1. Acid_Snake

    OP Acid_Snake Advanced Member
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    This might come as a surprise to some, but after lots of coding and research I've been able to port ARK eCFW to the PSP!

    What is ARK?
    ARK is a CFW that started as a port of PRO CFW to the PS Vita (named PROVITA) created by the original Team PRO members (Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n).
    After the original team left, the source code of PROVITA was handed over to me (Acid_Snake) and my long time scene friend qwikrazor87.
    We quickly began a huge process of rewriting and restructuring code, more specifically a much more robust dynamic patching algorithms that would work on any 6.6X based firmware (including all Vita's ePSP firmwares). Thus ARK-2 was born.
    Soon after, qwik, thefl0w and I began working on PSX exploits, which resulted in TN-X and ARK-3 (never publicly released).
    Because the original PRO CFW hasn't been updated or maintained in a while, and it has become a little bloated and hard to work with, I decided to start working on porting ARK to the PSP since the core elements of the CFW are compatible with PSP 6.60 and 6.61 with minor changes.
    After lots of work getting the same ARK binaries to properly work on both PSP and Vita, I am proud to announce that the first (EXPERIMENTAL) release of ARK-4 is finally here!


    What are the features?
    - Core system for loading unsigned PSP homebrews and plugins compatible with all PSP and PS Vita models.

    - Inferno driver for ISO, CSO and ZSO games.

    - Galaxy controller for Sony NP9660 driver.

    - Popcorn controller for PSX games.

    - Stargate No-DRM engine.

    - Plugin support for PSP games, PSX games and VSH (XMB).

    - Compatibility layers for PSP and PS Vita.

    - On PSP, it patches VSH so you can launch games (ISO, homebrew, PS1) directly from the XMB.

    - Allows you to install your favorite menu launcher (gMenu, ONEmenu, vMenu, etc). This is the default behaviour on PS Vita, but can be also be used on PSP using the "launcher" option in settings file.

    - More readable, robust and structured code that is still being maintained (it's also open source).

    - Legacy support for PSP game exploits and PSX exploits on PS Vita (includes TN-X patches): this is however useless nowadays, but still kept in there for legacy and conservation purposes.

    - Minimalistic CFW: ARK only install the bare minimum to have CFW functionality, both VSH menu and recovery menu are external to the CFW (a minimalistic one is included).


    What are some drawbacks?

    - No permanent patches (FOR NOW), this is a live CFW and needs to be launched from OFW. A compatibility layer for Infinity is in development.


    Some Screenshots of the CFW

    - ARK XMB with VSH Menu
    20210223142557.png

    - ARK custom launcher (arkMenu), showing installed games by category (using background sprites animation).
    20210223142706.png

    - ARK custom launcher showing file browser (using background tetris animation).
    20210223142834.png

    - ARK's recovery menu showing system settings (using background fire animation).
    20210223142915.png

    - ARK's recovery menu (installed plugins).
    20210223142928.png



    Where to find the download?
    Compiled binaries: https://github.com/PSP-Archive/ARK-4/releases/
    Source code: https://github.com/PSP-Archive/ARK-4/
    Latest Version: Release 8
    * Note: these links never change, I update the files they point to.

    How do I install it?
    Download the precompiled binaries.
    On PSP:
    - Copy the folder ARK_Live to /PSP/GAME/
    - Copy the folder ARK_01234 into /PSP/SAVEDATA/
    - Launch from the XMB on OFW (launching from permanent CFW such as CIPL or Infinity won't work!, though there are reports of people being able to load it from infinity, it's not a good idea until proper support is added to the Infinity bootloader).
    - It will install FLASH0.ARK into flash0 and then detele the package (so it doesn't get reinstalled every time you boot into the CFW). To reinstall flash0 files, copy FLASH0.ARK again into the PSP/SAVEDATA/ARK_01234/ folder.
    On PS Vita:
    - Install ARK-2 for 3.60 using FastARK: https://github.com/ONElua/ArkFast/
    - Once installed, replace ARK_01234 in /PSP/SAVEDATA with the one in ARK-4 (delete the old folder and install the new one, don't just merge them).
    - Replaced the PBOOT.PBP file installed in your base game with the one provided in ARK-4 (including SAVEPATH.TXT).

