Emulators on Linux

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Linux
Tux (Linux).png
Type Operating systems
Earliest release Linux Kernel 0.02 (1991)
Latest release Linux Kernel 6.7 (2024)
This page is about software on Linux that emulates other hardware, like video game consoles.
For software that can run Linux on other Operating Systems, see Hypervisors.

Linux is a family of operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Operating systems using the Linux kernel are commonly called Linux distributions (distro).

Emulators on Linux

Due to the overlap with the technical and open source communities, the majority of emulators in existence will have Linux versions available. The commercial success of the Steam Deck has also contributed heavily to consumer demand for native emulators on Linux.

Before diving in;
  • If you're on a Steam Deck, you should probably use EmuDeck which is an installation script that helps you get started with emulation. It is not an all in one solution like some other software; instead, it strives to provide the best possible official options to you, set up and ready to go.
  • See the Linux guide for emulators for Distro specific instructions
  • See the Recommended Linux distributions.
  • See each Wiki Category Consoles, Computers and Arcade for individual dedicated system pages to see more detailed comparisons and information about software emulators. Dedicated system pages provide more up-to-date listings and in-depth information on specific aspects like hardware features, peripheral support, and compatibility etc.
  • Some games have Game engine recreations and source ports that run on Linux, which can be the better than emulators for their specific games.

Contents

Atari

Atari 8-bit family

Name Latest version Models XEGS libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Atari800 5.2.0 400, 800, XL, XE Cycle
Atari++ 1.84 400, 800, XL, XE Cycle
MAME 0.266 Good: 400, 800
Basic: XL, XE
? ~

Atari ST

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Hatari 2.5.0
Steem SSE 4.2.0 R21 ?
ARAnyM git
Steem Engine 3.2
PCE/atarist pce-20191006 ?
CaSTaway 0.9.2

Atari 2600

Name Latest version libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Stella 6.7.1 Cycle
MAME 0.266 Cycle
z26 4.07 High ~
BizHawk 2.9.1 ?
Gopher2600 0.32.0 High
CLK 2024-06-03 Mid
Stellarator git ?

Atari 5200

Name Latest version libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Atari800 5.2.0 Cycle
kat5200 0.8.1 ?
MAME 0.266 Mid
Jum52 git ?

Atari 7800

Name Latest version libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266 High
A7800 5.2 High
ProSystem git (libretro) ? [N 1]
BizHawk 2.9.1 ?

Atari Jaguar

Name Latest version AJ-CD libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Phoenix 2.8.JAG
Virtual Jaguar 2.1.2
Unofficial builds
git (libretro)
[N 1]
MAME 0.266 ~

Atari Lynx

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Mednafen 1.32.1
MAME 0.266
Handy 0.95

Nintendo

Nintendo Entertainment System

Name Latest version FDS libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Mesen 2.0.0 (preview) Cycle
Nestopia UE 1.52.1 Cycle
puNES 0.111 Cycle
3dSen 0.9.5 ? ~
FinalBurn Neo WIP builds ?
iNES 6.1 High ?
Gearnes git High
BizHawk 2.9.1 Cycle
higan (火眼) v110 (as bsnes v083) Cycle
ANESE git Cycle ~
cxNES git Mid
FCEUX 2.6.6 Mid
MAME 0.266 Mid
QuickNES git (libretro) ? Low

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Name Version Satellaview libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
bsnes
(Official)
v115 Cycle
bsnes-hd
(forked bsnes)
beta 10.6 Cycle
higan (火眼) v110 Cycle
Mesen S 0.4.0 Cycle ~
Snes9x 1.62.3 High [N 2] ~
Mednafen (SNES-Faust) 1.32.1 ?
nSide (forked higan) git Cycle
BizHawk (bsnes v087) 2.9.1 Cycle
Mednafen (bsnes v059) 1.32.1 High
MAME 0.266 Low
ZSNES 1.51 Low
CATSFC 1.36 Low

