Emulation on Ubuntu

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Revision as of 11:11, 8 August 2015 by (talk) (Repositories List: I think we don't need ZSNES PPA, because the PPA is abandoned and official Ubuntu repo has virtually the same version for more recent Ubuntu versions)
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Info for newfriends

A big difference between Windows and GNU/Linux is that when you want to install a program on Linux you don't have to go to the site, download an installer and install it (except in some specific cases).

There's something called repositories, which are like "app stores". You use a package manager to search for programs in the repositories, install them, update them and uninstall them.

Your Linux distribution comes with their official repositories already configured so you can get programs for there, but they don't always have every good emulator, and most of the time if they have it it's an old version. So what we are going to do is add more repositories that have up-to-date emulators. Once these repositories are added you will be able to install the emulators like with any other program and update them with the rest of your programs.

All this is cool, but there will be some emulators that you won't find on repositories, so you'll have to use different methods to get them, but don't worry, I'll explain it later.


This guide is focused on *buntu distros like Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu. Repositories shown here WILL NOT work on other distros, but you can find the same emulators for your distro somewhere else, either in their own repos (either official or unofficial) or by compiling them.

How to add the repositories

To add this repos you will have to run the next command on a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:user/ppa-name

...where the ppa:user/ppa-name are the ones you'll find in the table for the repository you want to add. After you add all the repos you want you'll have to run the next command to update the packages database:

sudo apt-get update

Once that's done you will have all the packages from those repos available to install.

How to install, update and uninstall emulators after the repos are added

For this task I recommend you to install Synaptic. That program will be a lot of help. Once you have it installed you can choose to organize packages by source and see all the repos you have available. See what emulators each of the repos you added has and install the emulators you want.

Repositories List

Emulators it has ppa:user/ppa-name Active Latest Emulator Version Supported Ubuntu Versions
RetroArch ppa:libretro/testing Yes 1.2.2 12.04,14.04,15.04
VBA-M ppa:sergio-br2/vbam-trunk Yes 14.04,15.04
Snes9x-GTK ppa:bearoso/ppa No 1.53.903.81 13.10,14.04
PCSX2 ppa:gregory-hainaut/pcsx2.official.ppa Yes 1.3.1~git20150604.193541-1 14.04,14.10,15.04,15.10
MAME ppa:c.falco/mame No 0.160 14.04,14.10,15.04
Dolphin ppa:glennric/dolphin-emu Yes 4.0+git6490-0 14.04,15.04
PCSX-Reloaded ppa:rebuntu16/pcsx-reloaded-svn+unofficial Yes 1.9.94+svn97187-1 14.04,15.04
PPSSPP ppa:noobslab/apps No 12.04,14.04,14.10
Mednafen PlayDeb* Yes 14.04,15.04
ScummVM, DeSmuME, Mupen64Plus, FCEUX, higan, ZSNES,
old versions of other emulators
Official Ubuntu repos No Varies Varies

*PlayDeb is not a PPA and must use different commands to add their repository. See the how to install section for more information.

You can find more repositories by searching "emulatoryouwant launchpad ppa" without the quotes. Check that they have packages for your Ubuntu version (usually by its name, e.g. Raring, Quantal), as some PPAs can be abandoned.