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A CHIP-8 emulator written using Vala and SDL
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A Chip-8 emulator written in Vala and SDL

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What is Emul8or?

Emul8or is, as the title suggests, a Chip-8 emulator written in the Vala programming language, utilising the SDL library for graphics. It is designed to emulate the Chip-8 and play Chip-8 ROMs.

What is the 'Chip-8'

From Wikipedia:

CHIP-8 is an interpreted programming language, developed by Joseph Weisbecker. It was initially used on the COSMAC VIP and Telmac 1800 8-bit microcomputers in the mid-1970s. CHIP-8 programs are run on a CHIP-8 virtual machine. It was made to allow video games to be more easily programmed for said computers.

Roughly twenty years after CHIP-8 was introduced, derived interpreters appeared for some models of graphing calculators (from the late 1980s onward, these handheld devices in many ways have more computing power than most mid-1970s microcomputers for hobbyists).

Compiling and running the program

Compilation is easy:

make build

Then to execute, simply run:



You may need to modify your /usr/include/SDL/SDL_keysym.h file for this to compile. For this reason, I have included in this repository a copy of that file. It has a seperate license to the rest of this repository.


There are 16 keys. These are mapped to the number keys (0-9) and the letters (A-F).

For more information, once compiled run:

./emul8or --help


To install Emul8or after compilation, run:

sudo make install

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