This document describes the installation process of the Advance programs.
The sections of this document are:
1 System RequirementsTo run the Advance programs you may need to install and configure some drivers and libraries on your system.
The following is a list of all that you need.
More details on the single drivers are present in the `advdev.txt' documentation file.
1.1 LinuxTo allow the Advance programs to display in X you must install the SDL library. Generally it's already present in all the recent distributions.
To allow the Advance programs to directly control your video board in console mode, you must install and configure the Linux Frame Buffer driver or a recent SVGALIB library.
The Linux Frame Buffer drivers are always included in the Linux kernel source, but generally they must be explicitly compiled or loaded. Please note that you cannot use the VESA Linux Frame Buffer driver, you must use a driver specific for your video board.
The SVGALIB library must be installed manually. Generally the Linux distributions contain an old 1.4 version of the library, but the Advance programs you need at least the version 1.9.14 available at:
For both the Frame Buffer driver and the SVGALIB library some additional patches are available in the `contrib/' directory.
To allow the Advance programs to play sounds, you must have installed the OSS or the ALSA audio system. Generally at least one is always available in all the Linux distributions. If you have the SDL library, it can also be used for the sound output.
The Advance programs are able to use the Linux support for input controllers like keyboards, joysticks and mice. If you have the SDL library, it can also be used for the input controllers.
1.2 DOSThe Advance programs already contain all the required drivers for video, sound, and input controllers.
Generally you don't need to install additional software with the exception of a mouse driver if you want to use one.
1.3 WindowsThe Advance programs contain a copy of the SDL library which allow them to work also in the Windows platform.
To allow the Advance programs to directly control your video board, you must install the included SVGAWIN driver.
Please note that the SVGAWIN driver is EXPERIMENTAL software and it works only for a few sets of video boards. More information is present in the `svgawin.txt' documentation file.
The SDL library is also used for sound, and input controllers.
1.4 Mac OS X/Generic UnixTo allow the Advance programs to work you must install the SDL library. This library is used for video, sound and input controllers.
The SDL library is available at:
2 InstallationThe suggested way to installing the Advance programs is to start from the sources.
The build process is detailed in `build.txt' file, but generally you need only the usual commands:
./configure make make install
The exception is the DOS and Windows target. In this case it's better to start from the binary distribution and don't compile the source.
3 ConfigurationAll the Advance programs require a configuration process to work correctly.
To create a default configuration file run the application from a command shell and a standard configuration .rc file will be created.
In Linux, Mac OS X and other Unix, the configuration file is created in the user home directory in the subdirectory .advance/. In DOS and Windows the configuration file is created in the current directory.
When you have finished to modify the configuration file, it's suggested to run the program with the `-remove' option to remove all the default configuration options from the configuration file.
3.1 AdvanceMAMETo run AdvanceMAME you need at least to set the `dir_rom' option to the path there the roms resides.
If you want to run it as standard applications in a Window Manager environment like X Window, Windows or Mac OS X Acqua, you don't need to configure any video options. Instead, if you want to enable the direct programming of the video board you need to carefully follow the "Video Setup" chapter in this file.
3.2 AdvanceMENUTo run AdvanceMENU you need to configure which emulator is present in your system. If a known emulator is found, it's configured automatically. In Linux and Mac OS X the emulators are searched in the current PATH list, in DOS and Windows only in the current directory.
Generally you need also to adjust the path where the game's .png, .mp3 and .mng files reside with the emulator_* options.
4 Video HardwareThe Advance programs are able to drive different types of video hardware: LCD, Multi Sync monitors, Fixed Sync monitors, Arcade monitors and TVs.
With the exception of PC Monitors that always accept the VGA signal, for other monitors you should take in account the required video signals and eventually use conversion circuits to adapt signals.
A lot of useful links are available on the AdvanceMAME video link page:
4.1 LCD screensLCD screens have always a native fixed resolution. To get the best image quality it's always suggested to use this resolution.
For this reason you usually don't need to enter any specific configuration options, and let the program to use the default video mode.
This mode of operation is the default when you are in a graphics environment like X, Windows and Mac OS X.
4.2 Multi Sync monitors (or PC monitors)Multi Sync monitors support a wide range of horizontal clocks and requires a standard VGA connector. They are the normal PC monitors.
With PC monitors you can choose to work without any configuration, using only the default video mode, like a LCD screen, or configure the clocks supported to allow a direct video mode generation by the Advance programs.
