Combian 64


Thanks to all those people
who are supporting the project.

Making a small donation you’ll be mentioned as contributor in my next Combian release.

Update: Upcoming version 2.7

These features are in development and will be included in the next release of Combian. Please be patient, i work on Combian on my spare time 🙂

  • Upgrade to latest Vice 3.1
  • TCPSER for BBS Connection
  • Bluetooth support
  • Add PRG support for automatic transfer using X-Copy

Update: Released Version 2.5 and 2.5 Experimental

Major changements was made to Combian64 menu:

  • Items reorganization
  • Added detailed instructions
  • Added Midnight Commander
  • Added X-Copy, an option that will copy your rom from USB keys to Combian 64 folder automatically w/out straggling against Midnight Commander usage.

Please Note – Combian64 is now splitted in two version:

  • Version 2.5 [Vice 3.0 + SDL 1.2] – Regular Branch (Stable)
  • Version 2.5 Experimental [Vice 3.0 + SDL 2.0] – May have some bug due to not a full compatibility between Vice 3 and SDL2.

Welcome to the page of Combian 64

For those of you who don’t know what Combian 64 is, i explain you shortly.

Combian 64 is Raspberry Pi distribution able to boot your preferite Commodore machine in just few seconds.

It uses the brand new compiled version of Vice 3 to emulate all the Commodore Machines set.

By default, Combian 64 boots the Commodore 64 emulator, but it’s not the only one included in the distro….what if you want to emulate a Commodore Vic 20?

Easy answer! 😉

By quitting the emulator (pressing key F8), typing ‘menu’ command from the shell, you have access to the internal Combian 64 menu which will allow you to change options like: emulator to run at boot, run raspi-config command, reboot your Raspberry Pi, shutdown, or even run again the emulator.


Terms of use and distribution

Combian 64 is a free project, this means you can modify, improve, customise it as you like.

If you intend to distribute it through some cloud service/forum/personal link etc, you can do it freely at the condition that you mention the author and insert a reference to this page.


Did you like Combian 64?

Altough the spirit of this distro is to keep alive our passion for retrogaming, developing new features and releases of Combian requires time and resources, so, as an encouragement to keep on working on it, please, consider to make a free donation 🙂



LITECOIN: LNK2t1X139h3nXJU2rfd7rfvmLr2QgqjPt

ETHEREUM: 0x09988c98f935bc5385d0630cf3656d6a3528780f

Projects using Combian64

A really well done project using Combian to emulate a real Commodore 64

Download latest version

The distro is hosted in my Google Drive and by clicking the link below, you ask the permission to download it. Nothing complicated, the request is processed in few minutes.

Download Combian 64 V2.5

Download Combian 64 V2.5 (Experimental version with Vice 3 + SDL2)

Older version of Combian 64

Download Combian 64 V2.1

Combian 64 project was born thank to the wonderful facebook group “Retro Emulation Pi – FPGA & Co.” If you want to be part of this incredible community, click the image below 🙂


Do you have anything to tell ? Write a comment 😉



87 pensieri su “Combian 64

  1. Matt

    This is pretty great stuff. Thanks! Any thoughts on emulating a modem using tcpser (or something else)? It would be great if the image booted with an attached modem already installed and ready to dial!

  2. jasonweber413

    I’ve been playing around with Combian64 for the last week or so and am thoroughly impressed. If nothing else, I cannot get over how quickly it boot.
    I’m actually building this into an actual C64 case + keyboard and will be using a Keyrah.
    The other thing I’ve added to my Raspberry Pi is a Pimoroni OnOff Shim ( This little devices uses a background demon for its clean shutdown procedure, however I cannot get it to work while VICE is running. If I exit the emulator, back to the command prompt, it works. I’m *guessing* it because of the way you’ve removed a lot of the start-up services? Any idea how I can plug this back in?

  3. Thanks.. Its only for the cartridge image. This is from Protovisions digital release of the game.

    Welcome to Sam’s Journey!

