This article was updated and rechecked on 23rd of November 2023

Category: Emulators

Added: 30th of October 2020

Updated On: 23rd of November 2023

Viewed: 4,616 times

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C64 Forever, Free Express edition. Commodore 64 Emulator running on Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distributions using Wine

Vice Commdore 64 Emulator will not launch on Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distributions

Please Note:
If you are still having trouble installing the ROM after following these instructions, the other option is to install vice via snap package. Please visit

Vice is a Commodore Emulator for Linux and other platforms. It emulates the commodore 64, Commodore 128, Vic 20, Plus 4, Pet, other Commodore machines and devices.

To install vice enter the following command
sudo apt-get install vice

After installation I decided to launch the Commodore 64 emulator, but it would not launch.
I then decided to launch the Commodore 64 emulator via the terminal

And received the following error messages
C64MEM: Error - Couldn't load kernal ROM `kernal'.
Error - Machine initialization failed.

Looking at the error, it was pointing to a missing Kernal ROM. After a bit of searching I later found out you can obtain the roms by downloading the Windows version of Vice and copying these over to the C64 directory on your own distribution.

Make sure the version number of Vice you installed, matches up with Windows download.

Presuming you have already downloaded and extracted the package for Windows, copy the files over to the following directory. After this the emulator should launch
sudo cp -r * /usr/share/vice/C64/

I don't know where users stand legally as to running emulators, since the roms are already included in the Windows version of Vice, so I presumed it was OK to copy these over to the Linux version.