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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been visiting the main site for a while, but due to the recent project I decided to join the forums so I could hopefully post information about my current project, EmuOS. I hope you find yourself interested in the project and that you'll support myself and the staff. ^_^
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I’ve pulled a few software programmers together and still getting more staff to make an emulator-only operating system. This system will be easily installed on any PC as a secondary OS that uses only 3-4GB of a hard drive for the OS itself, emulator packages, and save state information. ROMs and CD/DVD games can then be run directly from the CD or DVD drive on your PC. After the OS is completed and most of the bugs are worked out it should be able to emulate games with only a 10% margin of error at most for a PlayStation2 game on a 2.2GHz processor PC. This is mainly due to the fact the system will only utilize drivers required for emulation and nothing else.

The OS itself is currently being assembled using Linux source code; in the meantime we’ll be using a reassembled Fedora Core 4 as a basis for the project. After a few tweaks, the system should be as easy to use as Windows and any PC user (novice or expert) will be able to use the system.

This distribution of Linux will be known as “EmuOS”, and will be a pioneer in the Gamer Specific OS field. Hopefully, our first beta will be released in the first quarter of 2006.

If you know Linux coding and you're interested in the project, please e-mail me at [email protected].
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Viper_Viper said:
PS2 games on 1.2GHz processor? That seems a little far feached. Is this EmuOS have any webpage or sourceforge site or anything?
Yes. I'm currently coding the site myself. It'll be posted here. And that's actually a typo in my part. I meant 2.2GHz, though that may sound quite unexpected itself. The programmers and myself figure that will fairly adequate with the correct driver settings on the PS2 emulator. Again, we're still working out the bugs, but so far it seems completely feasible with the stripped-down Fedora Core 4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GCFreak said:
What about drivers for the Video Card? Sound Card? SATA HDD etc...????

Other than that, sounds interesting. Good Luck!
Like I said, only the drivers required for emulation are included. Being the Video Card, Sound Card, and any HDD configurations are a requirement (because seriously... you can't run a game without all that XD) they'll be included. Other drivers such as modems, ethernet, as well as certain services which are obviously not a requirement will not be included. At a later date, we'll add support drivers and services required for multi-player over-the-net things. However, we think that at the current time it'll be best to continue testing without them for performance purposes. We -will- add them in a future release, but only as an optional feature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Cid Highwind said:
Allow me to say what I think :)

It sounds like a nice idea, but I'm very sceptic, because from my understanding you are creating your own Linux based Emulator targeted OS. Creating a fast OS for emulators is one thing, but providing good PS2 emulation isn't an easy task, just look at the PCSX2 emulator. Will you be creating a PS2 emulator yourself as well?

Good luck with your project :thumb:
Actually, that brings up another good point. We're currently trying to code the emulators ourselves. However if anyone with a fairly complete emulator code would like to donate their software to the project, it would be -very- much appreciated as that saves us a lot of unnecessary effort. Due credit will be given, as well as a share of any gifts recieved from satisfied users (though we don't expect any, as you know how these projects go).

Thanks for the well-wishes and interest in the project! ^_^

flowrent said:
Yes,that is what i thought.A Ps2 emulator is very hard to do .Will you make one yourself? What other consoles will you target? Dreamcast among them?
Like I said before, we're currently trying very hard to program it ourselves. However, help from any other project staff is greatly appriciated! I can't stress that enough, really. As for what consoles we want to target, we wish to persue all emulatable consoles. That means everything from an Atari to the Next-Gen consoles of today. This will be an ongoing project of course, as new consoles are released every couple of years. As for Dreamcast, you can be sure we're trying our best on that one. I myself love the Dreamcast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not quite. MESS is a completely seperate project. The concept of one simple emulator for all consoles is very much appealing, however there's too much of a margin of error for us to persue at the current time. We believe working on the emulators seperately and packaging them with a stream-lined custom Linux distrobution is the best route at the current time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Viper_Viper said:
The idea of this has great potential. You would essentially be creating a Video Game Concel that just does emulaton. It would make it very easy to set up a box in the living room that you would never have to mess with, it just works like other real system.

I imagen that this will be a very long process and that you might not have a working releace for quite some time. Will you be encoperating other existing emulators or will authors have to recode their existing emulators to work on your OS?
Yes, that's one of the basic ideas for the distrobution. Seeing as the OS is so minimal, you can install it on one of those nice mini-PCs and essentially have a One-For-All console. At minimal cost as well, seeing as you'll pretty much only need a 4GB HDD, a respectable mainboard/CPU, 512MB of RAM, a Radeon 9250 or equivalent video card, and your run of the mill onboard sound card. And that's just the recommended hardware.

