Sony PS1 image conversion guide

Published: May 3, 2020
Reading time: 2 min
Tags: Formats, Guides, Linux, Snippets, Software

Every now and then, when acquiring a PlayStation game from nefarious sources you’ll be presented with a folder full of mysterious files instead of a single expected single iso image or friendly bin/cue pair or chd.

There are plenty of guides out there for Windows but none really covering the Linux side of things. This guide assumes you’re running Debian, or at least have access to the Debian repository of software.


apt-get install p7zip
for i in *.7z; do p7zip -d "$i"; done


apt-get install unrar
for i in *.rar; do unrar x "$i"; done


apt-get install unzip
for i in *.zip; do unzip "$i"; done


apt-get install ffmpeg
for i in *.ape; do ffmpeg -i "$i" -f s16le "${i%ape}bin" && rm "$i"; done


apt-get install ecm
for i in *.ecm; do ecm-uncompress "$i" && rm "$i"; done

Missing .cue

Sometimes (and annoyingly) these game packages won’t include their associated cue sheet, the majority can be found in this collection. Alternatively, you can create one if there is only a single track in the disc image.

Conversion to .chd

One last step that I quite like to perform is to convert this bin/cue pair into a single .chd file. Support for this file format is quite good albeit lacking from mednafen (as is the less-supported and documented pbp format) however is present in the Retroarch port, beetle-psx.

apt-get install mame-tools
for i in *.cue; do chdman createcd -i "$i" -o "${i%cue}chd"; done

Playlist .m3u files

Playlist support is one thing lacking in the chd format currently. If you have a multi-disc games, such as Metal Gear Solid and you’d like to take advantage of disc swapping facilities provided by your emulator you can create a playlist file containing your image files. For the Metal Gear Solid example, your m3u file will simply be called Metal Gear Solid.m3u and it’s contents will be:

Metal Gear Solid.cd1.chd
Metal Gear Solid.cd2.chd

SquashFS alternative

Alternatively, if you’d still like to run your games via vanilla mednafen or just want to compress your game images into a single archive, you can do the following:

apt-get install squashfs-tools
mksquashfs sony_playstation_games_directory sony_playstation.squashfs -b 1048576 -comp xz -Xdict-size 100%

And then, to mount the archive:

mkdir sony_playstation
mount sony_playstation.squashfs sony_playstation -t squashfs -o loop