    How do I customize the CFW?
    * By installing Plugins
    You can install plugins by creating a file called PLUGINS.TXT in the same folder where you installed ARK files (ms0:/PSP/GAME/ARK).
    - Add a line of text for each plugin using the following format:
    game, ms0:/path_to_my_game_plugin.prx, enabled
    pops, ms0:/path_to_my_psx_plugin.prx, 1
    vsh, ms0:/path_to_my_vsh_plugin.prx, true
    - You can use keywords "enabled", "on", "1" or "true" to indicate that the plugin is enabled, anything else disables it. You can use game, pops or vsh keywords to run the plugin in the corresponding runlevel.
    - You can use the following keywords to tell ARK when the plugin loads:
    ---- all/always: if either of these keywords are used, the plugin will always load.
    ---- umd: plugin should only load on retail games (UMD/ISO/PSN).
    ---- homebrew: plugin should only load on homebrews.
    ---- game: plugin can load on both retail games and homebrews.
    ---- pops: plugin only loads in PSX games.
    ---- vsh: plugin only loads in the XMB.
    ---- game ID: if you specify a game ID (i.e. SLUS000000), then the plugin will only load on that game.

    * By configuring ARK
    - You can create a SETTINGS.TXT file using the same format as PLUGINS.TXT to enable/disable some CFW functionality on different parts of the system.
    - For example, you can overclock to highest CPU speed like this:
    always, overclock, on
    - Another example, overclock only on games, use powersaving on VSH:
    game, overclock, on
    vsh, powersave, on
    - You can use the same runlevels as used in plugins to tell ARK when the settings take effect (all/always, umd, homebrew, game, pops, vsh).
    * Configuration settings for ARK:
    - overclock: use this for better performance at the expense of battery time. Sets CPU/BUS speed to 333/166.
    - powersave: use this for better battery life at the expense of performance. Sets CPU/BUS speed to 133/66.
    - usbcharge: enables USB charging whereever you want.
    - launcher: replaces the XMB with a custom menu launcher.
    - disablepause: disables the pause game feature on PSP Go.
    - highmem: enables high memory on models above 1K. You should only use this on homebrew runlevel as retail games were not meant to use the extra memory, and this can cause issues with cheat devices or other plugins that except games to have their data at specific memory addresses.
    - NOTE: You should use the recovery menu to handle settings easier.

    * You can also customize ARK by using the "launcher" setting, which replaces the XMB with whatever custom launcher you have installed.
    ARK comes prepacked with a very powerful launcher with a built-in file browser and highly customizable. You can however change it to whatever you please.
    There have been many custom launchers created by scene members, some better looking, some with more features, some more simpler, but all of them with personality, dedication and love from the community. Here is a list of all popular menus for ARK:
    - ONEMenu: https://github.com/ONElua/ONEmenu/releases
    - vMenu: http://www.mediafire.com/file/7acb5mhawx4gr9t/vMenu_ARK.7z/file
    - yMenu: https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B0kWUCdtGmJwLUhRUlNJSWhMWVE
    - gMenu: http://www.mediafire.com/file/oou5490qc99vr7d/gmenuARK.rar/file
    * Note: some of these menus have not been updated or supported by their developers in a while, they may not work well with modern ARK or real PSP hardware.


    CHANGELOG:

    Update 8:
    - Several fixes to arkMenu custom launcher.
    ---- Fixed file browser when doing operations on /ISO or /PSP/GAME.
    ---- Fixed file browser copying dialog.
    ---- Fixed file browser deleting dialog.
    ---- Fixed file browser when copying a file or folder that already exists.
    ---- Fixed issue launching a game when one of the menu categories was empty.
    ---- Added compatibility with VHBL homebrew.
    ---- Added Recovery Menu to list of installed homebrews.
    ---- Fixed issue when playing PMF that caused a memory leak.
    - Added compatibility with legacy loaders for users with previous installations of ARK-2.
    ---- Users with previous instalations of ARK-2 for firmwares other than 3.60 must keep their previous0 K.BIN file.
    - Fixed compatibility with PS Vita.
    ---- Per-game plugins now work well on PS Vita.
    ---- Fixed exitgame.
    ---- Fixed PSP IO emulation.
    ---- Ms Speedup is now a setting (as opposed to always being active).
    - You can now have your PLUGINS.TXT file in /SEPLUGINS/ folder (and/or ARK's save folder).

