How to install the MAME emulator on Ubuntu

If, like me, you played the classic slot machines of the 80s-90s, you’re sure to know the MAME emulator. These are the acronyms for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator and the emulator allows us to play those titles that we liked so much on just about any device. How could it be otherwise, it is also available for Ubuntu and its installation is as easy as typing some commands and doing some checks. Of course, I recommend patience because we can always leave something to do and we may encounter the unpleasant surprise that we do not see the image that heads this article. Here are the steps to take to be able to play MAME games on your PC with Ubuntu.

How to install MAME on Ubuntu

The most important thing in the process is to have some games or ROMS let us know that they work. Having one that works is enough, but there can always be incompatibilities with the BIOS and if we rely on a game and it turns out not to work, we will go crazy trying to fix the problem. Therefore, it is best to get on the route you will see several games later. Here are the steps to install and run MAME on Ubuntu:

  1. As always in these cases, especially if we want to receive future updates of the package, we will install the SDLMAME repository (more information) Opening a terminal and typing:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:c.falco/mame
  1. Next, we update the repositories with the command:
sudo apt-get update
  1. Now install the emulator:
sudo apt-get install mame

You can also install the mami-tools package, but I don’t have it installed and I have no problem.

  1. Now we need to run the emulator (it will give error) and check that we have created the folder «mami» in our personal folder. If this is not the case, we created it with the command:
mkdir -p ~/mame/roms
  1. Inside this folder we have to put the games, so we add the ROMs.
  2. Finally, we opened MAME and checked that it works.

Some games may not work, so I always recommend doing an internet search for “all mami vis”, which will allow us to find a package that has many of the BIOS needed for most games to work. The downloaded package must be unzipped and inside there will be many compressed files that we must put, without unzipping, in the same folder “roms” where we put the games.

Have you tried it? Feel free to leave in the comments if you did and how it went for you. Of course, beware of the computer keys 😉

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