BMC64: a bare metal fork of VICE's C64 emulator optimized for the Raspberry Pi 3

Via Hacker News

BMC64 is a bare metal fork of VICE’s C64 emulator optimized for the Raspberry Pi 3. (It will also work on RPi 2 and Zero models with reduced performance for some features.) It has 50hz/60hz smooth scrolling, low video/audio latency and a number of other features that make it perfect for building your own C64 replica machine.


Notably, VIC-20, C128, +4, and PET emulation is bundled, as well.

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Sounds pretty good - and the precedent of taking an application like VICE and porting it to bare metal is surely useful to others. But 4 seconds to boot isn’t quite the retro experience!

When hardware starts to get complex…

My own bare-metal Pi framework also takes a second or 2… and a lot of that is just initialising the USB hardware and hub. It’s faster on a Pi Zero with no hub…


Depends on the hardware. Anything with a disk to load from took a few seconds. Or if it was a C64+1541, a few seconds times a lot

I’ve met the author of BMC64 a few times at various World of Commodore events. While it’s a bare-metal port of VICE at heart, quite a bit of work has gone into making it responsive, especially on composite video CRT displays. A lot of original Commodore machines have failing hardware, and this was an attempt to bring snappy emulation without hardware heartbreak.

Randy’s also responsible for the VIC-II Kawari, an FPGA-based VIC-II replacement for C64s. Very clever stuff.

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I Buy this old floppy disk drive usb…inside there is floppy disk with format fat and inside a d64 file…but with BMC64 don’t see this drive…only SD…why???

in BMC64 don’t read nothing only SD but when I connect a usb key read all…why???
in windows I format the floppy in fat…and read the files correctly…

there are disk drive usb floppy compatible with BMC64 and no???

No, BMC64 is a bare-metal emulator. It only knows about files on its SD card, and can’t communicate with your floppy drive


thanks…no way right???
but with THEC64 works fine??? but BMC64 no !!!

Randi Rossi’s BMC64 is a labour of love created to provide extremely low latency Commodore emulation on the Raspberry Pi. It succeeds in that extremely well. It’s also free.

THEC64 is a commercial product that leverages (some might say rips off) the GPL VICE emulation suite running on a small Linux board. Its game timing is not that accurate, but it will work with a huge number of USB storage devices because it’s running Linux.

While BMC64 does support USB memory sticks for storing data, it doesn’t — and can’t — support floppies. BMC64 only understands FAT32 file systems. MS-DOS floppies are FAT12, so won’t work.

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thanks scruss :(:(----- sadness