ANNOUNCING *BETA* RELEASE OF RECALBOX FOR THE ROCK64
#1
Big Grin 
Release Image and First Recalbox Release thread here

Beta thread locked

UPDATE August 6, 2018 - Beta V2 Update Release

·  Updated KODI Leia Commit
·  Retroarch Emulators Maximum Resolution set to 720p - runs much faster and the difference visibly in higher resolutions is hardly noticeable
·  Back-end updates to increase compatibility with core-recalbox software
·  Default config for PPSSPP to enable a small frameskip - often achieves up to 80% of original game speeds - much more playable (but not perfect)
·  Increased EmulationStation stability - fewer unexpected restarts!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANNOUNCING THE *BETA* RELEASE OF RECALBOX FOR THE ROCK64

After many efforts with much teamwork, collaboration, and testing, we are very excited to provide the BETA release of RECALBOX for the ROCK64 board!

-- The download is located under this repository's releases -- https://github.com/mrfixit2001/recalbox_rock64/releases

Details on the ROCK64 SoC can be found here: https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=7147

For those of you unfamiliar with Recalbox: https://www.recalbox.com/ 
"Recalbox offers a wide selection of consoles and game systems. From the very first arcade systems to the NES, the MEGADRIVE, 32-bit platforms (such as the Playstation) and even Nintendo64. With Kodi already included, Recalbox also serves as a Media Center. By connecting it to your home network, you will be able to stream videos from any compatible devices (NAS, PC, External HDD, etc.)."

Please do keep in mind that this is a BETA release, which means it’s hugely improved from the ALPHA release but you should still EXPECT some things not to work quite right. We have done a LOT of testing on our own to try and resolve as many issues as we can before this release, but now you get to help! (Lucky you!) So if/when you do find things that don't work right, please use the link in github to report the issue.

When reporting issues:
· Provide logs or screenshots of the issue so that we can see the error(s) you are seeing
· Provide detailed steps for us to follow in order to reproduce the issue

A few things you can expect not to work or be included (yet):
· Remapping the buttons on some controllers, such as 8BitDo, cause the controller to not work in the emulators – use the default keymaps for these
· Resolution for Emulators and EmulationStation is 1080p, manual config edit will be needed to change: 
   o Mount the BOOT partition and edit /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf -- look for the following value: video=HDMI-A-1:[email protected] Edit to your desired resolution. 
   o NOTE: Resolution in KODI can be adjusted without any config changes (up to 4k!)
· Netflix Kodi app is included – you can login but it does not currently play anything (yet)

Some things we have added to Recalbox that are Rock64 Exclusive:
· Upgraded Kodi (and addons) from version 17 (Krypton) to a July 2018 commit of version 18 (Leia)
· InputStream.Adaptive Kodi Addon
· Multiple cores for different emulators so that you can select which core works best for you on each ROM!
· Slight default overclock

Improvements since Alpha:
· Most Bluetooth and Wifi adapters will now work, including these which are 2-in-1 so that you only need to use one USB port to add both Wifi AND BT:
   o https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Bluetooth-Adapter-Supports-OS10-9-10-13/dp/B01JYE5BT2/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1532357324&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=wifi+bluetooth+adapter&psc=1
   o https://www.amazon.com/Edimax-EW-7611ULB-Wi-Fi-Bluetooth-Adapter/dp/B01KVZB3A4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1532357324&sr=8-4&keywords=wifi+bluetooth+adapter
· Boot from all storage mediums (SD, eMMC and USB) is now supported
· Overclocking options from the ES menu (NOTE: we highly suggest active cooling -heatsink AND fan- if you don’t use default)
· Updated versions of retroarch and most emulators + cores
· All emulators working - including PSP, Dreamcast, and Amstrad
· Additional Emulators Included:
   o virtualjaguar
   o uae
   o theodore
   o pocketsnes
   o melonds
   o desmume
   o beetle-psx
   o 4do
   o hypseus
   o vice
· Included Wolfenstein 3D (shareware version) in DosBox
· LED blinking with disk activity
· KODI 4K 60FPS with kwiboo’s HDR enhancement
· HD Audio with Selectable Output from ES Menu (HDMI, headphone jack, SPIDF)
· CEC working in KODI
· IR working in KODI – supports multiple remotes out of the box, including the Pine64 / Rockbox remote
· Newest Recalbox Version - with Built-In Netplay Features!
· Clean boot without messages
· Many additional controllers / gamepads are now supported 
· Custom kernel (previously borrowed from LE)
· Full range HDMI
· Added some default shader presets and default cores
· Updated Library Versions with Buildroot 2018.2-3
· Custom patches to ES and Emulators to improve overall stability

