Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
This branch is 168 commits ahead of oubiwann:master.

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


This is my Z80 emulation machine. The basic purpose is to make an easily portable and expandable Z80 emulation virtual machine platform. The two main influences are z80Pack and "z80" from github user oubiwann. (Which I'll refer to as "oubiwann-z80" in this document.

Reasons for not using either of the two source projects

Z80Pack was excellent for what it is, but it would not allow for multiple Z80 instances... Which isn't something I need right now, but would be excellent for future expansion. It also had an excellent interface for IO, where you could just add handlers for the input and output port writes which got called as callbacks at runtime. However, it used a char buffer "ram" for all of the ram for the system, and all of the opcodes called directly into this chunk of memory, storing pointers into the ram chunk, rather than an address in z80 space. This means that it becomes near impossible to add ram swapping routines or to have protected ROM memory, or do weird things like have a chunk of memory where writes do one thing and reads produce different results.

Oubiwann-z80 seems to be an excellent z80 emulator, but does not have a straightforward way to expand the IO routines, nor does it have the multiple machine targets that Z80Pack has. It does however have one very important thing, and that's an encapsulated Z80 in a structure. This project also allowed for protected memory, and all of the RAM access interface that I need. Although the interface to it is VERY intertwined with emulating a CP/M computer, which is fine. It also has an excellent manager/monitor with disassembler which is awesome

My goals with this project are to emulate the RC2014 Z80 computer as it currently exists, then to emulate a RC2014/LL expanded computer before I build it myself. I eventually plan to port CPM to this, which I will do starting from that point, where it is in a hardware-generatable platform, rather than a software emulation platform, which is where this project started from.

Emu Shell and Debugger

To interact with the emulator control itself, you have some debugging controls and tools via a command shell. You will see this with the prompt:


Type a question mark, '?' to see all available tools. The tools will let you examine and poke memory, trace execution, reset the emulated machine, etc.

Type g' to start execution, and CTRL-'-' to get back to the emulator prompt.

New compile-time defines, hooks

I tried to be as minimally invasive into the original source code as possible, and to accomplish this, I use a series of DEFINEs that enable the various hooks and behaviors in the code. I'll list out the additions here. They can be seen in action in the z80base and rc2014 sub-projects.


This will automatically inject (g)(return) into the startup of the system. This will effectively tell the host monitor to just start executing the emulator. You can still ctrl-c out of the emulator into the monitor.


This will enable two function calls: system_init() which gets called at system initialization time, immediately after the "z80" structure is populated. Second is system_poll() which will get called immediately before the current opcode is parsed and performed.


This enables three function calls: io_init() which gets called at system startup time. io_output() gets called when any OUT opcode is performed. It is passed the address and data to be outputted. io_input() gets called when any IN optcode is performed. It needs to fill in the 'val' parameter with the appropriate value.


This enables three function calls: mem_init() which gets called at system startup time. mem_read() gets called when the CPU reads any memory (opcodes or data). It needs to return the appropriate value. mem_write() gets called whenever the CPU writes to memory.

NOTE: This does not get called when the monitor is looking through or disassembling memory. Make sure that the 'mem' buffer in the z80 structure contains the most up-to-date version of what the CPU should see, as the monitor uses that representation of memory directly.


This flag will disable the core functions' call to muck about with the termcap and ioctls and all of that fancy stuff.


This flag will tell the system that you will want to filter the content going to and from the console. This can be used to remove or inject backchannel content, ansi codes, etc. Implement the few functions at the bottom of 'mc6850_console.h'


This flag will enable a function call to reset_handle() when the emulated CPU is hard-reset


This flag enables a telnettable socket running on the emulator which mimics the local console. You can enter input and get output from this by telnetting to port 6850.

Support tools

In order to build everything in this project, you will need a few additional tools:
  • Bleu-romtools
  • This is my toolset that includes a z80 c compiler (small-c based) from which a modified version of a z80 assembler, "asz80" can be found. Also in this project is "genroms" which takes IHX/HEX output from asz80 and produces flat rom binaries.


  • Z80asm/

    • collection of hex, and z80 asm source code to be built into ROMs.
    • more information in the README over there...
  • ROMs/

    • Generated by the tools in the Z80asm directory
  • z80orig/

    • Slightly modified version of the oubiwann's z80 emulator
    • Adds BUILD-CPM flag to disable CPM specific code
    • cleanups for modern compilers
    • (untested)
  • z80base/

    • A basic z80 emulator using the "orig" code, but with no CPM support
    • This also uses most of the new hooks and such
  • rc2014/

    • Using all the hooks and (optionally) the AUTORUN flag, it emulates RC2014 computer
    • This emulates the base RC2014, 32k RAM with 32K BASIC
  • rc2014LL/

    • My extensions to the rc2014 computer
    • 64k RAM, switchable ROM, SD card interface
    • Arduino-based SD drive
  • rc2014SB/

    • ROM/RAM switcher system

Build info

First head into the "Z80asm" directory and type "make" to build the romsets.

Next, go into the "rc2014" directory and type "make" to build the emulator.

Then you can run it using "bin/rc2014".


Source credits

This project started off as a fork of oubiwann/z80 on github:
"Z80 Instruction Set Simulator -- CP/M Boot-Ready"
v3.1.1, February 2016

The remnants of that project are in the "z80orig" directory.


Z80 Emulator for the RC2014 system, with integrated debugging tools



No packages published