Game Emulators

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Nintendo NES

  • The best current one (2019) seems to be fceux. It has full-screen OpenGL support which provides nice smoothing. It has some bugs though; for instance NTSC does not work in full-screen, another mode must be chosen.

Previously used

  • fakenes is good, with an excellent GUI and an excellent video support via OpenGL. But recent ebuilds do not compile, and the software seems abandonned.
  • Fakenes is quite slow with good video options (HQ4X). It also must be ran in windowed mode in order to use alt-tab.
  • Mednafen is another candidate. Recent versions are not available in Portage.

Sega Saturn

  • The best one on Linux seems to be Yabause. Although slow, and problematic for sound, it is impressive already.


  • You must use DOSBox. I did not find yet a good front-end for Gentoo. Write the configuration file yourself, and start the emulator directly on the command-line with as an argument the .EXE you want to load.
  • Press Control-F10 to turn the mouse cursor off (useful for many games). Press Control-F11 or F12 to increase or decrease the CPU cycles. Some old games may need a very low cycle rate. Beware that by default these keys are already captured by KDE.
  • Press alt-enter to switch fullscreen mode.

Rendering and scaling

  • Important settings are fullresolution=desktop and windowresolution=desktop. If fullresolution=original is used, the resolution used for DOSBox will be the one of the game (eg, a very low one), but the graphical chipset may smooth things out and it may turn out to be a correct rendering.
  • If windowresolution=desktop is used, the rendering engine should support scaling. This is the case with OpenGL, but on Gentoo I cannot seem to get OpenGL to work correctly.


  • dboxfe was a front end available in Portage. It's no longer there.

Commodore 64

  • Vice 1.22 is good, however I had problems with keyboard keys and speed (while reading the disks).


  • Excellent emulator to play LucasArts games as well as other ones such as Legend of Kyrandia.
  • Don't select the ALSA driver as a sound driver (for some reason it then says it cannot find the MIDI port). Select the Adlib driver or the default one.