We really need more updates and transparency from the devs

Hello there.

I backed this project before the GameShell itself existed, it really has everything I love: retro emulation, nice hardware, based on GNU/Linux, portable…

It just fails with the software, the operating system and drivers to be precise. It’s just unacceptable that we still don’t even have stable GPU drivers yet. VSync fails to do it’s job whenever it feels to, and the community is struggling to achieve N64 emulation with not a single word from the devs.

I’m disappointed to see such potential wasted because of not developing a good SO. We need news and a 1.0 with rock solid stability. It’s been more than a year now.

Thanks for reading, I just wanted to share my feelings about the GameShell.


Lima is not developed by clockwork pi https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/lima

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Yeah I know. But I also know that there are other devices that has a good implemented and stable Mali 400 drivers, yet ClockworkOS is still unstable. It’s not acceptable to not have a proper working VSync more than 1 year after the release.

Also we need an updater within the system as well.

At this pace, I will end buying a Raspberry PI or something like that.

Sorry, but Lima is the only working GPU driver right now
because the kernel of GS is newer than others , others use 3.4.x with mali gpu driver

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What advantages are giving a more updated kernel in enchage of an experimental and unstable GPU driver?

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You CAN actually do N64 emulation. I think it’s more you need to know how to follow instruction on how to do it. I’ve been trying to help out as much as I can, as have others, but there’s only so much you can do online.
I’m not sure if it’s openly advertised as being able to emulate N64; more an added perk. The lack of analogue stocks certainly doesn’t help. An N64 has two.

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Although I understand the technical difficulties I am more with @MekaDragon. After having more than one year the GameShell in my hands, the taste of using it is bittersweet. It has much potential, if you are an experienced linux user/developer you can do many many things with it, but the end-user experience is poor. New comers are at least frustrated when they first use their device. GPU support and an attractive UI with easy way to update and install apps should be the first priorities. I know the GPU driver is not developed inhouse but in the other hand its an open source project, if you need the driver for your device, (GS devs) should contribute to it.

Community here struggles hard to provide solutions and content (games, apps etc) for the device but the original developers should show up more frequently. Also there seems to be a hidden wall on how information makes its way here, for example in the past, HAL tweets for version updates and there is no single thread update here officially, only after a user member notices the tweet and comments about it.

I really like GameShell, the community and when I have free time I try to contribute as much as I can, so my comments are truly well-intentioned. Please lets keep all trying to support this little gem!


Hello, thanks for replying. I know there are some guys struggling to emulate the N64 (and I know that N64 emulation is bad per se), but that was one example. My whole point is that I feel completely abandoned from the devs, like if they don’t care about the GameShell and that’s rather sad seeing how much potential this device has!

It’s a bit more like @elefas is saying, they should contribute a lot more. And for the love of god, some way to know how the next ClockWorkOS version is going and a proper download link! A post lost in this forum is all we have to download officially the .img!

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I wonder. Perhaps a community poll with what people would want to prioritise could be in order, so the half dozen dev team (sounds like a great band name) can focus their energies on one thing per release?
I’d much rather have them take their time to get things done with a fully featured release, rather than rushing something out half baked just to please people. But if it makes people happy, perhaps incremental updates would work.
Discourse does allow polls after all.

  1. software (I’m guessing python or golang launcher? Changing interface? Probably needs a sub poll)
  2. operating system (choosing whatever Debian version/kernel to go forward on? Or possibly the same as above?)
  3. implementation of external drivers (Lima)
  4. V-Sync repair (probably also related to above on Lima? Or fixing V-sync for FBTurbo?)
  5. Maintaining external applications, and porting thereof for the community (would probably need to have a vote for what gets attention first)

I’ll make one tomorrow, unless someone else does. Also, adding any other suggestions would be a good idea.

As for dev updates, I wonder how many of them are English native speakers. Or alternatively, whether they are active in the non official non English speaking (Chinese) forum? Some internal PR person who is in communication with the devs would definitely be useful!

I actually do wonder how many people here actually already do own a raspberry pi and a clockwork. Seems @Micro007 and I do at least. I’d say go for it, if you can source together a good chassis.