    Update 7:
    - Fixed pops plugins loaded from PSP Go internal memory (ef0).
    - Fixed homebrew plugins loaded from PSP Go internal memory (ef0).
    - Added "highmem" option to settings file.
    - Added "mscache" option for Memory Stick speedup.
    - Fixed handling of recovery mode (plugins and settings are disabled).
    - Restructured installation so that core CFW files are separated from loaders.
    ---- The default ARK installation path is /PSP/GAME/SAVEDATA/ARK_01234/
    ---- This makes it compatible with Live CFW, Permanent CFW and PS Vita QCMA.
    - Fixed xMenu.
    - Fixed arkMenu.
    - Created recovery menu for handling ARK settings and installed plugins.

    Update 6:
    - Added "launcher" setting to replace XMB with a custom launcher.
    --- In settings file add the following line: always, launcher, on
    - Included neur0n's vMenu as a sample launcher.
    - Added "disablepause" feature to settings (only works on PSP Go).
    - You can now enable plugins on a per-game basis.
    - Added "umd" runlevel for plugins that only load in official games.
    - Added "homebrew" runlevel for plugins that only load in homebrews.

    Update 5:
    - Fixed ISOs and homebrews on PSP Go.
    - Added USB Charging (not for PSP 1K).
    - Simplified and fixed VSH Menu for ARK.
    - Added ability to create external settings file.
    ---- Added "overclock" option to set max CPU speed.
    ---- Added "powersave" option to set lower CPU speed.

    Update 4:
    - Added ability to have a VSH menu installed externally. Classic PRO VSH menu is included.
    *** please note that there's no configuration options for ARK, things like chaning the CPU speed or ISO driver doesn't do anything (ARK will always enable fastest CPU speed and Inferno ISO driver).
    - Added preliminary PSP Go support (untested for now).
    - Fixed issue when exiting from retail UMDs.

    Update 3:
    - Fixed issues with ISOs such as Tekken 6 and Peace Walker. All ISOs should work well now!
    - Fixed issue with some homebrews like PSPFiler.
    - Fixed issues with the XMB on later models. ARK now works on 2K and 3K! (PSP Go support is still not finished, PSP Street has not been tested yet).
    - Added support for high memory layout on slim models for homebrews that use it.
    - ARK is now stable!

    Update 2:
    - Added back plugin support, including for VSH.
    - Added recovery option, which lets you replace the XMB with a custom launcher (a minimalistic one is included with ARK).
    - Fixed some dynamic patches.

    Update 1:
    - Fixed issue when launching UMDs with ARK.
    - Improved dynamic patching code for SystemControl, Inferno and Popcorn.
    - Added Galaxy controller for NP9660 ISO driver (for retail PSN EBOOTs).
    - Added compatibility layer for PSP-specific patches (still in development).
    - Restructured PS Vita compatibility layer (still in development).

    Credits:
    - The original Team PRO members: Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n.
    - Total_Noob/TheFl0w for his advancements and research in CFW development and overall contributions to the scene.
    - qwikrazor87 for being such a genius and all his hard work with kernel exploits and ARK-2. I miss you bro, come back to the scene!
    - Zer01ne, noname120, astart and other devs that have blessed me with their knowledge and wisdom.
    - Every other giant shoulder I am standing on.
     
    Last edited by Acid_Snake, Mar 3, 2021 at 1:31 PM
    Manana, Sophie-bear, James01 and 12 others like this.
  2. YotiReal

    YotiReal Advanced Member
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    Nice work! Want to see source code on some repo like GitHub.
     
  3. YotiReal

    YotiReal Advanced Member
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    It's usefull, saved a ton of PSPs using Recovery Flasher.

    Registry hacks, plugins manager etc.
     
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  4. yoofo

    yoofo Member
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  5. Acid_Snake

    OP Acid_Snake Advanced Member
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    The idea is to extend functionality via plugins to keep the core cfw simple. It WILL have recovery and VSH menu, just not built in, it'll have the ability to load whatever recovery or vsh menu you have installed in your memory stick. This will allow it to be more flexible and custom.
     
  6. chaoskagami

    chaoskagami G̷̘̫̍̈́̊̓̈l̴̙͔̞͠i̵̳͊ţ̸̙͇͒̓c̵̬̪̯̥̳͒͌̚h̵̹̭͛̒̊̽̚
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    I actually really like this minimalist way of doing things; any chance we might see something like pergame.prx implemented officially (or taihen-style configs, which is more modern) instead of the usual vsh/game/pops txt files? At this point, the whole loading every plugin listed and having them unload themselves when not needed thing is feeling a tad bit dated.

