• Published on | Mar 06, 2005 | by Chris Osborn

Setting up a Linux box to run MAME

I wrote about starting to set up a Linux box for the sole purpose of running MAME almost a year ago on alt.games.mame. See this article to see how far I got (or didn't get). Now I'm back on that project again since I'm setting up a fifth MAME cabinet (with a vertical oriented monitor), and quite possibly a sixth (horizontal) soon. All the previous ones have been all Windoze based. Since I messed with this so long ago, I've forgotten half of what I did to get what I barely got working. Maybe this time I'll keep better notes? Goals:

  • Framebuffer video
  • Support both vertical and horizontal monitor orientation with a configuration change
  • Power management
    • Suspend to RAM for fast "bootups"
    • Clean power off
  • Autodetect and load ROMs when a CD/DVD is inserted
  • Simple menu system which supports "locking" (similar to MAMEWAH)
  • Stripped down distribution with just enough to run MAME
  • Bootsplash logo
  • Support for arcade monitors

I'm sure the list will grow as I continue with this. More than likely I'm going to have to lock into certain hardware otherwise I'll never get anywhere. The current box is an FIC Sabre 815T, which uses the Intel 815E chipset. The 2.6.11 kernel I'm using right now seems to have support for the built-in video, I'm hoping I'll figure out how to make it rotate. It seems like about all I've managed to accomplish so far is to get the computer to boot up. Every time I try to run advmame it complains that it's not able to set the video mode. I can see this is going to take a lot of tinkering...

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