Main / User Guide
- Minimum requirements
- Install guide
- First boot
- Game development
- How to use a joystick
- How to use the virtual keyboard and mouse
- How to back up files
- How to restore files
- How to use multiple consoles
- How to take a screenshot
- How to configure networking
- How to configure a sound card
- How to subscribe to a podcast
Rogue Class is a toy Linux distribution for playing games and reading books. Rogue Class Linux has a streamlined installer and it supports joystick controls in most of the programs. RCL favors turn-based games, such as puzzles and rogue-like games.
In 2007 i was given a GP2X for my birthday. It ran Linux and NetHack on two AA batteries. I could simply download a .zip file, extract it to the SD card, and then run the application. It was simple to develop for. Simply write a Linux application using SDL, and then cross-compile it for the ARM processor. This simplicity reminded me a little of MS-DOS: a program could have direct access to the hardware with minimal interference from the system. The community-created GP2X game ports were great. They tended to have custom code to deal with the small QVGA screen and the lack of mouse and keyboard input. This GP2X scene is the inspiration. Rogue Class Linux can run the same kind of software, but on an old PC.
Rogue Class is based heavily on Slackware Linux. The scripting language is TCL. See also this chart of graphical sub-systems.
- Pentium-III processor
- 128mb memory
- 2gb hard disk
- Graphics controller with VESA BIOS
- Optical drive to install from
Note that multiple displays are not supported. The Linux framebuffer works best with a single display.
Note that multiple audio devices are not supported. The ALSA subsystem supports multiple audio devices, but the configuration is technical.
- Note: You are responsible for backing up all important files before installing Rogue Class Linux.
- Note: These instructions are for a mouse, but you may also use the Tab, Arrow, and Enter keys to control the GUI.
- Note: If using a computer manufactured later than 2011 then you may need to enable Legacy Mode. RCL is strictly 32-bit to support older computers, and UEFI cannot normally boot a 32-bit OS.
- Download ISO images and burn them to CD's
- Boot from the first install CD
At first, you will see a black screen with white text. These are the
Linux kernel boot messages. If you see a prompt for a floppy, then it
ran out of memory. If you see a blank black screen, then it ran out of
memory, or you have a video problem. I have seen some old video controllers
that do not work well with LCD monitors.
When it finishes booting, you will see the setup screen. Double-click TARGET to select the target hard disk. If installing to a USB flash drive, then see these notes.
Select a disk to install to. This will format the entire hard disk
and install Rogue Class Linux. No dual-booting is allowed.
Wait while it installs Rogue Class Linux. It should take a few minutes at the most.
It will eject disc 1 and prompt you for disc 2. Disc 2 contains additional games. If you want the complete set of games, insert disc 2 and double-click Continue. Otherwise, double-click Quit.
Wait while it installs the packages on disc 2. It should take a few minutes at the most.
- When it completes, click OK to continue. It will eject disc 2 and reboot the PC.
The RCL boot screen will be visible for 3 seconds. Then it will print
boot messages on a black background. Wait for it to boot.
When it finishes booting, you will see the main menu.
- The menus are mostly self-explanatory. See the Games page for hints on how to play the games.
- Note: RCL defaults to VESA 800x600 graphics resolution in attempt to maximize compatibility. To use a higher graphics resolution, navigate to System, Display, Video, AUTO, then Shutdown, Reboot.
GamesClick for Games
Game developmentClick for Game development
How to use a joystick
Rogue Class Linux has good joystick support. For hotplug USB joysticks, RCL will automatically configure the joystick when you plug it in. Otherwise, you will need to follow the manual configuration instructions.
Note: The joystick configuration may be hotplug, but the games and menus are not. You will need to close and re-open the current game or menu to use the newly plugged-in joystick.
Many of the roguelike games share common joystick controls. You can also use the virtual keyboard, as described below.
How to use the virtual keyboard and mouse
Most of the games in Rogue Class Linux have been modified to include a virtual keyboard and mouse. This makes it possible to play a complex rogue-like game with a joystick. If your controller lacks triggers, you may use the shoulder buttons instead.
