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Xemu as a bootable ISO image

  • Because I wanted to give some colleages the simple opportunity to play a little with the Xemu emulator, I had build a bootable ISO image.


    I used Xubuntu, build the Xemu from the github site, used the command "make roms" for getting the needed ROMs, loaded the latest draft of the Mega65 manual, configured xmega65 for autostart and deactived network (just to make the enviroment as "save" as possible). Build an bootable ISO image (2 GB big) from this whole system, so it can easily be copied to DVD or USB stick.


    Using such a DVD or USB stick allows you to boot nearly every "modern" PC or laptop (who have at least 2 GB RAM and can handle 64bit systems) with it and use xmega65 or xc65 without any knowledge of "how to install and configure" it. It also works fine in virtual environment such e.g. Virtualbox. Just "stick and play".




    I just thought why not use a filehoster and upload the 2GB ISO file for the use and fun of other people interested in the Mega65? This would be an "undangerous" way to get a first look into the Mega65 (emulator).


    But upps, I just had forgotten something ... Xubuntu is open source (GNU GPL), Xemu is open source (GNU GPL), the Mega65 manual draft is open source (as the whole Mega65 project), but the "damn" C65 ROM is not open source. :(


    Okay, before I send myself or the Mega65 team into prison :):


    Does the deal with Cloanto about the C65 ROM include a distribution of such an ISO image as decribed above or could that be a legal problem?

  • Wow Snoopy that is an absolutely great work.

    We have the permission with Cloanto to distribute the ROM with the MEGA65. tbh, i don't know how it looks with the emulator.

    I will check back with the team. But what i personally think is, since you're no member of M.E.G.A. e.V.,

    you're not making profit, you're a private person, you should be fine.

    (but this is what i think.)

    Like i said, i will check with the team, and ask them how it looks like.


    Thanks anyway already !

  • Using such a DVD or USB stick allows you to boot nearly every "modern" PC or laptop (who have at least 2 GB RAM and can handle 64bit systems) with it and use xmega65 or xc65 without any knowledge of "how to install and configure" it. It also works fine in virtual environment such e.g. Virtualbox. Just "stick and play".

    I'm always a bit unsure what can be a problem NOW for an "average" user, especially that now you only have to click one time to accept create image, and select two menu options to prepare/format, than update image, and supply the ROM. I could understand in the past, that preparing an SD-card image file is hard, but now Xemu/MEGA65 can do it. Surely, the "ROM must be supplied by the user" as the sole problem remained, that's true. And even if it turns out that Cloanto (or whoever holds the rights on the ROM) is OK with the ROM distribution with an emulator, it's still problematic, since I wouldn't say Cloanto will open source the ROM and make it GNU/GPL so it can be really included inside the Xemu (as HYPPO is there, for example). However it's true that some may create an ISO or whatever as a distribution with both of Xemu and ROM included, then technically it's not "inside" the Xemu, where Xemu's license would require that all used (internal) components have license compatible with GNU/GPL. Other than that, the problem with any VM, that I feel it being overkill and much slower than native speed (at least I have this experience, I tried with Xemu to run on Windows 10 VM on top of Linux, about two times slower). But surely, I wouldn't say it's not a good idea for some people, just somehow I can't see the point too much, but the problem can be me, here ;)

  • However it's true that some may create an ISO or whatever as a distribution with both of Xemu and ROM included, then technically it's not "inside" the Xemu, where Xemu's license would require that all used (internal) components have license compatible with GNU/GPL.

    You always need the ROM for using your Xemu emulator. It's nearly useless without it (besides for testing an OpenROM). I would say that the ROM isn't "inside" the Xemu because you have to load it from another website with your "make roms" command script.


    But if you have any issues about using your Xemu emulator within such a bundled ISO file, I'll accept that and will drop that project.


    I really appreciate your great work with Xemu and don't want to upset you in any way. :thumbup:


    To the ISO: I find it "very simple" to plug in the USB stick, switch on the PC and start working with the Xemu. No need for doing anything ... just use the emulator.

  • One suggestion:

    LGB told somewhere that Xemu can run without X11 (SVGALib?).

    What about an ISO, where Linux is stripped down to the max, and booting straight away in one DIALOG (that Shell-Dialog programm), where one can choose between the Xemu options?

    As there would be: Xc65, Xmega, Xenterprise etc.pp?

    Of course last option in DIALOGMenu would be -> Sutdown computer (for give Linux the chance to clearly close all open files etc.pp

  • Dear Snoopy, :)


    Oh, no!!!! No problem at all!! Just I'm always thinking on this: there were many reports that it's too complicated that user has to create its own SD-card image. OK, I modified things that it can create. Then other type of reports: too complex to deal with partition/format disk images (though the configure menu can do that already), I did that too. Then the same for system files on the SD-card image, I coded that into Xemu. But still some people states that it's too complicated to configure/use ... So at this point I'm lost what it's still too complicated ... what also drives the VM thing as well, AFAIK. No, it's NOT a problem at all, please do not stop, especially not because of my opinion! Just I simply cannot understand ... And I would like to know, that's all :) So I can learn how to make Xemu better and more user friendly, if people still stating that it's too complicated to install/configure thus they need another distribution methods (like VM images). I'm TOTALLY fine with that, just I feel myself stupid that I cannot see any point of this, that's all ;) Sorry for the possible confusion of my intent here, it happens sometimes, especially because of my limited English knowledge to be able to express myself / understand others well enough ...