    If you want to play the cartridge version with an emulator, you need VICE 3.1+ and you should use these command line options:

    -cartgmod2 “sams-journey-gmod2-flash.bin” -gmod2eepromimage “sams-journey-gmod2-eeprom.bin”

    We have provided start scripts and config files for vice with these options enabled in the gmod2-pal folder. Copy them along with the gmod2 files into your VICE folder and you can start them directly from there.

    The .bat file is for Windows, the .sh file for linux users.

    You can play the disk versions of Sam also from 1541 Ultimate of Turbo Chameleon 64. Our cartridge (Gmod2) is currently not supported by 1541 Ultimate or TC64.
    Sam uses a very fast custom loader that is not supported by SD2IEC.

    If you get a black screen when starting the game please make sure…
    – …that you have only one drive turned on (#8)
    – …that you have no printer or other user port enhancement attached

    Trivium: due to technical reasons, Sam is harder as it runs faster on NTSC machines than on PAL ones.

    Have fun playing,
    Your Protovision Team

  4. Is there any possibility to get a new build with VICE 3.1? The new game “Sam’s Journey” requires GMOD2 cartridge support (for the cartridge version) which is apparently only on VICE 3.1. I know you are not actively developing this, but I just figured I’d ask.

    • Hi,
      Didn’t know that “Sam’s Journey” require Vice 3.1 to run from cartridge…by the way, wonderful game!

      When i’ve free time, i’ll compile Vice 3.1 to be included on the next release of Combian.

  5. I’ve been trying to map the joysticks for c64 and so far on both 2.5 and 2.5 experimental its as if it doesn’t see the USB gamepad. I’ve tried about 5 pads so far with no luck. Is there a configuration option that needs to be enabled for USB gamepad support?

  6. It looks like xpet is not loading up under 2.5 (non experimental) it boots to the shell if you have it selected as the default emulator… and it throws an error if you try to start it manually.

    But overall, the C64 functionality is great.. keep up the great work!

  7. Bryan Justman

    Hello! Thank you so much for the wonderful work you’ve put into this. I especially appreciate your support on ths page and that from fellow users. I have a quesion about setting drive sounds on. I feel like I saw the option in the menu somewhere, but I can no longer find it. Can you point me in the right direction? Cheers!

  8. Lars Wadefalk

    Hi! Great work with this dist Carmelo.
    I feel that the absolutely moster important things is to acheieve a perfect framerate with the pi. I think the first raspberry is too slow anyway in order to emulate the 64 with full performance. So the rpi 2 or three is the only way to go.
    But being able to customize the config with 50.12 Hz would be the absolutely greatest thing. It should in principle be possible. But I will look into it more deeply when i get the time.

  9. Kent Bruun


    Super nice program you have made.

    I have installed COMBIAN64 on one
    Raspberry Pi 2 b 1 gb, super easy installation,
    no problems at all.

    But now I have a question
    Which keyboard setting is optimal for thes application
    Right now I’m having trouble with the (“) character.

    LOAD “$”, 8 becomes LOAD @$@,8

    Right now I’m using a Danish keyboard.

    With the best regards
    Kent Bruun

    • Bryan Justman

      Can you tell me how you fixed the issue? I am using a keyrah inside a US commodore 64 and shift-2 gives me @ rather than quotes.

  10. Hi, I really like this and how quick it boots up, I made my own keyboard interface with an arduino for a C64 and installed the pi inside so from the outside it just looks like a c64. What would it take to make a similar image that would work the same the with lets say a sinclare spectrum or a bbc. do the emulators need compiling for this boot image ?

    thank you for this excellent system.
    Lee Smith

    • Hi,

      You could easily add Spectrum and/or bbc emulator to Combian64.
      You need to compile emulators and modify Combian64 menu to add them to the distro.

