isn't it going a little far. It's obvious to me that the Linux installations on various game systems and small appliances is SOLELY for improved GF (Geek Factor).

And just what's wrong with that? If people enjoy doing stuff like this for a hobby then more power to them.

But, if you insist that everything anyone does should serve a "useful" purpose (as far as I'm concerned doing something because it's fun seems pretty useful but let that slide...) here are a few :

- helps the Linux SH project, making Linux more portable
- looks good on a resume if you want a job
- hones skills which will come in useful in said job
- annoys clueless people

Re:And the benefit of this would be? (2)

drin (83479) | more than 13 years ago | (#574869)

Actually, that would be Shoe-nix.

any info on how to do it? (2)

roche (135922) | more than 13 years ago | (#574884)

Is there any info on how he pulled this off? a kernel is nice, but info is better!

roche

universal drivers (2)

bbqBrain (107591) | more than 13 years ago | (#574889)

Check out SDL [libsdl.org] , the Simple DirectMedia Layer. It is available for a bunch of platforms already (including Win32 and Linux, of course). I've played a couple games, Defendguin being my favorite, and was impressed. It probably has progress to make before being suitably robust for the really complex games, but I think it has definite potential.

Re:Now give DC a keyboard, mouse, X & a browser! (1)

slaughts (50394) | more than 13 years ago | (#574890)

Not standard keyboards and mice, but Sega has been selling a keyboard since the release of the Dreamcast (or shortly thereafter), and a mouse is
on its way, mainly driven by the Q3 and UT ports...

sweet sause (1)

bswick (29721) | more than 13 years ago | (#574891)

With console makers already selling their systems below cost, this is a great deal for fun little personal system. DC already has keyboards and mice available, a 56k modem and plans for a broadband device in the near future. The PS2 sweetens the deal with it's USB and firewire connections and very accommodating expansion bay (in the US version at least). Though, it's custom 3D hardware may hamper the development of any decent OpenGL drivers for a while.

It's a $99 Computer with Fast 3D! (4)

Brian Ristuccia (2238) | more than 13 years ago | (#574892)

So you can now tweak your Dreamcast to turn it into a Linux box. What good is that? Can you use it as a remote client for telnet/ssh or other uses? No; for that to be done, there would have to be an interface connector. Someone would have to write a driver for the modem, and I don't think that Sega is going to release that information. Besides, it might even be a Winmodem, or even worse, it might be connected to an alien, non-16550/8250 UART controller.

It's a real hardware modem. There's also a serial cable you can hook up to the same slot. See http://mc.pp.se/dc/serifc.html [mc.pp.se] .

So basically, this "Linux Dreamcast" consists of a CD-ROM/GigaDisc drive, some system for the keyboard, and maybe support for the controller. So what? Without any drivers for the PowerVR2 on there, this "Dreamcast Linux" would be worthless.

There's also example source code floating around for using the hardware 3d accelerator. It's only a matter of time before someone hacks support into Mesa. See http://mc.pp.se/dc/files/tatest.tar.gz [mc.pp.se] .

Either way, I'm wondering if that thing segfaulted at some point and he refused to take a picture of that. As you already know, the press only shows us what it wants us to see.

There's no reason why portable C programs should segfault on the SuperH. The GCC SH-4 target is relatively mature.

See http://mc.pp.se/dc/ [mc.pp.se] for more details on Dreamcast development.

Re:And what usefulness does this have? (1)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 13 years ago | (#574893)

The NIC should be out for DC soon which should help this along.

Re:This is pathetic. (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 13 years ago | (#574894)

Why did he cross it?
Cost of Sega/OS, CE on the game disk $$$$

Cost of Linux: $ (support / learning curve, no licensing)

It's gonna piss Sega off, but it adds more options, and adds the ability for smaller development houses to make stuff for DC

X is done. (1)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 13 years ago | (#574895)

That looks like a framebuffer console, to me. If so, then X is already ready already. Maybe a bit slow, but that's ok.

