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Xbox Runs X, KDE, Gnome, StarOffice and Tuxracer 510

freax writes "Today in the the xbox-linux mailinglist: I'm typing this into KMail using a USB keybaord (and a USB mouse) in front of the TV connected to the Xbox. ... and even StarOffice works quite fine. TuxRacer also runs (look at the new screenhots on the website), but only with one frame per second. Check out screenshots here."
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Xbox Runs X, KDE, Gnome, StarOffice and Tuxracer

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  • by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:17PM (#4185733) Homepage
    So the question now is whether you can run the X-Box emulator on the result.
    • by Indras ( 515472 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:58PM (#4185957)
      So the question now is whether you can run the X-Box emulator on the result.

      And if you can, will it be faster than the original, because of the OS upgrade? ::grins::
  • Wahoo! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jacer ( 574383 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:18PM (#4185735) Homepage
    I have an X-box, and NO games, just the DVD kit. (I entered the taco bell challenge 600 times!!) Now I can do something other than play DVD's on it!
  • Prize ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kila_m ( 548924 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:18PM (#4185737) Homepage
    Does this mean someone will win get the $200,000 ?
    • Re:Prize ? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by *xpenguin* ( 306001 )
      Probably only $100,000, because the second step of the project hasn't been completed (make it legal and have it run without a mod chip). It sure looks impossible to me.
      • Re:Prize ? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Libor Vanek ( 248963 )
        I think that only way to do it is to find bug in Xbox BIOS (or whatever - but this will be surely fixed by MS) or brute-force decrypt CDs signing key so we'll be able to sign Linux CD as regular Xbox application.
        • Surely the second method would violate the DMCA, and not qualify for the other half of the money (illegal)?

          The legality of the first might depend on what the bug was, I guess... Still I'm sure the legality or lack thereof won't frighten people, there's a roaring trade in PSX modchips despite their grey status.

  • Finally (Score:4, Funny)

    by davidstrauss ( 544062 ) <david.davidstrauss@net> on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:19PM (#4185739)
    I can spend $200 on a poor-quality, non-upgradable (and non-waranteed) Pentium III instead of building my own for about the same amount.
    • Re:Finally (Score:3, Informative)

      by SILIZIUMM ( 241333 )
      Pentium III ? More likely Celery^Hon according to this [] screenshot...
      • Re:Finally (Score:3, Informative)

        by Stormie ( 708 )

        Pentium III ? More likely Celery^Hon according to this screenshot...

        Actually the Xbox CPU is neither a P-III nor a Celeron, but something inbetween. It has only 128KB of L2 cache (like a Celeron, a real P-III has 256KB), but that cache is 8-way set associative (like a real P-III, a Celeron only has 4-way set associative cache).

    • if we went and did that, now would it. Where's the fun in that?

    • Re:Finally (Score:3, Funny)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 )
      "I can spend $200 on a poor-quality, non-upgradable (and non-waranteed) Pentium III instead of building my own for about the same amount"

      I'm sure Linux users everywhere are ready to buy a PC from Microsoft so they can run Linux on it. Heh.
      • Re:Finally (Score:2, Funny)

        by peterprior ( 319967 )
        Hmm.. thinking about it.. seeing as Microsoft is making a loss on every box sold, and hoping to make money on the games instead, if we ALL by an xbox but no games, Microsoft should go bust :D
        • Smart move. Not only will you cause damage to the game market (which, btw, lends a huge hand to making the PC market successful), but you also give MS reason to buy a few senators and get shit like the SSSCA passed.

          If you don't believe what I'm saying will happen, then here's an alternative point of view: You can't possibly buy enough XBOXes to make MS go broke. 10 million would have to be sold in order for MS to lose 1.5 billion.

          There's no way 10 million people would buy XBOXes and go "Yeah! Im screwing ms!!" and not think about doing something practical with them, like playing games.

          Face it, you're not going to succeed at doing anything but make MS invest more in DRM. Good choice.
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:23PM (#4185775)
    Samba, FTP, POP, NNTP, Squid, NFS, Grid engine.

    Y'know, all those services that an ISP or similar might find handy in a *big* server farm.

