For about 2 days I've been trying to install PCSX - I got it working and was able to load up a game....except nothing happened. It would go to a black screen. I'm not going in too deep detail with what all I did, but today I deleted EVERYTHING related to PCSX, including the .pcsx file in my Home directory.

So I'm at step 0 right now - it's time to figure out a few things, however idk how to find these things.

  1. I need to know what dependencies I need to have and which ones I already have of those. I need to figure out if the program is even compatible with my system. This is my system info...

    Memory - 1.8 gig
    Processor - Intel Core 2 duo CPU p8700@2.53GHz x 2 (I cant comprehend what that means i.e: limited knowledge or computer hardware) Graphics - Mobile intel Gm45 Express Chipset
    OS - 64-bit ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    244.0 gigs hard drive

    ...but I'm not actually sure how to make that all make sense, I know what I'm supposed to find, but I lack understanding what IT is and how to know if it's the right stuff. Or if it's too weak/old.

  2. I need to find an emulator that might work, like pcsx(r) or epcsxe or something. How would I know what version, or emulator, using the above info, is going to work?

So now I need to figure out how to install the dependancies, the plug ins yadda yadda. Really like a lot of detail, consider me totally new at Linux in general, I'm still trying to figure out the terminal (which is how I installed most of the stuff for the pcsxr) Any help would be much appreciated, even if I find out I just can't use the emulator, at least I'll be through with this project.

Side note: Please try to keep as much of the instructions as terminal use, I'm finding that more and more useful each day, and I want to learn it better.

  • The specs should be enough work, though you may be running out of memory (which might cause issues). What instructions are you following, and what are you trying to do (what game, from what source etc)? – Wilf Jul 19 '15 at 20:42

If you're just looking to play Playstation 1 games and do not strictly need PCSX, I really recommend RetroArch. It works flawlessly on my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with Intel graphics card, and it's basically a breeze to set up. I produced a full guide for it on my blog linked below, but here's the gist of it:

Why RetroArch?

It's geared towards a "just works" philosophy, where you do not need to worry about loading or configuring additional plugins. You can tweak things, but the defaults generally work just fine.

Install RetroArch via PPA

mkdir ~/emu
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libretro/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install retroarch libretro*

Get and configure the BIOSes

You need the files:


If you cannot find all of them, you can also use scph1001.bin and rename it to scph5501.bin, scph1000.bin to scph5500.bin, and scph1002.bin to scph5502.bin.

Drop these bin files in ~/emu, the dir you created earlier.

Launch retroarch from terminal, then press ESC to quit. You have to tweak the .cfg before finally using it.

gedit ~/.config/retroarch/retroarch.cfg

Modify the following lines like so, to point to your ~/emu dir.

system_directory = "~/emu/"
content_directory = "~/emu/"

Save and close the file. Now move ALL BIOS bins, roms, and CUE/ISO files to your ~/emu directory.

ISO vs CUE files

Unfortunately RetroArch/Mednafen cannot open ISO files directly, only CUE file. If you just have the ISO or BIN for the Playstation game, you have to create a CUE sheet for each disc using a simple text editor (Gedit is fine).

Let’s say I have FF7_DISC1.ISO file inside ~/emu, which is Disc 1 of Final Fantasy VII. Navigate to ~/emu, and create a plain text file called FF7_DISC1.CUE. Copy/Paste this to it:

  TRACK 01 MODE2/2352
    INDEX 01 00:00:00

The filename in between the “quotes” should match exactly your ISO filename, and it should all be in the same directory. What this file does is basically determine where the CD audio tracks begin and end; in the case of Final Fantasy VII there is no CD audio so it’s just 00:00:00. You should be able to do this for most games the same way. But if a game does have CD audio and you want that to work, you will have to find the CUE sheet for the game.


You're ready to play! Launch retroarch --verbose again from the terminal (the --verbose option will output more messages to the console in case there is something you need to fix).

Navigate the menus with arrow keys, X confirms and Z goes back.

Full Guide: http://butlerpc.net/blog/2015/07/guide-to-running-retroarch-playstation-emulator-on-ubuntu-14-04/

  • Okay I did most of that but now I'm having trouble running games. I have an MGS1.iso file, the original file is Metal Gear Solid (E) (Disc 1) [SLES-01370].bin.ecm when I look for the game in either format I cannot find it to load and play. I used the command ecm-uncompress filename MGS1.iso is that wrong? – Jerry White Jul 19 '15 at 20:48
  • Also when I was to change the lines for system_directory and content_directory in the .cfg....there was no content_directory line, so I had to add one – Jerry White Jul 19 '15 at 21:03
  • @JerryWhite not sure why the content_directory line was not there. but that's a good idea to add it. I'm updating the answer with info about ISO and CUE files. – Michael Butler Jul 19 '15 at 21:41
  • @JerryWhite if you need more help I can help you in the chat here: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/201/ask-ubuntu-general-room – Michael Butler Jul 19 '15 at 21:46
  • Okay, so I did everything even located and added .cue files for my game. I'll go with Loaded.bin, which has the Loaded.cue in the same folder. When I go to the program and click load and detect core, I locate the Loaded.cue file and click it and my program closes, showing segmentation fault (core dumped) however I can play my snes roms. – Jerry White Jul 19 '15 at 21:53

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