Noob Here! Need some help on what this all means

My wife just ordered me a Gameshell kit for Christmas and I’m real excited to get started. I’ve never worked much with computers, so I am trying to figure all this out. Can anyone point me in the right direction on what I should do first with my device and how to get the most out of it. I’m more interested in NES, SNES and Gameboy games, but I also want the games to run smoothly and work perfectly. I’ve been seeing posts about different OSs and don’t understand that much.

Again, all detailed help is much appreciated. I’d love to be able to contribute to the community in the future, I just need help now.

Thanks in advance!


hi and welcome in the community :slight_smile:

latest official os is 0.4, based on this one the community done some improvement,
latest one, who’s full featured is Custom D.E.O.T. V1.0+/Clockwork OS v0.4 image - With Updated Kernel 5.3.6, Latest Lima Drivers, RA1.8.1, Mupen64+ and much more! (Current version: 191122)

so, when you will receive your unit you may want flash a sd card with the os image and just insert it into the gameshell

for systems you wanna play all you’ll have to do in a second time after you’ll have connect your unit into your local network using wifi will be to transfer yours roms using an ftp software like by example filezilla in the good folders

optionally add bios for emulated system like neogeo & psx

some other project will require you to access the unit through ssh (Secure Shell Interface) and type obscure commands to compile &| setup others programs, games and emulators, but for a basic gaming usage all is easy

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I don’t know what it means to flash an SD card with the OS image and would appreciate help. I have some ROMS for a GB, PS1 and NES game I own. Should those be fairly simple to put on the device?

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flash the system on an sd card is pretty simple, just select the iso, the sd card and click flash

a popular program to do it is etcher

also put roms into your unit is simple too, install filezilla, enter gameshell ip, login and password, connect, navigate where you locally got your roms, navigate where you want put them and click transfer, easy

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Got it. Would I use the SD card that comes with the Gameshell or use a separate one as to not mess with the original? Also, anyone have any good recommendations for doing all this on iPad OS? I have a MacBook, but my wife and I are moving back to the states from being stationed overseas for three years and she will have my MacBook for a while until I meet up with her a month or so after. I use my iPad Pro for most things and if all of this is possible via iPad as well, it would make things easier and funner for me.

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use any sd card you want, os shipped with your sd card must be original 0.4 one, if you want erase this card you could redownload & reflash original os later

off course you could send files with an ios device, search for “sftp” in your store
first one i find >

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Writing the image to the SD card using just an ipad would possibly be problematic. I don’t know off the top of my head any apps that can flash images to SD cards; let alone do the initial bzip2 decompression on the file. That’s another thing! Probably would be better off either using a friend’s computer, or dare I say it; going to an internet cafe.

If you do want to use just your iPad, you can set it up as a wifi access point, and connect your gameshell to it that way. The app I personally use when doing this is “Pisth.” It’s a paid app, but its what I’ve used for other devices in the past, and what I’ve had luck with. (I have no affiliation with them, so hopefully this doesn’t sound like an advert!! Remove this if needed mods)

Technically you can use the game shell out of the box, but you’d have a lot more fun with a more current modified operating system.

Here’s a link to some (hopefully) simple instructions on how to flash an image, using a mac or really any computer. Just replace the file name and size stated in step one with whatever the one you’re downloading is. :slight_smile:

Another side note: The custom DEOT image will also automatically fill up all of your SD card’s space, but will need to reboot a few times, but only the first time. Don’t panic! This is normal, and it will be up and running, taking all of your SD card’s space. :slight_smile: This will save you the step of having to open up a terminal command line, and typing in code to fill up the unused space.

I’ll do this with my MacBook when I actually get my console this upcoming week. Is the 16gb SD card that comes with it enough space, or should I buy a bigger one like 64gb? Also, when updating my OS in the future, will it delete all the current files, emulators and ROMs I have uploaded to it already?

Trying to figure out as much as I can before I actually get the Gameshell in hand so I don’t mess anything up. I also don’t want to run into deleting everything off of the SD by accident when I have game saves on it. That would frustrate me.

Thanks again guys.

16GB is plenty in my opinion, unless you want to be “that guy” with entire rom sets on their device they probably will never ever play. This makes it easier to backup and restore your device, and transfer Roms etc over, if you ever decide to try a new operating system, or accidentally break your installation.

For reference, I have a 32GB SD card as my main card, holding full rom sets for NES, GB, GBC, GBA, SNES, N64, MasterSystem, MegaDrive, GameGear Mame 0.78, and A few indie games on Pico-8, and still have about 10GB free.

