X-Emulators ~ "Xemu"
Emulators running on Linux/Unix/Windows/OSX of various (mainly 8 bit) machines, including the Commodore LCD and Commodore 65 and MEGA65 as well.
Xemu also contains code wasn't written by me (sources I use from others, or direct contributors to this project). Please read file AUTHORS
Xemu is licensed under the terms of GNU/GPL v2, for more information please read file LICENSE. You can find the source on github, see above.
Note: there is no serious logic about the set of emulated machines by the Xemu project. The only reason that I emulate these within a single project, that I can easily re-use some of the components needed, that's all! Also, the list of emulated machines is simply the preference of myself, what I would like to emulate, nothing special about my selection.
This file is only some place holder :) For some sane documentation, please visit the wiki section of the project, here:
Emulators within the Xemu project
List of emulators which can be useful:
- MEGA65: Emulation of the modern reincarnation of the Commodore 65 with many-many enhancements and new features: https://mega65.org/
- Commodore 65: Emulation of Commodore's final, never finished 8 bit machine, quite rare, and expensive to buy.
- Commodore LCD: Emulation of Commodore's portable LCD based computer, never released, about 4-5 units estimated to exist (much more rare than the Commodore 65, and not possible to get one). I've created the first working emulation of this machine ever. This emulator within Xemu is a refactored version of that emulator of mine.
- Enterprise 128: Emulation of a not so well known but neat, versatile, Z80 based computer with very unique features among 8 bit systems, both in hardware and software solutions.
- Videoton TV Computer ("TVC"): Emulation of a Hungarian computer.
- Primo: Emulation of a simple but neat Hungarian computer.
Not so much useful, unfinished and/or obsoleted but in theory can be compiled and started:
- Commander X16: The 8-bit guy's "dream" computer, 65C02 based, not compatible with existing micros. This emulator is old, buggy, missing features, and cannot use modern ROMs for the X16 any more. Please note, this emulator is nothing to do with the official X16 emulator, it's just my fun project to emulate X16 by my own, from its documentation only.
- Commodore VIC20: Somewhat barebone emulation of the VIC20, no sound, no storage medium emulation (tape or disk) ...
- Commodore GEOS: This was an unfinished experiment of mine. The intent was creating a very rudimentary C64 emulation just enough to run GEOS, and trying to experiment with custom modifications on GEOS this way, or even creating a free GEOS re-implementation later.
Absolutely not working, not useable or even cannot be compiled:
- Commodore 900: Commodore's never released Z8000 based Coherent UNIX based machine. Currently it does nothing, work-in-progress (on the longer term!).
- ZX Spectrum + clones: Currently unusable, my intent was to emulate the original Speccy to learn about it more in this way, and add some "advanced clones" kind of features later, like ULAplus, and who knows what else.
- RC2014: Z80 based generic "SBC" emulation under the name of RC2014 but will include emulation of several simple projects, just I found the name "RC2014" cool enough to use this name for this emulator.
- reCPM: Another dead project from me (at least in this form): the goal is to create a free CP/M compatible OS with the needed hardware (Z80) emulated as well.
Quickest start (Xemu running in your web browser!)
Just visit this page:
Note: this kind of demonstration is limited (or even broken!), often not in pair with the native client for your OS (a "binary"), which - at the other hand - requires more work: installation, configuration, etc ... Also, currenty there can be problems with some emulators in this form (especially MEGA65).
Quick start (using pre-built binaries)
Download page: https://github.lgb.hu/xemu/
There are binaries on some other sites, which are seriously old. Please, always visit github.lgb.hu/xemu/ for download!
Or, if you'are more an insider-oriented to see various builds from branches, additional information, etc, you can go here (the same as above, but instead of direct links, a more in-depth view of the distribution repository):
You can find 32 and 64 bit windows based installers for Windows. No need to say, highly experimental (as I am not a windows user at all ...). You can also use the ZIP'ed versions, which are simply the needed exe + dll files, without any installer. Please carefully read the download page, about these, especially about the NSIS-related problem which causes false positive detections as trojan/virus by many antivirus software, unfortunately. If you don't believe me: https://nsis.sourceforge.io/NSIS_False_Positives
Also, you can find ZIP archives on that page, contains only the executable
files and the needed
DLL, without any installer. This may also solve the
false virus detection ...
On Linux, you can try the provided DEB pacakge to install, if you run Ubuntu
(may work on other DEB based distriutions as well). There is an RPM package
provided too, however that is simply a converted version of the DEB pakcage
alien) so it may or may not work for you.
Work in progress to provide other - less distribution dependent - ways to
install Xemu on Linux (other than compiling yourself), maybe in the form for
AppImage or something like that (though I really don't like
Snappy ...) in the future.
On MacOS, you want to use the MacOS build, of course. You can download a ZIP file, with a binary and a .dylib, they must be in the same directory!
You can also download DMG, however the maturity of my DMG is considered "low" currently.
Quick start (from source)
For more information: https://github.com/lgblgblgb/xemu/wiki/Source
Install software for compilation
Example for Ubuntu Linux
sudo apt update sudo apt install git build-essential libsdl2-dev libgtk-3-dev libreadline-dev
Note for Linux compilation (other UNIX'es as well) in general: GTK3 development libraries must be installed, if Xemu's build system cannot detect it, you won't have any menu system support, though compilation will suceeded without that!