As for incorperation of existing emulators, I'm leaving that to the makers of the emulators themselves. I may end up actually e-mailing a few of the emulator coders that have current Linux releases myself. Anything that runs on Fedora Core 4 will run on this distrobution, though.

Shin_Gouki said:
hm how will u manage configurtionen? since PS2 Emulation e.g. will need other settings than DC?
How much performance AND Portability can u gain from ur efforts?
Since PC hardware differs a lot i think... the approach is good but u will need all emu coders to work with ur OS, considering that ur OS AND APIs should be stable...
hmm..
wbr Shin Gouki
We're still working on the finer details, such as the configuration. As for getting any of the existing emulators to work with our OS, any emulators that work with the Fedora Core 4 distrobution of Linux will work. I've actually been testing that aspect myself just in case, and so far most of the emulators I've tried to run on Fedora worked exceptionally well.

As for performance and portability, you can expect a good enhancement in performance over the current distrobutions. As with any purpose-specific operating system, all emulators will have a performance increase. At the same time however, if you're installing it to a machine with less than a 2GHz processor, I wouldn't expect much of an increase in the next-gen console emulation capabilities, such as with PlayStation2 and GameCube. You would still notice a difference on other less resource consuming emulators such as ones for GameBoy Advance and Playstation, though.

All in all, depending on what you're trying to emulate and what your system specs are, there will be a performance increase. It's more of a matter of the user having good enough judgement to realize a 700MHz PC with 16-bit graphics card isn't going to run a PS2 emulator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
cloudvii said:
I don't know really. Are you sure you can do all that? I like the idea very much though ^_^

Also your page isn't working here :(
Yup, we can do it. It'll take a good bit of time, but it's possible and we won't give up until it's accomplished.

As for the website, we've been so busy on the project we haven't had time to even post the page. I should have it up before Wednesday, though! XD
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
GCFreak said:
Cool. I think this'll be a HUGE blast into the Emulation scene. Good luck! :).

One more question. What will be the minimum requirements for running this OS?
Thanks! ^^

As for the minimal specs;
2.0 GHz Processor
256MB RAM
4GB HDD
CD/DVD Drive
Radeon 9250/GeForce 4
Onboard sound card

So technically... a cheap Dell Dimension 2400 PC with an new video card could run this OS with just slight lag while emulating certain systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
GCFreak said:
Cool. So my PC meets the requirements?

Can we have screenshots when you have the time?
Certainly. They'll be posted to the projects homepage as we take them. As for now, we're still trying to get most of the emulators either coded or permission from other programmers to package their emulators with the OS. FlameAlchemist2, the OS programmer, is currently working on repackaging a test version of the OS with a few existing emulators simply for our personal staff-only tests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Well, being as this is for *ahem* educational purposes, I don't readily foresee any problems. It's freeware and once the innitial release is ready, it'll be completely open source. We're not really getting paid for the actual programming, so we're not taking their money. If I recall, the main reason Bleem! was targeted was due to the fact it wasn't freeware.

In the future, there is always a chance we could face legal issues of some sort. The programmers of any team making emulators face that possibilty. If that should happen, we'll readily consult the proper lawyers. Otherwise, I don't see a major problem coming up anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
zenogais said:
Not to be a downer or anything, but I really can't ever see this coming to fruition. The sheer technical difficulty of writing an operating system, combined with the driver issues, I think will stop this dead in its tracks. Not to mention the fact that all aspects of the OS would have to be finely tuned to allow emulators to get the best possible performance on any system - meaning thread scheduling algorithms, extremely fast memory management etc, etc. If you guys pull this off I'll be floored, but good luck anyways :thumb:
Trust me, we've got a very good team and I'd hope the new members we get are just as motivated and don't lame out on us. Keep in mind that the first releases will be running on a Fedora Core 4-based distro, so luckily we're not looking at an extreme amount of work just yet.

However, you have a very good point. This -is- going to take a good bit of time and I have no doubt there's going to be a ton of frustration on our part. But I'm pretty sure that if we work together with some (hopefull most) of the programmers who've already started or completed emulators for Linux that this will be a complete success.

hellmasterx said:
good luck whit your project
Thanks! We appriciate the encouragement. ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
DJ Stenny said:
If you guys are looking into making a very efficient OS, then I strongly suggest you look into the structure of BeOS. It's very light-weight and speedy, it may serve your purposes well.