      I’ve planned to add extra emulators to Combian64,(other than Commodore machines), i only need to find time to do it :))


  11. Ley

    First of all I want to say thank you very much for your great work!
    I’ve got a little problem. After apt update & upgrade I am asked for login and password.
    Can you tell me login and password please? Or is it not wanted to update system?
    Shall I set up the system again and do no update?


    • Nice work!! i like how you explained everything clearly.

      I noticed that the link for Combian64 in your blog doesn’t redirect to my blog link.

      If you read the license, this is not allowed.

      If you modified the image and want to distribute it you could do it freely, but in addition you have to add the link to the original download.

      I hope this is not a problem 🙂

      Thank you very much 🙂


  12. Basic Fan

    Hi Carmelo, thank you for the combian-64. It works great on a TV with a HDMI-Cable.
    But i have a little problem with combian-64 on my PC-Monitor with DVI.
    I use a HDMI to DVI-Cable from the Raspberry Pi to the Monitor.
    The Screen is moved 10cm to the right side.
    Can I change a Parameter in the config.txt to resolve the Problem ?

    • Dion

      Hi Doug, thanks for the help. I fixed hdmi display by only leaving the line ” dtparam=audio=on ” in the config.txt. Because I couldn’t locate the nano editor, I did that by doing ” echo dtparam=audio=on > /boot/config.txt ” from the command line.

  13. Dion

    When booting the Combian64 v 2.5 image, I don’t get any output on my HDMI monitor. I don’t have issues with other RPi images (e.g. Raspbian). Any idea what could be the problem?

    • Dion

      …I found out that Combian works with the composite video output by default, that’s why I got no screen using my HDMI cable. How could I change the output to HDMI?

  14. Havie

    It’s a shame hat you have decided to stop working on this but thank you for all your hard work. I have enjoyed (and I am still) playing with it. All the best!

  15. Havie

    Got version 2.5 up and running – very nice! Vic 20 emulation seems to be pretty good (only using a RPi model B. One other question, is there any way to turn the mouse pointer off as this ruins the illusion of being a real Vic 20?

    • Hi,
      If you are using Combian64 V 2.5 experimental compiled with SDL2, it’s not possible to remove the mouse pointer.

      The regular version 2.5 hides mouse automatically.

  16. Havie

    Got version 2.5 up and running – very nice! Vic 20 emulation seems to be pretty good (on;y using a RPI model B. One other question, is there any way to turn the mouse pointer off as this ruins the illusion of being a real Vic 20?

  17. Michele

    Ho un androidbox (clone del beelink x2) che fa il boot da micro sd.é compatibile con orange pi.Ho provato a usare il combian64 ma non fa il boot , (credo perchè il mio utilizza il sistema uboot , ma non sono sicuro in quanto ne so ancora poco di ste cose).é possibile avere una versione di combian64 compatibile con il beelink x2 ( o con orange pi che è la stessa cosa?).

  18. Didier


    I’ve got az problem with image.
    The download is correct. I extract Combin25.img from Rar archive
    When I try to copy the image file on my SD card with Win32DiskImager 1.0,
    When the copy is ended. It isn’t possible to read the card. I’ve got an erro message like : You must format your disk ….

    It seem the archive is corrupted. Can you help me ?

    Best regards


  19. Didier

    I’ve got a problem to write archive on my SD Card.
    I unpack Combian25.rar and write .img with Win32DiskImager.
    When the write operation is right, I trie to open the SD to view config.txt, …. but it seem the card is corrupted. I make other test on other card with same issue. Can you Help me ?

    Best Regards.

    • Hi,
      If you’re trying to open file config.txt from Windows it doesn’t work.That will be fixed in next release.
      Use Linux OS to edit config.txt or you can edit it using midnight commander that you find in the combiam menu, recallable through the command line by writing the command ‘menu’

  20. BlueCursor

    i sovled my problem. but still wondering will there ever be a option to setup wifi/internet connection so we can have the ability to call/telnet BBS using moderm terminal programs such CCGMS2017 or Striketerm 2014 or Zterm or even qlink?