Nintendo 64

Name Latest version Plugins Controller Pak Rumble Pak Transfer Pak 64DD libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
simple64 (ParaLLEl) 2024.05.3
simple64 (Final GLideN64) Final GLideN64
RMG git
ares v138 ~ ~ ~
CEN64 git ~
Mupen64Plus git ~
BizHawk 2.9.1
MAME 0.266

GameCube / Wii / Triforce

Name Latest version GameCube Wii Triforce libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Dolphin Dev ~[N 3] [N 4]
Ishiiruka-Dolphin (いし海豚) Dev ~ ~
Pureikyubu (PlayCube) 1.6

Wii U

Name Latest version Accurancy Amiibo FLOSS Active Recommended
Cemu 2.0-80 Medium ~
Decaf git Low

Nintendo Switch

Name Latest version Amiibo FLOSS Active Recommended
yuzu (柚子) Nightly (Offline)git (Offline) *
Ryujinx (龍神X) Nightlygit

Nintendo 3DS

Name Latest version Amiibo FLOSS libretro Active Recommended
Citra Nightly

Nintendo DS

Name Latest version DSi libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
DeSmuME 0.9.13
melonDS 0.9.5
Dev Builds
~

Game Boy Advance

Name Latest version Game Link Support e-Reader libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
mGBA 0.10.3 Mid
higan (火眼) v110 ?
VBA-M 2.1.9 Mid

Pokémon mini

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
GBE+ 1.8 [N 5]
PokeMini 0.6.0git

Virtual Boy

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Mednafen 1.32.1
Rustual Boy git ~
MAME 0.266
Planet Virtual Boy emulator 2019-03-27
Red Dragon 0.38 Final

Game Boy / Game Boy Color

Name Latest version Game Link Support libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
SameBoy 0.16.5 [N 6]
BGB 1.6.3
Gambatte r571
Gearboy 3.5.0
BizHawk 2.9.1
MAME 0.266 ~
Emulicious 2024-05-31 ~

Game & Watch

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266
DSP 0.22

Sega

Sega Model 1

Name Latest version Active libretro FLOSS Recommended
MAME 0.266
Modeler 0.9.3a

Sega Model 2

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266 ~

Sega Model 3

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Supermodel SVN Builds ~ (WIP)
MAME 0.266

SG-1000

Name Latest version SC-3000 SF-7000 libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
MasterGear 4.9.3
MAME 0.266
BizHawk 2.9.1
Genesis Plus GX[N 7] 1.7.5 RC1 ~
higan (火眼) v110 ~ ~
Kega Fusion 3.64 ~
Gearsystem 3.5.0
blueMSX 2.8.2
MEKA 0.8-alpha (2023-08-26)
DarcNES 9b0401/9b0313 ~
CoolCV 0.6.9
TwoMbit 1.0.5 {{✗}

Master System / Game Gear

Name Latest version GG libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Genesis Plus GX[N 7] 1.7.5 RC1 Very high
MAME 0.266 High
Emulicious 2024-05-31 Very high ~
BizHawk 2.9.1 Very high ~
higan (火眼) v110 High ~
Phoenix 2.8.JAG Very high ~
TwoMbit 1.0.5 Very high
Gearsystem 3.5.0 High
MasterGear 4.9.3 High
Kega Fusion 3.64 Mid
PicoDrive 1.93 [N 8] Mid

Genesis / MegaDrive / CD / 32X

Name Latest version CD 32X Pico libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
BlastEm 0.6.2
Genesis Plus GX[N 7] 1.7.5 RC1
BizHawk 2.9.1 ?
Kega Fusion 3.64
PicoDrive 1.93
FinalBurn Neo Stable nightly builds
MAME 0.266
Gens/GS r7
DGen 1.33
GENS 2.14
higan (火眼) v110 ~ (bsnes)
Megado git ?
Regen 0.972 ?

