Exagear Desktop: x86 apps on Raspberry PI


Exagear Studio: what can you do with it

Fist of all, the easiest option is to dust off those old games from the Intel Pentium era. Considering the 900MHz SoC on a Raspberry PI and the fact that the virtual machine offers about 80% of the processing power of the host, all games with system requirements below 600MHz CPU and with VGA graphics shall run. Almost all games from the Intel Pentium III era will qualify, and maybe some newer games with low system requirements too.

I have to say here that I’m not spending a lot of time playing, and when I do I prefer the higher resolution of today’s games. But retro-gaming is a phenomenon, and you’ll find plenty of information on the Internet regarding games that are able to run on a ExaGear-enabled Raspberry Pi. I suggest you shall start with gog.com, which have compiled a long list of compatible games.

Enough of games, let’s go to some serious business. What else can run on Raspberry PI?

i686 Debian apps on Raspberry PI

Many of the x86 Debian apps already have an Raspberry PI counterpart. I can’t think of something that works only on PC and I want it to run on Raspberry PI.

I tried to run the i686 version of Mozilla Firefox and it works OK-ish, a bit slow for my taste. However, I was able to run Firefox plugins written for x86 architecture, particularly the infamous AdBlock Plus. In a world where commercials become intrusive rather than being just informative, this is great.

I can’t think on anything else that I would wish to run on the PI. If you have other ideas please share your thoughts in the comments section and I’m willing to give it a try.

Windows software

Installing the x86 version of Winer allows us to run Windows apps. But which apps? Luckily there’s a huge database of already-tried apps on https://appdb.winehq.org/.

I have to say here that Wine still has problems with USB drivers support, so Windows Apps that require USB drivers might not work. Programmers for different microcontrollers are included in this section.

Some USB peripherals use USB-UART communication, usually implemented with FTDI chips. Those will work, as Raspbian comes with FTDI drivers.

Weather station software

A particular case of Windows applications that runs fine on ExaGear Desktop is that of weather station software. I can confirm that Cumulus works fine, as well as the 6.2 version of EasyWeather software that comes with many personal weather stations. The software is OK, but pay attention to the USB drivers: some weather station models use a proprietary communication protocol, and we come to the problem of poor USB drivers support.

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