    Hey, how's about a Beowulf of those. :)

  • Doom 3 (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet ( 120004 ) <mark@seven[ ] ['thc' in gap]> on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:23PM (#4185778) Homepage
    This is awesome! Why is this awesome? Because now people who have an Xbox will be able to play Doom3 at the *same time* that it comes out for the PC.

    All this without the Anal Leakage (TM) that is the Xbox gamepad.

  • keybaord (Score:4, Funny)

    by *xpenguin* ( 306001 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:23PM (#4185779)
    I'm typing this into KMail using a USB keybaord

    Looks like it's a buggy USB keybaord.
  • by zapf ( 119998 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:24PM (#4185782)
    Check out this [] picture.

    "this is the beginning of microsoft's end."

    Because everyone knows that Tux Racer is going to be the catalyst for change.

    Oh, and GLTron.
  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) <jhummel@joh[ ] ['nhu' in gap]> on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:24PM (#4185785) Homepage
    There's a reason why I think this is a Good Thing, and it goes beyond some stupid "Microsoft sucks, make them spend money!"

    This is the true beginning of a low cost, easy to use system. If the boot up totally doesn't destroy the system, for $200 you can get yourself a machine that:

    • Plays games (hopefully, the Xbox will have better exclusive games than just Halo and Shenmue II).
    • Plays DVD movies.
    • Plugs into a TV (which every American has), monitor (which most people can get for cheap).
    • Runs Linux for network admin types (imagine a few of these suckers in your business - $200 for a Staroffice/web browsing/java running machine).
    • With one hardware base to deal with, it should be easy to develop driers for - a major thing for developers. In some way, the Xbox Linux system could help for quick development (much the way that Quake III first came out for the Mac systems, since hardware wise there was a set "known" value for hardwae).

    This won't be perfection or anything as silly as that, but I'm curious to see where it goes. Great work to the team.
    • Runs Linux for network admin types (imagine a few of these suckers in your business - $200 for a Staroffice/web browsing/java running machine).

      this plan works till your boss walks in and see you playing halo.

    • by Jerf ( 17166 )
      You know, people have been saying this since at least the Intellivision. Try #1 [] Try #2 [] (And something for the 2600 is niggling at my brain... there might have been something for that, too.)

      After 20+ years of this line... I'll believe it when I see it. Not one second sooner. And with Microsoft fighting this tooth and nail... frankly, the Dreamcast had a much better shot here (what with most or all of them able to run custom CD-ROMs with no modifications to the unit), and it didn't happen either.
    • Shenmue II was released on the Dreamcast in Europe. You can either import it and use a boot disk (freely available at a number of sites, being one of them), or download a pre-cracked version (although 4 CDs will prolly take you a long time on a p2p network).
    • Well, what really gets me is that you can have a high quality AV system that has almost all the hackability of a PC, but without having to deal with various noise (both signal and auditory) issues that a cheap box you built yourself would have.

      I mean, have it be an mp3 / movie playback system for your nice highend AV setup. You got dolby 5.1, you could use divx's with AC3 support, the works. And it has lan.
  • Advantages? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by extagboy ( 60672 )
    Is there any real advantage to doing this (graphics maybe??) on an X-box as opposed to a real pc or is just something to do when youre bored?

  • I've never understood what all the fuss is about with Linux on the X-Box. Apart from being a fun hack, is there any point to this?
    • Sure there is a point.

      An X-Box is basically a custom built PC, so if you run Linux on it, you get a cheap, quite powerful, near intell-compatible computer, with a powerful graphics card.

      That's why MS made the X-Box OS so limited, they don't want people to use it as a cheap PC -- it is being sold far under cost price, so they'll have to earn money on it by selling games.

      If you run Linux on it, and play free games instead, you are costing Redmond quite a lot of cash ;)
    • by mark_lybarger ( 199098 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:35PM (#4185862)
      the same point as fussing about running linux on a playstation, or on a dreamcast, or on my cellphone, or on a nintendo, or, or, or, or.

      why does there have to be more of a point than just people playing around and showing others who might be interested?
      • "why does there have to be more of a point than just people playing around and showing others who might be interested? "

        Because the content providers are already in a nasty tizzy over circumvention of protection devices? Hackers/Crackers already have a bad rep that's helping get shit like the DMCA passed. More of this kind of stuff without an obvious helpful reason is just going to make them spend more money on politicians.

