C64 OS: User's Guide.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Congratulations on your purchase of C64 OS.

C64 OS is an integrated computing environment for the Commodore 64 that is fast, fun and easy to use. It gives you multiple customizable desktops to launch into the programs you use most often, powerful tools for managing files and devices, and a rich and consistent framework within which Applications and Utilities work together and enhance each other to expand the horizons of what you can do with your C64.

C64 OS brings you a point-and-click interface with a convenient menu bar and status bar, a universal clipboard, reusable drivers and libraries, robust support for modern mass-storage devices, and a platform ready to bring new hardware expansions to life.

We hope that using C64 OS helps you get more out of your computer, without taking away what you love about your Commodore 64.

C64 OS File Manager with open Utilities Utility.

The enemy of art is the absence of limitations. Orson Welles

Where to start

C64 OS is an operating system add-on to the Commodore 64's built-in features and software. This User's Guide assumes that you are already familiar and comfortable with the C64. Before diving straight in, check if one of these may be a more appropriate starting point:

An Afterlife User's Guide to the C64. An Afterlife User's Guide to the C64

If you are new to the Commodore 64, or returning after many years away, we recommend you start by reading An Afterlife User's Guide to the C64. This introduces you to the C64 and how it works out of the box.

C64 OS: Getting Started Guide. C64 OS Getting Started Guide

If you are eager to jump into C64 OS right away, we recommend reading the C64 OS Getting Started Guide. This gives you the basics, quickly: understanding hardware requirements, installation, essential configuration and booting up for the first time.

C64 OS: Programmer's Guide. C64 OS Programmer's Guide

Advanced users or programmers interested in developing new software for C64 OS can find all of the technical details of the OS's APIs, architecture and services in the C64 OS Programmer's Guide.

How the User's Guide is organized

Use the table of contents in the left sidebar to jump directly to any chapter or section of the User's Guide.

Chapter 1: Introduction

You're reading it. This chapter introduces you to C64 OS and to the User's Guide. And helps direct you to the information you need.

Chapter 2: Installation

This is a more detailed version of the information found in the Getting Started Guide. It tells you everything you need to know to get C64 OS up and running on your Commodore 64.

Chapter 3: Configuration and Settings

The Configure Tool is a regular C64 program that helps you configure C64 OS to best make use of the hardware you have. Details the boot sequence and additional settings.

Chapter 4: User Interface

This chapter familiarizes you with the major user interface elements of C64 OS and shows you a number of tricks and secrets to make you proficient and productive.

Chapter 5: App Launcher

App Launcher is an environment with multiple desktops which you can configure and personalize. With App Launcher you open Utilities and switch between Applications.

Chapter 6: File Manager

File Manager is a powerful tool to work with storage devices, organize your files, and open document files to view and edit.

Chapter 7: Utilities

C64 OS comes with a suite of useful Utilities, small programs that can be run concurrently with an Application.

Chapter 8: File System

The C64 OS system directory organizes its resources into a number of subdirectories. This chapter explains what these directories are for and helps you find what you're looking for.

Chapter 9: The Philosophy of C64 OS

The Commodore 64 is a machine with a rich history and a wide range of users. In this chapter you find our philosophical explanation for why C64 OS exists and what wider purpose it serves.

Chapter 10: Appendices

The appendices contain summaries of useful information for quick and easy reference.

Chapter 11: Glossary of C64 OS Terminology

The glossary covers over 175 important terms related the Commodore 64 and to C64-OS-specific technologies.

C64 Breadbin, C64 OS, and 1351 Mouse.

This world is but a canvas to our imagination. Henry David Thoreau

User's Guide (Paper Edition) - Errata Supplement

Corrections for a few grammatical and typographical errors in the C64 OS version 1.0 printed User's Guide. Additionally, some clarifications are included for text that is ambiguous or lacking important detail. This supplement can be printed, trimmed to size and inserted into the User's Guide.

C64_OS_Users_Guide_v1.0_Errata.pdf (63 KB, 5.5" x 8.5" PDF)

Next Chapter: Installation

Table of Contents

This document is subject to revision updates.

Last modified: May 07, 2023