DeSmuME, play the Nintendo DS on your PC with Ubuntu

Although games are getting better and we can take them to almost any smartphone, there are still many of us who have several emulators installed on our devices, be they computers or mobiles. My favorites are the MAME, which is an emulator of slot machines that came with 5 hard (about 0.15 €) and those of the SEGA Master System II and Mega Drive. However, one of the most popular emulators on different platforms is the Nintendo DS, The console of the Japanese giant that includes touch screens among many other buttons. There is a emulator (At least) Nintendo DS running on Ubuntu and its name is DeSmuME.

While it’s not an emulator that looks demanding, I have to say it doesn’t go too well on my laptop. Maybe I should have tried Ubuntu Mami, the Gnome environment allows my little PC to go a little more relaxed. However, the emulator weighs very little and, as you will see, is very easy to install and run. The community has created a .deb package, Which makes things a lot easier for us, especially if what we see on the official page are command lines.

Download and install DeSmuME

  • Although there is a package available in Ubuntu, I have tried it and it has not worked for me. I recommend that you download and install the package from To me this one did work for me. You can try what’s in the default repositories if you want, of course.




  • We will download the .deb package. We just have to do it double click about him to open us to the Ubuntu Software Center. When it loads, we click install.



Starting and playing with DeSmuME

  • DeSmuME will be placed on the launcher (we can remove it by right-clicking). the we run.


  • A small window similar in size to the console will open. In order to play our ROMs, we need to click on the folder icon.


  • We look for the file with .nds extension and we open it.


  • Finally, we see that in the window we have put the play symbol (the triangle on the side of the folder. See previous image, number 2) in green. We click on it for start the game. You’ll see it as in the screenshot that heads this post (although it can be put in full screen, but it’s the same).


I have to admit I’m not someone who has played a lot on the Nintendo DS, but I can comment on how to control the games. The keys are as follows:

  • Up, Down, Right, Left act as such.
  • X: Button A.
  • Z: Button B.
  • S: X button.
  • A: Y button.
  • Q: Left trigger.
  • W: Right trigger.
  • Return: Start.
  • Shift right: Select.
  • space bar: Pause.
  • Mouse click: Touch screen.

The controls can be configured from the options. It also supports controls, which comes in especially handy in games where we have to touch little or nothing on the screen. If you install it, are you okay? What do you think?

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