Tuesday, 28 July 2020

MEGA65 Emulator and Tools Live ISO

Snoopy, one of the MEGA65 enthusiasts who frequents forum64 has done some amazing workk, making a live ISO image containing LGB's MEGA65 emulator, the MEGA65 documentation and various other goodies.  You can follow the thread directly here, but for your viewing convenience, and with Snoopy's permission, here's the low-down:

As mentioned and discussed in this thread, I have written some toolscripts, configured them for suitable use and build now a new iso image for USB stick or DVD which let you boot a live system based on Xubuntu for an easy use of xmega65 and xc65 of the Xemu emulator.

Because of potential copyright issues the original C65 ROM is not included in the live system.

The live system offers you after booting the options to load the system ROM file (has to be named MEGA65.ROM) from a connected storage medium (USB stick, SD card, ...) or to download the ROM file from the website 'zimmers.net' and patch it automatically to the latest C65 ROM patch "AH". The patch "AH" fixes some issues of the original ROM (e.g. more free BASIC10 memory and a work around for the "disc change bug"). Because the live system is read only, you have to repeat this procedure after every new start of the live system.


Please note, if you do not load or download the C65 ROM you can use xmega65 only with the included OpenROM from the Mega team.

The live system also includes the "Mega65 book" manual (the version from 18th of July 2020 with 734 pages) which can be updated to the latest available version with the "Update MEGA65 book" icon on the desktop. Because the live system is read only, you have to update the MEGA65 book after every new start if necessary.

Also included are a few disc images (read only, because it's a live system!), which you should copy first to an external USB stick or SD card. So you could use them also for saving data onto it with the emulator. In Xemu you can attach a disc image with a right mouse click.


The Xemu live system offers you a Xubuntu (64bit) system with English system language and four selectable keyboard layouts:

- English (US) (as default)

- German

- Hungarian (greetings to LGB-Z for his great work on the Xemu emulator!)

- Italian (there are some great C65 fans in Italy)

Please note that the Xemu emulator only uses English keyboard layout, regardless which system layout you have chosen.

You start the Xemu emulator with a click on the appropriate icon on the desktop:

'xmega65' for MEGA65 emulation:


'xc65' for C65 emulation:

Also included in the live system are some "everyday" programs like LibreWriter, LibreCalc, Leafpad, Calculator, GHex, Geany, Midnight Commander (MC) and the latest version of Firefox (Firefox 78.0.2 - 64-bit) with the most important bookmarks. :D


Handling of the iso file:

The iso image has to be copied to an USB stick (at least 2 GB big) or burn onto a DVD. That should be no great problem in most cases. To burn a DVD you can use nearly every CD burning program. To copy the iso bootable to a USB stick you can use an image writer tool (e.g. "ISO to USB" for Windows or using "Startup Disk Creator" with Linux/Ubuntu).

After done this, plug the stick into the PC or the laptop and turn it on ... and wait until it's ready. Nearly every computer which can handle 64bit systems and can boot from external stick should be good enough for the live system. I have tested it positive with four different computers (even an old "Samsung NC10 plus" netbook works).


You can also use the iso file within a virtual environment as e.g. Virtualbox. But it will be more or less slower as using a real computer.

Please note that every change you made to the system or any file in the live system will be lost after turning the computer off. You have to copy files and disc images, you wanted permanently save and change, to an external medium (usb stick, SD card, external harddrive, ...) and save the data on them, because the files on the live system are read only.

If you need the system passwords, there are:

user: mega65

password: mega65

root password: mega65

You can read the password infos also by clicking the desktop icon "Read me".

Installation of the live system onto your computer:

If you select "Boot system installer" at the very first boot screen of the iso file, you can install the live system onto your computer. Please follow the instructions shown on the screen.

Please note that my main topic was the live system, so I don't used much time for the installer and possible issues with it. Maybe it works on your computer, maybe not. ;)

Other boot options are:

- "safe graphics mode" (try this if your computer has some graphics trouble with the live system)

- "debug mode" (shows much more details during booting for debugging what's going wrong if something's going wrong)

You can download the iso file "xemu_live_system_20200724.iso" (1,72 GB) via https from this filehoster (mega.nz) link:

xemu_live_system_20200724.iso

Don't blame me for possible slow download speed or other traffic limitations, it's up to the filehoster. :zeig:

If you want to be (nearly) sure, that you have downloaded the correct and original iso file, you can use the md5sum for control. With Windows you can use e.g. the freeware "MD5 Checksum Tool" and in Linux e.g. the shell command md5sum -b xemu_live_system_20200724.iso for it.

The md5sum of the iso file 'xemu_live_system_20200724.iso' is:

4e4c845f21ed9f1ea0e48bab3dcb04c7 *xemu_live_system_20200724.iso

If your downloaded iso file has a different md5checksum, something has gone wrong. :achtung

I have checked the content of the ISO for possible copyright issues to the best of my knowledge. If anyone have legal issues with that live system, please contact me and I will delete the iso file from the filehoster as soon as possible!

To all other guys: Have fun with the Xemu live system!



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