This page will include WIP screenshots and other fun stuff for MAME™, M1, and whatever else I'm working on.


SDLHome x.y.z – the SDLMAME Homepage

Welcome to the new immovable homepage for the SDL support in MAME and MESS! Feel free to link this page, as the URL will not change.

Important Note on SDLMAME and SDLMESS

There are no longer separate programs called SDLMAME or SDLMESS. Instead, the SDL capability is included in MAME and MESS, and the makefile will auto-detect if you are on a non-Windows system and run accordingly. You now get the source directly from MAMEdev or MESSdev rather than from here.

Need help compiling? Try this thread with specific instructions for many popular Linux distributions and the *BSDs.

Reporting problems with SDL builds of MAME and MESS

Please report SDL-specific issues at the SDLMAME forum. Do NOT post them in the Shout Box, and do NOT post them on I do not read that site much and so SDL-related things posted there may never be seen by the responsible people.

Upstream no longer supports this build and better Genesis/Megadrive support based on it exists in current MESS, so you should now use MESS instead for Genesis/Megadrive stuff.


  • What are these?
  • SDLMAME is an “embedded port” of the popular MAME™, by which I mean that although Couriersud and I maintain it, it’s included with the main MAME source tree (starting with MAME 0.138). There are a few principles that guide it’s development: 1) run on Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, and other SDL supported operating systems with as few changes as possible to the base Windows code. This means we can track changes faster than larger more conventional ports such as MacMAME, and we also maintain what I call “Firefox compatibilty” where learning a major app only needs to be done once per application, and it then applies across many operating systems. If you use the command-line Windows MAME, you already know how to use SDLMAME on any platform you may encounter it on. 2) MAME developers are important. By keeping quickly up to date, we make it easy for people on non-Windows platforms to make and submit changes to the core MAME code, and we offer native implementations of MAME’s multi-window GUI debugger on both Linux/Unix and Mac OS X.

  • So what’s it run on?
  • Officially supported platforms include Linux (any CPU, 32 or 64 bits), FreeBSD (any CPU, 32 or 64 bits), Mac OS X 10.5 or later for both PowerPC (until 0.146 final) and Intel. Win32 and Win64 are also supported, but there’s not much reason to use SDLMAME on that platform, Aaron does a fine job with baseline.

  • Great. How do I build it?
  • Check out the build essentials thread and additional OS X build info.

  • What’s “compile?” Command-line what?
  • Mac OS X binares can be found at MacSDLMESS (they also have a front end there, but see below for other options with more functionality) and r0ni’s (Universal binaries). Mac OS X Universal binaries can also be found at this new page. Fedora (Linux) RPMs, including u-releases in the “testing” repo, can be found at RPM Fusion, Mandriva and SuSE RPMs are at Rx3 and here for SDLMESS, Arch Linux packages at AUR, Debian packages at Ludomatic, Ubuntu packages here, and Win32 builds can be found at ReDump.

  • Got any compatible front ends for Linux? OS X?
  • Yup! I know of several that support SDLMAME on Linux: Mame Executor, MAME Plus! GUI (click Download), QMameCat/QMC2, Loemu, WahCade (which also works on OS X), XMAMEGUI (which is in Java and should actually work on all OSes), KXMAME, and GNOME Video Arcade. On the Mac, check out MAME Plus! GUI (click “Download”), MameTunes, EmuLaunch, and MacMAMEInfoX.

  • I have a cabinet or otherwise wish to run SDLMAME/SDLMESS on the Linux framebuffer with no X?
  • This is now possible. Follow the instructions here, and you’ll need this patch to the SDL library itself (thanks Couriersud!)

  • Where do I get old versions?
  • They’re all still here, just not linked. Do a wget on (U versions are also still available!).

  • How’s this related to XMAME?
  • XMAME has been dead for several years and SDLMAME is it’s official MAMEdev-approved replacement.

  • What about MacMAME?
  • MacMAME is now dead and has not been updated in more than 2 years. If you want a solid MAME for the Mac that’s not command-line based you can try SDLMAME with one of the many fine frontends listed above.

  • MAME OS X?
  • Same deal – after a promising start Dave Dribin ended the project, leaving SDLMAME as the only up to date MAME on the Mac. SDLMAME also doesn’t have the compatibility problems with e.g. ProTools hardware that MAME OS X does.

  • Who’s responsible for this stuff?
  • Olivier Galibert had the original idea and did most of the original port. R. Belmont did parts of the original port and most of the “new” port that you see here for download. Olivier wrote the Linux/GTK+ version of the multiwindow debugger, and Ernesto Corvi wrote the Carbon/Mac OS X version of the multiwindow debugger (which has been replaced with a Cocoa version by Vas Crabb and maintained by Wilbert Pol). Hans de Goede has contributed innumerable cleanups, enhancements, and speedups to the code, and Tim Lindner made the Mac OS X debugger even more pleasant to use. Many great improvements have been contributed by Couriersud and Antoine Mine, and much of the OpenGL code was by Sven Gothel. QA has been provided by MooglyGuy and Firewave, among many others.

