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Portables (Games) Businesses Nintendo Software Entertainment Games Linux

Kernel, Shell Boots on DS Linux 230

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pokemon-and-penguins dept.
mrseigen writes "According to dslinux.org, the Linux kernel successfully boots on the Nintendo DS along with a simple shell, sash. Input is done via the d-pad. How long until Netstumbler?" While maybe not the most practical platform, it's impressive on its technical merit.
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Kernel, Shell Boots on DS Linux

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  • by Fjornir (516960) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:43PM (#12448106)
    Not netstumbler. I wanna see some tux racer.
  • Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elid (672471) <[eli.ipod] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:43PM (#12448110)
    How long until they can get it working with the touch screen as a text input device in Linux? That would be really amazing.
    • "How long until they can get it working ..."

      That's the beauty of OSS! You can get it to work with the touch screen. Go sign up today!
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Janitha (817744) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:06PM (#12448228) Homepage
      The familiar linux project mainly aims at the arm processors, but they are slowly but steadily perfective the art of linux on the handtop, and I specially like the few on-screen keyboards, and the handwrite recognition apps they had included. A port of the familar distro (http://familiar.handhelds.org/ [handhelds.org]) would be very nice to see on the DS.
  • by SpartanVII (838669) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:43PM (#12448111)
    All that trouble and you can't get a nice boot screen of Tux? What's the point? :P
  • by tattoi.nobori (687297) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:44PM (#12448115)
    Not only for the technical accomplishment, but for the sheer, "why?" factor...

    Rock on, I guess. ^_^
    • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:01PM (#12448199) Homepage
      Let me see here

      A device with
      • A touchscreen
      • An auxiliary screen
      • 802.11
      • For $150
      Find a way to boot off of a flashcart DS cart, and fuck, this sounds like a really good deal to me.
    • Not only for the technical accomplishment, but for the sheer, "why?" factor...

      Near as I can tell, simply because they have a general-purpose CPU on their hands and they can. :-P
      • I think it's more because it's a relatively high-powered, portable, wireless device, excellent input device, great battery life, stereo audio, etc etc. It's basically going to be like a $150 palm that runs linux that can play really good games too... think about it.

        -Jesse
    • The "why"... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:37PM (#12448386) Homepage
      Not only for the technical accomplishment, but for the sheer, "why?" factor...

      I'm guessing because it hasn't been done before. I must admit I found most of the exercises in school boring, partly because they had already been solved. Many people don't want to be the 235,523th to create an MP3 player.

      Making a OSS program copying closed source software isn't very creative either. Most "serious" applications and stuff have been done already, and so many of the projects left have more or less no reason. They're simply a challenge, and one you wish to solve on your own. No knocking down open doors, no "answer" to check against.

      As much as it may seem trivial, creating something unique is a part of many people's self-realization. Some create a piece of art, some decorate their home or garden, some create a new piece of software. There's a tremendous feeling of achievement there you could never get by mere copying.

      Kjella
      • by Storlek (860226) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:43PM (#12448426)
        I'm guessing because it hasn't been done before.

        What, running Linux on some weird piece of hardware? Yeah, no one's ever done that.
      • by Feztaa (633745)
        235,523th

        Ah, the two hundred and thirty five thousand, five hundred and twenty thirth, eh?

        I only mention it because I actually wrote something similar recently and I thought the word "twenty thirth" was pretty funny ;)
      • Re:The "why"... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Viol8 (599362) on Friday May 06, 2005 @04:16AM (#12449357)
        "Many people don't want to be the 235,523th to create an MP3 player."

        I think you mean "Many people don't want to call out to an mp3 API written by someone else who did all the hard work". If so many people in your school can understand and implement the actual MP3 algorithms then you must be attending a special undercover college of geniuses.

        "There's a tremendous feeling of achievement there you could never get by mere copying."

        And no ones ever tried to run linux on some inappropriate gadget before. Nope , this is a totally unique achievment. *cough*
  • by baryon351 (626717) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:46PM (#12448126)
    How about OSX on a Gameboy [danaquarium.com]
  • D-Pad (Score:5, Funny)

    by doubtless (267357) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:46PM (#12448127) Homepage
    Input is done via the d-pad.

