Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Commander X16
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Commander Pi16

This is a collection of buildroot scripts and configuration files that allow you to create your own Commander X16 emulation box based on the Raspberry Pi.

What you will get is not a baremetal emulator: it is not a full Linux distribution either but it still runs on top of the Linux kernel.

The boot time is about 25s on a Raspberry Pi 4 from the firmware splashscreen to the CX16 ready prompt.

This is by no means a finished product: there is still a lot of work to do in order to strip down the image to the bare minimum and to improve performance, boot time and user experience.

Building the bootable image

On the first line below, you might want to use the mirror at https://github.com/buildroot/buildroot instead of the official git repo at busybox.net .

git clone https://git.busybox.net/buildroot
git clone https://gitlab.com/mporrato/commander-pi16.git
cd buildroot
git checkout 2021.02.3 # Check out the latest stable release
# In the next command you need to pick the defconfig for your rpi version
# from the table in the next section.
make BR2_EXTERNAL=../commander-pi16 cpi16_raspberrypi_defconfig
make menuconfig # Only if you want to customise your build

This will take a while, especially the first time. Once the build is completed you will find a file called sdcard.img in output/images. Just flash it to an sd card using your favourite method.

Before booting the rpi you will have to drop a ROM image compatible with the current emulator version in the root of the FAT32 partition. The file must be named rom.bin.

Supported boards

Board defconfig file
Raspberry Pi B+ cpi16_raspberrypi_defconfig
Raspberry Pi4 B cpi16_raspberrypi4_64_defconfig

Note: the Raspberry Pi B+ port is very slow, to the point of being barely usable.