Re:uh oh. (1)

Yog-Soth (108846) | more than 13 years ago | (#574896)

I'm getting the sense that the kernel was "ripped" off another cd -- meaning the author of the README doesn't have access to source. someone is holding out.

Re:probing dreamcast perfs. (1)

bobv-pillars-net (97943) | more than 13 years ago | (#574897)

I was wondering this too, and researching the answer when Netscape 4.76 vaporized, taking my accumulated notes with it.
(sigh)
Anyhow, it runs a Hitachi SH-4 processor at 200 Mhz, which according to one source (Won't look up the link again for fear of re-vaporization) specs at 360 MIPS and 1.4 GFLOPS. Apparently, it's of the same heritage as the Sun SPARC processors. You won't find a bogomips rating because the author of the port had to comment out the bogomips testing code in order to get the kernel to compile.
Do a Google search for "Dreamcast Bogomips" and "Hitachi SH-4" and you'll find plenty of info. However, based on previous experience on an UltraSparc with probably double the performance, I'd say about one kernel per hour, YMMV.

And the benefit of this would be? (4)

chancycat (104884) | more than 13 years ago | (#574900)

OK, so Linux can run on this device and that device and this watch and that shoe... so what? I think it's great exploration, and a wonderful way for the folks doing the dev work to learn a huge amount about the low-level guts of the device they're working with and Linux, but... what then?
Is there a hope that someone will just hit on the right combination of Linux and Z-device? Maybe I'm just an outsider with less perspective (just reads Slashdot and works for "Huge Internetish Company" as an engineer, but this Linux on __ stuff is starting to get me wondering.

Dreamcast (5)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 13 years ago | (#574901)

This reminds me of the kernel patch that is out that allows you to use your joystick to properly shutdown your system in the event of keyboard/network lockout.

I wonder if this is in the Dreamcast kernel?

Bob: "Hey, you have to see this great combo I mastered for Ryu!"
Bill: "Ok, fire away!"
Bob: "Ok, Up, Up, Down, Down-Left, Back, A+B"
Linux: "This system is going down for a reboot NOW!"
Bob: "Err, oops."

Mirror (5)

Racher (34432) | more than 13 years ago | (#574903)

Mirrors of the screenshots are here [stcloudstate.edu] , here [stcloudstate.edu] , here [stcloudstate.edu] , and here [stcloudstate.edu] .

...and I'm not sure we should trust this Kyle Sagan either.

This will succeed where N64 Linux failed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#574908)

For those of you who don't remember, Linux was ported to the Nintendo 64 a while back, but you hardly hear anything about it anymore. Why? It just didn't have the marketshare needed to thrive.

I don't mean the N64 didn't have a good marketshare; it did. But there wasn't any considerably-sized pool of developers willing to develop for an alternative OS on a console that was already suitable. Dreamcast, on the other hand, already has many development tools available, and the garage-band linux developers among us have already taken a look and decided they like what they see. Besides, there's always the benefits of developing for a platform that doesn't require expensive proprietary chip-based memory cartridges, in favor of cd-based systems.

I just hope it succeeds where the N64 Linux port failed. We need more alternatives in the gaming market.

Better would be... (3)

kerrbear (163235) | more than 13 years ago | (#574910)

Just saw this news post on Zophar's about a guy running Linux on his Dreamcast

Would that only the opposite were true :-)

If he can do that (1)

11thangel (103409) | more than 13 years ago | (#574911)

Maybe my clock radio can run DOS!

NetBSD (1)

Octal (310) | more than 13 years ago | (#574912)

As far as I can tell, the NetBSD for Dreamcast project hasn't even been able to anywhere near this far. So once again, BSD delivers hype but Linux delivers results.

P.S. This is my "Take THAT, BSD!" post, and I expect it to get down to Score: -1, flamebait or troll.

dreamcast's vga out (2)

2ms (232331) | more than 13 years ago | (#574917)

For those of you who didn't already know it, Sega offers an add-on VGA out (640X480) for the Dreamcast (http://www.sega.com/pc/segastore/SegaProduct.jhtm l?PRODID=257).

