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BMC64 | BMC128 | BMVIC20

BMCVIC20 is a bare metal VIC20 Emulator (using VICE) for the Raspberry Pi (Models 2 & 3). There is no bloated O/S to boot and the emulator has direct access to hardware resulting in better performance than the Linux based distributions. VICE dependencies are satisfied using circle-stdlib.

BMCVIC20 2.3.1 Release

Installation comes in two flavors:

1) format a FAT32 SD card and/or partition and unzip bmvic20-2.3.1.files.zip onto it. The Pi will boot from the first FAT partition. See below for ROM files you will need to provide yourself.

*** OR ***

2) flash an image using bmvic20-2.3.1.img.zip (300Mb partition). Again, see below for additional ROM files you need to provide.


For various reasons, getting video to look good is a bit challenging with the VIC20 emulator. I included defaults that look decent to me for an NTSC system but feel free to tweak them to your liking. If you are seeing too much or too little border, you can use the Video controls to trim the border and/or change the aspect ratio. (Earlier versions required manually editing the cmdline.txt file to change the vic_canvas_width and vic_canvas_height parameters but that is no longer necessary.)

BMVIC20 Setup

  • Setup is simlar to BMC64 except the ROM files are different and must reside in a VIC20/ directory:
    The emulator will not run without them. These are available from many sites.

    • Example

      NOTE: You will have to rename files from the names you find here to the names the emulator expects above. For example, characters.901460-03.bin becomes CHARGEN

  • Other disk drive ROM files are optional (dos1541, dos1571 and dos1581)

I use BMC64, can they co-exist?

They can co-exist within the same partition but you would only be able to boot one of the images at a time and have to manually rename the kernel file to select one. The best video settings are usually different for different machines too. There is no switch available from the menu at the moment. It's probably best to keep them on separate partitions and use a boot loader for now (NOOBS/PINN). See the main github page on how to use multiple partitions with BMC64. Keep in mind if you extract more than one release into the same partition, your config.txt, cmdline.txt files will be overwritten as they are shared files.

© 2019 Randy Rossi (randyrossi at gmail dot com) - All rights reserved (2019/01/30)