Install Playstation 2 emulator, PCSX2 via Flatpak

Many wonder why we approach tutorials with the new packaging formats, yet the practicality and simplicity of such options help the lay user and at the same time facilitate the distribution of software to other distros. Today I will talk about how to use, configure and install the PCSX2 in Flatpak.


Produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment, the PS2 or Play 2 for the last, was a console that was very successful here in Brazil. The curious thing about Playstation 2 is its operating system, which is nothing more than a Linux distribution.

Their catalog of games was surreal, they were released around more than 4,000 games officially. Particularly I have fond memories of the PS2, at the time of its arrival in Tupiniquin lands, it was quite difficult to get it for an affordable price, after a while the console became very popular.

To cheer up and remember your games (in my case, many hours of God of War, among other teenage games) I will talk about the PCSX2 emulator.

Installing the PCSX2 Playstation 2 Emulator

The emulator can be installed in many different ways, either directly from official repositories, PPAs or any available ways. Until recently I used the version of Ubuntu's own repository, but after testing the version in Flatpak I noticed a performance gain and the bugs that occurred in my use no longer exist. If there is a kind of software that I value for being in its latest versions, it is the emulators. Those who play frequently and use such applications know that with each release there is a considerable improvement in game performance.

Using apps on Flatpak may cause some inconvenience, but on my 120 GB SSD I had no space issues, and always get new versions without worrying about builds or looking for new releases of very popular software. If you use Linux Mint, just search the store for: PCSX2, choose the version in Flatpak and install. For Ubuntu users, some steps are needed, if Flatpak is not configured on your system.

emulator-sony-playstation-ps2-play2-linux-ubuntu-mint-debian-deepin-fedora-flathub-flatpak-game-console Users from other distros can configure Flatpak on their systems. by this link. J o Flatpak Official GuideIn addition to demonstrating the configuration, it teaches you how to add the Flathub repository. If you prefer to do everything via terminal, here are the commands below.

Adding the Flathub Repository:

flatpak remote-add –if-not-exists flathub

Installing PCSX2 Flatpak:

flatpak install flathub net.pcsx2.PCSX2

The removal can be as follows:

flatpak remove net.pcsx2.PCSX2

An extra step I would like to demonstrate, for users who have the roms in another partition, is a backup hd, for example. I have some ISOs that I ripened at the time that I still had my console, leaving them on a secondary hard drive. In order for PCSX2 in Flatpak to read other parties, you have to give the program read and write permissions. Don't worry the very simple process, just run the command below:

sudo flatpak override –filesystem = / media net.pcsx2.PCSX2

In the example above, I have allowed access to all mediated partitions, however usually partitions are mounted on / run / media or mnt. I usually use the media directory, but you can replace this part of the command with any other part where your devices are mounted.

NOTE: In the PCSX2 documentation it is stated that rum / media is accessed by default, so it may not be necessary to give this permission. If you need to, you already know how to proceed.

Configuring the PCSX2 Playstation 2 Emulator

Just as some console emulators need the BIOS of the devices they plan to emulate, the PCSX2 is no different. Without this BIOS file the emulator will not run the games. On its official website, there is information on how to dump your console's BIOS. Visit the link and learn more.

For obvious reasons I will not be making the file available with this post, but please be aware that the games will work according to the BIOS and region. Simply put, if the BIOS is American, only American games will work because of the region lock imposed by Sony.

The translated version of the official Setup Guide can also be accessed by this link. Next I will demonstrate what I needed to configure on the Flatpak version.

There are many adjustments you can make to the emulator, some may increase game performance and some graphics quality. The main set up the BIOS files in the software, for that open the emulator v in Setup >> Plugin in / BIOS selection.

This section, we might say, is the main section of the emulator. In category Plugins You will find several plugins that are used for the smooth running of PCSX2.

If for some reason your joystick is not working properly, change the setting located at PAD, in libonepad-legacy for libonepad. It is quite common for generic controls to be misidentified, if this happens you already know where to go.


In category BIOSYou will find a button to select the folder where the BIOS files are on your computer. It also has the possibility to select the BIOS, as I mentioned, as the game and its region a different BIOS may be required. Select the location of the files and then mark the desired BIOS, don't forget to always press the button. To applyafter every change.


In Folders are located the paths of some emulator settings, by default the memory cards are in your user's home in a hidden directory being .var / app / net.pcsx2.PCSX2 / config / PCSX2 / memcards. They will work similar to homesick memory cards, and you can create several.