You can generally find the range of clocks supported in the monitor manual, generic values are:
device_video_clock 10 - 150 / 30.5 - 60 / 55 - 130
4.3 Fixed Sync MonitorsFixed Sync monitors support only a few fixed horizontal clocks. Generally they requires separate 3,4 or 5 BNC connectors, with the exception of old VGA monitors which requires a standard VGA connector.
You must find the exact clocks supported in the monitor manual.
The standard clocks for VGA monitors are:
device_video_clock 10 - 50 / 31.5 / 55 - 130
If the monitor uses separate H/V sync signals you can directly use the VGA sync signals of your PC. If the monitor uses composite sync, or sync-on-green you must use a sync converter circuit.
These monitors are generally compatible with the VGA video signal level of 0.7 V p-p.
4.4 Arcade MonitorsArcade monitors support only a few fixed horizontal and vertical clocks, generally the horizontal 15.75 and 25 kHz, and only the vertical 60 Hz.
You must find the exact clocks supported in the monitor manual.
Please note that the manuals of some Arcade Monitors incorrectly state a wide range of horizontal frequency like 15 - 31 kHz. Generally these monitors support only the three fixed clocks of 15.75, 25, 31.1 kHz. An example is the Wells-Gardner D9200.
The standard clocks for a Standard Resolution 15 kHz (CGA) are:
device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 15.75 / 60
for a Extended Resolution 16 kHz are:
device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 16.5 / 53
for a Medium Resolution 25 kHz (EGA) are:
device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 25 / 60
If your monitor is multistandard, you can use more clock specification separating them with the `;' char.
device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 15.75 / 60 ; 5 - 50 / 25 / 60
If the monitor accepts separate H/V sync signals at levels 0 - 5 V you can directly use the VGA sync signal of your PC. If the monitor uses another sync signal you must use a sync conversion circuit.
If the monitor accepts a composite sync signal, instead of using a sync conversion circuits you can also try twisting the two H and V VGA signal together. It works if you select VGA negative H and V sync on the programs. To be on safe side I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS HACK to connect sync signals directly together. Technically you should never just tie sync signal lines together. They are not usually designed for this, so this can damage your video card. If you try, use with caution.
You must also ensure that the monitor accepts the VGA video signal level of 0.7 V p-p. Generally arcade monitors require a video signal between 1 V and 5 V for each line. Therefore if you attempt to drive an arcade monitor with a VGA video signal you will at most, have a very dark picture with no contrast. You will need to buy/make an amplifier for each line in order for it to work.
4.5 TVsTVs generally supports only two fixed combination of horizontal and vertical clocks, corresponding at the TV PAL and NTSC standards.
Clocks values for PAL TV (European) are:
device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 15.62 / 50
for NTSC TV (USA) are:
device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 15.73 / 60
for PAL TV (European) which supports also NTSC TV (USA) modes (common if you use the SCART input):
device_video_clock 5 - 50 / 15.62 / 50 ; 5 - 50 / 15.73 / 60
4.5.1 TVs with SCARTIf your TV has a SCART input, you can use directly the VGA analog signal as RGB input.
A composite sync signal is required. It means that you must use a sync converter circuit to convert the VGA H/V sync with levels 0 - 5 V to a composite sync of levels 0 - 0.3 V.
The SCART input accepts also a composite video signal, but the RGB video is far superior.
Remember what to enable the SCART RGB signal you must set the SCART pin 16 at level 1 - 3 V (no more than 3 V). And to automatically switch the TV to the AV signal you must set the SCART pin 8 at level 9.5 - 12 V (for some TVs 5 V may be enough).
If you have a recent VGA board, you can use the 5 V power available on the VGA pin 9. Alternatively you can use the 5 V and 12 V PC internal power.
4.5.2 TVs with S-VideoIf your TV has a S-Video input, you can use the TV-Out signal of your VGA board.
The quality of the S-Video signal is near at the quality of the RGB signal.
Unfortunately the TV-Out signal is generally not enabled by the Advance programs. There are some external utilities for Linux and Windows able to enable the TV-Out signal, but their use is mainly untested.
5 Video SetupThe Advance programs have the ability to directly control your video board to get the best possible fullscreen video modes with always the correct size and aspect ratio.
This feature is available in Linux with the SVGALIB and Frame Buffer libraries, in DOS with the SVGALIB and VBELINE libraries and in Windows with the SVGAWIN library.
It isn't available in Mac OS X and other Unix, or generally if your only detected video driver is the SDL library.
To make it possible, the programs need some information on your monitor capability in the form of the supported pixel, horizontal and vertical clocks.
With thies information the programs are able to always generate `perfect' video modes for the emulated game.
5.1 Operation ModesThe programs support two basic ways to generated video modes: the `automatic' and the `manual' operation mode.
