World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

DSLinux

 

DSLinux

DSLinux
DSLinux running on a DS Lite using the M3 DS Simply and M3 DS Adapter
OS family Unix-like
Working state Discontinued
Source model Open source
Platforms Nintendo DS
Kernel type Modified μClinux
License GNU GPLv2 or later[1]
Official website www.dslinux.org

DS Linux was a port of the Linux operating system to the Nintendo DS. DSLinux was maintained until sometime in 2010.

Contents

  • Software 1
  • Supported hardware 2
  • Memory limitations 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Software

DSLinux runs a modified μClinux kernel. It is based on uCLinux 2.6.14 (Linux-2.6.14-hsc0). It only runs in textmode and nano-x which is displayed using a custom framebuffer console driver. A keyboard is displayed on the touchscreen of the Nintendo DS to allow user input.

DSLinux is compiled using a GCC-based cross-compilation toolchain for ARM processors.

ncurses, libpcap, SDL along with many other libraries have been ported, so DSLinux is in theory capable of running almost any application that has an ncurses-based or framebuffer based user interface. It also runs basic shell applications provided by BusyBox and GNU Coreutils has also been ported. The C-library is uClibc.

DSLinux has no package management facilities. Instead, DSLinux builds are distributed as a single tar archive.

Supported hardware

With the exception of the microphone (it works, but the driver is incomplete), all hardware inside the Nintendo DS, including the wireless is supported by DSLinux. The Nintendo DS firmware can be read from /dev/firmware, but write support is left out for safety reasons.

DSLinux supports storing files on a variety of add-on hardware devices, none of which are officially endorsed by Nintendo. DSLinux can store files in SRAM memory found in GBA Flash Carts and CompactFlash and SD cards, which can be used with any of the following adaptors: GBAMP, M3, or SuperCard. Newer versions have included DLDI support, allowing for a much wider range of compatibility.

Memory limitations

The Nintendo DS does not have a memory management unit (MMU), and has only 4 MB (The later versions of the DSi and DSi XL have 16mb) of RAM but all units are limited by the very old ARM 7 and ARM 9 processor duo that the system runs. Both kernel and userspace XIP and SLOB memory allocation were the first techniques used to increase the amount of available RAM a little. Later, support for the internal RAM present on some add-on hardware devices, such as the SuperCard or M3, has been added, offering up to an extra 32MB of memory. Adding support for external RAM was not trivial, as the GBA slot bus only supports 16-bit writes. If only 8 bits are sent over the bus, the result ending up in memory is garbage. A DSLinux developer called Amadeus found a workaround for this, which involved replacing "strb" (store byte) ARM assembly instructions with "swpb" (swap byte) instructions. The swpb instruction first reads from the requested address, populating the data cache, then the 8-bit write is performed into the cache. Later, when the cache line is evicted, 16-bit writes are used, thus eliminating all 8-bit writes over the bus. Amadeus modified the GCC code generator for ARM so that all applications compiled for DSLinux now use swpb instead of strb instructions.[2] Assembly code in the Linux kernel had to be adapted manually.

References

  1. ^ http://svn.dslinux.org/svn/trunk/COPYING
  2. ^ http://svn.dslinux.org/svn/trunk/toolchain/8bit/101-arm-swp.patch?p=1481

External links

  • Official website
  • [1] Alternate download with some useful links on patching.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.