        You really want MS to back the CTPBPTPBA?
    • by ( 463190 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:43PM (#4185903) Homepage
      I've never understood what all the fuss is about with Linux on the X-Box. Apart from being a fun hack, is there any point to this?

      Yes, there's a point to it. These geeks are demonstrating the stupidity in crippling a computer with DRM, and they're deriding Microsofts attempts to make a so-called "secure platform". Microsoft has said that they want the future for PCs to include these crippling technologies. What they are doing is proving to MSFT customers and shareholders that the company is full of shit, and DRM can't be done (never mind whether or not it should be done).

      I don't know if that's their motivation or not, but that's the effect. Their motivation might just come from solving a difficult problem and learning something in the process - you should try it!
      • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:50PM (#4185925)
        While the 1st-gen DRM schemes can be broken, what happens when better integration prevents you from being able to "chip" a machine? What happens if the cost of the chip (and installation) keep going up?

        I think this is more of a lesson to MSFT about what precautions you need to make for a DRM box to really work!

  • Good good (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:30PM (#4185829)
    Is that an Amiga monitor?
  • Screenshots! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Motor ( 104119 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:32PM (#4185841)

    Hehe... I've been to enough computer shows to know that a box (be it Mac/PC/X-Box) sat next to a TV/monitor showing an interesting demo is just not something you can believe!

    • Re:Screenshots! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Timmeh ( 555676 )
      That's exactly what I thought too, I mean, other than that I don't think they'd do that kind of thing on the official page or anything. But, check out this video: avi [], it's 1:34 minutes long, encoding in DivX 5/mp3 and it shows him setting it up and booting up. Putting the cords in and everything. Fairly Convincing.
      • it's 1:34 minutes long, encoding in DivX 5/mp3 and it shows him...

        So why is it that this, and just about all the other (ahem) DivX content has the same soundtrack? Must be an encoder thing...
    • So, get a chipped X-box, download the distribution, and try it yourself. Or wait for a zillion other /.'s to do it and report their experiences. With open source, checking for a fake is trivial.
  • by cca93014 ( 466820 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:36PM (#4185870) Homepage
    Dude, you need to take your camera back to whereever you bought it. There's some really fucking annoying penguin stuck to the lens that's being included in every shot.

    I can't believe you haven't noticed it.
  • tux racer (Score:4, Funny)

    by mgebbers ( 252737 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:37PM (#4185872)
    TuxRacer also runs (look at the new screenhots on the website), but only with one frame per second.

    so it's the same as a normal pc with a geforce then

    **boom boom**


  • Then he would have enough money to buy a beowulf cluster consisting of 1001 of them (Including the own he currently owns ;-) )

    This expensive cluster would probably run a modified version of Tux Racer at a decent number of FPS.
  • I couldn't find a lot of details on the web site. I suspect this involves changing the BIOS, right? Or can this be run simply by sticking a CD/DVD into the machine and powering it up?

    How far are we from a Linux distribution for the Xbox that can be booted from CD? I think that would be great for a web server farm (or a home web server).

  • To all those people who think buying an Xbox and running Linux is good because it causes Microsoft to loose money, your better off not buying an Xbox. Microsoft has already taken a loss on those nice shiny new Xboxes that you see in the stores. By buying them you are helping Microsoft recoup $200. If you don't buy the Xbox then Microsoft is out an additional $200.

    And if you want to keep Microsoft out of the console market your better off buying a Playstation 2 and some games. Building up Sony's market share is more likely to keep Microsoft from making an Xbox2 then Linux Xbox. Of course , Sony's business practices aren't much better then Microsoft, but that is going way off topic.
  • xmame (Score:3, Insightful)

    by innocent_white_lamb ( 151825 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @06:04PM (#4185989)
    What we really need to get running on this is xmame. Nearly 3500 arcade games on your living room television set!

    Now there's $200 worth of entertainment!
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @06:18PM (#4186058) Homepage Journal
    ... we used to buy game machines to play games, not turn them into half-assed computers.

