1. Rick Astley

    OP Rick Astley The real one !
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    Hi !

    So here's my setup : 4 PC, 2 network. I really want to build something around emulation to try to find some love for video games in general again.
    I'd like to use my old pc as a storage, put and setup all the emulators to be played from others PC. Since this PC is old, it couldn't not run everything. Also that way my saves would be saved at only ONE place. Huge advantage imo.

    I can't put some emulators on my main PCs since they are used for my researches in Pokemon games, and for some emus like Dolphin / Citra, they'd share the same config making this unplayable.

    Or is there any alternative for me to be able to play my games on differents PC without affecting my actual emulator's setups ?

    Thanks o/
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    If it was just storage then we would probably suggest
    https://www.freenas.org/ , indeed you could still do something here.

    Putting executables on network drives is doable but tricky (anti virus programs don't always like it).

    If config issues/collisions are going to be a thing then https://www.sandboxie.com/ will allow you to run them (or indeed other programs) as separate things.

    Alternatively some kind of virtual machine and remote control pairing could do something pretty swish and dodge issues with emulators complaining about not having local config files, or you having to make some kind of config file syncing program and fiddle with all the network shares on the various computers you have (or might spin up).
    Modern virtualisation does pretty well at speaking to the GPU, and has spoken nicely to the CPU since... years really as long as it is not a cheapo atom or celeron or the like.
    Remote control over LAN is more than good enough for a basic throw it up and play it, and you might even be able to use one of the gaming screen sharing/screen casting programs rather than plain old Windows RDP (only available in the higher end versions of Windows, not so much the home versions but if you are doing this I presume you have ultimate or whatever version).
    https://www.virtualbox.org/ is the main one most people will be using though some opt for https://www.vmware.com/products/player/ instead, there are other things if doing other things like servers and specific types of application but for simple fire it up and play then those are the big two.
     
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  3. Rick Astley

    OP Rick Astley The real one !
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    First, I'll really thank you for your answer.

    I've thought more about this, and I really would like to avoid to have the emulators to be on my main PCs since i'll use 2 or 3 PCs. And so would imply to put everything on each PC and deal with the issues with my Researches emulators. So the solution about sandboxie isn't really worth for me.

    I really would like to have my storage PC to be the emulation center there. Maybe have my games on the PC I use them, but at least have all the configs and the saves there.

    I can't really do the virtual machine remote since my storage PC is really old, I did that in the past, and it struggle with some GC games, or even Wii games. While my main PCs could run Switch stuff without any issue.

    Any solution ?

    Thanks again. Really.
     
  4. ForgotWhoIam

    ForgotWhoIam GBAtemp Fan
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    There is a way to make Dolphin portable. You make a text document in the directory and call it portable.txt. Then that folder (not the Document folder) will have the settings specific to that folder only, and then you can have several installs of Dolphin without conflicting.
     
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  5. Rick Astley

    OP Rick Astley The real one !
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    I remember for the tip now, but would not change for yuzu, Citra, the fact I'd like to avoid to do the same setup on X PCs

    Thanks anyway o/
     
  6. Mythical

    Mythical GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    1) use portable installations so the configs don't bother eachother with multiple installs
    2) use playnite to keep your library looking real nice with all those games
     
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  7. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    To answer your initial question, you can simply use Steam's Remote Play service to stream games from one desktop->any other PC with Steam installed. Simply add the emulator as a non-steam game on the host machine, and then you can just use your old PC as a kind of game streaming server for emulators and whatever else.

    If you have an Nvidia card (GTX 650 or newer) in it, you could also use Nvidia's game streaming with Moonlight as well. I have this setup in my own home, and will occasionally stream games from my gaming desktop to my laptop without issue.

    Both methods should have about as little lag as possible, just make sure the host is connected via Ethernet and for best results the remote PCs should be using Ethernet as well. If the other PCs are using wireless, make sure you have a nice, fast router and a good wireless NIC in your other PCs so you don't get hit with any lag spikes.
     
