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Joined: Sep 2008
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I switched from Windows to Linux about 9 months ago and noticed something strange with MAME but didn't have the motivation to figure it out until today :-). If it matters I'm running Fedora (KDE). When I moved to Linux I created a new ini (mame -cc) and manually changed any settings to match what my Windows config had. Everything worked fine except for the scanline effect I had configured (scanrez2). While troubleshooting it today I noticed that if I configured it on the command line:

mame -effect scanrez2 dkong

Everything works fine and it looks exactly like it does in Windows. But when it's configured in the ini then it is being ignored:

#
# CORE SCREEN OPTIONS
#
brightness 1.0
contrast 1.0
gamma 1.0
pause_brightness 0.65
effect scanrez2


It doesn't matter if the effect has the extension (.png) or not - it is ignored either way. But then I also noticed that if I specified the "-effect" parameter on the command line then the entire ini was ignored, which MAME has never done in Windows / DOS. In Windows the specific command line parameters would override what is in the ini but all the other ini options would be used. I'm not sure if this is a bug or if I'm missing something lol. I'm so used to using MAME in Windows so maybe it's just a difference of the Linux build that I'm doing something wrong?

Last edited by Waremonger; 12/15/22 11:45 PM.
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That sounds a lot like whatever game you're testing with has its own .ini that's overriding things from mame.ini. You can run with -verbose to see what all .ini files it's trying to load for a given game. None of the behavior you're describing is handled any differently on Linux.

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I didn't even think of that, but unfortunately that was not the case. Neither /usr/share/mame/ini/ or .mame/ini/ or $HOME have any ini's outside of the default. mame.ini, plugin.ini, and ui.ini are directly in my $HOME folder and there are no other ini's in the other folders. dkong is the game I've been testing with. Here's the output of verbose if it helps any:

[zzz@fedora ~]$ mame -verbose -effect scanrez2 dkong | grep .ini
Attempting load of mame.ini
Parsing mame.ini
Attempting load of mame.ini
Parsing mame.ini
Attempting load of vertical.ini
Attempting load of arcade.ini
Attempting load of raster.ini
Attempting load of source/dkong.ini
Attempting load of dkong.ini
Attempting load of mame.ini
Parsing mame.ini
Attempting load of mame.ini
Parsing mame.ini
Attempting load of vertical.ini
Attempting load of arcade.ini
Attempting load of raster.ini
Attempting load of source/dkong.ini
Attempting load of dkong.ini
Enter init_monitors
Leave init_monitors
Enter sdlwindow_init
Leave sdlwindow_init
Audio: Start initialization
Audio: End initialization
Keyboard: Start initialization
Keyboard: End initialization
Mouse: Start initialization
Mouse: End initialization
Lightgun: Begin initialization
Lightgun: End initialization
Joystick: Start initialization
Joystick: End initialization


With that command I get scanlines the way I have configured on Windows but it ignores the other options set in the mame.ini in my home folder (such as no save states, no gameinfo, etc).

Last edited by Waremonger; 12/16/22 12:39 AM.
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AHA! Thanks RB. I missed a folder: /etc/mame. That had a mame.ini that I had missed. So many different folder paths in Linux ugh lol. Now everything is working as expected. Thanks again for your time.

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Great! For distro packaged Linux MAME versions that sometimes have weird setups, it can be useful to make a little batch script that launches MAME with -inipath so things happen how you want.

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Can confirm the weird setup, had to get used to it when I installed Lubuntu last month.

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This is why I generally recommend to build the sources in Linux or to get a tarball from someone who built it and not to use the distro package. And, of course, the fact that the distros are generally some releases behind.

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Yeah, in retrospect I wish I had done that as the Fedora release forces you to use /etc/mame to store the mame.ini. Even if you config -initpath specifically on the command line if the mame.ini is not in /etc/mame then MAME spits out an error saying it cannot find the bgfx path even though the path is correct in the specified mame.ini. Oh well, not a big deal - at least Fedora's MAME version is kept up to date. As soon as I have any further issues though I will just compile it myself.

Thanks again for all the help / comments. Also, I want to apologize to putting this thread here instead of in the Non-Windows MAME support. I've had a bookmark directly to this MAME forum since I joined and didn't even realize until last night that the Non-Windows MAME section even existed.

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Originally Posted by Waremonger
Thanks again for all the help / comments. Also, I want to apologize to putting this thread here instead of in the Non-Windows MAME support. I've had a bookmark directly to this MAME forum since I joined and didn't even realize until last night that the Non-Windows MAME section even existed.
You don’t need to apologise for that – the forum organisation is a historical artefact. Back when MESS and SDLMAME were forks, these were the MESS and SDLMAME forums. When everything was merged, the MESS forum became a MAME forum, and the SDLMAME forum became non-Windows MAME support. But it’s all mainline now, so there’s no rule against discussing it here.

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I don't like to keep track of config files modified outside of my home directory so I handle this problem by replacing the mame.ini in /etc/mame with one that contains one line and looks like this:

inipath $HOME/.mame

And then all my .ini's are stored in ~/.mame/ and I don't have any issues.

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