Running Doom on a i.MX6 with Yocto Linux

Although I’ve missed most of the hype around the original Doom game back in the 90’s, I did get to play it at a friends place. But it was only until I started programming that I picked it up again after reading Master’s of Doom.

When I started working on a embedded Linux device last year based on the i.MX6 processor the idea began to grow to compile Doom for our custom Linux based OS as some sort of easter egg. Unfortunately the world is real and deadlines are always too short and I had to let go of this idea. More recently however some of our dev-boards had to be archived and so I took this opportunity to take one home for a short period of time and finally get this one settled for once and for all.

One way to get it working is to setup a cross-compilation toolchain and cross-compile one of the many source ports of the doom engine. Another way would be to properly integrate it with the build of our custom Linux OS. Since we’re using Yocto to build our image the idea was to create a separate meta-layer that includes everything you need. You can find the meta-layer at github/geoffrey-vl/meta-doom.

Initially I started integrating the prboom engine. I found out that the out-of-three build  wasn’t working so well and I’ve bumped into some other issues’s as well. I had more luck using chocolate-doom which is better maintained. Chocolate-doom only recently switched over to using the SDL2 library so to be on the safe side I went to the latest version that runs on SDL(1). The game engine also requires libsdl-net which is currently not available in the official yocto repo’s. Luck was on my side when I bumped into a working libsdl-net recipe through google-search.

With the engine compiling happily I stumbled upon licensing issues. You have to own the game (and its game aka WAD files), so I couldn’t distribute anything that would be playable unless the user would copy its WAD files to our embedded system. Luckily there is the Freedoom project, a open-source implementation of the doom game. I also found a working recipe for Freedoom and so moments later my workstation produced a ready-to-play open-source implementation of the immensely populair Doom game.

Just for the kicks I also loaded my own WAD files, here is the result:

 

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