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Emulators

The available emulators are presented here (alphabetically). Some are commercial, and some are not even available.

Most emulators are available directly from the "The BBC lives!" archives. However, the original distribution sites are linked to below, when possible. If a emulator software link doesn't work below, you'll still probably find it in this archive.

Enter the emulator archive! [ HTTP | FTP | index ]

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Emulator menu

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BBC micro emulators

  • 6502Em (a good, but commercial emulator for RiscOS)
  • 65C12 Emulator
  • 65Host
  • BBC Environment Emulator
  • BBC BASIC(86)
  • BBC386
  • BBC 6502 Emulator
  • BBCEm
  • BBCmicro
  • Beeb
  • BeebEm (my personal favourite, as it is free and cross-platform)
  • BeebIt (probably the best for RiscOS)
  • BeebInC (a good emulator for DOS)
  • B-EM
  • BPC
  • em6502
  • Horizon (probably the best for Mac)
  • JBeeb (the first Java emulator)
  • MESS (BBC driver)
  • Model-B (totally revamped, a good emulator for Windows)
  • Owl
  • pcBBC (hailed as the best, but shareware, and DOS only)
  • The Emulator
  • TOL - The Owl Lives
  • Tom Lees' Emulator
  • WinBee
  • Xbeeb (a good emulator requiring X11)
  • ? (unnamed emulator)
  • Acorn Atom emulators

  • Acorn Atom Emulator
  • Another Acorn Atom Emulator
  • MESS (Atom driver
  • Acorn Electron emulators

  • 6502Em
  • MAME (Electron driver)
  • ElectrEm
  • Elkulator
  • Tom Lees' Emulator
  • Acorn Master emulators

  • 6502Em
  • Catorcio (Master Compact emulator)
  • pcBBC (Beeb emulator supporting some Master features)
  • Tom Lees' Emulator
  • Acorn Archimedes emulators

  • Archie (actually works splendidly)
  • ArcEm
  • ARM2
  • Pattenden's Archimedes emulator
  • Red Squirrel (also works very well)

  • 6502Em

    Emulator name 6502Em
    Version 3.00
    Authors Mike Borcherds for Warm Silence Software
    Emulates [BBC A] [BBC B] [Master] [Compact] [Electron]
    Sideways and shadow RAM
    Platform Archimedes, RISC PC
    Price commercial, UK£15, UK£25 if combined with Z80Em (plus VAT).
    Supports [sound] [diskettes], tape (through additional interface), snapshot
    Here you'll find some information on compatible games (by Gareth Moore)
    Approx. speed Beeb speed on ARM 3 and up, slowed a bit by scrolling
    Implementation ARM assembler
    Homepage Warm Silence Software homepage.
    Download Demo version is available from WSS.

    Version 3 now available: the screen routines have been completely rewritten    
    to offer even better emulation than before; palette/mode changing part way down    
    the screen is now supported - see the water level move around in Exile again!    
    The new frames-per-second option also gives even better 'true speed' emulation.
    

    65C12 Emulator

    Emulator name 65C12 Emulator
    Version 1.1
    Authors Carlo Concari
    Emulates 65C12 processor
    Platform DOS
    Price freeware
    Supports processor only
    Implementation 8086 assembler
    Download here

    65Host

    Emulator name 65Host
    Version 1.20 (18 May 1992)
    Authors Acorn
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform Archimedes, RISC PC
    Price free
    Supports [sound] [diskettes], sideways RAM
    Download It's on the RISC OS 3.1 Support Disk 2, in the !65Host directory. To extract the disk on other platforms, you'll need nspark.

    There are also emulators for a 6502 second processor which can run many 6502 ROM images. These are called 65Tube and 65Turbo. Here is some more information.

    Acorn Atom Emulator

    Emulator name Acorn Atom Emulator
    Version 0.3
    Authors Frans J. Faase
    Emulates Acorn Atom
    Platform UNIX/X (tested with Linux and SunOS 4.1)
    Price free (under the GPL)
    Supports B/W graphics modes (not color), loading/saving of images
    Implementation C (inspired by Atari 800 emulator and Xbeeb)
    Homepage This is Frans' home page, but information on his emulator seems to have been removed.
    Download version 0.3

    Frans told me he's not working on his emulator anymore, as he considers Wouter Ras' emulator to be more useful.

