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Testing "A GNU/Linux Arcade Distribution" – (Emulator frontend: Wahcade) – Part 1

4 min read

This is part 1 of 8. Tested systems in this part:

– 3DO
– Atari 2600
– Atari 5200
– Atari 7800
– Atari Jaguar
– Atari Lynx
– Atari ST (Demo Compilations)
– Atari ST (Demos)
– Atari ST (Games)

Testing an arcade distribution (“A GNU/Linux Arcade Distribution”) with a TV tube monitor, a Namco arcadestick and a PS1 controller. I found this distribution on the german Arcadezentrum board several mounth ago.

This linux distribution was made for “Arcade Cabinets” with a 15khz arcade monitor but works also with any controller, keyboard or mouse. You can use even a WII-mote as an analog wheel or -stick or as a mouse or you can put the mouse and mouse-buttons on Joystick 1 or 2 if you need this – ScummmVM, Atari ST, Amiga, Nintendo DS etc. Its just one click.

The install-DVD contains only free software. But the distribution is preconfigured for lots of emulators (see list below). There aren’t any commercial copyright protected stuff on the distribution. All Software is licensed under the GNU Public License. No exceptions.

After installation, the pc boots directly into the WahCade frontend. The controls for all emulator are preconfigured to the mame joystick and push button layout! The only thing you have to adjust are the input devices. Any input device which linux supports will work – Ultimarc IPAC, JPAC, keyboard, joystick, mouse, trackball etc.

All emulators starts with one key (“1”) and exits with one key (“end”). There are also commands on “shifted” keys: reset X-server, start/kill wahcade, show/hide virtual keyboard a.s.o.

The Dreamcast, Naomi, Atomiswave and PS2 emulator needs a descent CPU and grafic card. The preinstalled GPL ATI-driver could be replaced by the proprietary ATI driver to speed things up.

Under application you find a music box controlled via joystick 1 and 2 and push buttons.

The picture on a TV tube monitor using a VGA2SCART (RGB) cable looks absolutly authentic and fantastic. You never get a picture like this with a TFT, LCD, scanline generator or mame filter.


Project page:


Supported systems/emulators (from the docs):


– 3DO (3DOPlay v1.8.2, FreeDO v2.1, patched)
– Atari 2600 (Stella v3.7.2)
– Atari 5200 (Atari800 v2.2.1, patched)
– Atari 7800 (MESS v0.106-3.2)
– Atari Jaguar (MESS v0.106-3.2)
– Atari Lynx (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Atari ST/TT/Falcon (hatari v1.6.2, patched)
– Bandai Wonderswan (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Bandai Ws Color (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Capcom CPS 1 (Neubula v2.25b)
– Capcom CPS 2 (Nebula v2.25b)
– Capcom CPS 3 (CPS3 Emulator v1.0a)
– CBS Coleco Vision (MESS v0.106-3.2)
– Commodore Amiga (E-UAE v0.8.29-WIP4, patched)
– Commodore C-16 (VICE sdl v2.3.1)
– Commodore C-64 (VICE sdl v2.3.1)
– Commodore VC-20 (VICE sdl v2.3.1)
– DOS (DOSBox v0.74-2)
– Fujitsu FM Towns (Xe v2.16.2)
– MAME SDL (MAME SDL v0.143u7)
– MAME SDL bezel (MAME SDL v0.143u7)
– MAME highscore patch (MAME SDL v0.143u7)
– MAME XGL (XGL MAME v0.76.1)
– Mattel Intellivision (jzIntv v1.0 beta3)
– MB/GCE Vectrex (MESS v0.106-3.2)
– NEC/H. PC Engine (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– NEC/H. PC Engine CD (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– NEC/Hudson PC FX (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Nintendo DS (DeSmuME v0.9.8 svnr0, patched)
– Nintendo Gameboy (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Nintendo G. Advance (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Nintendo G. Color (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Nintendo Game Cube (Dolphinn v3.0-291)
– Nintendo N64 (Mupen64Plus v1.5)
– Nintendo NES (Nestopia v1.40)
– Nintendo SNES (ZSNES v1.51)
– Nintendo Triforce (Dolphin v3.0-698)
– Nintendo Virtual Boy (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Nintendo WII (Dolphin v3.0-291)
– RAINE (RAINE v0.51.11)
– Sammy Atomiswave (DEmul v0.57)
– ScummVM (ScummVM v1.3.1)
– Sega 32X (Gens v2.15.5.-4-1)
– Sega Dreamcast (DEmul v0.57)
– Sega Game Gear (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Sega Master System (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Sega Mega CD (Kega Fusion v3.63, Gens v2.15.5.-4-1)
– Sega Mega Drive (Gens v2.15.5.-4-1)
– Sega Model 2 (Model 2 emulator v1.0)
– Sega Model 3 (Supermodel Version 0.3a-WIP)
– Sega Naomi (DEmul v0.57)
– Sega Naomi 2 (DEmul v0.57)
– Sega Saturn (Yabause v0.9.11)
– SNK Neo Geo (GnGeo v0.7)
– SNK Neo Geo CD (NeoRAINE v1.3.0)
– SNK Neo Geo Pocket (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– SNK NG Pocket Color (Mednafen v0.9.22-WIP, patched)
– Sony Playstation (PCSX-Reloaded v1.9.92-3)
– Sony Playstation 2 (PCSX2 v0.9.9.0)
– Windows (Wine v0.97 to 1.3.31 or daily builds)

11 thoughts on “Testing "A GNU/Linux Arcade Distribution" – (Emulator frontend: Wahcade) – Part 1

  1. Most emulators run fine with older hardware (see video on this channel, testing an old notebook …). For optimal gameplay a 120 € PC should be enough. I.e. Gigabyte GA-H61M-S2PV (45€), Intel Pentium G2120 Box (55€). The Dreamcast, Naomi and PS2 emulator versions which comes with the distro are still unplayable, i think even with latest hardware.

  2. This distro looks awesome ! I can't wait to test it on my PC !
    Do you know which are the requirements for an optimal gameplay ?
    And also, is it possible to use themes for Wah!Cade ?

  3. Yes, i think its the best emulator distro out there. Of course not perfect, but pretty good. . I heard from one of the developers that the project is still in development. They also working on the documentation.

  4. Maybe it would be usefull a repository for the extra emulators to make easier the installation. In fact, some usual repositories (like the snes, pcse or dolphin ones) could come as an option at least for the updates.

  5. Well a very nice distribution. Its hard to install in some computers (I cant install it in my laotop but i have it in the pc), but i apreciate the effort. It only comes with three or four free emulators, but not the rest and the instructions to get there are in german. Also, there are two packages in the web (emulators and logos pack) that can't be installed with the software center. Despite all of that, it's worth to make the effort and at the end it's a great distribution.

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