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With Linux 5.12 Set To Boot On The Nintendo 64, The N64 Controller Driver Is Now Queued

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  • With Linux 5.12 Set To Boot On The Nintendo 64, The N64 Controller Driver Is Now Queued

    Phoronix: With Linux 5.12 Set To Boot On The Nintendo 64, The N64 Controller Driver Is Now Queued

    A few days ago we wrote about Linux 5.12 to see support for the Nintendo 64 more than two decades after that MIPS-based video game console first shipped. While the practicality of Linux on the Nintendo 64 is particularly limited given only 4~8MB of RAM and the MIPS64 NEC VR4300 clocked under 100MHz, it's going upstream and now the N64 controller driver is also queued for this next kernel cycle...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...troller-Driver

  • #2
    But what about the graphics?

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    • #3
      What is the possible motivation for polluting the kernel code with support for such outdated, weak, barely used and barely useful platform?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ddriver View Post
        What is the possible motivation for polluting the kernel code with support for such outdated, weak, barely used and barely useful platform?
        What do you mean, polluting? The code is self-contained. You're not even building the code if you're not building your kernel specifically for an N64.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HyperDrive View Post
          What do you mean, polluting? The code is self-contained. You're not even building the code if you're not building your kernel specifically for an N64.
          Granted, but it is still kernel code that needs to be maintained.

          I am asking because lately, the kernel has been dropping support for outdated yet relatively far more relevant platforms.

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          • #6
            I think the N64 use is going to be greater than some of the ARM hardware “polluting” the kernel.

            also, I’m pretty sure that N64 controllers are already supported, so the change is minimal.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by OneTimeShot View Post
              I think the N64 use is going to be greater than some of the ARM hardware “polluting” the kernel.
              Oh yes, I am sure that some abysmally spec'd console from 25 years ago is going to be of more use than support for a platform that has more or less completely taken over most markets.

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              • #8
                Hey maybe chill and see what comes of it first before getting too trigger happy with your judgement to rip it out of the kernel.
                Who knows what this support will lead to, perhaps this could lead to innovation on th console. Perhaps a larger memory add on. Perhaps additional hardware to support networking? Perhaps a mouse and keyboard? Perhaps an FPGA with a higher clock?
                Judge it what it could be, not what it is. Not what it value it bring to you, but what value it could bring to others. Stop being so self centred.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pierce View Post
                  Hey maybe chill and see what comes of it first before getting too trigger happy with your judgement to rip it out of the kernel.
                  Who knows what this support will lead to, perhaps this could lead to innovation on th console. Perhaps a larger memory add on. Perhaps additional hardware to support networking? Perhaps a mouse and keyboard? Perhaps an FPGA with a higher clock?
                  Judge it what it could be, not what it is. Not what it value it bring to you, but what value it could bring to others. Stop being so self centred.
                  Not to mention how much this should help in reverse engineering the hardware for emulator writers. Long term I don't think this will compare to other modded consoles in regards to running all sorts of roms and alternative OS, but it should be great for getting all the specs, quirks, and debug info when running games to make accurate emulators to preserve them.

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                  • #10
                    No, there really is no reason. Linux was around before the N64, and they didn't use it as the operating system. Instead, they went with an approach where every rom has its own incredibly minimal OS baked into it, because of the extreme need to save space. Because of this, I have no idea what use Linux would be on the N64. Anyone who wants to run something on that console just writes lovingly hand-crafted MIPS assembly to do the job instead.

                    All the hardware quirks are also already well-known and documented. Besides, without knowing them, how would you get Linux up and running in the first place?

                    There is only one good reason I can think of for this project, which I completely endorse:

                    Last edited by ⲣⲂaggins; 26 January 2021, 10:13 AM.

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