DeSmuME Manual for the Linux command line port

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NOTE: This refers to the 0.9.2 revision of desmume, and may or may not accurately reflect the current revision.


Quick Getting Started Guide

Due to the numerous different distributions and hardware platforms Linux runs on, desmume for Linux is only offered in source code form. This means you have to rely on packages available from your distribution or build a binary (compile) Linux for yourself. If you do not know how to do this, please refer to Installing DeSmuME from source on Linux.

Once you have build and installed the binary, you will have 3 different Linux ports to choose from: desmume gtk+, desmume glade, and a desmume command line port. This manual is about the command-line port. You can start it by typing 'desmume-cli <path>/gamename.nds' on the command line. Once the game has finished loading (and this should only take a few seconds at most), the game will start automatically.

Here are the default key mappings (they may be subject to change):

 Up arrow             - Up
 Left arrow           - Left
 Down arrow           - Down
 Right arrow          - Right
 x                    - A button
 z                    - B button
 s                    - X button
 a                    - Y button
 q                    - Left Trigger
 w                    - Right Trigger
 Enter                - Start button
 Right Shift          - Select button
 Backspace            - Lid fold/unfold
 m                    - Fake microphone buzz toggle
 o                    - fps limiter toggle 
 Space                - Pause/Unpause 
 p                    - Load current state
 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0  - Select current state
 F1-F10               - Load relevant state
 Shift+F1-F10         - Save relevant state

Command Line Options

This port of desume has several command line options, which will be listed here :


Loads savegame from slot NUM


Pause the emulator when focus is outside of desmume window


Disables the sound emulation


Disables the 60 fps limiter


Set frameskip to N, if you need a few more fps settint this to 1 should be enough in most cases


Set frame period of the fps limiter to N, default: 8


Select available 3d emulation:

0 = 3d disabled
1 = internal desmume software rasterizer (default)


Enables using OpenGL for screen rendering


Use software colour conversion during OpenGL screen rendering. May produce better or worse frame rates depending on hardware.


Enable the ARM9 GDB stub on the given port


Enable the ARM7 GDB stub on the given port


Select savetype from the following:

0 = Autodetect
1 = EEPROM 4kbit
2 = EEPROM 64kbit
3 = EEPROM 512kbit
4 = FRAM 256kbit
5 = FLASH 2mbit
6 = FLASH 4mbit


Set the language in the firmware, LANG as follows:

0 = Japanese
1 = English
2 = French
3 = German
4 = Italian
5 = Spanish


Enable disk image GBAMP compact flash emulation


Show summary of options.


Show version of program.

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