    ArcEm

    Emulator name ArcEm
    Version 0.5
    Authors David Alan Gilbert
    Based on ARMulator 1.0 from ARM Ltd.
    Emulates Acorn Archimedes ("somewhere around the A3xx and A4xx series")
    Platform UNIX/X (tested with Linux and SunOS 4.1)
    Price Free (under the GPL)
    Supports Most hardware except serial and parallell comms, Econet
    Approx. speed Big speed improvements in this version. In David's own words, "usefully fast on a top of the range host."
    Implementation C++
    Download ArcEm distribution site

    Archie

    Emulator name Archie
    Version 0.9
    Authors Chris-O
    Emulates Acorn Archimedes A440
    Platform DOS
    Supports A3xx, A4xx, A3xxx, most peripherals, 8 channel sound
    Approx. speed about 50% on a Pentium 200
    Homepage here
    Download here
    After a slight delay due to the ECTS 2000 show, Archie 0.9 is available with the following enhancements: 
    
    * 8 channel sound emulation 
    * Quad MEMC emulation to allow 16MB of ram 
    * Faster floppy access 
    * Improved mouse resolution 
    * PCFS in ROM 
    * LED update control 
    * Plenty more bug fixes... 
    

    ARM2

    Emulator name ARM2
    Version 0.0001
    Authors Edwin Dorre
    Emulates Acorn Archimedes
    Platform DOS
    Price free
    Supports RISC machine code, basic I/O, runs RISC BASIC
    Download version 0.0001

    Sadly, this emulator is no longer being developed.

    Another Acorn Atom Emulator

    Emulator name Acorn Atom Emulator
    Version 1.33
    Authors Wouter Ras
    Emulates Acorn Atom
    Platform DOS
    Price freeware
    Supports B/W graphics modes (not color), loading/saving of images
    Approx. speed 100% on a 486 DX-40 or better
    Implementation Assembler
    Homepage here
    Download version 1.32 (includes some software)

    Upgrade v1.32 --> v1.33:
    
         Communication capabilities expanded. The Atom's I/O ports at B400h-B7FFh have now been
         linked to the PC's I/O ports 0000h-03FFh, for communication between emulator and other
         devices and/or programs. 
    

    BBCmicro

    Emulator name BBCmicro
    Version 0.0.1
    Author Adam Hamilton
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform Linux/X + Motif
    Price free
    Supports 6502 emulation + debugger
    Implementation ANSI C
    Homepage here
    Hi Robert,
    
    Here's an update for my 'BBCmicro' emulator...
    
    I have finally got around to putting up a web page for my emulator/debugger:
    www.qualsar.co.uk/bbcmicro
    
    The first release is available - simply the 6502A CPU core, paged memory and
    a little bit of system VIA support, and includes a graphical debugging
    environment.
    
    I would like people to try out the CPU core using the debugger and try to
    find bugs. It should handle all the undocumented op-codes and bugs too
    so if anyone finds problems please let me know at bbcmicro@qualsar.co.uk
    
    Thanks,
    Adam Hamilton
    

    BeebInC

    Emulator name BeebInC
    Version 0.99f
    Author David Devenport
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform DOS (386+)
    Price free
    Supports Graphics, paging, cursor, sound, and a normal file system.
    Approx. speed About 110% Beeb speed on a 486DX4-100 (with 25 fps)
    Implementation Watcom C, with 386 assembler for video refresh code
    Homepage here
    Download Version 0.99f, Version 0.99f source code
    Older versions

    Version 0.99f (15/7/98) 
    
      KEYBOARD 
    
         Changed the way interrupts are generated 
    
      SYSTEM VIA 
    
         Port A pins now read/written correctly (sound works correctly again) 
    
      VIDEO 
    
         Switching between TELETEXT and graphical modes now can only occur during a VBLANK 
    