    What happen when I want to use the other 25 characters? This makes an interesting login/password combo
  • Not practical? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lostchicken (226656) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:46PM (#12448128)
    Yeah, a portable device with a lot of battery power, wireless, two screens and a touchscreen input running a general purpose operating system that's relatively inexpensive and that many of us already have couldn't possibly be practical...

    I'd never want my GameBoy to replace my palmpilot...
    • Re:Not practical? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zigg (64962) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:34PM (#12448373)

      And, of course, DS homebrew is possible in any number of ways:

      1. With a "PassMe" device -- a card that slides into the DS slot and instructs the DS to execute DS code from the GBA slot. Requires a piggybacked game card, which Nintendo helpfully provides with most DS units.
      2. With "WifiMe" -- a downloadable-from-the-main-menu jump to the GBA slot. You're tied to a PC, but you don't need any hardware besides -- again -- a GBA card.
      3. With a firmware update created by homebrewers that replaces the DS's ability to run GBA games with a new ability to run DS-mode code from the GBA slot.

      Honestly, CowboyNeal... how can this not be practical? Is it just not as cool as playing JavaScript tetris -- tethered to a PC, mind you, and requiring the use of one particular game -- on a PSP?

      • Re:Not practical? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xenocide2 (231786)
        Just thought I should mention that the WiFiMe does indeed require more hardware than just a DS and gba cart. You also need a wifi card that has a specific chipset. And it's not the popular atheros one. There's little hope of that particular project ever supporting another card, as the wifime replaces the driver with a different one to communicate with the DS.
      • With a firmware update created by homebrewers that replaces the DS's ability to run GBA games with a new ability to run DS-mode code from the GBA slot.

        Not really. What the FlashMe [gcdev.com] modification does is: implement a check whether a DS-binary is present on a cart in the GBA slot. If so, it points arm7 code execution to the binary; if not, it loads up the ordinary firmware with unaltered functionality (this includes playing GBA-games). Kinda nifty!
  • Troubling... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sheetrock (152993) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:47PM (#12448129) Homepage Journal
    It's a great technical achievement, but I'm concerned it will be turned to piracy uses eventually.

    It would be nice if console developers would release or permit to be released an official version of Linux for their platforms so that hardware and software exploits didn't need to be used.

    • Piracy always comes first. That's where the profit comes from.

      It's linux that's riding the coattails of piracy, not vice versa.
    • Re:Troubling... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cgenman (325138) on Friday May 06, 2005 @12:32AM (#12448662) Homepage
      If they released an official version of Linux for their platforms, it would allow unsigned, uncontrolled code to run on their platforms. They could no longer demand licensing revenue, because people could just release their games under the linux portion of the OS, not that is a significant threat. What's more troubling would be, for example, Microsoft's security model based around not allowing anything unsigned onto their network. An Xbox with full network access running arbitrary code can now do nasty things with billing servers, the services of other people, or simply cheating in online games.

      Plus, of course, it's a lot of resources to get Linux to run on a new platform, even though someone always seems willing to do it. And hardware and software exploits are going to be released anyway... flash carts for the DS existed long before Linux ran on it.

    • by antizeus (47491)
      I'm concerned it will be turned to piracy uses eventually.
      Maybe I'm just not clever enough, but I don't see what use a DS running Linux would be when committing robbery on the high seas.
    • It's a great technical achievement, but I'm concerned it will be turned to piracy uses eventually.

      Any general purpose computing device can be used to infringe upon copyright. You're using one right now. Mind if we take a look at your home directory to check for infringement?

      It would be nice if console developers would release or permit to be released an official version of Linux for their platforms so that hardware and software exploits didn't need to be used.

      So an "official" Linux distribution could
  • The PSP is next (Score:5, Interesting)

    by a3217055 (768293) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:49PM (#12448137)
    I bet these guys will get linux to work on the PSP next, that would be just swell. But they should make game hardware that is open and people can install what they want on it. Thus have a great game system and also a great mini computer that can do other small things such as read email or maybe mount remote file systems. Well all this is great congrats guys. A tin of Skoal for eveyone of you :)
    • The margin of profit is much higher on the games than it is on the systems. Open hardware makes pirating games much easier, as well as giving away or selling games that people can play without giving the manufacturer any more money. Open hardware can only work if you sell the hardware at a price that's reasonable for the features. The only reason people are saying how cool this is is because the hardware is cheap.