Saturn / ST-V

Name Latest version ST-V libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Mednafen 1.32.1
Kronos 2.6.1
Yaba Sanshiro 2 (Yaba三四郎2) 1.14.8 ~
Yabause 0.9.15
MAME 0.266

Dreamcast / NAOMI

Name Latest version NAOMI Atomiswave Windows CE libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Flycast CI Builds
redream 1.5.0 (Windows, macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi)
1.2.07 (Android)
DEmul 0.7 Build 280418 ~
reicast r20.04 (Not Working)
r8.1 (Snap Store)
~
nullDC 1.0.4 r150 ~
lxdream-nitro git
MAME 0.266 ~ ~

Sega VMU

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
VeMUlator_libretro Nightly ~
SoftVMS 1.10 (source only) ? ~
MAME 0.266
ElysianVMU 0.2.0 ?

NEC

NEC PC-6000

Emulator Latest Version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
PC6001VX 4.2.6
MAME 0.266

NEC PC-8800

Emulator Latest Version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
XM8 1.70
MAME git artifacts[N 9]
0.266
~[N 10]
QUASI88
quasi88_libretro
libretro core
0.6.4
~[N 11] ~
X88000 1.5.3

NEC PC-9800

Name Latest version libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Neko Project II kai (猫Project II改) git High ~
Neko Project II (猫Project II) 0.86 Mid ?
MAME 0.266 Low ~
DOSBox-X 2024.03.01 Low ~

PC Engine / PC Engine CD / SuperGrafx

Name Latest version PCE-CD SuperGrafx libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Mednafen (PCE-Accurate) 1.32.1 High
MAME 0.266 High
Mednafen (PCE-Fast) 1.32.1 Mid
BizHawk 2.9.1 High
higan (火眼) v110 ~ ? ~
DarcNES 9b0401/9b0313 ~ Low ?
Hu-Go! 2.12 ? ? ?

PC-FX

Name Latest version GA libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
Mednafen 1.32.1 TBD Mid-High
MAME 0.266 ~ Mid
MagicEngine-FX 1.1.1 TBD Low
Xe 2.16.2 TBD ?

Sony

PlayStation

Name Latest Version Plugins FLOSS libretro RIR Accuracy Active Recommended
DuckStation git High
Mednafen 1.32.1 High
PCSX-Redux git ? (WIP)
MAME 0.266 Mid (WIP)
Rustation NG git ? (WIP)
PCSX-R PGXP(git)
Plugin dependent
ePSXe 2.0.5 Plugin dependent
Rustation git High
Avocado git Mid ~
pSX 1.13 Mid

PlayStation 2

Name Latest Version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
PCSX2 1.6.0 (stable)
SVN
~ (WIP)
Play! Builds ~
DobieStation git
Builds

PlayStation 3

Name Latest Release Version FLOSS Active Recommended
RPCS3 0.0.32 Alpha[N 12]
Nucleus git

PlayStation 4

Name Latest Release Version FLOSS Active Recommended
RPCSX git ✗(WIP)
Obliteration git ✗(WIP)
Orbital git ~
RPCS4 N/A ? ?
Spine 2022-05-17

PlayStation 5

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

Pocket Station

Name Latest version libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266 High

PlayStation Portable

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
PPSSPP 1.17.1
JPCSP SVN

PlayStation Vita

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
Vita3K git

Google

Android

Name Version Backend[N 13] Compatibility FLOSS Active Recommended
Android x86 Bliss OS
8.1-r6
entire OS
though installable to VM through Hypervisor
Mid ~ ~
Genymotion 3.6.0 VirtualBox Mid-High ~[N 14]
Waydroid git wine-like approach Low ~
KMRE 2.4.6.8? docker ? ?
Android Studio 4.0 QEMU Low ~
Andy OS 0.47.226.1096.26 ? ?
Anbox git wine-like approach Low

Microsoft

MSX series

Name Latest version MSX 1 MSX 2 MSX 2+ TurboR Accuracy libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
openMSX git Cycle
blueMSX 2.8.2 Cycle
MAME 0.266 ~ High
fMSX 6.0 Mid ~
DarcNES 9b0401/9b0313 ~ Low

Original Xbox

Name Latest version Sega Chihiro (千尋) FLOSS Active Recommended
xemu 0.7.123 ~ (WIP)
XQEMU git ~ (WIP)
StrikeBox git
MAME 0.266 ~

