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Nintendo Businesses Software Handhelds Hardware Hacking Linux Hardware

Linux Coming to the Nintendo DS 187

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the handheld-servers dept.
GamersZion writes "A recent IRC conversation with ChaosKnight, a member of the DS Linux development team, revealed information about the status of the DS Linux project. 'It was a bit tough to get the ball rolling, but with PassMe fully functional and everything starting to fall in order, I wouldn't be surprised to see an alpha release within the next month.' While little information is being revealed about the release of this anticipated software, it looks like we can be expecting it sometime in the short future."
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Linux Coming to the Nintendo DS

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  • by EtherAlchemist (789180) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:50AM (#12119906)

    Paris Hilton isn't involved, is she?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:50AM (#12119907)
    "Linux Coming to the Nintendo DS"

    Maybe we should compile a short list of what Linux DOESN"T run on.
    • by wheany (460585)
      I'm pretty sure it doesn't run on a piece of tofu.
    • Re:Universal OS. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Koiu Lpoi (632570)
      It's going to be a very short list. Almost anything we call a 'computer' (and that is going to include almost all gaming systems) is going to run - the only challenges you have are a) getting it to compile on whatever processer you run b) all types of I/O, memory addressing, etc. there's enough geeks out there that we can have linux on pretty much anything. Give it a month, I expect Linux on the PSP as well. They've already got Linux on the Playstation 2, so I don't see it taking much time.
  • See... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Simon Garlick (104721) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:50AM (#12119909)
    ...THAT'S what Debian needs to get its release schedule back on track. Project leaders with names like "ChaosKnight".
  • Welll.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Enjoi (857482) <snkenjoi@gmaiFREEBSDl.com minus bsd> on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:51AM (#12119910) Homepage
    If they can get it on an NT Kernel [slashdot.org], they can get it on anything :P
  • WooHoo!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deggy (195861) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:51AM (#12119912) Homepage
    If I could run an ssh client and a web browser on a DS with a wireless connection i'd go out and buy one tomorrow!!
    • If you put kismet on that I don't think anybodu would notice it. Think about the potential. Instead of using a pda and surfing it just looks like your playing DS.
    • Re:WooHoo!! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gameboyhippo (827141)
      I would very much like to see an X server run on the DS. With the touchscreen, it would make a very nice PDA
    • You should get a Zaurus. http://openzaurus.org [openzaurus.org]
    • Re:WooHoo!! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mignon (34109)
      The ZipIt might be more what you're looking for. It's a wifi-enabled, Linux-powered, IM client that some folks have figured out how to get a custom filesystem onto. There's already lots of interest in ssh and web clients, but one limiting factor is how much memory it has.

      But US$100 sounds pretty nifty.

  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lisandro (799651) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:52AM (#12119915)
    Now i can play all these great gam--oh, wait...

    Just kidding. It's cool, and it might open a door to extend the DS functionality beyond a gaming platform. More like a small PDA, perhaps? It even has the touchpad!
    • Re:Great! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mrseigen (518390)
      Well, Linux definitely has more games than the DS at this point. What a completely dismal line-up.
      • Re:Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jace of Fuse! (72042) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:21AM (#12120047) Homepage
        Ignoring that Mario 64 is still a great game (and still fun, even if dated), I wonder how it is some people seem to ignore the fact that there are still countless great GBA games that will play on a DS.

        Even if they are ignored for simply not being specifically for the DS, that's still more good games than are available for the PSP.

        In fact, I personally only really consider Lumines to be the only good game for the PSP. I can't play my copy though. I've had to return NINE PSPs for being defective (in several different ways) and am currently now without a PSP.

        • FYI, the Rez / Lumines creator has a game coming out in the US for the DS (it's been out in Japan for a while) called Meteos. If you want the japanese version, you can import it from lik-sang [lik-sang.com].
          • THANKS for the pointer! I really liked REZ and I really do like Lumines. In fact, Lumines is the very reason I haven't totally given up on the PSP. I would have kept trying, but the Wal-mart stores I kept buying/returning the systems to ran out of stock due to people returning them. The stores in my area must have all gotten a bum-batch. Every one of them has annoyingly visible dead pixels, fingerprints inside the screens, dust inside the screens, missing or broken Memory-Slot doors, and other such obv
          • Yeah, Meteos is going to save the DS for me. I'm getting pretty tired of playing all of my old GBA games, and I honestly haven't found anything much worth playing for the new system. Mario DS has failed to grab my attention, and this is coming from someone who *LOVED* the original.

            Meteos is supposed to be amazing. I can't wait.
        • I wonder how it is some people seem to ignore the fact that there are still countless great GBA games that will play on a DS.

          My guess would be that, like myself, most people who know how many great GBA games there are already have a GBA to play them on

          Honestly, there's just not a hell of a lot either of the two new handhelds have to offer me.
          • Honestly, there's just not a hell of a lot either of the two new handhelds have to offer me.