Some important notes:
· When the image first boots, you can expect a delay as the partition is expanded to the full size of your disk. Please be patient and let this complete. It will not happen on every boot.
· N64 has multiple cores, different ROMS work better with different cores! For example, Mario Kart and Perfect Dark both perform very well using the N64 core (which is “GLES2N64”).
· PSP and NDS will run slowly overall, this is not a bug, they are just very demanding of the hardware. Some games will be playable however, and PSP mini ROMs run quite well.
· Some emulators / cores are highly dependent on a valid BIOS files being installed (Dreamcast, for example). Be sure to read the documents in the system’s ROM folder for details on what BIOS files are needed. Further documentation is available on the Recalbox wiki.
· A single ROM not working is not considered a “bug”, it’s often an incompatibility with the ROM and the emulator or core. We have provided multiple cores for some emulators to try and help maximize the number of ROMS that work.
· If you are suddenly and unexpectedly thrown into KODI, then that means EmulationStation may have crashed. Please provide your /recalbox/es.log file so we can review.
· We highly recommend that you install a heatsink on the board when you select a non-default overclock! 

Lastly, please remember this is a community build, and just something I've worked on in my free time. There's no pressure at all, but if you appreciate the work then feel free to send me a buck on Paypal: mrfixit2001 at gmail.

Special thanks go out to Kwiboo from LibreELEC, Substring at Recalbox, and LukasZ at Pine64 for their efforts in testing and feedback!

Mr Fix-IT
 
#2
Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips regarding this Rock64 Recalbox build (Beta v2).
Some tips are specific to this build while others just cover some features some users are unaware of.

Overclocking:
You can overclock this Recalbox image to get better performance in some emulators and cores. As mrfixit2001 already mentioned in his post, overclocking should only be done when you also use a heatsink on the board. If you intend to use the extreme overclock then you need a fan as the board will run very hot without it (80*C or more). In general, I think that the 'High' preset is the best option for those who wish to overclock, and offers a ~10% improvement in some emulators over the default setting. For reference, these are the OC frequencies:

Default: 600mhz GPU / 1300 mhz CPU
High: 700mhz GPU / 1400 mhz CPU
Extreme: 800mhz GPU / 1500mhz CPU

Game emulators and cores (for particular ROMs):
Some emulators work better for certain games and some emulators do not work with some games at all. Nintendo 64 - one of the more challenging systems to emulate - is a prime example of this.

For reference, it is possible to change the emulator and core for all games of a particular system by accessing the main menu and doing the following:
Advanced Settings -> Advanced Emulator Configuration -> Name of System
Here you will be able to select the emulator and core.

What few users know however is that you can set the emulator / core on a per game basis. In the game list of a particular system, press SELECT (on your controller) on the game you want to set a custom emulator for and navigate to -> Edit This Game's Metadata. You will find two settings down the list [Emulator] and [Core]. Here you can set the preferred emulator and core for the game in question; press save and launch the game.

Netplay:
This build includes netplay, which is a feature that allows you to play some games with other users or friends over the internet. This works best if your friends or people you play with live nearby.

First thing you should do is enter the main menu and nagivate -> Games Settings -> Netplay Settings. Here you will be able to set a [nickname] and choose a [netplay mitm] (geographical location). Lastly, you want to navigate to [Hash ROMs] ->  Start. Once you've done all this, go back to the main screen with all the systems. Press the 'X' button your controller and select Neplay Lobby. Here you will see all netplay sessions and those which you can join. To learn more about Recalbox netplay and which systems you can play with others read this.  

NB you can play with users using different boards and computers with Retroarch cores.


WebGUI:
By typing in your boards IP address (which can be found easily in Recalbox Main mMenu -> Network Settings) into a browser on your computer of phone, you'll be able to access the Recalbox WebGUI. Here you can do a bunch of things. You can monitor the system load, SOC temperature, etc., but also set some settings, use virtual gamepads, generate logs and - most importantly - upload your ROMs and BIOS files easily.

Nintendo 64:
Nintendo 64 deserves its own little tips and tricks section because so many people want to play N64 games and its a notoriously difficult system to emulate on SBCs. Some popular titles such as Mario Kart 64 or Perfect Dark greatly benefit from using the Mupen N64 plugin/ core. You should use this core for all games that run well with it and do no have any (or have very few) artifacts or glitches. The default core Mupenmk2 doesn't offer the best performance but it offers best 'performance-to-quality' AND compatibility ratio. Mupen also runs at 1080p while Libretro cores run at a much lower resolution or 480p, an in many instances the default emulator offers still better performance.
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


#3
Awesome Big Grin
#4
I noticed that games are still trying to run in 4k 30fps rather than 1080p. I'll try to SSH and confirm if the settings are correct. the recalbox OS runs normally, however, when retroarch runs it switches to 4k output. I can confirm the setting is set to the default value of 1080p.

