Vade Retro Microsoft. Hello Linux.

It’s been some time since an update on the Quasicade.

It’s been sitting in the garage lonely. We’ve got family coming for the holidays so I figured I’d bring it out and get it running. Then, I remembered the pain points. It ran windows under all that hyperspin. I’d always lamented that I couldn’t get a flashy front-end on linux.

Enter Attract-mode.


It’s not as feature heavy or as community heavy as Hyperspin. But, it’s not as, heavy.

The layouts are written in Squirrel, it’s pretty hyperspin-theme compatible. All around, it’s great.

This finally allowed me to feel confident I could get a nicely designed front end on linux. So I ripped out the hyperspin drive from the quasicade and tossed it somewhere safe, just in case I wasn’t able to get the open source machine tuned in time. I at least knew I could get the clunky hyperspin install back up again.

Choosing a distro

I wanted something light, without extra fluff if possible, and something that was pretty supported. I didn’t have time or desire to screw around building my own graphics drivers.

I tested #! linux (crunchbang) on my old EEEPC Nintendo emulator, I got RetroPi working on it, but I felt I needed to go 64Bit and something that was still alive and supported.
I chose Lubuntu: Lubuntu is a fast and lightweight operating system. The core of the system is based on Linux and Ubuntu. Lubuntu uses the minimal desktop LXDE, and a selection of light applications. We focus on speed and energy-efficiency. Because of this, Lubuntu has very low hardware requirements.


So, How’d it go?

Great, actually. Over the next few posts, I’ll be going into detail on what I did to build and configure MAME 0.179, Attract-Mode, and Lubuntu. Some tricks I learned from the project that you might want in your build, and a few things I stole from the RetroPie project to use on this machine.