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  8. Rick Astley

    OP Rick Astley The real one !
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    As said, I'd rather have my whole setup on my storage computer, so portable doesn't matter, it's more the paths of everything.
    If I put Citra on my storage PC, will it have conflicts on my main PC since i've a different setup etc
    And Citra dosn't support portable stuff now, the user folder thing doesn't work

    Thanks o/

    Already doing remote thing, and as i've said my storage PC is way too old to handle this now.
    Can't run Wii stuff while my 2 main PCs could run Switch stuff smoothly

    Thanks o/


    I've to admit after checking and thinking, I really think that my best option is to have my storage PC to store the emus with the right paths, and then just play them on my main PC.
     
    Last edited by Rick Astley, Sep 21, 2020
  9. Mythical

    Mythical GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    You can basically make any program portable, which would result in separate configs being stored in different locations, which would result in you atleast less so not needing to store your games in other places
    (you would make citra portable not the files you use with citra)
     
  10. Rick Astley

    OP Rick Astley The real one !
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    But what I want is emulator to not be portable and have a ressource based on my old pc to access with anything present in my network, that way i can also create a unique save database AND a unique joypad config without doing more for my others PCs etc.

    And the files I used to citra are linked to my researches so making something portable would still read on these

    I'm pretty much looking for setting up an Emulation PC except that the emus would run on my recents computers rather than this old thing. But this old thing would be set up the right way
     
  11. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Dick, With Balls
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    You could install FreeNAS on the old PC, set it up as a network drive on your PC, load it up with all your emulators and ROMs and theoretically you should be able to open those programs on your better PC and run them using that hardware...so long as you have half-decent network speeds. Ages ago I setup something similar to this, though with PC games, and the load times increased a fair bit but otherwise it played ok. But you absolutely need at least 1gbps connection between the old PC and others, otherwise access times would take too long and probably bug out.
     
  12. Mythical

    Mythical GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    "And the files I used to citra are linked to my researches so making something portable would still read on these"
    No it wouldn't that is the whole point of the portable installation.
    All the files are inside one singular directory that are read from.
    Everything is stored in the same citra directory independant of any other citra install you have on the same pc.
     
  13. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08
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    Dolphin has an option to load/save all data to the application folder. Just create a file called portable.txt and place it next to dolphin.exe.
    I can only assume Citra has something similar.
     
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  14. Rick Astley

    OP Rick Astley The real one !
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    Yeah i'm aware for Dolphin
    But my answer to both is the same : I'm not interested by that in the end, I want a setup on a PC where it'd be clean without any other config to have any conflict.

    Citra used to have the "user" folder, gone now

    I'm not interested to have this on every PC. Just one that would be available for these PCs
     
  15. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    If you are worried about conflicts with your main PC and programs you use there then there is also the option to kick all that they do to virtual machines (VMs have done USB for years if you happen to program things, do CPU happily, do network fine, do graphics these days and more besides).
    Bonus there is it is you can redeploy that at will and have nice and easy backups that should survive hardware tweaks.

    If remote control of a single PC on all others is not a thing you can pull off then you are going to be having fun playing with shares, emulator configurations (possibly including forking source if directories are not built with such setups in mind, or moving to an emulator with one that does it) to have their configurations store on the shares (might be able to set share permissions if you do need specific ones on each PC), allow network loaded code and go like that.

    In big boy networking a NAS becomes a SAN (Storage Area Network) and the drives appear as a local drives as fast as any normal consumer local drive but if you are not willing to upgrade your storage machine then this is out of the question really. Also if your limit is things a raspberry pi might emulate I would sooner stick one under each screen and go from there.
     
  16. Rick Astley

    OP Rick Astley The real one !
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    Well in the end I was able to setup a VBA to run on my main PC using the paths from my Storage PC.
    Everything as I wanted.

    I'm more curious about how I could make it for Citra, Dolphin and Yuzu.
    Dolphin, the portable.txt would make the job.

    But any idea for the two others ?
    Thanks o/
     
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