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This page serves as the README.Debian of the mame package. See MameDevel for how to build the package. Extra ressources for the front end Gnome Video Arcade are available at gva-datafiles


This package supersedes the xmame-* packages, as the unix sdl port of Mame has been integrated in official mame since 0.136. See for info.


1. Create a folder "mame" and a subfolder "mame/roms" in your home directory.

2. Download the freely available rom World Rally from and put the file in the "roms" folder.

3. Check now the sanity of your roms. Mame is very picky about that.

mame -verifyroms

wrally  : tibpal20l8-25cnt.b23 (260 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
wrally  : gal16v8-25lnc.h21 (260 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
wrally  : tibpal20l8-25cnt.h15 (260 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
romset wrally is best available
mac2bios: macs2os_l.bin (524288 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
mac2bios: macs2os_h.bin (524288 bytes) - NOT FOUND - NO GOOD DUMP KNOWN
romset mac2bios is best available
2 romsets found, 2 were OK.

You can safely ignore the mac2bios warning.

4. Now start Mame with the command "mame" from the shell or from your desktop applications menu.

5. Basic keyboard commands include

6. If mame is way too slow on your computer and you have 3D hardware acceleration available, change the "video" parameter from "soft" to "opengl" in the Mame configuration file.



A default configuration file is provided with the package and installed in /etc/mame/mame.ini

If you need to change the location of the roms folder or tweak something like video or cheats you can either:

You can verify that MAME have read the correct options with "mame -showconfig" and even create a fresh mame.ini file with "mame -createconfig".

If you upgraded from a previous version of mame, you might have to replace your rom sets, see the Mame FAQ on ROMs.


MAME utilities like chdman, jedutil, ldresample or ldverify are available in a separate extra package called mame-tools.


This package uses quilt to manage all modifications to the upstream source. Changes are stored in the source package as diffs in debian/patches and applied during the build. See /usr/share/doc/quilt/README.source for a detailed explanation.


Backdrop, overlay and bezel artwork can be downloaded from individually or globally with the following command (provided your artwork search path is $HOME/mame/artwork, which is the default)

wget --no-directories --recursive   --directory-prefix $HOME/mame/artwork

CategorySoftware | ?CategoryGames