January 2, 2009
MAME Frontends in UbuntuI have been interested in getting MAME running on my desktop again. I never got SDLMAME working on Fedora 8 because performance was terrible. For some reason, under Ubuntu with my Intel GMA3100 onboard video things work well enough to play pacman at least (and probably others, SFA2 seemed to work well, but as always SSF2T was too fast) so I wanted to see what the state of MAME Front Ends for linux was. (Oh, also I have to run in the software render mode to get the tab menus to show up, otherwise they are garbage. Once things are set up though I don't need the menus, so back to hardware mode which is fast.)
kxmame doesn't believe me that my sdlmame executable is a MAME executable, it complains that it can't find any MAME instance and errors out. So that is enough time spent on that one.
kamefu refuses to find any of my roms. So that one is out.
wah!cade seems to work, but it uses bitmaps for the default UI and on my 24" monitor I can't read anything. So I stopped play with that for the time being.
Two more I am looking at are Lemon Launcher (probably won't install it unless I can't get AdvancedMenu to work) and AdvanceMENU which is my current best hope. There is a description of the install process here. So far installing AdvanceMENU has been a real pain. this thread has helped me fix a few SDL errors and of course I had to install a lot of stuff to get this to compile.
Once compiled I couldn't get it to run well: I added sdlmame as an xmame emulator, and had to make some init files for that. But it would freeze when trying to launch a program. I am now checking on the configuration used by Piapara, a bootable ISO that runs advancemenu and sdlmame to see what they use. To do that I had to create a boot cd, mount the iso in a loopback filesystem, then mount the app.img in a loopback filesystem. Finally, the relevant setup info they use is:
emulator "MAME" mame "/usr/bin/mame" "-inipath /mnt/pendrive/sdlmame/ini" emulator_roms "MAME" "/mnt/cdrom/sdlmame/roms" emulator_flyers "MAME" "/mnt/cdrom/sdlmame/flyers" emulator_altss "MAME" "/mnt/cdrom/sdlmame/snap"So they set up the emulator as a mame emulator. Ok. I'll try that.
Also, a new discovery: using the sdlmame option -gl_forcepow2texture fixes the menu corruption bug that I was seeing. So yay for that! Actually on further investigation I also needed to set the filter to 0 and (remove bilinear filtering from output, which makes things look more pixelated and better anyway) and enable gl_glsl in the sdlmame config. It seems to be working well now.
I haven't got advancemenu to work though. I have all these great artwork cabinet and screenshot files, but I can't get advancemenu to launch sdlmame. Ah well. That is enough time spent on that today.
Annoyingly Super Street Fighter II Turbo still runs too fast. Tapper runs well though, so that is good enough.
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