On the plus side, Kodi seems to work well for videos up to 1080p as well, hdr10 works perfectly. I notice that 4k playback does not work well (likely will improve with drivers) as well, audio pass-through is intermittent in Kodi.

Other than that. it definitely feels faster than my RPI3 on loading and general interface browsing.
#5
(08-05-2018, 02:17 PM)Brainy142 Wrote: I noticed that games are still trying to run in 4k 30fps rather than 1080p. I'll try to SSH and confirm if the settings are correct. the recalbox OS runs normally, however, when retroarch runs it switches to 4k output. I can confirm the setting is set to the default value of 1080p.

On the plus side, Kodi seems to work well for videos up to 1080p as well, hdr10 works perfectly. I notice that 4k playback does not work well (likely will improve with drivers) as well, audio pass-through is intermittent in Kodi.

Other than that. it definitely feels faster than my RPI3 on loading and general interface browsing.

Thanks for the feedback! What exactly do you mean by saying that games 'try' to run at 4K? - do they end up running at 4k or not ? Would be strange if they did since both RA and non RA emulators/ cores are at 1080p on my 4k monitor ...

Well, you're absolutely correct. RA emulators all run at 4K ... while stand-alone emulators such as Mupen64 run at 1080p (as they should). Thanks for pointing it out !
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


#6
(08-05-2018, 02:17 PM)Brainy142 Wrote: I noticed that games are still trying to run in 4k 30fps rather than 1080p. I'll try to SSH and confirm if the settings are correct. the recalbox OS runs normally, however, when retroarch runs it switches to 4k output. I can confirm the setting is set to the default value of 1080p.

On the plus side, Kodi seems to work well for videos up to 1080p as well, hdr10 works perfectly. I notice that 4k playback does not work well (likely will improve with drivers) as well, audio pass-through is intermittent in Kodi.

Other than that. it definitely feels faster than my RPI3 on loading and general interface browsing.

First, it's so great that you're providing feedback already! Thank you!!

Same as Luke, I too am quite interested in more details on this. The resolution outside of KODI has been locked at 1080p in all our testing. Can you please confirm what resolution (Xres x Yres) you're seeing retroarch change to, and specifically what emulator, core, and Rom you're testing?

I'm also interested in more detail on your 4k performance concern. Big Buck Bunny and LG HDR test vids both perform great in all our testing. So what are you testing with? What are you seeing the CPU % at? Are you playing off local media or over your network? (It's possible you'd experience a lag over network depending on file size). And are you doing anything else on the board at the same time, like transferring files or anything?

Once again, thanks for the feedback! The more detail the better!
#7
I've a probem with the beta.

With Recalbox I don't see anything on the screen. I used a HDMI > DVI cable. The monitor is not detecting any signal.
(I confirm the HDMI > DVI works fine : I used other linux version).
I can access recalbox web interface, ssh is working fine as well.

I've tried with several settings in recalbox-conf :
global.videomode=CEA 1 HDMI
or
global.videomode=DMT 35 HDMI


I've also created a config.txt in /boot
With these settings :

hdmi_force_hotplug=1
config_hdmi_boost=4
hdmi_group=1
hdmi_drive=1
hdmi_mode=4

not better...

But I've tried several setting on the web interface and I've noticed something really weird : if I start by default on Kodi I see Kodi (display is working fine). But if I let recalbox starting (or if I go back from odi to recalbox)... it doesn't work. I've tried with other linux img such as debian, lakka, I don't have the same problem...

Any idea ?
#8
(08-05-2018, 03:23 PM)pascal06n Wrote: I've a probem with the beta.

With Recalbox I don't see anything on the screen. I used a HDMI > DVI cable. The monitor is not detecting any signal.
(I confirm the HDMI > DVI works fine : I used other linux version).
I can access recalbox web interface, ssh is working fine as well.

I've tried with several settings in recalbox-conf :
global.videomode=CEA 1 HDMI
or
global.videomode=DMT 35 HDMI


I've also created a config.txt in /boot
With these settings :

hdmi_force_hotplug=1
config_hdmi_boost=4
hdmi_group=1
hdmi_drive=1
hdmi_mode=4

not better...