    Version 0.99e (18/05/98) 
    
      VIDEO 
    
         Screen wrap bug removed from screen scrolling during -eachscanline 
         Mode changes between Teletext and graphic modes, now only take effect during VSYNC. 
         REVs works again now 
         Rocket Raid working again 
    

    B-EM

    Emulator name B-EM
    Version 0.6 (Jul 31 2003)
    Author Tom Walker
    Emulates [BBC B] (and B+)
    Platform DOS and Win32
    Price freeware
    Supports Graphics, sound, 8271, INF, UEF, state snapshots, emulates 2 disc drives
    Homepage here
    Mirror here

    BBC Environment Emulator

    Emulator name BBC Environment Emulator (?)
    Version 1.01AR
    Authors Tris 'Mad' Mabbs, © 1985 BTMsoft
    Emulates BBC BASIC
    Platform Atari 520 ST
    Price Public Domain
    Supports BBC BASIC, access to ST file system, no 6502 support, limited graphics
    Approx. speed really slow
    Implementation C
    Download here

    According to Tom Seddon, this emulator is rather useless due to a number of bugs, and overall slowness (pure C implementation). It supports a maximum of 4 colors, and a maximum of 640x200 pixels (probably mono). Tom also knows of another, similar emulator for ST, written by Tim Titchmarsh, doing a not very good job of emulating the 6502 and running the original BASIC 2 ROM.

    BBC BASIC(86)

    Emulator name BBC BASIC(86)
    Version 1.00a (Windows), 4.82 (DOS)
    Authors Richard Russell
    Emulates BBC BASIC 2
    Platform Windows, DOS (x86 - works in Windows), C/PM (Z80)... any more?
    Price Windows: UKP 29.99 (inc. VAT)
    DOS: UKP 50
    Supports BBC BASIC, graphics (x86: CGA and EGA modes), sound (x86: internal speaker only), file system access, Intel assembly. May vary between versions.
    Approx. speed fast!
    Implementation assembler
    Homepage Here! (A crippled demo version is available for download.)
    The entire BBC BASIC(86) manual is available.
    Download BBC BASIC(Z80) can be downloaded free of charge.

    Because this is not a full BBC micro emulation, but rather an adaption of the BBC BASIC language for other platforms, the performance is much higher than full-fledged emulators when it comes to BASIC power.

    There are also versions for Victor Sirius and Research Machines Nimbus, but these are obsolete.

    For the DOS version, four versions are supplied on the distribution disk:

  • BBCBASIC.EXE: Small memory model (max 64K user RAM)
  • BIGBASIC.EXE: Large memory model (max 640K user RAM)
  • BBCRUN.EXE: As BBCBASIC, but 'run only' version (pseudo-compiler)
  • BIGRUN.EXE: As BBCRUN, but 'run only' version
  • BBCRUN and BIGRUN are not really compilers, but allow you to build a stand- alone .EXE file from a BBC BASIC program.

    The company which, for several years, distributed the PC version of BBC BASIC (M-Tec Computer Services) has recently gone out of business. Therefore, enquiries about the product should now be sent directly to Richard Russell (by email - see above, or fax to +44 1375 892439).

    BBC386

    Emulator name BBC386
    Version 0.0 (unreleased - presumed dead)
    Authors Stephen Quan
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform DOS (386)
    Supports Runs OS 1.2 and BASIC. No hardware emulated.
    Implementation Both C and 386 assembler versions
    Download here

    BBC 6502 Emulator

    Emulator name BBC 6502 Emulator
    Version 15/2/92
    Authors eb134@uk.ac.city (defunct)
    Emulates 6502 + some OS 1.2
    Platform DOS/Windows
    Supports BASIC ROM, some OS calls, simple text only
    Approx. speed quite slow
    Implementation Turbo Pascal
    Download Windows 3.0 version

    I'm including this 6502 emulator, because the author has taken care to make sure BBC BASIC runs "satisfactorily".

