Posted by: duskfire | January 28, 2012

Emulators on Linux, part 4

I’m continuing my look at what emulators you can use in Linux with ones for Nintendo 64 (is this console REALLY over 15 years old?) and the Nintendo DS.

Nintendo DS

The emulator for the DS is DeSMuME version 0.9.7, and it seems to work fine. It shows up in the menu list. When it first opens, it’s a rather small window and the games are actually so tiny that reading text is close to impossible. You can expand the window to fill the screen. The games run sluggishly, but not so bad that you don’t want to play them.  The music does run too slowly to really be worth using, and I quickly turned off the music option. This emulator doesn’t play compressed files, and you’ll have to unzip any that you use. The game show below, Dragon Quest 4, is about 134 megabytes in size.

Dragon Quest IV, on Desmume emulator

Nintendo 64

The emulator to use for these games is Mupen64plus version 1.5, which you can find in the standard Ubuntu repositories. Some of the features are save states, several window sizes, full-screen option, and a very easy controller configuration. Before getting it, make sure to uncheck the getdeb gaming repository in your sources list. Although getdeb has a more recent version of this emulator (1.99.4), it has no graphical frontend. It will work, if you don’t mind issuing commands from the terminal. I did try the “Cutemupen” front-end that you can also find, but it was no help whatsoever. I think it makes more sense to just use the older version, since I didn’t find much help searching with Google for how to set Cutemupen up correctly.

Just like for the DS emulator, you’ll need to uncompress any game file you obtain. Ocarina of Time is 33 megabytes in size uncompressed.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, on Mupenplus64 emulator

(I also tried to run a Windows emulator, Project64, using Wine, and found that it didn’t work at all. As soon as I loaded a ROM file the emulator froze and I had to terminate the process that was running wine.)



  1. I tried to run the Windows emulator Project64 recently, and could not get the controller to work. The controller works with other emulators, and can be tested in the control panel, so it was something in the emulator.

    Have you looked at SummVM?

    Oh nice to see you post on this subject, good job.

    • Thanks for commenting. I haven’t looked at ScummVM yet, even though it’s available for most versions of Linux. I am planning to look at it in the future.

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