            I felt the same way. I already had a GBA and an SP. Then I played the 4 player battle in Mario 64 and was hooked. There are more than 10 people where I work who regularly duke it out before, durring (on break of course), and after work. Plus replaying Mario 64 seemed like a chore I didn't want to get into but I found myself playing it through again and realizing why I liked it so much. 150 stars later I finall
            • Eh, no one I know plays many video games, so multiplayer is just a non-issue.

              If I decided to get a DS for some other reason, then I would probably pickup Mario 64, but not just FOR that game.
        • I've had to return NINE PSPs for being defective

          Wow. I've personally bought 4 PSPs (1 jap import, 3 US models) and they've all been fine. You must have caught a bad batch. What were the faults?
          • Ranked from most common faults to least common faults, all nine had at least one of the following, most had more than one.

            1. Dead Pixels (Glaringly obvious, solid white, prominantly displayed near center of screen).
            2. Dust INSIDE the display.
            3. Fingerprints INSIDE the display.
            4. A few had fingerprints on the outside, fresh out of the sealed box. This would normally not be an issue since it could be cleaned, but the fingerprints seemed to have been some kind of thick oil or other residue that could not eas
        • Re:Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by notque (636838) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @01:59PM (#12120689) Homepage Journal
          In fact, I personally only really consider Lumines to be the only good game for the PSP. I can't play my copy though. I've had to return NINE PSPs for being defective (in several different ways) and am currently now without a PSP.

          Without the exceedingly high cost, and the overwhelming complaints, I'd bu... Oh, and the lack of good launch titles, the company not being particularly willing to replace defective products,

          I'd love to own a PSP.

          Did I mention the absolutely insane cost of a 1 gig memory chip?
          • "Without the exceedingly high cost, and the overwhelming complaints, I'd bu... Oh, and the lack of good launch titles, the company not being particularly willing to replace defective products,

            I'd love to own a PSP.

            Did I mention the absolutely insane cost of a 1 gig memory chip?"


            I can honestly say I'm none-too-hot on the PSP. But I think Nintendo did make a brilliant move. The GameCube uses roughly the same size discs as the PSP. Maybe in a year or two we'll get a portable Game Cube? Successor to the
        • I saw a guy buying a PSP today. They tried to sell him the warranty, Because Sony only gives it a 3 month warranty. This is why I will never buy a playstation or an xbox. If the manufacturer only expects it to last for 3 months, then I won't buy it. That's why I got a Gamecube. Comes with a 12 month warranty. Which in my mind is still pretty bad, but it's the best console warranty out there.

          • My GameCube has taken such a beating by my two kids, and it has had zero problems so far. I find it strange hearing about all the issues that my friends and family have with their PS2's and XBox's. I know it's completely anectodal, but it just seems that Nintendo really knows how to build stuff that lasts.

    • Re:Great! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by shirai (42309) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:54AM (#12120178) Homepage
      I know you were being funny, but this does open up the door for potentially running MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator). The DS is an interesting platform for this since the lower screen could be used to insert quarters, push Player 1/2 start buttons, etc.

      Of course, I'd really be wanting this on the PSP with its gorgeous screen (if you own one, you know what I'm talking about). Since it has a memory card (better to hold games with) it would probably be the better overall MAME platform. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.
    • With these linux projects do they often retain the embeded os's for playing games?


      Third FUCKING AWSOME!

      Fourth how do we do the install?
  • We're Back (Score:5, Funny)

    by numbware (691928) <justin@justinjacobs.com> on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:53AM (#12119923) Homepage
    Now I KNOW we are back to regular Slashdot. Attempts to run Linux on everything solid. :)

    -Justin
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Linux on Nintendo DS?

    Knock it off....April Fools was yesterday.

    We all know there is no such thing as a Nintendo DS
  • just wondering... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by weavermatic (868696)
    Why do you people want to put linux on everything under the sun?
    • by Lisandro (799651)
      Because they can? Let the nerds be happy i say.
    • I think it's more of the challenge that drives us to it.

      Either that or a group of people get really bored.
    • Re:just wondering... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aslate (675607) <planetexpress@gmail.NETBSDcom minus bsd> on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:14AM (#12120011) Homepage
      Because it might actually be useful?

      Set up the DS with a browser, use the wireless to get on the internet, the touchscreen would make a great way to navigate the net or type. You could turn it into a PDA of sorts.
      • People are talking about the psp, but I thinkt there are three critical issues to remove this.

        First price, open source should be developed for cheap platforms, PC Game modders should consider game pricing stuff like that.

        Second Usability, stylus, no one wants to type with the square buttong (sticky? cough).