But I've tried several setting on the web interface and I've noticed something really weird : if I start by default on Kodi I see Kodi (display is working fine). But if I let recalbox starting (or if I go back from odi to recalbox)... it doesn't work.  I've tried with other linux img such as debian, lakka, I don't have the same problem...

Any idea ?

Try removing:
Code:
video=HDMI-A-1:[email protected]

in /BOOT/extlinux/extlinux.conf

See if that will work. Whats the native res of the monitor ?
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


#9
(08-05-2018, 03:11 PM)Mrfixit2001 Wrote:
(08-05-2018, 02:17 PM)Brainy142 Wrote: I noticed that games are still trying to run in 4k 30fps rather than 1080p. I'll try to SSH and confirm if the settings are correct. the recalbox OS runs normally, however, when retroarch runs it switches to 4k output. I can confirm the setting is set to the default value of 1080p.

On the plus side, Kodi seems to work well for videos up to 1080p as well, hdr10 works perfectly. I notice that 4k playback does not work well (likely will improve with drivers) as well, audio pass-through is intermittent in Kodi.

Other than that. it definitely feels faster than my RPI3 on loading and general interface browsing.

First, it's so great that you're providing feedback already! Thank you!!

Same as Luke, I too am quite interested in more details on this. The resolution outside of KODI has been locked at 1080p in all our testing. Can you please confirm what resolution (Xres x Yres) you're seeing retroarch change to, and specifically what emulator, core, and Rom you're testing?

I'm also interested in more detail on your 4k performance concern. Big Buck Bunny and LG HDR test vids both perform great in all our testing. So what are you testing with? What are you seeing the CPU % at? Are you playing off local media or over your network? (It's possible you'd experience a lag over network depending on file size). And are you doing anything else on the board at the same time, like transferring files or anything?

Once again, thanks for the feedback! The more detail the better!

Good evening, 

All emulators that I have tested (GBA, SNES, and NES) are trying to run at native 4k resolution, which also, due to hardware limitations, runs as 30fps which is my main concern. I can provide a screenshot tomorrow to confirm this if you would like.  

The 4k file in question is a 4k raw rip of black panther, no other operations were running at the same time. I will attempt to grab more information tomorrow on cpu usage. I also noticed that running the web interface does seem to eat up a core of processing. The file was running off of my Nas on a wired connection, using UPNP to send the file. It is possible it could be due to the size of the file. I will see if I can try a less complex 4k UHD file and report back.
#10
(08-05-2018, 10:12 PM)Brainy142 Wrote:
(08-05-2018, 03:11 PM)Mrfixit2001 Wrote:
(08-05-2018, 02:17 PM)Brainy142 Wrote: I noticed that games are still trying to run in 4k 30fps rather than 1080p. I'll try to SSH and confirm if the settings are correct. the recalbox OS runs normally, however, when retroarch runs it switches to 4k output. I can confirm the setting is set to the default value of 1080p.

On the plus side, Kodi seems to work well for videos up to 1080p as well, hdr10 works perfectly. I notice that 4k playback does not work well (likely will improve with drivers) as well, audio pass-through is intermittent in Kodi.

Other than that. it definitely feels faster than my RPI3 on loading and general interface browsing.

First, it's so great that you're providing feedback already! Thank you!!

Same as Luke, I too am quite interested in more details on this. The resolution outside of KODI has been locked at 1080p in all our testing. Can you please confirm what resolution (Xres x Yres) you're seeing retroarch change to, and specifically what emulator, core, and Rom you're testing?

I'm also interested in more detail on your 4k performance concern. Big Buck Bunny and LG HDR test vids both perform great in all our testing. So what are you testing with? What are you seeing the CPU % at? Are you playing off local media or over your network? (It's possible you'd experience a lag over network depending on file size). And are you doing anything else on the board at the same time, like transferring files or anything?

Once again, thanks for the feedback! The more detail the better!

Good evening, 

All emulators that I have tested (GBA, SNES, and NES) are trying to run at native 4k resolution, which also, due to hardware limitations, runs as 30fps which is my main concern. I can provide a screenshot tomorrow to confirm this if you would like.  

The 4k file in question is a 4k raw rip of black panther, no other operations were running at the same time. I will attempt to grab more information tomorrow on cpu usage. I also noticed that running the web interface does seem to eat up a core of processing. The file was running off of my Nas on a wired connection, using UPNP to send the file. It is possible it could be due to the size of the file. I will see if I can try a less complex 4k UHD file and report back.

Got a patch incoming.

[edit] tested the patch and it works. It will be uploaded later today.
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter




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