Xbox 360

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

Xbox One

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

Xbox Series X and Series S

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

Apple

Apple I

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
Pom1 v1.0.0
MAME 0.266 ~

Apple II Line

Name Latest version ][ ][+ //e IIc //e Enhanced //e Platinum IIc Plus IIGS FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266
LinApple git
MicroM8 Continuous
Mednafen 1.32.1 ✗ (WIP)
DarcNES 9b0401/9b0313

Apple /// Line

Name Latest version /// /// Revised /// Plus FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266

Apple IIGS

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
KEGS 1.34
GSplus 0.14 ~
GSport 0.31
MAME 0.266

Apple Lisa

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
LisaEm 1.2.7 ~*
MAME 0.266

Macintosh line

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
68k
Basilisk II 1.0 R5
Mini vMac 36.04
MAME 0.266 TBD
PCE 0.2.2 TBD
Ardi Executor 2.1.17
vMac 0.19
PowerPC
SheepShaver git
QEMU 4.0.0 TBD
PearPC 0.6.0
DingusPPC [1] TBD

Apple iPod

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

iOS

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

SNK Corporation

Neo Geo and variants

Name Latest version NG NG-CD HNG-64 libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266 ~ [N 15]
FinalBurn Neo stable WIP builds
RAINE 0.96.7
Xe 2.16.2
ares v138
GnGeo git

Neo Geo Pocket

Name Latest version NGP NGPC libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Mednafen 1.32.1
MAME 0.266
ares v138
higan (火眼) v110

Commodore

Commodore 64 & 128

Name Latest version libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
VICE (x64sc) 3.8 Very high
Denise 2.2.1 Very high
VICE (x64) 3.8[N 16] High ~
Emu64 git ? ~
BizHawk 2.9.1 ?
MAME 0.266 Mid
Frodo 4.1b ?

Commodore 65

Name Latest version libretro Accuracy FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266 Low

Amiga Line

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
FS-UAE 3.0.5
Amiberry 6.3.2 Preview
MAME 0.266
Denise N/A

x86 CPUs

Name Latest version 8086 286 386 486 Pentium Pentium II Celeron libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
86Box git
PCem v17
DOSBox-X 2024.03.01
DOSBox 0.74-3
SVN
Bochs 2.8
MAME 0.266 ~ ~ ~
QEMU 9.0.0 [N 17]

Sinclair

ZX81

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Relative Speed[N 18] Active Recommended
ZEsarUX 11.0 110.9%
SZ81
(xz80 & z81 based)
2.1.7
2.3.10 (Unofficial)
100.0% ~
MAME 0.266 ? Not tested

ZX Spectrum

Name Latest Version Libretro Core FLOSS Active Recommended
FUSE 1.5.7
Speccy 5.9
ZEsarUX 11.0
BizHawk 2.9.1 ? ~
Retro Virtual Machine 2.0.beta-1.r6 ? ~
ZX-Poly 2.3.0 TBD
Xpeccy 0.6.20231226 ?
DSP git ?
fbzx git
JSpeccy git ?
MAME 0.266
ZX4ALL Beta 2 ?

Acorn Computers

BBC Micro/BBC Master

Name Latest version BBC Micro BBC Master FLOSS Active Recommended
BeebEM git B, B+, M128
B-em 2.2, git A, B, B+, M128, MC MT, M512
B2 git B, B+, M128 ?

Electron

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266
CLK git
eek git
ElectrEm 0.6c ?
ElkJS git ?
Elkulator git

Multi (Atom, Micro, Electron)

Name Latest version Atom BBC Micro BBC Master Electron FLOSS Recommended
MAME 0.266 A, B, B+, M128 ?