  • Is there a message board?
  • Yes. You can talk about SDLMAME and get help here.

  • Performance is really bad in all modes.
  • Modern MAME has relatively high CPU requirements even for games you might consider to be “simple”. You will experience difficulty getting good framerates even in old “classic” games on systems much below 1 GHz. That said, performance issues with SDLMAME are often video related. Try using -nomaximize -window to draw to a minimum-sized window – if performance there is good your CPU is OK but your video needs work.

  • Performance is OK in soft mode but bad in OpenGL mode
  • ATI’s fglrx drivers sometimes compatibility issues with SDLMAME. You may wish to try the various SDLMAME GL configuration switches to see if turning off usage of OpenGL 2.0 features helps.

  • I want AdvanceMAME features in SDLMAME
  • SDLMAME is intended primarily for end users of ordinary PCs, just like the baseline Windows version. It can be and has successfully been used in cabinets (see also the question about the Linux framebuffer above), and I do include patches which make specialized builds easier, but at the end of the day all the monitor-banging effects of AdvanceMAME will not happen in SDLMAME. However, there is now a good opening for a version based on SDLMAME which incorporates AdvanceMAME’s features. Someone (not me) could probably have good success maintaining such a build.

Posted by Arbee in @ 1:01 pm -

29 Responses to “SDLHome x.y.z – the SDLMAME Homepage”

  1. […] SDLMAME – Emulatore per ROM dei vecchi giochi da bar o salagiochi – SDLMAME Homepage […]

  2. […] Site Officiel […]

  3. […] SDLMAME: Un port del famoso emulador MAME. […]

  4. […] ran a meaningful (to me) CPU benchmark of the 8-cores: I compiled SDLMAME using the make -j9 option, and it ripped through the 82MB of source code in under […]

  5. […] even launch!Since i’m a week at home, i had the time to do some researches and i found SDLMAME. A free (and updated to MAME’s latest version) emulator that only requires to be compiled. I […]

  6. […] emulador de la Neo-Geo. SDLMAME: un port del famoso emulador […]

  7. […] "Atari 7800" a la lista de sistemas con los emuladores SdlMess y XMess […]

  8. […] SDLMAME (Arcade) […]

  9. […] SDLMAME: un port basado en SDL que puede funcionar en Linux, MacOS X y otras plataformas (actualmente no existe un proyecto SDL separado, sino que forma parte del MAME oficial) […]

  10. […] Información sobre SDlMame : Descripción en Wikipedia de SdlMame. Web oficial de SDlMame : Arbee’s WIP Emporium Descarga de roms de juegos gratis : ROM HUSTLER ROM World ROM Nation.NET […]

  11. […] ran fine, like Firefox, Open Office, etc. But when I actually tried to play any of the games using SDLMAME, it slowed to a crawl. It was bad. And there was absolutely no excuse for that, since I was using […]

  12. […] Arbee’s WIP Emporium » SDLHome x.y.z – the SDLMAME Homepage17 Responses to “SDLHome x.y.z – the SDLMAME Homepage”. GIOCHI PER UBUNTU 9.10 | Il Sistema Operativo – OS says: …. Project 2612 (Genesis VGM rips) … […]

  13. […] Arbee’s WIP Emporium » SDLHome x.y.z – the SDLMAME HomepageOfficially supported platforms include Linux (any CPU, 32 or 64 bits), … Debian packages at Ludomatic, Ubuntu packages here, and Win32 builds can be found … […]

  14. […] Arbee’s WIP Emporium » SDLHome x.y.z – the SDLMAME HomepageWelcome to the new immovable homepage for the SDL support in MAME and MESS! Feel free to link this page, as the URL will not change. Important Note on … […]

  15. […] want to compile SDLMESS and SDLMAME for yourself the official home and download page for them is here. Instructions for compiling them are here. Don't worry that they both say they are for SDLMAME […]

  16. […] we talk on a MAME on Linux systems, however it’s not been developed for some time. “Sdlmame” is recommended in Xmame websites and Ubuntu forums. sudo aptitude install […]

  17. […] SDL       SDL jest emulatorem powstałym po połączeniu dwóch programów : SDLMESS i SDLMAME – forków MESS i MAME. Program potrafi uruchomić tysiące gier przeznaczonych dla maszyn gier wideo z lat ’70. Projekt zakończony w 2006 roku. […]

  18. […] nice GUI. For Mac OS X folks it’ll have to be MAME OS X (not very ima­gin­at­ive, yes) or SDLMAME, which is also the best option for Unix/Linux […]

  19. […] som vanligt höll jag på att skriva, flera lösningar. I detta fallet två, nämligen xmame och sdlmame. Båda dessa är kommandoradsprogram och kräver därför en mer eller mindre komplicerad […]

  20. […] emulation with xmame, sdlmame, snes9x and zsnes is […]

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