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I always get nostalgic thinking about my good old Amiga 500 days and the many games I enjoyed playing on it. I ran the Amiga emulator WinUAE before on a Windows machine, but I have now switched to Ubuntu and wanted to give UAE a try on my new Linux platform as well.

So my question is: how can I install E-UAE on Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)?

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Great question- I had an Amiga 1200 nearly twenty years ago! – user76204 Oct 24 '12 at 0:03

Developer of E-UAE is still. There is another Amiga Emulator: FS-UAE that syncronized with WinUAE code.

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Overall, I found it to be a more painful process than anticipated, so I decided to share my experience here online in case someone else wants to try. Eventually, I ended up with a smoothly running Amiga emulator on Ubuntu, so stay tuned if you want to give it a try as well.

First, a few of my system specs:

  • HP Pavilion dv5 notebook running 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04
  • Intel® Core™2 Duo CPU T6400 @ 2.00GHz × 2
  • Graphics: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
  • Audio: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)

A Linux version of WinUAE named E-UAE is available from the Ubuntu Software Centre, so my first thought was: that's gonna be easy! Alas, it was not. After installing E-UAE using Ubuntu Software Centre and starting it, I was greeted with a program crash report. Ok, that was obviously not the way to go.

So plan B: installation from source. I found the E-UAE source code at Richard Drummond's site

Seeing that this latest version of E-UAE (0.8.29) is dated March 2007 made it no surprise to me that E-UAE installation using the preconfigured Ubuntu package failed --- the E-UAE package just seems to be no longer maintained. So immediately my hopes dropped that I could get UAE running on my beloved Ubuntu.

Anyways, I wanted to give it a try. There is a somewhat outdated guide for installing E-UAE from source available at Ubuntu help. So I started from there:

sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall
sudo apt-get install zlibc zlib1g-dev

Next download this file into a directory of your choice (for example your home directory).

tar xf e-uae-0.8.29-WIP4.tar.bz2
cd e-uae-0.8.29-WIP4

Next big disappointment: E-UAE compiles with an error complaining about a missing libxext library. Ok, that should not be a major problem:

sudo apt-get install libxext-dev

Running make again ended up with a first success: E-UAE compiled on my system! So let's fire it up:


Lot's of output on my console, but no GUI. Reading the E-UAE README it explains to me that a GUI is only available for platforms supporting the GTK+ toolkit. Darn. Ok, I don't want to install GTK+ on my system, so we'll have to go along without the nice graphical configuration dialog that I was used to from WinUAE.

Sifting through the E-UAE output in my console finds the following important line:

"Failed to load Kickstart image 'kick.rom'"

Uh, of course, the kick.rom. I had this file still laying around somewhere from running WinUAE, so I copied it over from my Windows partition into a roms subdirectory of e-uae. How will E-UAE find this file there? By default, E-UAE looks for a configuration file named .uaerc in the user's home directory, which contains all of E-UAEs settings. So I continued by creating a simple .uaerc file under my user home directory with the following content:


Firing up E-UAE again now shows me a familiar hand holding a floppy -- not bad! So l grabbed the ADF files of one of my favourite games ever and made another entry in my .uaerc file:


Restarting E-UAE ended with good and bad news. The good news was that graphics was working, and the game started up in a nice little window! The bad news: audio did not, so there was no sound! Ok, going back to the E-UAE console brings up the following important lines:

Can't open /dev/dsp: No such file or directory
Sound driver unavailable: Sound output disabled

Obviously the /dev/dsp device is gone since earlier versions of Ubuntu. Searching the web brought up a surprisingly simple solution. There is a way to emulate this device using padsp. All we have to do is to put this program in front of our uae program call:

padsp src/uae

This brought back my beloved Amiga sound!

Almost there. One thing that annoyed me was that E-UAE was running in windowed mode. From WinUAE I was used to play games in fullscreen, which brought them much bigger on the screen. Reading the E-UAE manual tells me that pressing F12+s (the 's' key on your keyboard, not the shift key) should toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode. Alas, not working. The key combination was completely unresponsive.

Again, the E-UAE console output was my friend. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the exact error messages that gave me the hint, but I figured that the problem had to do with the missing Simple Directmedia Layer (SDL) library ( SDL is a cross-platform multimedia library designed to provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, 3D hardware via OpenGL, and 2D video framebuffer. It is also used by emulators.

So after downloading the latest SDL into my home folder:

tar xvf SDL-1.2.15.tar.gz
cd SDL-1.2.15/
sudo make install

Then I recompiled E-UAE with SDL support. Change into the directory where E-UAE is installed, then type:

./configure --with-sdl --with-sdl-gfx
make clean
make all

Restarting E-UAE and hitting F12+s now switched to fullscreen --- wonderful!

There were a couple of other tweaks I had to do in the .uaerc config file to make E-UAE behave the way I like it (joystick to keyboard mapping, fullscreen resolution, display of Amiga leds, amount of available RAM, mouse speed). But to cut this long story short, I am posting my complete .uaerc config file here:


One remaining issue I have is that after leaving E-UAE from fullscreen my screen resolution does not switch back to default. In case someone knows how to fix this, please leave a comment!

See also:

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I will change the HTTP links in this guide to working URLs as soon as I have earned 10 reputation points (sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime ...). – user100042 Oct 23 '12 at 23:37
Thanks for taking the time to write such a long and useful guide- I've linkified the urls for you. – user76204 Oct 24 '12 at 0:11

Just type

sudo apt-get install e-uae
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Yes, that's what I thought too :-) Unfortunately it turned out be a bit more elaborate than that (see my own answer below). – user100042 Oct 23 '12 at 23:39

Try the newer FS-UAE Amiga Emulator:

sudo apt-get install fs-uae fs-uae-launcher

Then start fs-uae-launcher to configure the emulator.

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