Author Topic: Linux now running on the N64!  (Read 839 times)

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Offline rlstine

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Linux now running on the N64!
« on: January 15, 2021, 06:23 AM »
This is a bit of old news, as it was released on Christmas Day, but I haven't seen anyone post about it here yet. But now you can run a basic version of linux on your N64 using your Everdrive. The utility of this program is quite limited at the moment, but it's fun to mess around with nevertheless. Simply download the file from github, slap it onto your Everdrive and you're ready to go! Just note that you will need an expansion pak (8MB RAM) in order for it to work properly.

Here's a short video expaining how to get it working: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ckUinOiQzc

The link to the project is here: https://github.com/clbr/n64bootloader/releases/tag/v1.0

Offline SG333gg

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2021, 10:51 PM »
This is a bit of old news, as it was released on Christmas Day, but I haven't seen anyone post about it here yet. But now you can run a basic version of linux on your N64 using your Everdrive. The utility of this program is quite limited at the moment, but it's fun to mess around with nevertheless. Simply download the file from github, slap it onto your Everdrive and you're ready to go! Just note that you will need an expansion pak (8MB RAM) in order for it to work properly.

Here's a short video expaining how to get it working: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ckUinOiQzc

The link to the project is here: https://github.com/clbr/n64bootloader/releases/tag/v1.0


Is there some kind of, n64 controller port to usb WIFI adapter, so one can put their n64 online using this verison of linux? 

Offline nuu

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2021, 02:01 AM »
Probably not.


Thanks for sharing the link. I hadn't seen this before! :)
2020 was really the year of N64 homebrew taking off!

Offline rlstine

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2021, 04:07 AM »
Is there some kind of, n64 controller port to usb WIFI adapter, so one can put their n64 online using this verison of linux?

Not yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone figures out a way to make it happen!

Thanks for sharing the link. I hadn't seen this before! :)
2020 was really the year of N64 homebrew taking off!

Sure thing, nuu! Hope you enjoy
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 04:14 AM by rlstine »

Offline jonesalmighty

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 07:04 PM »
Is there some kind of, n64 controller port to usb WIFI adapter, so one can put their n64 online using this verison of linux?

That would only be theoretically possible by using a flashcart with a USB port, so ED64 V3 or X7 or 64Drive. The controller port is too slow.

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth...

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2021, 04:41 PM »
This is very interesting, technically, and that alone is reason for someone to put Linux on a new (to Linux) system. But could this result in any actual benefits for N64 users? I've never used Linux, so i don't know how easy it would be to run any native Linux software on the N64, but I'd imagine that even if this is easily possible then given the N64's low hardware specs, and with whatever portion of those specs Linux itself will eat up, then only very basic programs and games will run well. Getting emulators of old consoles and computers running on Linux N64 would be great, if they could run fast enough, though of course I doubt 16 bit or later emulators will run at all well, but if ZX Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC, etc, emulators could be made to run well then that would be great. But even that might be pushing it, given that most of the N64's real power came from it's graphics hardware, which won't be involved in running emulators.

And I take it there is no N64 3D graphics driver/API in the N64 Linux build? Lack of public hard information about the N64's GFX hardware (is that still the case?), and the disparity between the N64's 3D hardware and other, more commonly used 3D hardware, make Linux N64 based 3D hardware support seem very unlikely, and that unfortunately probably won't change, give the tiny number of people who would use it even if someone put in the very hard work of writing it.

I'm not trying to be negative, I'm just curious as to what is possible here. N64 homebrew is very rare, so it would be good to believe that this could lead to more stuff running on the console. But at the moment, I can't help thinking that it would have been a better use of the Linux N64's programmer's time and effort to have directly ported an open source game or two to the N64. But maybe he has real plans for this new version of Linux.

Offline rlstine

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2021, 07:11 PM »
I think emulators are some of the biggest and most exciting possibilities for this software, but it's important to remember that this is only a first step—we won't know what is possible until homebrewers have the chance to work with it. Seeing as 2020 has been a breakthrough and banner year for N64 homebrew, I would wager to bet that the possibilities are more expansive than we might be able to imagine now. I'm sure open source game ports are also in the N64's future.

Offline Immorpher

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2021, 09:16 PM »
Indeed 2020 was a surprisingly productive year for the N64.

We got a ton of new games from the N64brew homebrew jam!

Super Mario 64 modding has really improved the performance of the game engine and now custom more detailed levels run well on hardware.

Goldeneye / Perfect Dark modding still is going strong.

Doom 1 and 2 ports to N64 have been improved greatly. They run quite well with not many bugs.

Another World was ported over.

And Doom 64 was reverse engineered. I even have my own fork of its engine now!

I am probably missing quite a few things.

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: Linux now running on the N64!
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2021, 02:17 PM »
Indeed 2020 was a surprisingly productive year for the N64.

We got a ton of new games from the N64brew homebrew jam!

Super Mario 64 modding has really improved the performance of the game engine and now custom more detailed levels run well on hardware.

Goldeneye / Perfect Dark modding still is going strong.

Doom 1 and 2 ports to N64 have been improved greatly. They run quite well with not many bugs.

Another World was ported over.

And Doom 64 was reverse engineered. I even have my own fork of its engine now!

I am probably missing quite a few things.

Was Another World released, or is it still unavailable to the public?