  21. Havie

    Thanks for the download – love how quickly it loads but having trouble as it seems to have problems saving settings and unstable. Maybe it is because i am using a RP model b?

    • Havie

      I’m an idiot – I was trying the experimental version and now that I have installed V21 everything is fine! It is a shame that if I turn on scanlines that the speed drops – probably doesn’t happen with a RP2/3! Thanks for a great bit of software. Have installed the Pi in an old (not working) Vic 20 with keyrah and it is all pretty seamless. Just need to tidy up the cables.

      One question, is there anyway of copying roms on v21 or do I need to access them from USB stick?

    • Hi, It’s more convenient to use Version 2.5 regular, it has an option in menu to copy automatically ROM from your USB KEY.
      In any case, in version 2.1 you can access “Midnight Commander” and copy your Rom from Usb Key to Combian64 folder

  22. David

    Salve,vorrei collegare il mio raspberry p2 su una tv a tubo catodico ma non so dove trovare il file di configurazione per modificare i comandi per una corretta impostazione…è possibile farlo? Credo che su una tv crt la resa grafica sia molto migliore…

      • David

        Ti ringrazio,sono riuscito a farlo partire e la resa su tv normale è quanto di piu simile sia possibile ! Unica pecca lo sfarfallio,leggero ma presente purtroppo nn cambia anche su altri tv ( ci vorrebbe un anti flicker ) e il refresh rate che in fase di scrilling suo giochi un po disturba….x il resto è tutto perfetto,confezionato il raspi nel case del c64 + interfaccia controlli Keyrah v2….indistinguibile dal c64 originale !!!

  23. This was the distribution I was looking for!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to create. I have four VIC 20s in various states of operation. One of them will soon receive a Raspberry Pi 3 with Keyrah V2. This distribution will create a Commodore experience like no other. While I could use RetroPie, it leaves much to be desired when you want to emulate the Commodore experience as closely as possible to the original feel of the 1980s. I must blog about this soon. And don’t listen to those that give you grief about distributing via Google Drive. That too was perfect for my particular use.


  24. Gary Harrison

    Thanks for the access to Combian. I have tried downloading it three times now (Combian25.rar), every time the archive is reported as corrupt. Tried WinRAR, WinZip & 7zip. What am I doing wrong?

  25. david

    ottimo lavoro e grazie x l immagine ,unica domanda…è possibile utilizzare un joypad wireless playstation3? riesco solo ad utilizzare pad con filo…+grazie anticipatamente

  26. Sir Arthur (Luismi Herrero)

    Hi.. Thanks for all your hard work. I downloades the previous versions of Combian and works like a charme. This time, as you write in this page, I sent you a request to get access two days ago to the google drive downloads but no clue about it. Are you ok? Was the request sended to you or are there any problem?

  27. James

    I’ve been using Combian v2.5 quite a bit on my raspberry pi 3, and I love it. I find the best looking video setup is with screen doubler turned OFF and the CRT emulator turned ON. Of course this leaves much of the screen unused with a HD monitor. Would setting the rasp pi to a lower screen resolution perhaps help with this? Somehow Vice on the current retropie version does this by default (and also on UAE4ARM). Thank you for developing this!

  28. Ruben

    Ciao Carmelo, where would you like us to contribute with bug reporting and so ? I have been playting a bit with 2.5 experimental and I have a few things. Probably most of them actually might come from VICE 3.0 indeed

  29. At the current phase not much than a simple emulator on rpi, but looks very promising !
    I’m pretty much amazed by the boot time. Fastest linux boot ever ! Unfortunately yet i have no time to more tests, just booted up and played with it a bit. It needs some services like samba or ssh for convenient C= ware handling. I will keep my eye on this project. Good luck and keep up !

    • Italiboy

      It is fast because it doesn`t boot un-needed services such as samba.There is a provision to put your roms on a usb stick and have the distro copy them from.Adding more and more to this would then take the project AWAY from it`s goal of boot/emulate, to just another distro.


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