10+ Emulators For Linux and MAC – Play Classic Games at Linux and MAC

by on August 29th, 2009

Classic old school games are still fun to play because these are easy to play and consume less memory. For Windows there are many emulators and programs developed to play these games but for Linux and MAC resources are not available up to enough level. However here are some emulators which will enable you to play those classic games at Linux and MAC also.



DOSBox is a DOS-emulator that uses the SDL-library which makes DOSBox very easy to port to different platforms. DOSBox has already been ported to many different platforms, such as Windows, BeOS, Linux, MacOS X.

DOSBox also emulates CPU:286/386 realmode/protected mode, Directory FileSystem/XMS/EMS, Tandy/Hercules/CGA/EGA/VGA/VESA graphics, a SoundBlaster/Gravis Ultra Sound card for excellent sound compatibility with older games.

You can “re-live” the good old days with the help of DOSBox, it can run plenty of the old classics that don’t run on your new computer! DOSBox is totally free of charge and OpenSource.



ZSNES is a Super Nintendo emulator programmed by zsKnight and _Demo_. On April 2, 2001 the ZSNES project was GPL’ed and its source released to the public. It currently runs on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and DOS. Remember that this is a public beta so don’t expect this to run on your machine.



gnuboy (all lowercase) is a portable program for emulating the Nintendo GameBoy color software platform. gnuboy is Free Software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Our goal is to provide a great emulator that runs on many platforms and is accessible for everyone’s enjoyment.



The grandaddy of them all. SDLMAME emulates over 6000 different arcade games!



Daphne lets you play Dragon’s Lair and other laserdisc arcade games, just like you remember them from the arcade!



Raine emulates some M68000 and M68020 arcade games and is mainly focused on Taito and Jaleco games hardware. Raine can emulate many nice games now, including new additions from Cave and other companies. Sound was improved thanks to the work of Hiromitsu Shioya.



ZiNc is an emulator for arcade video games based on Sony PlayStation hardware. This includes systems from Capcom, Taito, Konami, Tecmo, and Namco, among others.


Final Burn

FinalBurn is a CPS1/CPS2/System16 emulator for Win32 written by someone. The main advantage of this emulator over others is it’s speed.


System 16

System16 is an emulator of the sega system16 arcade machines. Through this emulator, and the original roms you can play those good old games again. Archive contains contains both glibc & libc5 bins.


Some more resources

Lots of Emulators
Amiga Game Emulators
Window Game Emulators
Linux Emulators List

How to Setup Game Emulators (Linux)
Installation of Emulator

Download the latest version of the emulator. After you’ve downloaded the file to your /tmp directory, untar it and check out its contents. Some emulators come pre-compiled, while others come as source. If you got the source version, there should be directions about compiling it in the INSTALL or README file(s) that usually accompany the source. Once the executable binary is ready, you want to make sure that all the users can use it. Type:

chmod 755 binary

Where binary is the name of the emulator. The next step is to copy the binary to directory from which it will be executable. You can use /usr/bin to avoid fiddling with paths. Type:

mv binary /usr/bin

This will move the file to /usr/bin, from where it will be executable by all users. If you feel like fiddling with paths and making proper directories for each game, be my guest.

If you downloaded a frontend (easy-to-use interface for X) for the emulator, you should repeat the procedure for its binary (chmod 755 binary; mv binary /usr/bin). I highly recommend getting a frontend if it’s available for the emulator, because it saves you from learing all the flags with which to start the emulator. If you didn’t get one, or it wasn’t available for the particular emulator, please read the instructions. They can be found wherever you untarred the package. (/tmp/… if you follow this guide)

There are two ways of starting the emulator. You can make a shortcut on your desktop to the emulator or front-end binary, or you can open a terminal window and type the emulator or frontend binary name.

Getting Roms

ROMS are games for the emulator. You might have already some.

Installing Roms

ROM installation is relatively simple. You want to put the ROMS in a directory which can be accessed by all users. After decompressing the ROM (in /tmp/roms/ for example) type the following commands as root:

chmod 755 romname
mkdir /usr/share/games/roms
mv /tmp/roms/romname /usr/share/games/roms

When you’ll want to load a specific ROM, the directory to look in will be /usr/share/games/roms

Setting Up Your Joystick

First, make sure your joystick/gamepad is supported. You can visit RedHat’ssupported (or whatever Linux version you are using) hardware page to find out.

You then have to make sure that your joystick is compiled into your kernel. Type the following commands as root:

ls /lib/modules/`uname -r`/*/joy*

And you should see something like this appear:


You then select your joystick name and type:

modprobe joystick
modprobe joy-yourjoystickname.o

If all went well, those two commands looked as if they didn’t do anything. Done.