      There already is open hardware out there: PDAs.
    • Somebody tried, and the project croaked. Look up Indrema to see what happened to the short-lived Linux game console.

      So, when're they going to get openGL on this thing? I wanna play some BZFlag or Quake.
    • So, you're talking about the GamePark 32?
  • pfft. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "While maybe not the most practical platform"

    Meanwhile you guys post every psp "hack" with glee.

    Go fuck yourselves. Same goes to anyone else who posts "why oh why" in this thread. I hope you all choke on your PSPs.
  • Netstumbler? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mooosenix (773281) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:52PM (#12448155)
    How long until Netstumbler? A really long time, since it is closed source and a Windows application.

    Kismet? [kismetwireless.net] Definately! I would love to see that. Kismet on a DS would rock.

  • "Hey man, check it out! I just got Linux to boot on my DS!"

    "Duh, where's Mario?"

    "Forget Mario! Linux boots!"

    "What's Linux?"

    "It's an operating system, you know, like Windows and junk, but I got it to run on the DS!"

    "Does Linux play Mario?"

    "No, Linux does not play Mario! But it can do so much more!"

    "But it can't play Mario. What a geek."

    • He needs new friends (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bluGill (862) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:08PM (#12448239)

      I wish I were this guy's friends. I'd be impressed, and encourage him to keep hacking.

      Sadly, I have the same problem I'm sure he does: lack of friends who care about things that are important to me. Great for a game of racquetball (and I need the exercise),but they know nothing about BSD for the most part. I can't get into an argument about how BSD is better than linux because they have no clue about either. I'll bet this guy could give me some reasonable arguments in return.

      • You can't count on having everything in common with anyone, really. The trick to getting along with people is to make sure what you're talking about interests them. Progressively, you'll be able to determine what they'll find interesting that you've never discussed before. After a while, you'll each begin to take an interest in one another's hobbies simply to get along better.

        Note that not everyone even has the potential to be interested in a given subject; some people will never care about a subject, s
      • Pft, you think you are unlucky? I lived in a rural area in the Netherlands when I got my first computer, a Z80 based MSX. No internet, my parents would not have let me have a modem, and all the guys that got computers (the whole handfull of them) only were interested in C64 games. Fortunately it came with a BASIC manual. Seriously, find some computer club or something in your neighbourhood, or place some ad in your local newspaper under the nerd seeks nerd section.

    • "Yes it can play Mario. Just wait a few more years until I get it to run MAME"
    • "But...
      [launches MAME] ...it plays Space Invaders, Galaga, and a bunch of other arcade games."

      *drool* "I played that when I was 6! GIMME!"
  • Why not Kismet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shakezula (842399) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:55PM (#12448169) Homepage
    It'd make more sense to wonder about Kismet. Netstumbler is a Win32 app, no Linux port to speak of, and it's not open source.
  • any chance (Score:5, Funny)

    by squidsoup (145936) <kitsune&nocturne,net,nz> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:58PM (#12448184) Homepage
    that a gameboy emulator will compile on this?

    oh.. wait..
  • Oh Boy! (Score:4, Funny)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:08PM (#12448236) Homepage Journal
    Now I'll be able to play NetHack on a DS!

    or maybe I should just stick to playing it on a linux pda and stop throwing money away...

  • This is Cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linguae (763922) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:13PM (#12448273)

    This seems cool, and it reminds me of when Amid Singh ran some ancient Unices on his GBA emulator [kernelthread.com]. Pretty impressive, it can only get better. Makes me a little more interested in shelling out the $149 for a Ninetendo DS; I can see a lot of usefulness in having an ultra-portable *nix system around me at all times. I wonder if there are any small keyboards for the Nintendo DS?

    Now if only NetBSD does a port....

    • I wonder if there are any small keyboards for the Nintendo DS?

