Playdate SDK for Linux?

A recent tweet alluded to the existence of a Linux SDK, but it’s not mentioned in the 0.10.1 announcement - is it available somewhere, or can it be built from source? If not, any idea when it’ll be available? Very excited to get started!


I’m also looking for this… I have several Linux development machines but don’t have Windows installed anywhere anymore. :playdate_agh: I’d love to get started developing without having to use a VM.

I also have Linux development experience (I’m a co-founder of the Linux-based elementary OS), if any help is needed with Linux-specific bits of the SDK—especially around packaging and FreeDesktop standards to ensure it works right across Linux-based OSes.

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Hello! Neither the Windows nor Mac simulator shipped in SDK 0.10.1. At this point, I believe the plan is to ship the full toolkits for all 3 OSes in a usable, more-or-less beta state in 0.10.2.

The only pieces of the SDK that are platform-specific are 3 binaries: the compiler (pdc), the simulator, and another general utility (pdutil) for manipulating the Playdate as a storage device. We are not planning to release the source to these at this time.

We haven’t started looking at packaging yet. As it’s just 3 binaries, I don’t think it will be too hard, but it’s good to know you’re around if we have questions!

(BTW, I have used elementary, and it’s really nice!)

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Oof, I meant to say “neither the Windows nor Linux simulator” in the first sentence. :smiley:

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Awesome, thanks for the update! I’m getting by on OS X right now, but I’d much rather be helping test the Linux toolchain.

Any update on this? I see that SDK 0.10.2 was published, but a linux build wasn’t included. (4.8 MB)

Thanks for the reminder. Here’s a Linux version of the 0.10.2 SDK. It has had hardly any testing, which is why it didn’t make it into the general release, but maybe you can help us with that.

You can leave feedback or questions in this thread.


:star_struck: thank you, that’s awesome!

Thank you! I’ve received my Developer Preview hardware so I’m gonna start playing with this all. :playdate_sideways_smile:. I downloaded the SDK and am reading through the docs now!

One question: is the simulator included in this release? I seem to have the pdc and pdutil binaries, but can’t find the simulator.

The Linux simulator didn’t land in the 0.10.2 SDK but here’s the latest build from our CI server which does have it.

Please let me know how it goes. As I said earlier, it’s had very little testing! (7.7 MB)


Thanks for including the simulator! A couple of notes for anyone else trying to use it on linux:

On first launch, the simulator couldn’t find the PlaydateSDK. I had unzipped it to ~/playdate, so I edited ~/.Playdate\ Simulator/Playdate\ Simulator.ini as follows:


(In this case /home/dorthu is ~ - the ini file requires an absolute path)

I also had to mkdir ~/playdate/Disk. With that done, the simulator runs great.

Additioanlly, I integrated it into my Makefile for easy testing:

PDC ?= ~/playdate/PlaydateSDK-0.10.2/bin/pdc
PLAYDATE_SIMULATOR ?= ~/playdate/PlaydateSDK-0.10.2/bin/PlaydateSimulator
PLAYDATE_SDK_PATH ?= ~/playdate/PlaydateSDK-0.10.2/
PDX_NAME ?= 'Big Head'

@PHONEY: build
	$(PDC) -sdkpath $(PLAYDATE_SDK_PATH) src/ $(PDX_NAME)

@PHONEY: simulate
simulate: build

In this case, my pdx is named “Big Head” - this can be changed to anything. I am assuming that all code and assets for the game live in a directory named src in the same folder as the Makefile.

With the above setup, I can run make simulate to build and run this in the simulator immediately. So far, no issues.

Thank you again for sharing this build, it’s really nice to be developing on Linux :playdate_heart_eyes:

Usage: pdutil <device> <action> [options]
    path to Playdate serial port, ie; /dev/ttyACM0
    datadisk           - Mount Playdate data partition
    recoverydisk       - Mount Playdate recovery partition
    run <path>         - Run .pdx from device's data partition

pdutil “install” command intentionally missing? Looks like I can upload stuff via datadisk and copying files around.

I’ve been installing games with something like this:

pdutil /dev/ttyACM0 datadisk
cp -r MyGame.pdx /media/$(whoami)/PLAYDATE/Games/

I haven’t figured out how to correctly unmount the playdate through the console yet, which is why this is missing from my Makefile (the unmount button in Nautilus works though, I’m probably just missing something obvious).

How to Unmount looks like it should work on Linux.

I thought so too, but while umount /media/$(whoami)/PLAYDATE did unmount the filesystem, the playdate remained in datadisk mode - I assume there’s another step I missed.

“install” is missing because I, as a fairly inexperienced Linux programmer, couldn’t figure out how to determine the mount point for the disk (it’s not /media on all distros). And I’m also not sure how to “eject” the disk, especially if umount doesn’t do the trick. We’ll keep looking into this, but if anyone happens to know, it might speed things up. :slight_smile:

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You’re correct, “pdutil install” is just a shortcut for datadisk, copying the file to the PLAYDATE volume, then ejecting the disk. So that is a workaround that can be used for now.

It looks like there is an eject command too.

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Yep, sudo eject /media/dorthu/PLAYDATE did it :playdate_happy:

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Sadly not really one standard to go by :frowning:

I might do a little more digging on what standard apps do, but I’ve done some hacks for now. It’s standard for any app to use udev rules, at least. The mounting bits are less standard as linux doesn’t really want non-root users to mount things by default.


SUBSYSTEM=="tty", ATTRS{manufacturer}=="Panic Inc", ATTRS{product}=="Playdate" SYMLINK+="playdateACM%n", GROUP="dormando"

SUBSYSTEM=="block", SUBSYSTEMS=="scsi", ATTRS{model}=="Playdate        ", SYMLINK+="playdate%n", GROUP="dormando"

May also need:

SUBSYSTEM=="tty", ATTRS{manufacturer}=="Panic Inc", ATTRS{product}=="Playdate", ENV{ID_MM_DEVICE_IGNORE}="1"

… as its own line or in the first line to avoid an issue opening the device when first plugged in.

Added to /etc/fstab:

/dev/playdate1 /mnt/playdate vfat noatime,noauto,group 0 0

… which creates some stable symlinks when the device is plugged in (for those of us who may have many ttyACM’s…). The “group” option to the fstab line lets my user mount and unmount the device without sudo or root. eject also works.

A simple upload script would look like:

pdutil /dev/playdateACM0 datadisk
sleep 2
mount /mnt/playdate
cp -R $1 /mnt/playdate/Games/
umount /mnt/playdate
eject /dev/playdate

… which you could then call from a makefile.

… I’ll probably write a better script that waits for the devices to show up before doing things. There’s also a bit of delay before you can re-run the mount routine (think I need another rule to disable the modemmanager). I also don’t know if you’re supposed to leave it mounted while testing or not :stuck_out_tongue: easy enough to adjust the script if so.

Also depending on your distro it will automount somewhere via the label PLAYDATE once the datadisk command is sent. So the rest of this might not make sense. :slight_smile:

[edit]: to expand a bit: all the various devices I have that are accessed under linux, either mount somewhere by default when plugged in (without being poked first, and then they stay mounted), or stream firmware over the /dev/ttyACM* device since distro’s usually have a ‘dialout’ or similar group that it’s easy to add your user to. Playdate seems to want to do both.

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