You don’t need to have all of those Roms. I only have them there for testing purposes. Realistically I probably play 4 or 5 games at a time. Maybe if I am playing lots of PlayStation Games, having more space could be useful, but there’s no way I would want to have more than 4 or 5 of those going at once!

At the end of the day it’s up to you on how big you want your card. Keep in mind, the bigger your card, the more stuff you will lose if it ever gets corrupted, and the more space it will take up to backup your image on your laptop.

Updating in the future, you should be able to do an apt upgrade. The downside is that you will need to know how to use a command line to SSH into your device. That is, with a stock image. Currently the DEOT custom image I made is being optimised to be able to be upgraded in the future. But for now, it’s a matter of being wiped each time.
On the other hand, unless you’re doing something unique or developing on your device, a regular end user just wanting a gaming device doesn’t really need to do an update. Look at say, a GBA. Similar thing really.

I really just want to play what I remember from my childhood as well as games that any community recommends playing in my lifetime. If I missed any games that I can play on the Gameshell, I’d love to do it. Hell, I didn’t even play Link’s Awakening until the Switch Remaster. So if I can hit up some original games like that, that would be fun.

And so I have to flash this OS: Custom D.E.O.T. V1.0+/Clockwork OS v0.4 image - With Updated Kernel 5.3.6, Latest Lima Drivers, RA1.8.1, Mupen64+ and much more! (Current version: 191122)

Over to my system, which will completely wipe it. When I update it again with a newer version, will it again wipe all my progress in games and ROMs put onto the device? That seems pretty tedious.

yes, flash the sd card will wipe all data present,

you’ll have to save all your personal data before any reflash

anyway you will not update the whole os each days and some os part can be “live” updated

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If you’re just in for a nostalgia kick, then realistically you shouldn’t need to update your OS, as everything on there just works. Links Awakening (dx) is actually one of my favourite games, and works great! Also check out the Zelda Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons games. :wink:

The good news is, new versions of the OS don’t come around very often. In fact gosh, the latest version 0.4 was released July 9, or somewhere thereabouts! The previous version came out around January 27. So around a 6 month release period.

Most updates are community efforts, and tweaks that you can do yourself, if you’re brave. That will just involve using some commands in Linux, or transferring some files. That won’t inherently wipe your card. However if you make a mistake, sometimes things will get complicated and it ends up being faster to wipe your card.

The DEOT image here is something that I put together as an effort to install as many of the more difficult features as possible without bloating the system, while updating things that would take hours to compile. They’re all things you can do yourself if you have the patience. I have written instructions and provided links on how to do so in the first post of the page. Trying to scour the forums to find the right thing can be extremely daunting!

At least for the DEOT image, I can safely say that I won’t be doing any major updates until the main official image gets updates. From what I’ve come to understand, the next official update (maybe 0.5) won’t contain much more than what I’ve already applied to this custom image, mainly regarding installing the newer faster graphics drivers. Everything else just comes down to personal preferences.

So should I just use the OS that it comes with or update to the DEOS?
I might need a walkthrough via discord or something once I get my Gameshell. I assume the community OS updates better the battery life and performance of games? I’ve been looking into some PS1 games that I would love to play as well. Crash Bandicoot, GTA 2. Stuff like that. So I just wanted those to run really great on it without lagging or anything.

Also, do they plan on releasing hardware upgrades for the Gameshell? Bigger screen or battery? That would be really cool to buy upgraded parts for it and swap them out in the future.

The DEOT OS is basically the same as the 0.4 official one, just with a lot of updates already applied. You can do them yourself, but depending on how much you already know about coding etc, it can take a long time. Some elements take hours to build/compile.

In other words, use the custom DEOT image if you want to save some time, and have everything done for you. It will have better performance, and theoretically battery life, since it’s using the dedicated graphics processor instead of the CPU.

That said, it’s like buying the Millennium Falcon™ from Han Solo. It will have a lot of modifications, and goes fast, but unless you know how it all gets put together, it will be hard to make modifications to it yourself in the future.

I like to see the gameshell as an educational device that teaches people how to code, but some people just want a device that can play games and not have to worry about things.

There was talk touched on briefly re: a new screen being looked at. But this was just once a few months back.

I haven’t heard anything official re: a bigger battery, however there are threads here discussing modifying the internal battery case to support a larger capacity battery. Due to the size constraints, it can only hold a certain size.

