This page is retained for historic interest only. Read our updated article showcasing the best free Linux home computer emulators.
Emulation refers to the duplication of functions of one system using a different system. Specifically, an emulator is software specifically written to emulate aspects of the original console or computer, primarily the CPU, I/O and memory system.
This article focuses on software which emulates home computers, a class of personal computer which reached the market in the late 1970s, and became immensely popular in the following decade, selling many millions of units. Leading home computer companies included Commodore, Sinclair, Atari, Apple, Acorn, Tandy Radio Shack, and Amstrad. Many of the earlier machines (in particular the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64) often ended up being very game oriented. However, the later home computers had more sophisticated hardware which widened their use in other areas. For example, the Atari ST was used professionally in music studios, in desktop publishing, and had a wide selection of office software available. However to many users it was still regarded as a games machine.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 21 high quality Linux Home Computer emulators. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wishes to have some fun and reminisce about their misspent youth.
Now, let’s explore the 21 emulators at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Home Computer Emulators|
|E-UAE||Unofficial branch of UAE|
|plus4emu||Commodore 264 family of computers (C16, C116, and Plus/4)|
|UAE||Mostly complete software emulation of the Commodore Amiga 500/1000/2000|
|VICE||Emulates the Commodore 64, C128, VIC-20, Plus/4, and all the PET models|
|ARAnyM||Atari Running on Any Machine|
|Atari++Emulator||Atari 400, 800, Atari 400XL, 800XL and 130XE, and the Atari 5200 game console|
|Atari800||Atari 800, 800XL, 130XE and 5200 emulator with extensions|
|Hatari||Atari ST and STE emulator|
|Steem||Atari STE emulator with many unique features|
|FBZX||ZX Spectrum emulator, using the FrameBuffer|
|Fuse||Accurate 16K, 48K, 128K, +2, +2A and +3 emulation|
|Spectemu||48K ZX Spectrum emulator|
|SimCoupe||Emulates the SAM Coupé|
|ArcEm||Acorn A400 hardware emulator|
|BeebEm||Acorn BBC Micro and Master 128 emulator|
|XRoar||Dragon 32, Dragon 64, Tano Dragon, Tandy CoCo 1/2|
|openMSX||MSX home computer system|
|xapple2||Fully-functional 100% Apple ][ emulator for X|
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