How to Rip PS1 Games on Linux: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Rip PS1 Games on Linux: A Comprehensive Guide

The PlayStation 1 (PS1) holds a special place in the hearts of gamers. As the first console to bring 3D gaming to the masses, it was home to many beloved games that continue to be enjoyed by fans today. To preserve these classics, gamers often want to rip their PS1 games into digital format for use with emulators, ensuring the longevity of their collection. In this article, we will discuss how to rip PS1 games on Linux, popular tools for the process, and the legal aspects surrounding game backups.

Why Rip PS1 Games?

There are several reasons why one might want to rip PS1 games on Linux:

  1. Preservation: Optical discs are prone to damage and degradation over time. By creating a digital backup of your game collection, you ensure that your favorite titles remain playable for years to come.
  2. Convenience: With a digital backup, you can easily switch between games without having to swap physical discs.
  3. Compatibility: Digital backups can be used with popular PS1 emulators, allowing you to play your favorite games on a variety of devices.

Please note that piracy is illegal, and this article does not endorse or promote the unauthorized distribution or use of copyrighted material. However, creating backups of games you own for personal use is generally considered legal and is a great way to preserve your collection.

Popular Tool for Ripping PS1 Games on Linux

One popular tool for ripping PS1 games on Linux is cdrdao. This open-source utility allows you to create raw disc images in the BIN/CUE format, which is widely supported by PS1 emulators.

Installing cdrdao

To install cdrdao on Ubuntu or Debian-based systems, simply run the following command:

sudo apt-get install cdrdao

For Fedora or other RPM-based systems, use:

sudo dnf install cdrdao

On Arch Linux, you can install cdrdao from the AUR:

yay -S cdrdao

Best way to rip ps1 games – with cdrdao

To rip a PS1 game using cdrdao, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the PS1 game disc into your CD/DVD drive.
  2. Open a terminal window and determine the device name for your CD/DVD drive. You can use the lsscsi command to do this. If you don’t have lsscsi installed, install it with sudo apt-get install lsscsi (for Debian-based systems) or sudo dnf install lsscsi (for RPM-based systems).
  3. Run the following command, replacing /dev/srX with your CD/DVD drive’s device name:
cdrdao read-cd --read-raw --datafile "output.bin" --device /dev/srX --driver generic-mmc-raw "output.cue"

Wait for the process to complete. Once it’s done, you’ll have a BIN/CUE file pair that can be used with PS1 emulators.

PS1 Emulators for Playing Ripped Games

There are several PS1 emulators available that support playing games from ripped images. Some popular options include:

  1. ePSXe: A closed-source emulator with high compatibility and performance. Emulator supports a wide range of plugins for graphics, sound, and input. It is available for Linux, Windows, and Android.
  2. PCSX-Reloaded: Also known as PCSXR, this open-source emulator is based on the original PCSX emulator. It has good compatibility and features a built-in plugin system. PCSX-Reloaded is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  3. Mednafen: Mednafen is a multi-system emulator with support for PS1 games. It is known for its accuracy and is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Mednafen requires the use of command-line arguments or a frontend to configure and launch games.
  4. RetroArch: RetroArch is a popular all-in-one emulation platform that uses “cores” for different systems. For PS1 emulation, it offers the Beetle PSX and PCSX ReARMed cores. RetroArch is available for Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, and other platforms.

Once you have selected and installed a PS1 emulator, consult its documentation for instructions on how to load and play your ripped games. Most emulators will support BIN/CUE files directly, but some may require additional BIOS files to function correctly.

If you prefer newer consoles, don’t forget to check out my article about Playstation 3 emulator – RPCS3.

The Legality of Ripping PS1 Games

As mentioned earlier, piracy is illegal and not condoned in this article. However, creating backups of games you legally own for personal use is generally considered permissible under copyright law. This principle, known as “fair use” or “fair dealing,” varies depending on the jurisdiction, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the laws in your country before proceeding.

When creating backups of your PS1 games, remember that sharing or distributing copyrighted material without permission is illegal. The goal of ripping your games should be to preserve your collection and ensure that you can continue to enjoy your games on modern devices.


Ripping your PS1 games on Linux is a straightforward process with the right tools, such as cdrdao. By creating digital backups of your game collection, you can preserve your favorite titles for years to come and enjoy them on various devices using popular emulators like ePSXe, PCSX-Reloaded, Mednafen, and RetroArch.

Always keep in mind the legal aspects. of creating game backups and ensure you are only making copies of games you legally own for personal use. With a focus on preservation and responsible usage, you can enjoy the nostalgia of your favorite PS1 games while ensuring their longevity for future generations.