Scott Hanselman

Space Cadet Pinball for Windows 95 recompiled for Linux running on Windows 11 as a Linux app under WSLg

October 19, 2021 Comment on this post [16] Posted in Linux | Win11
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Award for longest blog post title ever? Andrey Muzychenko has a great github repository where they decompiled the 25 year old Space Cadet Pinball application from Windows 95/XP and then recompiled it for Linux (and really any platform now that it's portable code!).

NOTE: Because this is a decompilation/recompilation, it doesn't include the original data files. You'll need those from a Windows XP disk or ISO that you'll need to find yourself.

I recently did a YouTube where I showed that Windows 11 runs Graphical Linux Apps out of the box with WSLg.

Here, they've taken a Windows 95 32-bit app and decompiled it from the original EXE, done some nice cleanup, and now it can be recompiled to other targets like Linux.

So, could I go Windows 95 -> Linux -> Windows 11 -> WSL -> WSLg and run this new native Linux executable again on Windows?

If you don't think this is cool, that's a bummer. It's an example of how powerful (and fun) virtualization has become on modern systems!

Pinball under Linux under Windows 11

I just launched WSL (Ubuntu) and installed a few things to compile the code:

sudo apt-get install libsdl2-image-dev
sudo apt-get install libsdl2-mixer-dev
sudo apt install gcc clang build-essential cmake

Then I cloned the repo under WSL and built. It builds into bin and creates a Linux executable.

NOTE: Place compiled executable into a folder containing original game resources (not included).

I am a digital hoarder so I have digital copies of basically everything I've worked on for the last 30 years. I happened to have a Windows XP virtual disk drive from a VM from years ago that was saved on my Synology.

Virtual hard drive from Windows XP

I was able to open it and get all the original resources and wav files.

Pinball resources

Then I copy all the original resources minus the .exe and then run the newly built Linux version...and it magically pops out and runs on a graphical Linux app.

3D Pinball for Windows

Amazing! Have fun!

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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October 19, 2021 5:37
That might possibly be your best entry title ever!
October 19, 2021 16:29
That's just... Phenomenal.

Incidentally, I was just talking to a coworker about WSLg about a week ago, and was looking for a good resource to point them to. Your recent video is perfect!

It's pretty crazy what we can do these days. Yesterday, I ran Ansible on Windows... Subsystem for Linux.
October 19, 2021 16:52
Wow, you finally came up with a compelling Linux UI application to run in WSLg and it was a re-compiled Windows application. :-)
October 20, 2021 15:48
Heya! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
Keep up the excellent work!
October 21, 2021 12:37
Actually forgot how time I spent on this game in the ole days, good one. Triggered a thought wonder how easy it would be to start build games on wsl, using gotdot or something similiar
October 21, 2021 17:09
Now you should compile it for windows and run it using WINE inside WSL in windows 11
October 22, 2021 4:46
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question that I'd like to ask if you don't mind.

I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
I've had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.

I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems
like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
Any suggestions or hints? Thank you!
October 22, 2021 9:57
Hey! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone!
Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all
your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!
October 23, 2021 0:36
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He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him.
Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!
October 23, 2021 20:47
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October 24, 2021 11:16
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October 24, 2021 11:24
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October 24, 2021 12:44
Interesting topics. good job
October 24, 2021 14:13
Power of Virtualisation . Awesome
October 24, 2021 14:16
Informative post .
October 26, 2021 11:42
nostalgia game

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.