If you prefer, you can add the BIOS in the folder of the same name instead of another, but I think it is more convenient to keep it in one place, regardless of installation or system.

With these initial settings it would be possible to run your games, the emulator can even efficiently identify the joysticks automatically. However, if you want to manually configure, or make sure everything is right in Settings >> Commands (PAD) >> Plugin Settings be able to access the joysticks.


Still in this configuration screen, going to Gamepad Configuration, you can see that the emulator has identified my Xbox 360 joystick. Of course each button can be set in isolation, just click Set All Buttons. Do not forget to click Apply.


Anyway, to run the games v in System, after Upload (ISO). Select your game and you're done! However, we can still configure more things in the emulator.

PCSX2 Fine Adjustments

To run the games it is only necessary to add the BIOS file, have the game, a keyboard or joystick. And to increase the resolution of a game, or maybe improve performance? This part of the tutorial will show you some of these options.

When accessing Settings >> Emulation Settings, more options will be available. At first you can not modify anything, uncheck Template (is located at the bottom) and be able to customize. If you do something wrong, don't worry, each tab contains a button called Restore as default.

I basically do the following on the tab EE / IOPlandmark none in Clamping mode.


In VUs, I mark the same option.


J in GS Options such as limiting fps, using synchronized MTGS, and disabling frame hops can be modified. Unless your computer is having difficulty running the games and with very low fps (like about 10 – 20 fps), I don't advise checking the option. Disable Frame Limiting.


If you want to change the behavior of the window in which the emulator starts your game, just change the screen aspect ratio, size, whether it will maximize or not with double mouse click, etc. I use the panormic screen (16: 9), but it's up to you.


Speed ​​Hacks can boost game performance on your computer, if you have a multi core processor, I recommend enabling MTVU (Multi-Threaded microVU1) to make use of more than one processing core. EE cycle rate and EE Cycle Skipping, always work better at zero. Even with some saying to use at most, I never felt better. On the contrary, the game got more bugged.


The last option, Game Correes, s must be enabled in cases where a particular game listed is not working or has reported bugs. Do not forget to apply the changes.

Bigger computer owners can afford to increase native resolution, modify textures, add anti-aliasing, isotropic filters and other settings. For this go to Setup >> Video (GS) >> Plugin Settings.


Feel free to test, enable filters, increase resolution, and more. But be aware that the more you modify, the more hardware may be required. Dedicated GPU owners (and APUs) can see if the option OpenGL (Hardware) is selected in Render. The rest to fregus taste.

Memory cards

Remember that I mentioned the location of the Virtual Memory Cards, well, accessing Setup >> Memory cardsYou can manage these memory cards and consecutively the saves of your games. It will be possible to duplicate, remove, create and more. It is not difficult to find some of these files on the internet for download. For example, my brother recently downloaded the save Dragon Ball Tenkaichi 3 with everything unlocked. Remembering hours and hours we played this game on PS2.


You can back up your memory cards and add new ones to the default folder, which is located in your home and then in a hidden directory. /.var/app/net.pcsx2.PCSX2/config/PCSX2/memcards. Do not forget that you can only see such directories become visible. In my case I use Ubuntu and Nautilus the shortcut CTRL + H. As with many emulator options, the location of these files can be modified.

Final Considerations

I was surprised with the PCSX2 Flatpak, as there was no need to configure anything other than the BIOS files. To be honest with the version of PCSX2 contained in the repository, I always customized various parameters and yet had no performance comparable to my current hardware. It is important to get updated versions of emulators. Now, by default the games run as expected, and in fact even surprised me with the performance.

I will demonstrate just a few bugs that I suffer when using the version of the official repository, in the example you may notice graphical errors contained in the game Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum.


Note that you can see the character's mouth sprites, as well as green lines that appear in dialog box locations.

On the next screen, during the selection of dueling monsters, purple lines are present, added to the green ones.


The performance was also better with the new version in Flatpak, if before a few moments the game choked (with the native resolution of Play 2), now I can quietly raise the resolution to 1080p without any problem.

Another test I performed on another, more modest machine was precisely for performance. The same game I mentioned earlier, Dragon Ball Tenkaichi 3, at least comes out of a black screen on the version contained in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS repository. Now it starts and playable, at native resolution getting 58 fps and 720p dropping to 45 fps. However, other games ran at 60fps and 720p (this machine was an AMD APU, A10 7890K).

In conclusion, PCSX2 in Flatpak surprised me positively. Now I can play games that were part of my childhood and spend more hours and hours on Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum (now bug free and full hd).

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