        Third software interface, though PSP has a memcard DS has 1 gigbyte GBA carts writable cheap.
        • "People are talking about the psp, but I thinkt there are three critical issues to remove this.... Second Usability, stylus, no one wants to type with the square buttong (sticky? cough)."

          Ugh. I agree. I can't believe that people were screaming "Gimmick!" with the DS's touch screen, then turned right around and said it was cool that the PSP does web browsing.

          I will say this on behalf of the PSP, though, its screen is over 400 pixels wide. The DS is around 250. From a screen point of view, the PSP woul
          • I bought a DS with no games... waiting for some decent software to hit. I thought someone would port Skype or an equivalent over right away and I could pick up a custom loaded cart to get it working.

            Nothing the linux community has really dropped the ball this time, there is a squad working on it but they seem to be jackasses. We need a second squad.
      • Since it has such dinky screens, you could display the website on the top one, and have all the navigation stuff on the bottom touch screen. That would free up precious pixels for displaying the website (trust me, even then it would not be pleasant, the DS screens are lower res than Pocket PCs.
    • Because we choose to.
    • Because it doesn't require a TPS report.
    • Keeps us in practice cracking new architectures so we have a fighting chance against Trusted Computing et al.
    • "Why do you people want to put linux on everything under the sun?"

      I don't mind that so much, but what does drive me nuts is when people go apeshit when a computing product comes out designed NOT to have Linux run on it. I'd be more impressed if they did it with some sort of goal in mind they actually intend to achieve.

      With that said, though, there is some reason behind it. Running Linux means custom apps. If there's some cheap way a programmer can make something he's done more useful, eh I can sort of
  • by big_groo (237634) <groovis AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:56AM (#12119938) Homepage
    From the dept-of-craptastic-journalism-dept

    "A recent IRC conversation with *insert_generic_nic_here*, a member of the Link_goes_here [insertlinkhere] development team, revealed information about the status of the *instert_name* project. 'It was a bit tough to get the ball rolling, but with *insert_function* fully functional and everything starting to fall in order, I wouldn't be surprised to see an alpha release within the next month.' While little information is being revealed about the release of this anticipated *insert_something*, it looks like we can be expecting it sometime in the short future."

    I for one can't wait!

  • There is still very little known information about the cool hardware features like the touchpad, WiFi, etc. While they (the hacker community in general) have figured out how to tweak [darkain.com] things like model data in Metroid Prime, they still haven't figured out how to get the WiFi to work fully. Based on what is currently known the DS doesn't support IPv4 or any public protocols on a higher layer than OSI Layer 2. This means it might still be a while before someone gets a working web browser or telnet client on th
    • Fake signature (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The parents Sig is actualy part of his post , he copys parts of storys and karma whores to get his sig seen , Thank you for your time
      --Stop Spam at its source---

      --TKgroup
  • I am not going to rain on these guys' parade, I think that they ought to do whatever floats their boat. If hacking Linux onto the DS is their "thing", more power to them.

    But I wonder what people are doing with their exotic Linux installations. Linux on the PS2, on a toaster, on the blender, etc. What are these used for besides showing off? Is there some real-life application to having Linux on these things?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:01AM (#12119967)
    1) Buy a DS
    2) Carefully remove shrink Wrap
    3) Install linux on DS
    4) Put a very tiny mark on the packaging then place shrink wrap back on DS
    5) Return DS to store so they can restock it on the shelves

    - SJ53
  • This is great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MemoryDragon (544441) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:06AM (#12119980)
    Add to that the opie project and you get a fully functional pda...
  • Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:09AM (#12119995) Homepage Journal
    It seems the PSP is not the only handheld that is being developed on now, this is great news for nintendo fans, as the buzz about the psp "web browser" and other modifications had the posibility to increase market share dramatically for the psp

    If stuff like this comes out for the DS, it will put both the consoles on a more even playing field for sales, and therefore neither will be favoured by games producers as much.
    • by FLAGGR (800770)
      Uh the psp isnt being homebrewed yet. There was a DS emulator out before the DS was :P (Okay, it was all based on assumptions, but still!) Check out the psp-linux.org forums. Those people are too stupid to get anything running on the psp :P The only hope for psp dev is if the DS gets finished off and all of the people involved with it give the psp a shot.
  • Uses (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Primal_theory (859040)
    Real life uses for Linux on teh DS:

    1: Homebrew game environment...this would allow people to make games for the version of linux that the ds is running on, instead of having to hard code everything in the ds language, you could just use the linux commands

    2: Palm Capablities: Think about it! Internet browser, Calculator, Contact manager, 2 large screens, wireless....+ games

    3: I want linux on my ds, it would be cool because i guess with some heavy programming, you could eventually "hijack" other ds's
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:14AM (#12120010)
    Running my vibrator. I want it cooing sweet things to me with excellent uptime.

    GET. IT. DONE. NOW.
  • Does Cowboyneal hate these guys or what?

