I want to play games on the vice emulator on Ubuntu 14.04. I have never managed to get vice working in Ubuntu. What are the steps needed to achieve this?

  • What's Vice C64?
    – Braiam
    Commented Oct 12, 2013 at 22:16
  • It's a commodore 64 emulator. There is a a linux version but I don't know how to get it working. I have now discovered you can sudo apt-get install wine and then download the windows version and use it with wine
    – uzi3k
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 22:43
  • See this for an update: askubuntu.com/a/1062151/29097 and improved method Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 22:00

3 Answers 3


update --- there is a new release now, 3.3, and as 3.2, works great.

I managed to compile it with trial-and-errors adding the following libraries:

sudo apt install xa65 libreadline-dev libxaw7-dev libgtkmm-3.0-dev libpulse-dev

and compiled with

sudo make install 

...and it seems to work (the lib hack is not needed anymore). Seems a quite live project!

Original content:

You can compile the native version pretty easily (well...). Tested with version 2.4. (compact instructions --- tell me if you need more details).

1) download the last version from http://vice-emu.sourceforge.net/

2) unpack it where you want

tar xvzf vice-3.1.tar.gz
cd vice-3.1

3) install required dev libraries:

sudo apt install build-essential  libvte-dev libasound2-dev libgtk2.0-dev libgnome2-dev byacc flex

4) configure, compile and install (it will go in /usr/local/). On my netbook, I have a coffee after the "make"...

./configure --enable-gnomeui
sudo make install

5) if you machine is 64 bit, do the following (as root)

cd /usr/local/lib
sudo ln -s ../lib64/vice .

(this is probably a bug; the emulator will search the ROMS in /usr/local/lib even if the installation is a 64 bit one and the install program will put the libraries under /usr/local/lib64/)

6) type x64 and Enjoy! (this thing evokes a tear... my first computer ever was a C64. If only I did not lose my discs...)

vice x64 running

  • 1
    This still works with Ubuntu 14.04, playing last ninja and it works great, fullscreen doesn't work for me either.
    – uzi3k
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 21:42
  • 1
    How do you actually run VICE after the sudo make install command? Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 21:19
  • 1
    On Ubuntu 17.10 with vice-3.1 you need sudo apt install byacc flex before you configure
    – rubo77
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 20:44
  • 2
    I like this emulator as it produces the sound of the 1541 Floppy Drive. Definitely a tear is shedding! =) Thank you!
    – Terrance
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 15:02
  • 1
    I also had to sudo apt install xa65 for vice-3.3 on Ubuntu 18.04.
    – DavidJ
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 4:00

To install VICE with the default ROMs, you can

  1. Install VICE from the system repos

     sudo apt-get install vice
  2. Install the roms,

  3. Download the source tarball http://vice-emu.sourceforge.net/index.html#download and extract it to /tmp

  4. Run the following commands to copy over the data files,

       find /tmp/vice-*/data \
         -mindepth 1 \
         -type d \
         -exec cp -rnv {} ~/.local/share/vice/ \;

now you can use x64 and x64sc to run the bin files.

  • 1
    Works great! +1 Full screen no longer has lines in it like when I build from source.
    – Terrance
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 2:43
  • No need to copy it into the root filesystem. Just copy the folders from the data directory of the vice tarball to ~/.config/vice. Or in the command above, replace /usr/lib/vice/ by ~/.config/vice. (You might need to create the folder first: mkdir -p ~/.config/vice.)
    – pcworld
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 14:07
  • @pcworld - this doesn't work with 3.5. A pity, as it would be nice not have to replace the ROMs every time Ubuntu updates. Also, the Vice ROMs folder is now /usr/share/vice/ and files under /usr/lib/vice are no longer found.
    – scruss
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 23:51

Compile and install went well 1st time on my fresh install of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, however i found that the C64 had no keyboard response.

This was fixed by copying the x11_sym.vkm and sdl_sym.vkm files from the source codes data/C64 folder into the installed C64 folder.

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