Openbios is, as its name implies, an open-source alternative to a retail PSX bios that can be non-trivial to dump.
Purposes of Openbios
- Ease of distribution
- Automated testing
See this page for more details.
It is compiled together with
pcsx-redux or can be compiled on its own.
See the corresponding sections in Compiling for instructions.
The result of the compilation should be a file called
openbios.elf that contains all useful debugging symbols,
and a file called
openbios.bin which can be used in emulators or even burned to a chip and placed on a retail console.
This subproject is still under construction, but is fairly functional and usable. OpenBIOS does almost all the same things as the retail BIOS does when booting, and implements most of its features.
Many games are booting and working properly with this code.
It can be used in emulators or on the real console, either while replacing the rom chip, or by using the "cart" build and programming the flash chip of a cheat cart with the result.
The BIOS is split in two major parts: the low level code for the bios itself, and the shell, which is the binary that's being loaded into memory at boot time by the bios, to display the SONY sound and logo, and has a small utility menu for playing audio discs, or shuffling around memory cards.
While the first part is the main one that's being targeted here, the second one isn't currently present. This may change in the future, but this isn't currently the focus of this project.
The original code was most likely chunked into several sub-projects, that were all linked together like a giant patchwork. This approach is less readable, and for this reason, we're not going to do this.
However this will result in the ROM/RAM split to be less obvious, and slower at times than the original. Tuning of the hot functions is eventually required.
The code has been rewritten based off the reverse engineering of a dump of the BIOS of an american SCPH-7001 machine. MD5sum: 1e68c231d0896b7eadcad1d7d8e76129
The ghidra database for it is currently being hosted on a server, alongside a few other pieces of software being reversed. Contact one of the authors if you want access.
The retail PlayStation BIOS code is a constellation of bugs and bad design.
The fact that the retail console boots at all is nothing short of a miracle. Half of the provided libc in the A0 table is buggy.
The BIOS code is barely able to initialize the CD-Rom, and read the game's binary off of it to boot it; anything beyond that will be crippled with bugs.
And this only is viable if you respect a very strict method to create your CD-Rom. The memory card and gamepad code is a steaming-hot heap of human excrement.
The provided GPU stubs are inefficient at best.
The only sane thing that any software running on the PlayStation ought to do is to immediately disable interrupts, grab the function pointer located at 0x00000310 for
in order put it inside a wrapper that disables interrupts before calling it, and then trash the whole memory to install its own code.
The only reason
FlushCache is required from the retail code is because since the function will unplug the main memory bus off the CPU in order to work, it HAS to run from the 0xbfc memory map, which will still be connected.
Anything else from the retail code is virtually useless, and shouldn't be relied upon.
Disclaimer: the author is not a lawyer, and the following statement hasn't been reviewed by a professional of the law, so the rest of this document cannot be taken as legal advice.
As explained above, this code has been written using disassembly and reverse engineering of a retail bios the author dumped from a second hand console. The same exact methodology was employed by Connectix for their PS1 bios. The conclusion of their lawsuit, and that of Sega v. Accolade seems to indicate that this project here follows and is impacted by the same doctrine.