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ZEsarUX - ZX Second-Emulator And Released for UniX
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ZEsarUX - ZX Second-Emulator And Released for UniX

Created by Cesar Hernandez Bano

It's a ZX Machines Emulator for UNIX based operating systems (and Windows), including all the Sinclair computers:

  • MK14
  • ZX80
  • ZX81
  • ZX Spectrum
  • QL
  • Z88

And also:

  • Timex TS 2068
  • Sam Coupe
  • Pentagon
  • Chloe 140 SE, 280 SE
  • Chrome
  • Prism
  • ZX-Uno
  • ZX-Evolution BaseConf
  • ZX-Evolution TS-Conf
  • TBBlue/ZX Spectrum Next
  • Jupiter Ace
  • Amstrad CPC 464, CPC 4128

ZEsarUX source code and binaries are distributed under GNU GPL license. ZEsarUX also includes a folder, "my_soft", which has some programs and data made by me. The entire folder is also covered by the GNU GPL license.

ZEsarUX also includes third-party roms, media, programs and games NOT covered by this license.

This is my second ZX Spectrum emulator after ZXSpectr

I recommend you to read FEATURES, INSTALL and HISTORY files, as well as other documents in this emulator. You can open them from the help menu or from an external viewer.

ZEsarUX distributed under GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE v3. You may read it on the LICENSE file.

Please read the other licenses used in ZEsarUX, from the menu Help->Licenses or just open files from folder licenses/

Available versions for download here:

  • Source code
  • Binary compiled versions:
  • GNU/Linux 32/64 Bits
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows
  • Raspberry pi (raspbian)

Other by 3rd party:

  • Arch Linux
  • Slackware
  • Retropie/EmulationStation
  • Open Pandora
  • PocketCHIP
  • MorhpOS

ZEsarUX has won the "Best Emulator" award from Retrogaming Total blog on 2015 and 2017


ZEsarUX is free software and you don't need to pay to use it. ZEsarUX will always cost you nothing to use, but that doesn't mean it costs me nothing to make. So if you want to demonstrate your appreciation to it, you can donate using Paypal. Just click:

ZEsarUX donation

All donors will appear in the acknowledgements file



  • Runs on any Unix system and Windows: tested on GNU/Linux x86, GNU/Linux x86_64, GNU/Linux Raspbian, GNU/Linux RetroPie, Mac OS X, Windows native, Windows + Cygwin

  • Emulates:

  • Science of Cambridge MK14

  • Sinclair ZX80

  • Sinclair ZX81

  • Spectrum models: 16k, 48k (English and Spanish), Inves Spectrum +, Spectrum 128k (English and Spanish), Spectrum +2 (English, Spanish and French), Spectrum +2A (English and Spanish), Spectrum +3 (English and Spanish), Microdigital TK90X (Portuguese and Spanish), TK95

  • Sinclair QL

  • Cambridge Z88

  • Timex TS 2068

  • Sam Coupe

  • Pentagon

  • Chloe 140 SE, 280 SE

  • Chrome

  • Prism

  • ZX-Uno

  • ZX-Evolution BaseConf (beta)

  • ZX-Evolution TS-Conf

  • TBBlue/ZX Spectrum Next

  • Jupiter Ace

  • Amstrad CPC 464, CPC 4128

  • Is the only emulator for machines: Chloe 140/280, Prism and Chrome

  • Almost perfect emulation of timing of all Spectrum machines

  • Supports undocumented Z80 flags, features, and MEMPTR register

  • Supports idle bus port, contended memory, ULA early/late timings

  • Supports Motorola CPU 68008 (Sinclair QL)

  • Supports SC/MP CPU - INS8060 (MK14)

  • Supports perfect ZX Spectrum 16k/48k colour palette

  • Supports ULAplus: Standard 64 colour palette, linear modes with 16 colours per pixel: Radastan Mode: 128x96, ZEsarUX modes: 256x96, 128x192, 256x192

  • Supports Chroma81 ZX81 Colour mode

  • Supports Spectra Video Modes

  • Supports Timex Video modes (Mode 0 standard, 1 dual screen, 2 hires colour 8x1, 6 512x192 monochrome)

  • Supports Pentagon 16C mode

  • Supports All Video modes from Prism machine

  • Supports ZGX Sprite Chip

  • Supports snow effect on Spectrum models

  • Supports interlaced, scanlines and Gigascreen effects

  • Supports hi-res modes on ZX Spectrum (rainbow effects and others) and ZX80/ZX81 (UDG, CHR$128, WRX, HRG and some other hi-res modes)

  • Supports reducing the screen to 192x144 (0.75 scale)

  • Uses its own powerful window environment (ZX Vision) inside the program application window, having the same GUI style on all plattforms

  • Can be used with joystick and environments without keyboard, like Raspiboy / Retropie

  • Emulates all the oddities of the Inves Spectrum +: 64 KB RAM, RAM initialization with FF00H pattern, OUT ula AND RAM, EAR and MIC XOR, no contended memory, snow in border, colour ula delay, interrupt starts at end of top border (not at the beginning of the border), corrupt memory on every interrupt, no idle bus

  • Uses Video drivers: X-Windows, SDL, Cocoa (Mac OS X), Framebuffer, ncurses, aalib, cacalib, stdout(console), simpletext(console)

  • Uses Audio Drivers: PulseAudio, Alsa, SDL, DSP(OSS), CoreAudio (Mac OS X).