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I bought the GameShell to play retro games.

Retro - to me - is like… Gameboy. MAME. MSX.
The fact I could even run PS1 on it was such a perk in my eyes.

I have a raspberry pi for emulating the bigger guys. I’m quite happy with it for what I got it for


Agreed. The constraints of the form factor, screen resolutions and number of keys (when not using the light key) make it ideal for its retro usage. Anything more intense is way too much of a battery drain, that like you I would prefer to use my rPi on a 7” touch screen.

To me at least, it fulfils what I want it to do, ie have a minimalistic interface and be a fun sand box for my own projects. Most of those don’t require much grunt from the Lima drivers etc.

Any extra things like n64 emulation is an added bonus. That said, it’s like buying a lotus elise and using it as a rally car. Sure you can pimp it out, and if could be used. But it’s just not going to be worth the effort due to the form factor. Okay bad example. And just personal anecdotal comments.

Playing devil’s advocate, the graphics issues mentions here are like, I guess buying a mid range graphics card, and finding out that 30% of them can be hacked to unlock additional pipelines to turn it into a high range graphics card. If it can work then yay! Or say, finding out a low end card has direct X 12 support, only fo find that it can only run the most simple of games.

I guess what it comes down to is, what was originally proposed when it was kickstarted? Have they delivered upon everything? Should the things they haven’t delivered on be a priority, or should optimising existing experiences come first?

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I got my gameshell to develop on it, the playing games part was just an added bonus :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the community should be involved on the development too, but still some things are not open


Curious, what things do you refer by not being open?

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For example, two major things,

  1. When the next update is coming or in the works

  2. If you guys are even noticing the problems

It’s open source and everybody’s gotta help, but throwing the devs problems and blames on the community just makes things worse.


Yes, me too. PSX and N64 are a gift but that’s not the whole point. I criticize that devs aren’t helping and even for retro games like you say, VSync isn’t even an option mora than 1 year later.

This thread has as similar “flavour text” to this one:

Probably worth getting them merged eventually.

I think the dev’s contribution are mainly in the GitHub page. I could be wrong, and assuming here. This is where I keep up to date with what has been updated. They seem to be updating the “software” or launcher side of things once every week and a half or so. So I guess, their primary focus is on the user interface experience, and user push/pull requests that happen over there.

The forum seems to be what the clockwork people wanted to

but probably a bit too much of an emphasis on the “community” driven side. It’s a fine balance since they

Important things like, where to find the clockwork OS image and other similar things that gets lost to time could be all included in n FAQ thread. It comes down to what people deem to be important.

Maybe the devs will see this. Maybe they won’t.

If you were to prioritise one feature as being the primary focus for the next release, what would you choose?

  • software
  • operating system
  • graphics drivers
  • v-sync
  • porting emulators

0 voters

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I think at this point it’s pretty safe to say we aren’t going to see any improvement on the GameShell as an emulation machine. It still has the best case design on the market, but there are plenty of better options for people that want to do retro gaming. The people who made this thing probably already sold the bulk of unities they wanted to sell, jumping on the retro gaming bandwagon, but this is a NOT a retro gaming machine. It has the shape of a Game Boy just to sell to retro gamers. They are just going to let this thing slowly die and move on to something else. Developing an actual GPU driver is just too much an hassle, and why should they do it? Too much time and work, and they already made all the money they could. Somebody here says they are not the ones that have to do it. I disagree a little bit on this point, but it doesn’t matter anyway.
I would not recommend this thing to anybody to be honest: as a retro gamer, it’s just by far the most unfriendly system to get ready to play on the market, and without any good real reasons. As a developer, there are plenty of better platforms to develop for.

What I refer to open, is the open source part, some things are mising. For example the kernel

There are some missing files/configs for the compilation process


I agree with you on most points.
Are we slowly going toward the death of the GS?
Why have they made the design modular then? Instead of maybe trying to make a GSv2, they could offer upgraded, more powerfull modular parts. I just don’t get it, they design it modular for nothing? Only to be different? Only for the look of it? I hope not.

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