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To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
Home Development Multimedia Nintendo DS Development environment setup

Nintendo DS Development environment setup

Today let's help Nintendo DS owners willing to develop some homebrew software!

Installing devkitARM

Devkitpro is a toolchain: a set of tools to compile programs on various platforms (ARM, PPC or MIPS). The NDS has an AMR7 and ARM9 processors, so we'll download devkitARM.

mkdir -p ~/nds/devkitpro
cd nds/devkipro
tar xjvf devkitARM_r23b-i686-linux.tar.bz2

Devkitpro projects need the environment variables DEVKITPRO and DEVKITARM. Let's set them in a script:

cd ..
cat > setup.sh << EOF
#!/bin/sh
export DEVKITPRO=~/nds/devkitpro
export DEVKITARM=$DEVKITPRO/devkitARM
EOF

Now when opening a terminal you'll have to type this command before starting compilation:

source setup.sh

Installing libnds

Now that we have installed the chaintool, we have to get the libnds library and extract it in a subfolder of devkitpro.

mkdir $DEVKITPRO/libnds
mv libnds-20071023.tar.bz2 $DEVKITPRO/libnds
cd $DEVKITPRO/libnds
tar xjvf libnds-20071023.tar.bz2
ln -s basic.arm7 default.arm7
cd ../..

Additional libraries

Other libraries are not required to start developing on NDS but they might be very handy. The first one is libfat.

mkdir $DEVKITPRO/libfat
mv libfat-src-20080530.tar.bz2 $DEVKITPRO/libfat
cd $DEVKITPRO/libfat
tar xjvf libfat-src-20080530.tar.bz2
cd ..

We need to fix a few things prior to compile it:

cat > libfat_nfstypes_fix.patch << EOF
--- libfat/include/fat.h    2008-05-10 21:34:41.000000000 +0200
+++ libfat_fixed/include/fat.h    2008-09-16 16:12:50.000000000 +0200
@@ -54,7 +54,7 @@
#  include <gctypes.h>
#else
#  ifdef NDS
-#    include <nds/ndstypes.h>
+#    include <nds/jtypes.h>
#  else
#    include "gba_types.h"
#  endif
diff -ru libfat/nds/include/fat.h libfat_fixed/nds/include/fat.h
--- libfat/nds/include/fat.h    2008-05-10 21:34:58.000000000 +0200
+++ libfat_fixed/nds/include/fat.h    2008-09-16 16:04:56.000000000 +0200
@@ -40,7 +40,7 @@
#define NDS
#endif

-#include <nds/ndstypes.h>
+#include <nds/jtypes.h>

typedef enum {PI_DEFAULT, PI_SLOT_1, PI_SLOT_2, PI_CUSTOM} PARTITION_INTERFACE;

diff -ru libfat/nds/include/nitrofs.h libfat_fixed/nds/include/nitrofs.h
--- libfat/nds/include/nitrofs.h    2008-05-12 11:03:44.000000000 +0200
+++ libfat_fixed/nds/include/nitrofs.h    2008-09-16 16:12:30.000000000 +0200
@@ -31,7 +31,7 @@
#ifndef _NITROFS_H
#define _NITROFS_H

-#include <nds/ndstypes.h>
+#include <nds/jtypes.h>

#ifdef __cplusplus
extern "C" {
diff -ru libfat/source/common.h libfat_fixed/source/common.h
--- libfat/source/common.h    2008-05-10 21:34:41.000000000 +0200
+++ libfat_fixed/source/common.h    2008-09-16 16:12:09.000000000 +0200
@@ -43,7 +43,7 @@
#include <gctypes.h>
#else
#  ifdef NDS
-   #include <nds/ndstypes.h>
+   #include <nds/jtypes.h>
#include <nds/system.h>

#  else
diff -ru libfat/source/libfat.c libfat_fixed/source/libfat.c
--- libfat/source/libfat.c    2008-05-23 21:37:46.000000000 +0200
+++ libfat_fixed/source/libfat.c    2008-09-16 16:05:11.000000000 +0200
@@ -111,7 +111,8 @@

if (setAsDefaultDevice) {
char filePath[MAXPATHLEN * 2] = "fat:/";
-#ifndef GBA
+#if defined(NDS) || defined(GBA)
+#else
if ( __system_argv->argvMagic == ARGV_MAGIC && __system_argv->argc >= 1 ) {

if ( !strncasecmp( __system_argv->argv[0], "fat", 3)) {
EOF
patch -p0 < patch_libfat.patch

cd libfat
make nds-release && make nds-install

If you want to use the NDS network capabilities you will need DSwifi

mkdir $DEVKITPRO/dswifi
mv dswifi-src-0.3.4.tar.bz2 $DEVKITPRO/dswifi
cd $DEVKITPRO/dswifi
tar xjvf dswifi-src-0.3.4.tar.bz2
make && make install
cd ../..

Allright, now you have a functionnal DevkitPRO and libnds install. To test this environment you can try some nds examples and install emulators like no$gba or desmume (this one is available as a debian package) to see the result.

Have fun Wink

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