    BBCEm

    Emulator name BBCEm
    Version never released
    Authors Nigel Gilbert
    Emulates [BBC B] (6502 and text display)
    Platform Archimedes
    Implementation ARM assembler

    BBCmicro

    Emulator name BBCmicro
    Version unreleased
    Author Adam Hamilton
    Emulates [BBC B] (plans for more)
    Platform UNIX (X/Motif) (Windows version planned)
    Implementation C

    In Adam's own words:

    The current status of the emulator is:
    
    6502A CPU - Virtually complete, I've included ALL undocumented
    instructions and CPU bugs.
    
    6522 System VIA - about 20% complete.
    6522 User VIA - not started, but shouldn't take too long after the
                    sys VIA is complete.
    Addressable latch - complete.
    Memory and paged memory - complete.
    
    As you can see, there's a fair way to go yet before I have anything
    to release, but I'll keep you informed.
    

    Beeb

    Emulator name Beeb
    Version 1.0
    Authors James Bonfield and Steve Youell (8271 emulation)
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform Unix, X optional
    Price free
    Supports [disk images], sideways RAM, text mode only
    Implementation C
    Download Version 1.0, Version 1.2.1 alpha

    BeebEm / BeebWin /BeBeebEm

    Emulator name BeebEm / BeebWin / BeBeebEm
    Version 1.41 (Windows)
    0.8 (UNIX)
    1.2C (DOS)
    Authors David Gilbert (Emulation and UNIX/X)
    Nigel Magnay (Windows port)
    Marcus Goodman (DOS port)
    Mike Wyatt (further work on UNIX/Windows versions)
    Jonathan Belson (BeOS port)
    Richard Gellman (further work on Windows version, M128 support)
    Emulates [BBC B][BBC Master]
    Platform Probably any UNIX with X and gcc, Win32 (optionally DirectX), DOS
    Price free
    Supports [disk images], [sound], sideways RAM, emulation snapshots, joystick (using PC joystick or mouse), printing, AMX mouse emulation, disk image writing, on-the-fly speed, sound quality and window size changes.
    Approx. speed Beeb speed on a P90
    Implementation C (C++ at user interface level)
    Homepage Richard Gellman's BeebEm pages
    Mike Wyatt's BeebEm page
    Nigel Magnay's BeebEm page (defunct)
    Jonathan Belson's home page (you'll find BeBeebEm under Current Projects)
    Download Richard Gellman's BeebEm version 1.41 for Windows. (InstallShield version.)
    Robert Schmidt's BeebEm version 1.04 for Windows.
    Mike Wyatt's BeebEm version 1.02 for Windows and version 0.8 for UNIX.
    BeebEmDOS 1.2C (DOS port of version 0.4, with enhancements)

    BeebIt

    Emulator name BeebIt
    Version 0.53 (28 Jun 2003)
    Authors Michael Foot (remove nospam)
    Emulates [BBC B], B+, M128
    Platform RISC OS
    Price free
    Homepage here
    Download Latest version here

    BPC

    Emulator name BPC
    Version 2.00 - unreleased
    Author Mark Cooke
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform DOS (on 486 and up)
    Implementation 486 assembler

    Catorcio

    Emulator name Catorcio
    Version 1.0
    Author Carlo Concari
    Emulates [Master Compact]
    Platform DOS
    Price US$15 (Shareware)
    Supports Keyboard input and simple output
    Download here

    em6502

    Emulator name em6502
    Authors Neil Pollard
    Emulates 6502
    Platform UNIX/X11R4+
    Supports OS 1.2 (with some cheats), text mode, keyboard, paged ROMs (like BASIC), but no gfx or sound
    Implementation C
    Homepage here
    Download here

    Horizon

    Emulator name Horizon (formerly MacBeebEm)
    Version Horizon 1.0b (Mac)
    Horizon 1.1 (Windows, Dec 98)
    Author Chris Lam
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform Apple Macintosh and Windows
    Price Horizon is shareware (UK 15)
    Supports [sound], emulated cassette filing system on host disk (each file has a header). Horizon has improved speed, full screen mode, sound, speed-o-meter. (Some features are disabled in the demo.)
    Implementation Think C 6.00 on Mac.
    Uses DirectX on Windows.
    Homepage Horizon homepage
    Download Horizon 1.0b demo (Mac)
    Horizon 1.1 demo (Windows)

    What's new in v1.1? 
    