    I clicked the DS Linux link [dslinux.org], and the first thing I read is:

    Server Problems (Started at March 8 2005, 05:56 PM)

    We are currently experiencing server difficulties, please remain calm as they are being resolved.


    I'm guessing a sick server won't handle slashdotting very well...
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:19AM (#12120035) Journal
    The site lists a page titled "Developer Blogs" and on that page lists 2 hackers and zero developers....

    I can't wait till my TV remote has linux running on it, then I can program it to watch crap TV while I'm not there
    • At the state where DS hacking is, developpers wouln't be very productive. We've only been able to run our own programs a couple weeks ago, and hardware support is still very incomplete.
  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:29AM (#12120077) Homepage
    Most of the "Linux runs on X" news isn't all that interesting to me. Usually if it would be useful to run Linux on X, it already has a lot of the functionality Linux would give from other software. If X doesn't have software that gives it this functionality already, porting Linux is usually useless for the average chap (like with the PS2).

    This, however, is a case of a piece of hardware that could greatly benefit from a Linux OS, but doesn't have anything like it already available. My DS may be the first piece of hardware I have ever run Linux on.

    (I feel like I just screamed "WE CAME FROM APES!" to a bunch of Southern Baptists when I typed that last sentence.)
    • Actually I am really looking forward to this, the hardware basically is the same you need for a PDA, add to that linux opie and you have some kind of Zaurus. Once they figure out on how to access the wireless hardware you even can do wlan synching. In the end the DS might end up as entry PDA without any doing from nintendo.
  • Yay! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:35AM (#12120102)
    "I survived April Fool's day on the intarweb and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."

    We have normality, I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem. :-)
  • So cites IRC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordHatrus (763508) <slashdot@ c l o c k f o r t.com> on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:59AM (#12120195) Homepage
    "A recent IRC conversation..." Yes, we should cite those as very reliable sources. ... Because everything you read on IRC is true. ... Did I mention I'm a 18 year old female from your general area?
    • so you're 18, female, you use IRC, read /., and you're near by?!

      I knew if I waited you'd finally appear... I mean-- want to go out sometime?
  • Sure, the "run Linux on your toaster" articles are fun and all, but unlike most this actually has potential. The DS would make an excellent multimedia PDA: Touchscreen for a decent form of input, stereo speakers, dual screens backed up by a more than decent graphics card, compact size, and 2 forms of wireless networking (assuming these can get the proprietary shortrange networking to work in Linux.) I could see myself replacing my Dell Axim with a Linux powered DS if this project ever matures to that point.
  • Ironically (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @01:13PM (#12120498)
    It seems the only thing that they can't get Linux to run on is the average user's PC.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am very seriously interested in buying whatever is necessary to make this work as soon as it's possible. But one very big question.

    HOW DO I RUN THIS?

    How do I actually load up this ds linux thing? Like, onto the DS? What the hell is a "passme" or a "passthrough"? I'm looking at the photos of "passme" on the front page of dslinux.org and going ugh. I don't understand what's happening in these photos but if I have to have some big thing sticking out of the back of my DS or plug the DS into the computer eve
    • by Melfina (872932)
      If you read the site a lil more it tells you that the passme/passthrough "redirects the DS to a GBA Flash cart, so you can run your own program on the Nintendo DS. It requires the use of a commercial DS cart and a GBA Flash cart to work." (DSPassme.com) Basicly, you upload your program to a flashcart, than onto passme, and you can run it off of the DS. Obviously it's more work than that, but thats the idea.

      "that's not acceptable. I won't bother."

      The project hasent been subbmitted for your approval, thes
  • Maybe they could work on an X or VNC client. Even better, have the client streamed via Wifi to the DS so you don't even need hacks like PassMe.

    This way I could just use my DS to connect to my PC from my living room and check mail while watching the TV.
  • imagine a beowulf cluster of...
  • Please mod me up (Score:5, Informative)

    by sbaker (47485) * on Saturday April 02, 2005 @05:10PM (#12121917) Homepage
    OK - I've been hanging out on the www.dslinux.org site for a few weeks. This announcement is *WAY* premature. There isn't even a coherent team put together to START the port yet.

    What there is right now is a bunch of individual developers who have each individually solved various parts of the puzzle. However, we are quite far from having all of the parts put together in the form of a runnable kernel - and there is ABSOLUTELY NO ORGANISED DSLINUX TEAM YET!

    In order to try to pull things together, I am in the process of organising an election to nominate a team leader - and then to collect together the expertise of the disparate developers, set up a SourceForge account (there already is one - but there has been nothing committed to it since December.

    I don't know the individual who posted this to /. - but it doesn't represent the current state of affairs one little bit.

    If you need to confirm what I'm saying, visit the forums at www.dslinux.org - or check the emptyness of dslinux.sf.net

    Please mod me up so this message gets out.

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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