  • Check out screenshots here.

    The monitor looks a lot like a Commodore 1902A. I think they're just faking us out with some Commodore-64 graphics!
  • The means is upon us at last to fairly compare the power of the two systems - the ultimate benchmark, Tux Racer!! Can the PS2 Linux system beat 1 FPS?

  • by kajoob ( 62237 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @07:02PM (#4186266)
    at this rate, we'll only have to buy up a shade over 26 million of these puppies to eat up Microsoft's $4 billion cash reserve. The Empire is about to fall!
    • Microsoft's $4 billion cash reserve.

      Sorry, MSFT's cash reserves were $5,116,000,000 as of 03/31/02. But, keeping cash reserves around is like keeping money in your mattress; they have invested most of it. If you count that too, their cash on hand is actually close to $40 Billion. So, you'll have to buy 260 million XBoxes, or, about 1 for every living human in the USA.

  • I want one (Score:3, Interesting)

    by psicE ( 126646 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @07:51PM (#4186477) Homepage
    People have said this in other forms, but no one's summed it up so far.

    When it comes down to it, why do most people use Windows? Not because it's simple or Linux is complex - most computer users couldn't install or manage Windows configurations, so the added complexity of Linux wouldn't make much of a difference if the defaults (a la Mandrake) were any good. Not because it's more familiar (Start Panel, anyone?), or because it runs their productivity apps (most people can be set up with OpenOffice and not notice a difference).

    People use Windows because it's got the games. As commentators have said time and time again, the computer industry is driven by gamers. No one buys a Pentium 4 2GHz computer with a GeForce 4 Ti because they want to run Office, eh? Geeks resort to dual-booting, Linux for most tasks and Windows for games, while most users simply use what works best - Windows for everything.

    Now, with Xbox, there's an opportunity. Games, by their very nature, defy multitasking. When you're playing a game, you're not doing anything else, period, and you expect real-time performance from your computer. No file/print serving in the background, no preemptive multitasking meaning that your game is only running half as fast as it could. The computer should be doing nothing else but running a game. When you put a game into a console, it loads up that game, isn't running anything else in the background, and thus can (theoretically) give you better performance than any desktop with a full-blown OS can.

    So, suppose you had an Xbox with Linux installed. A user decides they want to type a document, or surf the web; they boot up Linux, and can open Moz or OO. Then, they decide they want to use a game. They shut down Linux, put the game CD/DVD in the Xbox, and load it up.

    Essentially, users have the benefits of a dual-boot situation without the downsides. Games are fully integrated, having every piece of software you need to run them built-in to the disc; the fact that it uses DirectX behind the scenes is irrelevant. And when you're not gaming, you load up Linux, which requires almost no configuration because it's for a standard PC configuration; the Xbox, in fact, may soon be the most ubiquitous PC configuration (plurality) anywhere.

    Users are happy because they get a $200 computer that they can use equally well with a TV, HDTV, or computer monitor; and due to its compact nature, could easily be transported from room to room if need be. Microsoft is happy because people are buying Xboxes, which means they buy games; so MS still ends up making a profit, because most people who buy the Xbox are going to get at least one game (which puts MS almost at break-even).
  • by libertynews ( 304820 ) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:30PM (#4186612) Homepage
    How many BogoMIPS?
  • .. click here []

    He made it really easy for you to track down who is working on this project. You may have a tough time tracking down "Steve" though.
  • The XBox is clearly a worthlessly underpowered PC with a hefty but proprietary graphics accelerator. Does anyone expect NVidia to support the Xbox chip with a Linux binary? Didn't think so. But what if maybe.. just maybe.. someone was able to reverse engineer NVidia's graphics chipsets enough to write a DRI driver. This, incidentally, would benefit both platforms. But is it really feasible? If not, the Xbox Linux project, besides the fun of the hack, is of little value unless the hardware price drops to perhaps $100 or less. And if you really want to hurt M$'s bottom line, start a software consulting group to woo businesses over the Linux/OSS based solutions. Your time is valuable too, you know. Don't let M$ waste it on sillyness.

Do not use the blue keys on this terminal.