       Horizon v1.1 includes speed capping (runs at real BBC speed), 
       improved sound emulation, 8% speed improvement and other bug fixes.
    

    MAME (Electron driver)

    Emulator name MAME
    Author Bryan McPhail
    Emulates [Electron]
    Platform MAME (cross-platform)
    Homepage here

    JBeeb

    Emulator name JBeeb
    Version1.0
    Author Duncan Woods
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform Java
    Price free, GPL
    Supports [sound]
    Homepage here!

    MESS (BBC driver)

    Emulator name MESS
    Version0.37b8
    Author Gordon S Jefferyes
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform MESS (cross-platform multi-system emulator)
    Price free
    Supports [sound]
    Homepage here!
    Download (integrated in MESS as of 0.37b3)

    MESS (Atom driver)

    Emulator name MESS
    Author Paul Daniels
    Emulates Acorn Atom
    Platform MESS (cross-platform)
    Price free
    Homepage (none yet!)

    Model-B

    Emulator name Model-B
    Version 2/11/2003
    Author Tom Seddon
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform Windows/DirectX
    Price free
    Implementation Microsoft VC++ 6.0, wxWindows
    Homepage here
    Download Go to Tom's page for most recent updates. A binary mirror can be found here.

    Owl

    Emulator name Owl
    Version 1.0
    Author Ian Stephenson (with help from Roger Walker)
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform NeXTStep
    Price free
    Supports [sound], all modes (not split), ca. 60% of all games, read-only FS
    Approx. speed 50%+ Beeb on 68K, near 100% on P-120
    Implementation ANSI C
    Download Version 1.0
    An early beta version (including code for the Apple ][ emulator Owl was based on)

    I'm interested in hearing experiences people have with Owl - I don't have a NeXT available, so I'm unable to test it.

    Pattenden's Archimedes emulator

    Emulator name N/A
    Version N/A
    Authors Rob Pattenden
    Emulates Runs BASIC...
    Platform Windows
    Price Experimental demo
    Supports N/A
    Approx. speed N/A
    Implementation N/A
    Homepage
    Download here

    This seems like an experimental project, but is interesting in any case.

    pcBBC

    Emulator name pcBBC
    Version 1.02
    Authors Stuart McConnachie
    Emulates 6502, 65C02, second processor, serial and parallel ports, 1770 and 8271, sound, shadow RAM
    Platform DOS (runs in Windows 95/NT and OS/2 as well)
    Price UKP10 (shareware - free demo available)
    Supports PC and BBC keyboard layout, full screen, Sound Blaster, claimed to run all BBC games
    Approx. speed 100% on a Pentium 90
    Implementation x86 assembly (using A86)
    Homepage pcBBC homepage
    (...and here's an alternate page.)
    Download Version 1.02 (Crippled, but free demo version)
    Patch to upgrade registered version 1.01 to version 1.02 (Stuart's comments.)

    Most people regard this as the best BBC emulator available! The preview version exits after 10 minutes of usage, enables only one sound channel, and is limited to using 4 ROMs.

    Version 1.02 of pcBBC includes the following new features:
    * 800x600 SVGA video mode.  This gives a perfect BBC aspect ratio,
    without having to resize your monitor, and also a much bigger screen
    area
    * A screen brightness control
    * Native support for .DSD interleaved 80 track disk image files
    * Support for the BBC keyboard link options
    
    There are also numerous bug fixes, including:
    * Writing to disks using the Watford 1.44 DFS
    * More 8271 and 1770 DFSs now work - see the new README.TXT for more
    details
    * System T2 timer interrupts corrected (Psycastia and others fixed)
    * Video interlace timing changed (Skirmish now fixed)
    * Improved printer and serial support
    

    Red Squirrel

    Emulator name Red Squirrel
    Version 0.3 (26 Nov 2000)
    Author Graeme Barnes
    Emulates Archimedes A440/A5000
    Platform Win32/DirectX
    Price free
    Supports [sound], hard disk, floppies, 16 MB RAM
    Approx. speed "about the right speed"
    Homepage here