That said, you can apparently substitute in a Nintendo 3DS battery. Just be careful on two fronts. First, you may find something that is ridiculously high capacity and ridiculously cheap. Chances are, if it’s too good to be true, it is.
Second, pay attention to the wiring of the CPI. There was some discussion re the polarities being reversed.

I haven’t modified the battery in my Gameshell myself, since I haven’t run into and downfalls re: battery life. Don’t fall into the trap of upgrading “just because.” That goes for a lot of things. “If it ain’t broke, then why fix it.”
That said, the very nature of the Gameshell and the slogan “Happy Hacking” certainly does encourage it!

Sorry for the very on the fence devil’s advocate response! Hopeful to this shed a bit of light of the potential and power the Gameshell has!! :slight_smile:


i’m sorry to say but just sell the thing and buy something else, that is if you just want to play. If you want to hack and troubleshot your way towards emulation (which other devices do out of the box) then you’re ok, just have some Zanax on the side just in case…

I personally prefer to use Xanax, over Zanax; that is if you want to treat any anxieties. But please get the opinion of a medical practitioner first, before self prescribing medication.

Seriously; joking about mental health and medication is not cool! There is absolutely no irony in my aforementioned statement. Don’t take unprescribed medication on the whim of a forum post, even if it may seemingly alleviate any stress or anxiety caused by one’s frustration.

Personally I have something else that causes me anxieties unless I can hyper fixate on something for an extended period. For this reason, I get a huge dopamine rush and a sense of achievement, making discoveries and helping others.

It’s fantastic seeing development happen, live and right before your eyes. It’s even greater to share such developments with others, allowing them to experience things as easily as possible.

That said, I highly value your input. :slight_smile: You are 100% entitled to your opinion, and I respect you for sharing it.
However, given the OP’s wife just ordered the Gameshell for Christmas, and they are yet to receive it, prematurely thinking of selling it off would be a bit offensive, at least among my circle of friends. The OP also seems to have an extremely open attitude towards contributing back to the community, so I think this device would be an extremely fulfilling experience.

Just so we don’t cross post too much and repeat what has already been said, there was a very similar thread following a similar school of thought here:

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I don’t think he was joking about mental health, although he wasn’t being helpful. I appreciate all your help man. I really do want to be proactive in the community and possibly learn a few things once my device gets here. I’m moving from Sicily back to the states and will have a month alone out here waiting to transfer back. I will probably be messing around with my Gameshell the whole time.

He’s right in I do want to primarily play games, which I hope you can help me out with when my device gets here, but I hope I pick up a few bits of coding and somewhat hack my device slightly to better fit my wants. It would be cool to see this device evolve and have upgradable hardware to make it more powerful, enlarge the screen and better the battery life.

I wouldn’t listen to anyone on what to do with my purchases. If I want another device, I’ll just buy it. I have somewhat expendable income due to my work and live comfortably. I’ll survive with a $70.00 purchase being not what I expected (I used Amex Platinum points I had laying around with Amazon).

Javelin, again, I’m sure you’re busy… but I hope I can ask you a few questions come time to set this thing up if need be.

I watch videos every night about the Gameshell and can’t wait to get it!

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So happy to see such a positive tone!
I’m more than happy to help out once it arrives! The hardest part in the forum is finding what you need, and making sure it is still current and valid.
Most people in the forum are all extremely helpful, so you should get a response from someone fairly quickly! :slight_smile:

Well thanks for the future and past help. So, it seems like playing N64 games on it is difficult. Have you had any experience with it?

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There was a thread mentioning how to set up and configure it to run nicely here.

The problem is, you need go know how to build files, and although there were included instructions, a lot of people had hit or miss success. It’s something I did try to help a few people with, but without know exactly what they were typing, and what their specific configurations were, there was only so much I could do to help.

It was actually one of the main reason I made the aforementioned custom DEOT custom image. So basically, to get it running it can be tricky for some. You’ll need install dependencies, alter a configuration file, and edit an action file. On top of that, it runs way better once you update the Lima/Mesa files/drivers, in particular a lot of graphical glitches get resolved.

Playing games on the gameshell isn’t difficult. They mostly run fairly well, with a few hit or miss exceptions. Putting together the files can be difficult, or rather difficult to find all the information.

The custom image is there as a shortcut with everything required to play mupen smoothly installed, but I still strongly encourage people to try putting it together themselves, learning how to do things in the process.