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Old 10 May 2020, 00:36   #1
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Attempts at FS-UAE in Tiny Core Linux

Hey guys! I'm new here!


I got the idea that Tiny Core Linux, being the most minimal (a mere 15 MB ISO!!) and yet still actively supported Linux distro around, might just work very well as a sort of "bootstrap" just to get FS-UAE going from an USB stick! Apparently the idea has been raised at least once before here although nothing came of it then. I wasn't sure of thread necromancy policy here so I'm playing it safe.

Attempt 1: Using the FS-UAE 3.0.3 Linux binary

This got me surprisingly far, given that it's a bit of a shot in the dark to not compile the source code and just use a binary blob on it.

  1. I first got the non-default x64 edition of TCL called Tiny Core Pure x64 from here. Simply because FS-UAE now only ships precompiled for x64.
  2. Installed this as a VMWare Player guest OS. No hard drive or anything needed for it.
  3. Using its built-in "Apps" tool, installed the tc-install.tcz package which is a USB (among others) installer GUI.
  4. Installed Tiny Core Linux onto a physical USB drive shared with the VMWare guest OS. See also "How to use pendrives".

I now have a base TCL install on an USB stick. Next, as for some FS-UAE prerequisites that I discovered by trial and error: Still using the TCL "Apps" tool and directing it to download straight to the 'tce' folder on the USB stick, I got the libX11.tcz and libasound.tcz packages.

I then copied FS-UAE itself into an FS-UAE folder on the USB.

I now rebooted my system and booted up the USB.

I then loaded prerequisites from before and helped FS-UAE find ld-linux because TCL by default doesn't put x64 stuff in lib64, sigh...
(BTW, the root file system is all in RAM in TCL and thus lost every reboot, so I'd later need a boot script to do these things every time)
  1. tce-load libX11
  2. tce-load libasound
  3. sudo mkdir /lib64/
  4. sudo ln -s /lib/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2

Starting FS-UAE (and my problem!)

Next up, trying out FS-UAE...
  • cd /mnt/sda1/FS-UAE
  • ./fs-uae

.. and it started up "OK" but exited with a log file ending with:
  • [SDL] Version 2.0.10 (Compiled against 2.0.10)
  • SDL_GetCurrentDisplayMode failed

Google has also failed me...

Attempt 2: Compiling from source

I actually did a compile of FS-UAE too which was successful (yay!) but that binary also ended wih the same message. I can write another post for that if there is interest.

I'm running from within a basic tty/terminal. I only have the bare minimum for X11 per TCL design. Does FS-UAE expect itself to be run from a graphical environment, even FS-UAE itself (not the launcher)?

Otherwise I'm at a loss of what's up, unfortunately. It was going so well...! It even sounds like SDL is found, and of the same version that it is compiled against?
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Old 10 May 2020, 00:58   #2
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Wait, I found at least something... For a completely different emulator?? Clutching at straws but it might be something. I’ll look into if Xorg detected video like it should or has the driver it wants for my Intel GPU. It should be noted that I have tried running FS-UAE from within a TCL install in VMWare too though with the same error. https://forum.fobby.net/index.php?t=msg&goto=6132&

Last edited by Northgrove; 10 May 2020 at 01:11.
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Old 10 May 2020, 16:20   #3
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Maybe FS-UAE/SDL also indirectly depends on some X11 extensions like Xrandr to query display mode(s). I can see the potential for problems if you have a stripped-down Linux distro without the X11 extensions normally installed on a desktop computer. I don't know if this is the case, but worth seeing if it works if you enable a less-than-minimal X11 setup...
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Old 11 May 2020, 13:50   #4
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OK, thanks for the idea!

I'll take a harder look at X11. It's a good idea because I've noted there are sometimes not dependencies among these packages where I expect them to be. One problem with TCL x64 is that for some reason, that architecture doesn't have the "plus menu", the edition they call CorePlus with much more preinstalled.

I also had an idea about instead of TCL x64, using the TCL alternative they call dCore x64 which is basically Debian based. This might also help with drivers for my Intel GPU because I'm not sure if TCL even had xserver-xorg-video-intel... dCore also comes in a sizable Plus edition which might help as well.
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