In the `automatic' mode the programs automatically generate a video mode from scratch. It's the simplest mode of operation.
In the `manual' mode the programs pick the video mode from a manually defined list of modelines, eventually adjusting them to match the game clock or size requirements. This mode of operation should be used only if the `automatic' mode doesn't work.
Please note that if you are using the SDL or VBE video drivers, the programs aren't able to create or adjust video modes. In this case you don't need to configure anything because the programs can use only the video modes that your system reports as available.
The SDL and VBE video drivers are only indicated to use AdvanceMAME in a Window Manager system. Instead they can be used with AdvanceMENU for the use with a normal PC monitor, because AdvanceMENU only use standard video modes.
5.1.1 Automatic Operation ModeIn the automatic operation mode the programs automatically create a `perfect' video mode for the game to be emulated that fit exactly the whole screen with the correct aspect and frame rate.
To configure and activate this mode you need to run the `advcfg' utility for AdvanceMAME and `advcfg -advmenuc' for AdvanceMENU, and answer at the various questions. You don't need to create a list of video modes, any needed video mode is created at runtime.
Before running the `advcfg' utility you should check your monitor manual for the vertical and horizontal clocks supported by your monitor.
The `advcfg' utility adds these options in your `advmame.rc':
display_mode auto display_adjust generate_yclock device_video_clock ? device_video_format ?
All these options are documented in the `advdev.txt' and `advmame.txt' files.
5.1.2 Manual Operation ModeIn the manual operation mode the programs scan a list of `good' video modelines created manually and chose the best available. You must in advance create this list of video modelines with the `advv' utility.
This is the description of the few basic steps required to run the programs in the manual operation mode. All the options used are documented in the `advdev.txt' file.
- For AdvanceMAME add in the in the file `advmame.rc' these options:
display_mode auto display_adjust x
- Add in the file `advmame.rc' or `advmenu.rc' the `device_video_clock' option that specify which pixel, horizontal and vertical clocks are supported by your monitor. Generally these values are specified in the technical page of your monitor manual. You can see the "Video Hardware" chapter in this file for some examples.
- Run the `advv' program for AdvanceMAME or `advv -advmenuv' for AdvanceMENU.
- Test the video modelines of your interest pressing ENTER on them. If the mode isn't centered try centering it with the ARROW keys. When you have finished press ENTER to save your modifications or ESC to restore the previous setting. Returned in the video mode list, if the mode is displayed correctly, you can select it to be used by the programs pressing SPACE. It's very important that in all the selected modes the screen area is completely visible. Otherwise, when playing, part of the game may be out of screen. Video modes displayed in red aren't supported by your video hardware.
- When you have selected the list of `good' video modes press F2 to save them in your configuration file.
- Press ESC to exit from `advv'
In the `contrib/modeline' dir are present some .rc file with some example modelines. The same modelines are contained in the `advv' program.
- Delete any old configuration files and restart from scratch.
- If you are using a PC Multisync monitor and the image is instable or the monitor automatically switches off, you have probably entered wrong clock values. Check the horizontal and vertical clock ranges supported by your monitor in the monitor manual. Eventually try with shorter ranges. Try for example with:
device_video_clock 10 - 150 / 55 - 90 / 31 - 50
- If you are using an Arcade Monitor/TV and the image is instable or completely black try increasing the lower pixel clock limit. Some video boards aren't able to output too low clocks. Instead of 5 try 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, ...
- If interlaced video modes have swapped rows, try using the `display_interlaceeffect' option to adjust the image.
- If you are using the `svgalib' driver ensure that you have installed the most recent SVGALIB library. The old 1.4.x versions are not supported.
- If you are using the `fb' driver, ensure to don't use the VESA Frame Buffer. It doesn't work for the Advance programs.
- If you are using the `fb' driver check the kernel patches in the `contrib/fb' directory.
- If you are using the `svgalib' driver check the svgalib patches in the `contrib/svgalib' directory.
- If you have both the `svgalib' and `fb' drivers, try forcing the use of the `fb' driver instead of the `svgalib' driver with the option:
device_video fb slang
- Try forcing the use of the `vbeline' driver instead of the `svgaline' driver with the option:
device_video vbeline vgaline
- If your board has a VESA VBE 3.0 BIOS, try forcing the `vbeline/vbe3' driver with the options:
device_video vbeline/vbe3 vgaline
- If you are using the `vbeline' driver try changing the `vbeline_mode' option:
device_video vbeline vgaline device_vbeline_mode smaller
- Try reducing the video hardware acceleration from the Control Panel.