    In any case, I'll probably try this out on my 1000; I think I still have ME on the thing instead of Pro, and I'm not exactly a fan of closed source stuff at all nowadays (which ME is, or at very least I'm not aware of any source code for it) Looking at the code, this is much easier to parse through than the mess that is Pro, which is a definite plus.
     
    Last edited by chaoskagami, Jan 24, 2021
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  7. Acid_Snake

    OP Acid_Snake Advanced Member
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    Yeah that's the idea, to update the way plugins are handled since the old SE/M33 method feels a bit bloated.
    For now ARK allows you to load plugins via one simple PLUGINS.TXT file (installed in the same folder as other ARK files) with the following format:
    game, ms0:/path_to_plugin, enable
    pops, ms0:/path_to_plugin, disable
    Support for VSH plugins and per-game plugins are going to be added soon, I am mostly working on making it stable for now rather than adding new features.
     
  8. Acid_Snake

    OP Acid_Snake Advanced Member
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    Hey guys, I've released the third update of ARK-4, the CFW is now pretty stable, compatible with most ISOs and homebrews (it should have the same compatibility as PRO), as well as working fine on 2K and 3K.
    The CFW is no longer in "experimental" phase.
     
  9. Kernelgm

    Kernelgm Newbie
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    Man, I'm really happy that you're working on psp. Thank you very much. I hope that full support for PSP GO arrives soon, it is my favorite console of all time.
    Great job!
     
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  10. YotiReal

    YotiReal Advanced Member
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    High battery drain without particular reason.
     
  11. Acid_Snake

    OP Acid_Snake Advanced Member
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    True, but I overclock by default on the basis that:
    1 - Most people already do it.
    2 - You can change it with a plugin.
    I might just create and all-in-one plugin for all the missing functionality like changing CPU speeds, ISO drivers, etc
    I can't have this in the core part of the CFW, but it can always be extended.
     
  12. flamming_python

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    Any chance of upgrading the VSH (or whatever relevant component) to allow more than 8 folders with the categorieslite plugin?
     
  13. OldBoi

    OldBoi GBAtemp Regular
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    Now this is cool. Can't wait to use it on my PSP 3001.

    All I need is to find out how to find the codes on my own for my games. Any suggestions?
     
  14. kane159

    kane159 GBAtemp Regular
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    This is so cool ! I don’t know that somebody is still trying to make psp family better until I saw this. Sadly my on the go console is psp go. Hope it’ll be fully support soon :D if need any test I would like to help.thanks for still trying to keep this alive


    從我的iPhone使用Tapatalk 發送
     
  15. FPSUsername

    FPSUsername Newbie
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    Hey man, amazing work on updating the firmware.
    I have a Netgear Rax 20 and the PSP doesn't see my WiFi network, even if I put the encryption type to "WPA (TKIP) & WPA2 (AES)" (there's no standalone WPA option). The WiFi mode does support 802.11b, so I don't know why it's so problematic. (It was also problematic when I first got my PSP, since the routers already had support for WPA2).

    It would be nice if could look into the WiFi driver and perhaps update it. Adding support for WPA2 (AES) would be amazing.
     
  16. Acid_Snake

    OP Acid_Snake Advanced Member
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    Hey guys small update: I got myself a PSP Go to port ARK to it. As it stands right now ARK is semi-compatible with PSP Go.
    What works:
    - XMB patches.
    - PSX games.
    - PSN games.
    - Plugins.
    What fails:
    - Homebrews.
    - ISOs using Inferno.
    As soon as I have it stable I will upload a new release and work on Infinity installer for permanent CFW (I already have it coded, but I need the CFW to be as stable as possible before going to Infinity). As for other PSP models: 1K, 2K and 3K all work flawlessly, PSP Street should work fine too but I have none to test (if anyone does, feel free to test it, it's risk-free).
     
  17. pscdx

    pscdx Newbie
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    Nice to meet you, Acid_Snake
    Thank you for the wonderful release of PSP.

    Compiled binary:

    Is this file up to date?
    If it is not the latest, please update it.
     
  18. Acid_Snake

    OP Acid_Snake Advanced Member
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    Hi there! I've updated the links to the latest binaries. It now works well on PSP Go minus some small bugs I need to fix.
     
  19. pscdx

    pscdx Newbie
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    good evening
    Thank you for the immediate update!
     
  20. Kernelgm

    Kernelgm Newbie
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    Thx Acid. I have on my PSP Go now the CFW Infinity PRO 6.61. You can do one tutorial step by step, how install ARK4?
     
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