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Visual Zilog Z80 netlist-level simulator

Z80 Explorer is a Zilog Z80 netlist-level simulator capable of running Z80 machine code and an educational tool with features that help reverse engineer and understand this chip better.

Application's User's Guide:
It is also described in a blog:
A brief overview is on YouTube:
The annotated overview is on Vimeo:

Before you run it

Read the User's Guide.
The application is separate from the Z80 resources that it uses. This matters only if you are building it yourself; if you are using a pre-built package, the resources are included and don't need to be downloaded separately.
Download Z80 resources from here:
Extract two 7z files: “layermap.7z” and “segvdefs.7z”. On Windows, use any of the many 7z utilities; on Linux, use “p7zip -d layermap.7z segvdefs.7z”.
Then, read the User's Guide.

Z80 Explorer

Getting a pre-built binary (Windows)

A pre-built binary for Windows can be found in the release section of github here:

Compiling from sources

The application is built on the Qt framework.

  • On Windows, install MS Visual Studio 2019. On Linux, gcc should do.
  • Install Qt 5.15.2 framework (with support for x64 MS Visual Studio 2019 on Windows)
  • Add the “Qt Script (deprecated)” component to the Qt installation
  • Compile with QtCreator selecting the “Release” build

On Linux, follow the guide here:

  • sudo apt-get install build-essential libgl1-mesa-dev
  • sudo apt-get install libxcb-xinerama0
  • You don't need to build Qt 5 from source
  • Download for Open Source users
  • Check to include "Desktop gcc 64-bit" and "Qt Script (Deprecated)"
  • Compile with QtCreator selecting the “Release” build

Compiling zmac assember on Linux

If you are going to compile and run Z80 test programs, you need zmac assembler. Download it from here:
I am not aware of a prebuilt binary for Linux, but it is fairly easy to build since the source is available at that site. You may also need:

  • sudo apt-get install bison


Visual Zilog Z-80 netlist-level simulator






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