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Xmame is an arcade emulator, it emulates the hardware found in some of those big cabinets that you might have spent a lot of money in one day or another. Unfortunately, as fashion and technology move on, lots of neat or fun games from 5, 10 or even 20 years ago are nowadays considered obsolete and impossible to find, thus play. This is where xmame is interesting : It can run those invaders games from the '70s, those very first Street Fighter games from the '90s... and many many more. Obviously, playing games you don't own is considered piracy, so you're on your own for that part. I myself don't find it the same to copy and play at home a game that is long since dead, or one that you could still go play at the local arcade, but legally, it is as they are both copyrighted material.

Here are a few useful links :


You will need to download the main xmame package, along with at least one of the following :

Note that all these can be installed, they provide each their own xmame binary which has the same name as the package. You can then easily switch from one to another for different games, or to compare performance. In addition to the required binaries, you may want to install xmame-roms which contains 3 small free games, which you can at least use for initial testing.

Frontend installation

gxmame screenshot

I recommend you install gxmame, which is a really complete frontend, from which you can configure all your default game options, directories etc. and launch games. When you install it for the first time, you will need to choose :

Configuration and general tips

Happy gaming!