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
    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
    Oct 13, 2013 at 22:43
  • See this for an update: askubuntu.com/a/1062151/29097 and improved method 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
    Sep 12, 2014 at 21:42
  • 1
    How do you actually run VICE after the sudo make install command? 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
    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
    Nov 16, 2017 at 15:02
  • 1
    I also had to sudo apt install xa65 for vice-3.3 on Ubuntu 18.04.
    – DavidJ
    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,

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

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

      find /tmp/vice-*/data \
        -mindepth 1 \
        -type d \
        -exec sudo cp -rnv {} /usr/lib/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
    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
    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
    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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.