    The Emulator

    Emulator nameThe Emulator
    Version unknown ("early 90's")
    Author James Associates (are they still in business??)
    Emulates BBC BASIC 2 and DFS
    Platform Amiga (68000)
    Price apparently commercial, sold by Commodore at some stage
    Supports BASIC and 6502 emulation, some VDU, graphics (all modes) and sound, printing, RS232, access to Amiga file system. No hardware or direct screen access - i.e. no real games work.
    Approx. speed BASIC: about 800% Beeb, 6502: 40-60% Beeb (depending on the Amiga, of course)
    Implementation 68000 code to run BASIC and all the important OS calls. The blitter for text output. A patch is needed to run on the 68020-40.

    Thanks to Tom Seddon for most of this information!

    TOL - The Owl Lives

    Emulator name The Owl lives (TOL)
    Version unreleased - and won't be for some time
    Author Chris Rae
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform UNIX (DOS/Win ports in the future?)
    Implementation C
    Homepage here

    ElectrEm

    Emulator name ElectrEm
    Version beta 9 (July 7, 2001)
    Author Thomas harte
    Emulates [Electron]
    Platform Windows, Linux and DOS
    Price Open Source
    Supports sound, printer, joystick, UEF storage
    Approx. speed sufficient on a "mid-level Pentium"
    Implementation C
    Homepage here
    Download (go to home page)

    Elkulator

    Emulator name Elkulator
    Version 0.2 (Oct 12, 2002)
    Author Tom Walker
    Emulates [Electron]
    Platform DOS
    Price freeware
    Supports sound, tape, all graphics
    Implementation C
    Homepage here

    Tom Lees' Emulator

    Emulator name none
    Version unreleased
    Author Tom Lees
    Emulates [BBC A][BBC B][Electron][Master 128]
    Platform Linux?
    Supports WD1770 disk, SASI hard disk(!), more coming
    Homepage here
    Download here

    The hard disk emulation is particularly exciting, and also what seems to be a very modular programming model, into which additional hardware can be emulated.

    WinBee

    Emulator name WinBee
    Version unreleased
    Author Paul Bates
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform Windows, Linux, BeOS
    Homepage here
    Download not yet

    Xbeeb

    Emulator name Xbeeb
    Version 0.4.1 (Jan 15th 2002)
    Author James Fidell
    Amiga port by Jonathan Belson
    Emulates [BBC B], ([BBC A] optional at compile time)
    Platform Any UNIX-like with ANSI C and Xlib. Ported from UNIX to Amiga, Win32, VMS and BeOS.
    Price free
    Supports emulated (disk) file system in any host directory (with index file), INF files, snapshot, sound
    Approx. speed 130% Beeb on a VLB 486DX2
    300% Beeb on a PCI Dell P90
    Implementation C (with Xlib)
    Homepage Fidell's pages
    Phil Ottewell's VMS port page
    Jonathan Belson's BeOS port page.
    Download Xbeeb 0.4.1 sources
    Phil Ottewell's VMS port (0.3)
    Robert's Xbeeb 0.3 for Win32/X (requires X client libraries for Win32 and an X server)
    Abeeb - the Amiga port: version 1, version 2
    BeBeeb - the BeOS port: the initial release
    Older versions, and patches to version 0.3 sources

    The Xbeeb 0.3 for Win32/X above was compiled by Robert Schmidt. It is completely unsupported by anyone. I've not been able to test Jonathan's Amiga port.

    ? (unnamed)

    Emulator name ?
    Version unreleased
    Author Richard Broadhurst
    Emulates [BBC B]
    Platform PC (UNIX and Mac later?)
    Approx. speed 120% Beeb on a 486DX50
    Implementation ANSI C

    Richard has complete 6502 emulation and most of the video emulation working. He has now ceased developing this project in C, in favour of a more general and object oriented computer architecture emulation engine in Java. Stay tuned for more news.

    Robert Schmidt - rsc@nvg.org.