Archimedes

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
Arculator 2.1
MAME 0.266
ArcEm 1.50

Risc PC / A7000

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
RPCEmu 0.9.4
MAME 0.266

VTech

CreatiVision

Name Latest Version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
cvemu (creatiVision emulator) 21.05.01 Preview (source)

16.04.24 (windows)

~[N 19]
MAME git artifacts[N 9]
0.266
libretro core[N 20]
*
FunnyMu FunnyMu 0.43 SDL
CvEmu2 0.6.1 (CvEmu2)

Socrates

Name Latest Version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME git artifacts[N 9]
0.266
libretro core[N 20]
~*

V.Smile

Name Latest Version FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME git artifacts[N 9]
0.266
libretro core[N 20]
~*
Unununium git

V.Flash

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

InnoTV

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

Miscellaneous

Panasonic (3DO)

Name Latest version libretro Retro achievements FLOSS Active Recommended
4DO 1.3.2.4
Opera libretro core
Phoenix 2.8.JAG ~
3d'oh SVN
MAME 0.266

Phillips (CD-i)

Name Latest Version DVC libretro Retro
Achievements
FLOSS Active Recommended
Same CDi
same_cdi_libretro
libretro core *
MAME 0.266 *
CeDImu None (pre-alpha) (WIP)
CD-iCE 2001-08-20

GamePark Holdings

GP32

Name Latest version FLOSS Active Recommended
MAME 0.266 ~

GP2X

THERE ARE NO EMULATORS FOR THIS PLATFORM.

IBM

System 370/390/z

Name Latest version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
Hercules 3.07

Symbian and N-Gage

Name Version Accuracy Retro
Achievements
FLOSS Active Recommended
EKA2L1 git Mid ~

J2ME

Name Version Mascot Capsule 3D Accuracy VM Derived from FLOSS Active Recommended
Kahvibreak Stable
Dev
Mid Host JVM (FreeJ2ME) ? (WIP)
SquirrelJME 0.2.0 Aims for 100% Custom (Java) - ? (WIP)
MicroEmu git Mid Host JVM -
MPowerPlayer 2.0 Low ? ? ?
N-GAGE Cool! 1.2.1 (Trial) ($) Low ? ? ?

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Main branch is dead, but the libretro core is still alive.
  2. Due to using a non-commercial license. Source code is still publicly available.
  3. Requires the Triforce branch to work. It is very old and unsupported.
  4. At Alpha release and has bugs that are not present on standalone Dolphin.
  5. Pokémon mini core available not yet available in binary releases (source only).
  6. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Only available on PC as a libretro core (e.g. RetroArch).
  7. The Game Gear emulation doesn't work.
  8. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 CI-Linux
  9. As of Version 0.251, NEC PC-8801MA, NEC PC-8801MH, and NEC PC-8801mkIISR, and the clones: NEC PC-8801FA, NEC PC-8801MA2, NEC PC-8801mkIIFR and NEC PC-8801mkIIMR have been promoted to working status and is considered playable
  10. Only libretro core is still active.
  11. The developers are currently treating version increments as milestones, not as stables.
  12. The backend column describes what backend technology used mainly (VM, AOSP or an actual OS etc). Emulators labeled with "VirtualBox" sometimes need the user to install Oracle VM VirtualBox, but usually you don't need to install manually. Hardware-assisted virtualization feature must be turned for VM backends due to performance reasons. Keep in mind that you should turn off Hyper-V windows feature if emulator uses type-2 hypervisor (VirtualBox or VMware) due to conflict issue, although some emulators (like BlueStacks) provide special Hyper-V build for this.
  13. Bloatware
  14. As 0.153 (2014), 0.139 (2010), 0.78 (2003)
  15. Source only, pass '--enable-x64' to configure
  16. Supports the Conroe model.
  17. As calculated by Carlo Delhez's clkfreq, originally distributed with his XTender emulator. The ZX81 has relatively complicated timing mechanics, depending on signalling of WAIT during NMI; relative speed is a measurement of how closely an emulator matches a real machine in terms of clock cycles spent processing within a frame. 100.0% denotes the same execution speed as a real machine.
  18. creatiVision commits
  19. 20.0 20.1 20.2 As 0.251, 0.139 (2010), 0.78 (2003), 0.37b5 (2000)

See also