Linux does C64 does Unix

There is so much simulation at work in this screenshot, I don’t even know where to start. Just looking at it should leave a saccharine aftertaste in your mouth.

Setting aside the fact that the entire desktop is an overdone mimic of the old Windows XP Classic theme, and setting aside the fact that some of what you see there is running in an interpretation layer, it’s amazing that it comes together at all.

What I wanted to show was LUnix, an eensy weensy version of Unix that — believe it or not — was written to run on the Commodore 64.

Once you’ve stepped past that minor brain-bender, you can add to it the fact that it’s running in VICE 2.2, which itself is running in Arch Linux.

But the version I downloaded — an early one, I think — offered its core and application files as .c64 files, not as .d64 files.

The .c64 ones were intended to be exported directly to a working Commodore, as I understand it, either via cable or 5 1/4-inch floppy.

That meant I was a little stuck, since I would have to implant those files into a disk image (a .d64 file) before I could get them into VICE.

Enter D64 Editor, which is a very nifty program for … well, for editing .d64 files, to include importing stuff into one. The only problem being … it’s for Windows.

And that’s where wine comes in, which has no difficulty at all running the editor, being the superstar that it is. No inconsistencies whatsoever.

So if you’re keeping score at home, that means you should …

  1. download the files,
  2. download the editor,
  3. install wine,
  4. install VICE,
  5. install the editor in wine,
  6. run the editor in wine,
  7. import the .c64 files into a new disk image,
  8. save the image,
  9. run VICE,
  10. attach that new disk image in VICE,
  11. load the self-decompressing files (the .c64 files),
  12. run those files, and finally
  13. load and run the “loader” program.

And the results will probably, maybe, hopefully, be similar to what you see above. Yes, I know. That’s a lot of hoops to jump through just to watch a Linux machine pretend to be a C64 pretending to be a Unix machine.

But hey: This is SCIENCE! :D

P.S.: Yes, I know there’s apparently a newer version that is available as a .d64 file, but for some reason it wouldn’t work for me. Such is life, no?

P.P.S.: If all this seems like too much to suffer through, consider the opposite: Transforming your PC into a C64. ;)

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4 Responses to “Linux does C64 does Unix”


  1. 1 Kevin 2011/02/09 at 3:05 AM

    D64 Editor is not required at all. The necessary tools are part of vice:

    $ c1541
    c1541 #8> format lunix,0 d64 lunix.d64 8
    Unit: 0
    Formatting in unit 8…
    c1541 #8> attach lunix.d64
    c1541 #8> write lun01p4core.c64
    Writing file `LUN01P4CORE.C64′ as `LUN01P4CORE.C64′ to unit 8.
    c1541 #8> list
    0 “lunix ” 0 2a
    130 “lun01p4core.c64 ” prg
    534 blocks free.
    c1541 #8>
    $

  2. 2 Kevin 2011/02/09 at 3:17 AM

    Oh, and now that I think about it, I don’t even think you need to mess with c1541. You can call x64 directly on a PRG in the filesystem:

    $ x64 ./lun01p4core.c64


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