Posted by: duskfire | December 6, 2011

Emulators on Linux, part 2

NES emulators

The last time I talked about emulators, I left out the original NES console. Currently there are 4 different emulators in the Mint and Ubuntu repositories to play NES games on your computer. I’ll compare them below.


This emulator is simple to load and run, and runs games from zipped files. It offers a fullscreen option, and configuring a controller is very easy. However, the  default window size is a little small (mitigated by the fact that fullscreen sound is perfectly fine). There are command line options you can add. When you run a game, it re-opens with just the game window.  Recommended.


This emulator uses the same engine as GFCEU but allows you to record games and allows game genie code input. Like GFCEU, it offers a full-screen mode. Recommended. I’d suggest that you install both this and GFCEU, and try each one. They have good points and bad points, and probably the one you prefer will be obvious after a few times using them.


This emulator focuses on accuracy, and it seems to offer support for 4 different systems – NES, SNES, GB and GBC. However, the sound isn’t good, and gets worse when you expand the window. It doesn’t run the Super Nintendo games at all. Also, it consumes a lot of RAM. It’s only good for running NES games, and doesn’t do that better than the previous 2 emulators (it only runs NES games that are uncompressed). Not recommended.


I can’t recommend this emulator for most people, because it’s so user-unfriendly. It has to be run from the terminal, and the only front-end I’ve found doesn’t want to run. Salix OS actually offers this with the front-end all set to go. But it does run games from the following systems: Atari Lynx, GBC, GBA, NES, and Turbografx. Not recommended.



  1. Did you ever run into any trouble getting GFCEU to recognize your controller?

    • No I didn’t. I’m using a Logitech Cordless Rumble Pad 2. Make sure your controller is already plugged in before starting GFCEU, but apart from that, mine seems to work just fine.

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