Does anybody happen to know whether or not it would work with an old 21" Sun monitor (fixed frequency, sync-on-green, Trinitron)?

There seem to be zillions of these kinds of monitors out there that no one knows what to do with.

Re:My cat runs linux (1)

gdiersing (240179) | more than 13 years ago | (#574920)

Clever, I never thought of installing on my cat (hi fluffy!), I recently installed linux on a head of lettuce. I had some wicked screen shots, but they wilted before I could scan them.

Seriously, I am looking at a picture of linux on a TV with some game consoles sitting on top. Oh yeah, I'm convinced, he is a genius. Oh wait, I think my bic has some RAM available, I have to work to do.....screen shots to follow.

The Konami Code (3)

dcheng (92493) | more than 13 years ago | (#574922)

That reboot sequence bears a striking resemblance to:

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A

Look familiar?

DeCSS Source Code (2)

IanCarlson (16476) | more than 13 years ago | (#574923)

If you look at his homepage [prohosting.com] , you'll find the DeCSS sourcecode at the bottom. He appears to be quite the crafty Dreamcast hacker.

You'll have to highlight the text to see the code, or just look at the HTML document in a text editor. I think it's a pretty neat way to get the source code out with some degree of stealth.

Well, at least it was pretty stealthy.

Doo bee doo bee doo..... (1)

DukeofURL (113919) | more than 13 years ago | (#574924)

I got linux to run on a bottle of Bud Ice...

Re:gaming (1)

ion++ (134665) | more than 13 years ago | (#574927)

moderate the parent up, the AC has a point, it's
a console, no need for an API as ALL the hardware is identical.

Re:Dreamcast (1)

TheKodiak (79167) | more than 13 years ago | (#574928)

Actually, I think he was trying to remember the old Capcom cheat code.

Re:The Konami Code (4)

scotch (102596) | more than 13 years ago | (#574929)

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A

Or, for vi users:
kkjjhlhlba

Try these on for size... (5)

vex24 (126288) | more than 13 years ago | (#574930)

Let's see here:

1. I loaded the Palm OS on my cell phone so I could transfer messages between my pants pockets!

2. I have apache loaded into the ROMs in my floor lamp, plugged in to the clapper(TM). Site up!(clap,clap), site down!(clap, clap), Apache!

3. My Tivo runs Oracle to ensure that I'll have a robust and scalable platform with which I'll never record anything due to the difficulty of entering a freakin' date field!

4. My Toyota runs Linux because I heard that you don't crash as much with Linux. Sounds good to me!

Kernel site /.'ed - mirror (5)

Xofer D (29055) | more than 13 years ago | (#574933)

Zophar's mirroring the kernel stuff now, so you might want to try using the "100Mbps of bandwidth" behind these links:
In other news, flagging sales of the Dreamcast were given a significant boost... :)

Searching....searching.... (1)

iceT (68610) | more than 13 years ago | (#574934)

I am FRANTICALLY searching for a point to running LINUX on Dreamcast.... I think we need to spend a little less time trying to run LINUX on obscure platforms, and spend more time to make LINUX more commercially ready, whether that be through a desktop-focus, or a (even more) robust server platforms....

ObComment (2)

BrK (39585) | more than 13 years ago | (#574937)

Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!!! That would be kewl, then multiplayer gaming would be kick-ass. I hear there is also a SETI@Home card for the dreamcast that interfaces to an espresso machine!

uh oh. (1)

mushroom blue (8836) | more than 13 years ago | (#574941)

seems that even though linux is (and will always be) covered under the GPL, where it states that the source code needs to be provided to any app that's included under the licence, the wording of the README file seems to state that this guy doesn't know when the source will be released... IF AT ALL. I'm just as happy about this development as you are (I REALLY need a dreamcast now), but if it violates the GPL, it's all in vain.

No souce. (5)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 13 years ago | (#574944)

Says here [zophar.net] that it is available in binary form only. No source is available. Do we have a GPL violation here?
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