View Full Version : Atari800 8bit home computer emulator on Fedora linux

14th September 2014, 06:50 AM
Tonight I wanted to experiment with an Atari 8bit home computer emulator.

The process, which I've tried before, isn't as simple as it should be, so I'm going to document what I've learned here for others benefit.

1) Download the atari800 emulator. As of Sep 2014 the latest version is 3.0.x and they're only building FC16 platform i386 RPMs. So I downloaded that:



2) install the rpm

# yum localinstall atari800-3.0.0-1.fc16.1.i386.rpm

3) make an 'atari' directory in your home directory

$ mkdir ~/atari
$ cd ~/atari

4) Go to archive.org and download their ROM and image collection.


5) Unzip this archive into ~/atari

6) You need a couple files to make anything happen. Within the greater TOSEC zip, individual files are zipped still, so you need to find what you want and unzip them.

I unzipped these two from the operating systems directory (Atari 8 bit [TOSEC]/Atari 8bit - Operating Systems (TOSEC-v2010-08-15_CM):

unzip Atari OS Rev 3 (1985)(Atari)[800XE-65XE-130XE].zip
unzip Atari OS Rev B (19xx)(Atari)(NTSC)[400-800].zip

Unzipping these .zip files results in one .rom file each, and I copied those to the main ~/atari directory

$ cp *.rom ~/atari

For convenience, I made symlinks to them so the command line is easier:

$ ln -s Atari\ OS\ Rev\ 3\ \(1985\)\(Atari\)\[800XE-65XE-130XE\].rom xeos.rom
$ ln -s Atari\ OS\ Rev\ B\ \(19xx\)\(Atari\)\(NTSC\)\[400-800\].rom 800os.rom

7) Find a game and unzip it's ROM. From the Games/[ATR] (TOSEC-v2011-09-21_CM) directory, I found Jumpman Junior:

$ unzip Jumpman Junior (1983)(Epyx)(US)[k-file].zip

which results in a single rom file. I copied that to my ~/atari directory and made a symlink. Again, this is optional, just convenient.

$ cp Jumpman Junior (1983)(Epyx)(US)[k-file] ~/atari
$ cd ~/atari
$ ln -s Jumpman Junior (1983)(Epyx)(US)[k-file].rom jumpmanjunior.rom

8) Run the emulator and see what happens:

$ atari800 -sound -dsprate 48000 -atari -osb_rom 800os.rom -xlxe_rom xeos.rom -windowed -win-width 1024 -win-height 768 jumpmanjunior.rom

9) On one computer, I got an error stating no video could be found. So I did a little googling and installed these:

# yum install glibc.i686 ncurses-libs.i686 libstdc libstdc++.i686 libzip.i686 libx11.686 libXrandr.i686 SDL.i686

As you can see, this is a lot of 32-bit foundational libraries to be installed on my Fedora 20 64-bit installation. Remember the RPM I installed is a 32-bit (i686) rpm, so it makes sense that it wants to some 32-bit stuff.

This got me video, but no sound.

10) After googling, I did the following to fix the sound.

First, set the environment variable that points the SDL libraries to use pulse audio:

$ export SDL_AUDIODRIVER="pulse"

11) Next, install the 32-bit SDL_sound.i686 rpm to provide 32-bit sound support.

# yum -y install SDL_sound.i686

12) Run the atari800 emulator again and hopefully things will work:

$ atari800 -sound -dsprate 48000 -atari -osb_rom 800os.rom -xlxe_rom xeos.rom -windowed -win-width 1024 -win-height 768 jumpmanjunior.rom

I had to do a lot of googling tonight to get this far and I have the impression that there are many more things that can go wrong.

If you try this, know that there may be mistakes in what I've written above, and just as likely, you may encounter other problems with your system.

Additional Info:

When the emulator is running, press F1 to get to an embedded config screen.

On this config screen, you can change all sorts of settings. For me this means setting up the keyboard controls to act as a joystick. If I can play a game, hear sound, video is ok, and interact with it, that's a good start.

Use the function keys to activate an Atari keyboard's start/option/select keys.


14th September 2014, 09:36 AM
MESS have more Atari emulators.

yum install mame qmc2 torrentzip

That is a lot easier.

14th September 2014, 12:47 PM
An Atari emulator has been included in Fedora distros for a while:

# yum install atari++

Includes xe emulation with OS and BASIC ROMs.

OOps! Been awhile since I played with this. The BASIC ROM is "NOT" included. Also looks like "some assembly is required", I get a "unable to install the async callback handler" failure after install. Used to just work. Hmmmm....

14th September 2014, 01:34 PM
Stella is still working.

19th September 2014, 08:00 AM
DownLoadHelper fixed the youtube problem in the latest update