  • Supports dumping audio & video to file

  • Supports real tape loading of file formats: RWA, SMP, WAV, TZX, PZX, CDT, TAP, P, O. It handles loading of turbo load tapes or any type of tape loading for standard/non standard loading routines

  • Handles binary tape format files (TAP, TZX, O, P, CDT) on standard BASIC ROM routines for ZX Spectrum, ZX80, ZX81, Jupiter Ace

  • Handles real audio loading (RWA, SMP, WAV) on standard BASIC ROM routines for ZX Spectrum, ZX80, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, Jupiter Ace

  • Simulates real tape loading on standard BASIC ROM routines for ZX Spectrum, ZX80, ZX81

  • Handles snapshot format: ZSF, ZX, Z80, SP, SPG, NEX, SNA, P, O, Z81, ACE

  • Handles RZX playback

  • Emulates Multiface One, 128 and Three

  • Emulates Datagear/MB02 DMA

  • Handles DCK Timex dock cartridges

  • Emulates +3 Disk

  • Emulates Betadisk/TR-DOS. Direct support for .trd files. scl files can be converted from file selector pressing space

  • Emulates ZX Spectrum MMC Interfaces: ZXMMC, DivMMC. Support for raw (.mmc) files and hdf files

  • Emulates ZX Spectrum IDE Interface: DivIDE, 8-bit simple

  • Emulates Sam Coupe IDE Interface: Atom Lite

  • Emulates ZXPand MMC Interface on ZX80 and ZX81

  • Emulates ZX Dandanator! Mini, CPC Dandanator! Mini

  • Emulates Speccy Superupgrade

  • Emulates Kartusho,iFrom interfaces by Antonio Villena

  • Handles RAM, EPROM, Intel Flash and Hybrid (RAM+EPROM) cards on Z88

  • Handles compressed formats zip, tar, rar, gz through external utilities

  • Supports AY Chip, Turbosound (2 AY Channels), 3 AY Channels, different DAC: Specdrum, Covox, ACB/ABC/BAC Stereo

  • Real time playback from AY Chip sound to external MIDI device

  • Supports Quicksilva, ZON-X81, and VSYNC-based sound on ZX80/81

  • Supports Speaker and Soundbox sound on Jupiter Ace

  • Experimental simulation of the Sam Coupe Audio Chip (SAA1099)

  • Supports RAM size up to 1024 KB on Spectrum and Pentagon

  • Supports RAM packs on ZX80/81 up to 56 KB

  • Supports RAM packs on Jupiter Ace up to 35 KB

  • Joystick emulation with real joystick (on GNU/Linux and Windows) and keyboard cursors: Kempston, Sinclair 1&2, Cursor Joystick, Cursor & Shift, OPQA, Fuller, Zebra, Mikro-Gen, ZXPand, SAM Coupe Cursors. Autofire function too

  • On Screen keyboard useful when playing with joystick, two types: one with keyboard letters, and another with words, useful for playing Text Adventures. Also a tool to extract words from text adventures (Daad, Paws, Quill and Gac) and configure this on screen text keyboard

  • Emulates Spectrum keyboard ghosting error feature

  • ZX Spectrum Recreated keyboard support

  • Supports native turbo modes on ZX-Uno, Chloe, Prism and TBBlue and manual for other machines

  • ZX Printer emulation

  • Lightgun emulation: Almost perfect emulation of Gunstick from MHT Ingenieros S.L and experimental emulation of Magnum Light Phaser

  • Kempston mouse emulation

  • Supports Network gaming using its own protocol (ZEsarUX Network Gaming protocol - ZENG), which allows you to play to any emulated game, using two ZEsarUX instances, located each one on any part of the world or in a local network. Games doesn't have to be modified, you can use any existing game

  • Uart bridge emulation: allows you to use a real uart-wifi connected to your computer, on GNU/Linux only (Windows, Mac can simulate it)

  • Can browse online ZX81 games

  • Can browse online Spectrum games

  • Supports Input spool text file to simulate keyboard press

  • Supports reading Pokes from .POK files

  • AY Chip Tools: AY Player, AY Sheet, AY Piano, AY Registers, export AY music to midi (.mid) files, AY Mixer

  • Supports ZEsarUX remote command protocol (ZRCP). You can do enhanced debugging on ZEsarUX by using a telnet client.

  • Can use a reduced Spectrum core, with some features disabled, useful on slow devices, like Raspberry Pi 1/Zero

  • Powerful debug features: Assembler, Registers, Dissassemble, Conditional Breakpoints using text expressions, Watches, Step-to-step, Step-over, Runto, Show TV electron position, Load source code, Hexadecimal Editor, View Sprites, Find byte (useful to find POKEs), CPU Transaction log, View BASIC, verbose messages on console, DAAD/PAWS/Quill Debugger

  • File utilities menu: Allowing to view, expand and convert some common file formats: tap, tzx, trd, dsk, mdv, hdf, etc

  • Accessibility support: Print char traps allows to capture generated text from almost any program or game, using standard ROM calls (RST 10H) or even non standard print character routines. Can send generated text from a game to a text-to-speech program. It's ready for text to speech support for blind or visually impaired people. Menu emulator can also be read by a text-to-speech program.

  • Simulates upper RAM memory refresh on Spectrum 48Kb, losing its contents when changing R register very quickly

  • Supports command line settings, configuration file settings and per-game configuration settings

  • Other features: Visualmem menu, CPU Statistics

  • Includes three easter eggs. Can you find them? :)

Some screenshots

ZX Spectrum Overscan demo

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ZX-81 Mazogs

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Sinclair QL

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Cambridge Z88

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ZX Spectrum Sir Fred running on curses (text) driver

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ZX-Evolution TSConf

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TBBlue/ZX Spectrum Next alt text

You can find some ZEsarUX videos on my Youtube channel

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