  • One suggestion:

    LGB told somewhere that Xemu can run without X11 (SVGALib?).

    What about an ISO, where Linux is stripped down to the max, and booting straight away in one DIALOG (that Shell-Dialog programm), where one can choose between the Xemu options?

    As there would be: Xc65, Xmega, Xenterprise etc.pp?

    Of course last option in DIALOGMenu would be -> Sutdown computer (for give Linux the chance to clearly close all open files etc.pp

    Xemu is based on SDL2. Thus in general, it should work in scenarios where SDL2 works. On some very "extreme" cases some modifications may be required though at Xemu side too. For example it's a common thing with Raspberry Pi to have SDL2 build running on top of the framebuffer directly, no X is running at all. Xemu can work on Raspberry Pi that way (at least when I checked last time, some years ago ...) however some functions will be unavailable then for sure, like no menu, since that's need X (well, GTK3, in theory I guess it's possible to make GTK work on top of framebuffer too ...).


    But no, no SVGAlib or anything like that. Xemu is SDL2 based, so most of the things in this context depends more on SDL2 than on Xemu itself ...


    Other than that, there are "retro computing focused" Linux distributions (easy emulator integration etc) where there can be many existing emulators integrated (and more can be put, of course) into a nice startup screen, etc.

  • Btw, if raspberry pi ... Assuming that Raspberry Pi has enough "horse power" to run Xemu/MEGA65 (I doubt that, unfortunately, emulating MEGA65 is kinda "pricey", though I haven't got model 4 yet, as far as I can judge, it's still not fast enough) the neat solution would be the "bare metal" case, ie when there is not even an OS but only the emulator, directly using the hardware. There are many open source solutions for this, even with some limited SDL2 functionality etc. But anyway, I guess it's more an off-topic here, since we talked about VMs more on regular PCs not Raspberry Pi's ...

  • I used Xubuntu, build the Xemu from the github site, used the command "make roms" for getting the needed ROMs, loaded the latest draft of the Mega65 manual,

    By the way, "make roms" will go away ... It was a quick hack from the beginning but does not make too much sense. It's more from the time, when the only distribution method was "build yourself". Of course that simply does wget calls according to a text file, so it's easy to replicate if someone still wants it.

  • Hi Snoopy ,


    we have discussed it in the team and we are certain, that there shouldn't be any problems with including the ROM, especially, since you

    don't make money with it.


    So from our point of view you can upload it.


    Great job and Thank you !!!

  • So I can learn how to make Xemu better and more user friendly,

    Thanks for your answer and sorry if my last post caused a little confusion. :whistling:


    I find your Xemu not hard to handle, but my idea was just make it "so easy" that e.g. my 80 year old mother-in-law can use the Xemu at her PC without my help! :)


    I sometimes think at the words, which my computer science professor said about software development many years ago: "If you have to describe an option to be understanded by the user, try to rebuild it, so the description isn't needed anymore." ;)

  • Though I often found myself in the situation that I can learn something from things like this, what I can do better for that goal.

    One "problem" with your emulator (or better say: with every emulator) is the needed ROM. As long as you aren't allowed to deliver it with the emulator, the user have to get it "from somethere" to can use the emulator.


    And this "get it from somethere" is more or less "complicated" for a user who only wanted to take a very first look at the system which is emulated.


    Your solution with the "make roms" is a very simple and elegant solution for this ROM problem. The only more easier way I can think is to bundle the ROM with the emulator.

  • Hi Snoopy,


    regarding disc images, i would add your Notepad, certainly some blank discs and i think, i could ask Zaadii , if he has some of his demo programs he used in his Youtube series to add. So some BASIC examples to get the people started.

    Normal c64 Demos, etc. are at the moment still useless, since i am not sure about the current status of the VIC-II, -III, & VIC-IV implementation in the emulator. (If people want to play C64 games they are atm better to use Vice).

    I think XEMU is a great way to experiment with Banking and Basic10 and it's still wip but open source !


    Since you have the latest version of the manual added, this is a good starting point as well.

  • Building the ISO runs in a background task at the moment ... :whistling:


    I remembered that the ISO is a not writeable live system. That means that it's always the same every start. Every content which has changed on the system (and also on a disc image) gets lost after shutting down the system. The advantage of "could not be destroyed" is also a disadvantage if you want to save changes on the system.


    So disc images are only useful on a second USB stick or SD card or whatever which can be also written and stores the changes.


    So I only take a very little testdisc.d81 image on the ISO system so you still have a disc inserted after starting the Xemu.

  • Stupid me... of course you're right with the ISO write protection, but you already found a good solution for it !