Btw, how much of the OS would you say is finished? 20-30%?
It's about 70% complete I think, minus the emulators of course. As for BeOS, I'll definately suggest it to the staff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
Vanit said:
EncodedFATE, how much of an increase in PS2 emulation are you expecting in this project? Practically all of the consoles before this generation are emulated at proper speeds on a standard PC, which means the only real thing I think people want to see in this project for better speeds in PS2, GC etc. My real question then is do you expect your project to live up to this? I'm really intrigued in this OS as it's been suggested before to make an emulator Linux distribution, but no one ever considered tweaking the OS component.

I too wish you good luck.
There's going to be a definate and very noticable speed increase with GC, PS2, GBA, NDS, etc. We're expecting anywhere in the range of double the PCSX2's current speed on our test PC with the first beta (which of course will increase as we work out bugs). This of course will differ on other systems depending on hardware. Our test PC currently utilzes the minimum spec requirements, by the way.

I for one refuse to give up on the project until the goals we've set have been met. The speed increase combined with it's compact size, the fact it can be used to make a fairly cheap portable emulation "console" unit, and be installed to another partition on your current PC's HDD for easy access without having to delete any of your current files, not to mention the new possibilities for emulator programmers... I hope all these things make the OS a formidable and useful addition to the emulation world.

DJ Stenny said:
Btw, are you guys going to implement ACPI support for laptops?
It's a definate possibility, as I feel that it would dramatically increase the possibilities of the OS. However, the moment our primary goal is simply to get it running as expected on the average desktop PC. Well... as average of a PC as most gamers would own, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 · (Edited)
Thanks for your optimisim and encouragement, guys!

I'm not saying the increase will effect -ALL- PCs, your hardware is a huge factor in this. Also, I'm definately not "pulling numbers out of my ass", as Seta-san said. Being someone who wouldn't have even bothered to post this unless I was absolutely sure of the data, as I use this screen name on all forums and online games I'm a member of, I'm quite offended someone would assume I'm jackass enough to lie. If you disbelieve the speed increase potential, then simply wait until the OS is up for download and judge for yourself.

Anyway, thanks Bobbi. Expect a good dose of screen shots displaying progress within the month. Most of us live near Pittsburgh PA, so we'l most likely be taking screen shots at one of those meetings. Also, I ask that everyone keep in mind that programmers have lives too. I have a wife and daughter myself, so if I sat at home coding constantly in my free time... well... I'd be SOL.

Also in response to Criftus, I know what you mean. The OS is supposed to make the hardware run like it's dedicated, as that's how you get the speed increase. It's not like another OS that tries to run other programs while running the emulator. In fact, if one tried they'd find out that since all options for that have been disabled and all focus goes directly to the emulator and drivers the emulator use... Well, you'd fail to run any other programs except the emulators. The OS itself pretty much acts like an advanced frontend, as someone mentioned before. More or less, it just says "Here. These are the drivers for the PC hardware. I'll just supervise to make sure everything runs well and pick up slack on certain things".

I hope that explains things a bit more. ^_^

[EDIT] Also, if you live near Pittsburgh PA and would like to attend one of our local staff meetups to see for yourself, that would be welcomed... as long as we don't have like fifteen people there at once. Just send me a PM or something and I'll let you know when and where it is around the time we have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Reichfuher said:
I'm not without having skepticism myself, but good luck. If this is going to be built off linux, could it be a live dvd where people could store data on a usb drive such as an ipod or thumb drive? Will it read NTFS partitions to make things a little easier when trying to access your existing data?
At the moment, there are no plans to make a Live DVD release. As for NTFS partitions, I know Fedora Core 4 already supports it after typing a few commands into the console... but I can't make any promises on that. It's still very possible, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
GCFreak said:
Will it support FAT32 based partitions?
I think Fedora Core 4 has support for that as well, but I'm not certain because I only use NTFS anymore. If it does, then it's possible that EmuOS will have support for it as well. Just keep in mind we want to make the OS run as easily as possible, so we assumed just running ROMs and CD/DVD games from the DVD/CD drive of your PC was the easiest resolution.

That's another reason the OS only needs a little space, by the way. The only thing it uses the HDD space for is the EmuOS installation, preferences, and of course the save state and game save data.
 
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