Example for MacOS
Assuming Apple development components and
homebrew is already installed on your
brew update brew install sdl2 wget git
Xemu should build with command:
Example for FreeBSD
An example to install dependencies with
pkg on a FreeBSD system:
pkg install git pkg install gmake pkg install bash pkg install sdl2 pkg install pkgconf pkg install gtk3 pkg install readline
gitis only needed if you want to clone the repository from git
bashis used by the Xemu-configuration tool
- You must use
gmake(GNU make) instead of
pkgconfis used by the Xemu-configuration tool to found GTK3 library
If you use some Linux distributions (probably Raspbian) on your Raspberry Pi, it should behave more or less the same way as a Linux distribution on your PC, so nothing special here.
However. If you plan to run Xemu without X11, you need a special build of SDL2 must be done by yourself first. This is because, SDL2 provides a way to run SDL2 applications on Raspberry without X11 ("RPI" architecture), however the standard Raspbian - as far as I know - provides only SDL2 library with X11 support (though I can be wrong, contant me, if you know more on this topic).
I've - of course - tested this and it worked, however it's hard to provide a binary build this way currently, and needs more "manual work" to compile Xemu, and even SDL2 before.
I received the idea to be able to run Xemu as a "bare-metal" project on Raspberry Pi for example. "Bare metal" means that it does not run an OS but uses the hardware directly, ie, Xemu needs to be booted instead of an OS. Surely, it's a kind of exciting route for me, but unfortunately I don't have too much time to play with this idea :( One idea, that there're frameworks for these purposes. The other: some of the emulations within the Xemu project (ie MEGA65) is very "pricy" to emulate, and may not run smooth (real-time) even on the newest Raspberry Pi 4 ... However exactly this problem can drive me to have more optimizations :)
Clone source respository
git clone https://github.com/lgblgblgb/xemu.git cd xemu
On BSDs you want to use
gmake (GNU make) instead of
make (BSD make).
Optionally, to create binary DEBian .deb package for Ubuntu/Debian Linux,
result will be built in build/bin (which can be installed with
followed by a
sudo xemu-download-data which will download the data
files as well, you can then execute emulators like
To compile only (
make in the top level directory will compile all of the
targets automatically) a given emulator (let's say MEGA65):
cd targets ls -l cd mega65 make cd ../..
ls -l is only for get a list of available targets (ie.
the emulators included in the Xemu project).
Run the binary
ls -l build/bin/
to get a list of compiled binaries, like
You may want to copy those files to
/usr/local/bin or such. Surely you
can drop the .native ending. I also like to rename (done this way in the
DEB package) to have names like
xemu-xmega65 and such to avoid "collusion"
with other emulators in case of emulators with short names (probably).
Run one of them, like (the Commodore LCD emulator in this case):
For building binary (exe) for Windows, you still need a UNIX-like environment (in theory WSL - Windows Subsystem for Linux - should be enough) for the compilation, with cross-compiler and SDL2 MinGW cross platform suite installed.
MSYS2 native build on Windows for Windows
Note: this is probably the easier method for a Windows user, however this is not the method we use to build official binaries for Windows.
An easy way to build xemu under Windows is to use the
MSYS2 package which
includes a full
MinGW compiler, associated headers, tools , and a nice package
management utility for easy installation of required components:
popular in Arch Linux based distributions.
The following steps are based on a Windows 10 x64 system.
- Download the executable installer in https://www.msys2.org for x86-64 architecture.
- Install on the default location.
- Execute the MSYS2 MinGW 64bit system prompt at the end of the installation, or via your Start Menu.
At the command prompt, ensure you have the latest repositories by doing:
Restart the prompt if needed, and finish installing remaining packages with:
Now we can install the GCC compiler and required packages to build xemu with one command executed:
pacman -S make mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain mingw-w64-x86_64-SDL2
Build the native Windows executables by issuing:
You can find the executables, with
.native extension, in the
directory. Surely, you can (and maybe you want) rename files to have extension
Alternative method, cross-compilation on Linux for Windows
Note: this is the official method we use to build official binaries for Windows.
For Ubuntu (and probably other DEB based distros, this also includes of course WSL if Ubuntu is used as the guest) you can install mingw by:
apt-get install binutils-mingw-w64-i686 binutils-mingw-w64-x86-64 gcc-mingw-w64-i686 gcc-mingw-w64-x86-64
Then, you need to install mingw-specific SDL2 development suite, download,
modify its Makefile probably, install it, create compatibility symlinks for
Xemu ... If you trust into the version Xemu uses, probably it's better to
do the task with a single command. It needs you to be at the top directory
of the downloaded or cloned Xemu repository. You may want to run this as root,
or at least you need to have
sudo capabilities. The command:
This command will install stuffs in
/usr/local/cross-tools (regardless of
the parameter!) and create symlinks in
/usr/local/bin. If it's not in your
PATH by default, you may need to put it, or use different argument than
Then you can say the following for 32 bit or 64 bit build process (in general, 32 bit version should be avoided on any OS - for performance reasons as well):
make ARCH=win32 make ARCH=win64
build/bin you'll find files like
*.win64, they are
files for real, you can rename and copy them to a Windows box to be able to run
them using Windows only (you also need the specific
SDL2.dll though - those
can be found at the same directory where the given - 32 or 64 bit -
sdl2-config script is from the development SDL2 stuff you've installed).