To open the virtual keyboard, press the left trigger. Press the left trigger again to dismiss it. While the virtual keyboard is open, press the right trigger to shift to uppercase letters and symbols. Use directions to select a virtual key. Press the B button to press the selected virtual key. See also common joystick controls.
The virtual keyboard and the virtual mouse are mutually exclusive. This means you must dismiss the virtual keyboard before you can use the virtual mouse, and vice versa.
To enable the virtual mouse, hold down the right + left triggers together. Then let go of both triggers. To disable the virtual mouse, hold down both triggers together again. Use directions to move the mouse pointer slowly. Hold down the right trigger while moving the mouse to move it quickly. Press the B button to left-click. Press the A button to right-click.
In some games you can drag and drop with the virtual mouse. Hold down the right trigger + Start button together to enable drag mode. In drag mode, press the B button and let go. This will start dragging. Use the directions to drag the mouse pointer. Then press the B button again to stop dragging. To go back to normal mouse button mode, hold down the right trigger + Start button together again.
BackupHow to backup
RestoreHow to restore
How to use multiple consoles
Rogue Class Linux programs are full-screen graphical programs. You can run multiple programs by using multiple consoles. To switch to another console, press Ctrl-Alt-F1 through Ctrl-Alt-F6. After you have switched to another console, you may need to press Enter to activate the new console.
Note that this feature does not work well on all graphics controllers. On some controllers you will experience side effects, such as console 2 corrupting the graphics of console 1.
Only one program can use a joystick and mouse at a time. For this reason, the joystick and mouse are assigned to the first console by default. Programs on the other consoles will use keyboard input. You can use the system menu to reassign the joystick or mouse to a different console.
DirectFB and SDL2 applications are an exception to the mouse locking, and these programs can use the mouse on any console at any time.
How to take a screenshot
Note: In DirectFB and SDL2 applications, you may simply press the Print Screen button on the keyboard to take a screenshot. Then use the file manager to browse to the home directory and open a dfm_####.ppm screenshot file. This will open the screenshot menu for that file. Currently the DirectFB applications in Rogue Class Linux are Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, Hydra Slayer, Pysol, Rogue, Tome4, and Veins of the Earth. For all other applications, use the following instructions.
First, read the section on using multiple consoles. If you wish to take a screenshot, then you must use another console to do so. This example will use console 2 to take a screenshot of console 1.
Note: You cannot take a screenshot of a greater numbered console. You cannot take a screenshot of console 2 if you run the screenshot app on console 1.
- Switch to console 1
- Run the program that you want to take a screenshot of
Switch to console 2 and activate it
Use the arrow keys to select Apps, and press Enter
Use the arrow keys to select Screen shot, and press Enter
Type in the number of seconds to wait before taking a screenshot.
- Press Enter to activate the OK button
- Quickly switch back to console 1
- Wait for the specified number of seconds
- Switch the console back to console 2
- Press Enter
This will open the screenshot menu.
The "View screenshot" option will display the screenshot in the links browser.
Press the Up, Down,
keys to scroll the image. Press the Enter key to scale the image. Press q to quit the browser.
NetworkHow to configure networking
How to configure a sound card
Rogue Class Linux will automatically configure PCI and USB audio devices. One catch is that it only supports a single audio device at a time. If your PC already has built-in audio and you plug in a USB audio device, then Rogue Class Linux will use the built-in audio instead of USB audio. If you have an older PC then you may need to probe the ISA audio device before you can use sound.
PodcastHow to subscribe to a podcast
You can view additional documentation from the file manager. Click Go, Documentation, and browse to the desired documentation.
You can view additional documentation in the Apps / Manuals menu. For example, you could search for SDL to list all of the SDL manuals.
The Linux fbcon system is fragile on some hardware. If a program crashes then you should probably reboot the PC. Even if it seems to be working OK, program crashes can put fbcon in a weird state. This is especially true when using multiple consoles.
Rogue Class Linux is intended to be entirely menu driven. However, you can access the command prompt if you wish. If you get a password prompt then the word rogue is probably the default password. You can use the sudo command to get unrestricted superuser access.