      Well, this is where I think the DS really kicks ass. I wouldn't imagine it would be all that difficult to code a software keyboard on the touch screen, and just have the user point to the letters he/she wants to type. I am giving some serious thought to actually doing this... after I evaluate the risks.
      • by tepples (727027)

        I wouldn't imagine it would be all that difficult to code a software keyboard on the touch screen, and just have the user point to the letters he/she wants to type.

        Don't lock yourself into QWERTY or Dvorak. Typing on a touch screen resembles typing with one finger more than anything else, but the QWERTY and Dvorak key layouts are designed to alternate keypresses between hands, which isn't always the best choice for single-finger typing. Look at Fitaly for inspiration.

        I am giving some serious thought

        • I am giving some serious thought to actually doing this... after I evaluate the risks.

          What risks, other than a possible patent on the Fitaly layout?


          I meant the firmware upgrade. Sorry, I know I wasn't all that clear. One thing at a time though. I just ordered a new wireless card, and maybe in a few weeks I can start contributing code.
      • You know the built-in software does that, right?

        Or did you specifically mean for the uCLinux port?
        • Yes, I know that Pictochat does that. It was in response to the grandparent's post that he wanted a small keyboard for the DS for use with Linux.
    • Re:This is Cool (Score:2, Informative)

      by Pepsiman (89597)
      The NDS linux port is based on the GBA linux port:
      http://wwwhsse.fh-hagenberg.at/Studierende/hse0200 6/uclgba/ [fh-hagenberg.at]

      A touchscreen keyboard is being worked on.

  • by Frangible (881728) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:18PM (#12448298)
    The DS has two cartridge ports for potential storage, Wifi, and the bottom screen could serve as a soft keyboard. The DS has enough CPU power, but is kinda low on RAM. Still, if this was developed enough, it'd be a decent and inexpensive Linux machine with a lot of possibilities.
    • The ports are different and I kind of wonder if you could access them both at once anyway.

      I think the thing that's going to suck is the GBA port is probably more adaptable, there are bunches of non-nintendo development kits for it and it's form factor would be perfect for adding external ports (USB? Memory stick?), yet when it boots up in that mode one of the screens always seems to be disabled (the GBA only had one screen).

      Hopefully it's not either/or, but I wouldn't bet on it.

      Keep at it guys! I'll buy
  • I'm holding off buying one until the bottom screen has a graffiti input region, or a virtual keyboard. grepping webserver logs using regexp's will be a fucking bitch - worse with the d-pad.
  • Emulator (Score:2, Redundant)

    by dolphinling (720774)
    So where can I get a Nintendo DS emulator so I can try this out?
    • by oGMo (379)
      Preferably one that runs on Linux...
    • Re:Emulator (Score:2, Informative)

      by Pepsiman (89597)
      DSlinux does not yet work in iDeaS.

      I'm working with the author to get this fixed.

      None of the other DS emulators emulate both CPUs, so you can currently only run DSlinux on a real DS.
  • by JFMulder (59706)
    Is a VNC client or X11 client for the machine. This way, I could be somewhere else in my house, and check my emails from my DS, instead of going to my computer. Or I could check something on the web from the couch in living room.

    Or modify the kernel so that an attempt to read any file actually streams it from the network to your DS for execution or editing.
    • by Pepsiman (89597)

      Is a VNC client or X11 client for the machine. This way, I could be somewhere else in my house, and check my emails from my DS, instead of going to my computer. Or I could check something on the web from the couch in living room.

      Somebody needs to work out how to program the registers for the wifi in the ds first.

      VNC and X11 should both be possible.

      Or modify the kernel so that an attempt to read any file actually streams it from the network to your DS for execution or editing.

      That's called "nfs",

      • Yeah, but doesn't the kernel expect the kernel modules and everything else concerning itself to be local? I'm talking a truly network based os, where everything from the bootloader to the kernel and the applications are streamed and cached in ram. Use a cache with proxy's that remove files from memory when they are not used and when they are again are brought back to memory.
  • by XO (250276)
    Why is this impressive on it's technical merits?

    Cell phones are more powerful now than computers 5-8 years ago that can still run modern Linux implementations just fine, let alone video game machines.

    Hell, there's probably digital watches that are more powerful than computers that can still run modern Linux implementations.

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