C64 OS USER'S GUIDE
Chapter 2: Installation
Simplified VICE Configuration
This subsection of Chapter 2: Installation, discusses the simplified setup and configuration of the VICE emulator on Windows, for use with C64 OS. Simplified VICE configuration has the following steps:
- Configure virtual 1351 Mouse
- Set up KERNAL and drive ROMs
- Set up storage devices
- Attach pre-configured CMD HD hard drive image
If you purchased the Standard Bundle (64 MB System Card) a pre-configured CMD HD hard drive image with C64 OS already installed comes included on the System Card. These instructions explain how to configure VICE to use this image file.
If you purchased the Starter Bundle (16 MB System Card), you need to follow the Advanced VICE Configuration to create the CMD HD hard drive image and install C64 OS from the installation archive.
Important resource links required for CMD HD configuration are found at the end of this page. You should fetch these resource files ahead of time and have them ready to go before proceeding with this tutorial.
Special thanks to guest author, Paul Hocker, for the contribution of this VICE documentation.
Preparing VICE for Running C64 OS
The instructions below assume you have a familiarity working with GTK VICE on Windows, and that you are familiar working with the settings for the emulator.
Although support for emulated CMD Devices like the CMD HD and RamLink are new it is quite stable and is a wonderful platform to run C64 OS on.
Configure Virtual 1351 Mouse
Let's start by configuring the 1351 mouse as a Control Port 1 input device in VICE.
Select PREFERENCES > SETTINGS... from the menu. Select Control port from Input devices in the lefthand sidebar. From the Control Port #1 dropdown select "Mouse (1351)". Close this window and save your VICE settings.
Preferences Settings for 1351 Mouse setup
When C64 OS is running, you can use the key combination of ALT+M to capture your mouse to VICE. Press ALT+M again to release the mouse back to Windows.
Configuration of VICE for Running C64 OS
In order to run C64 OS on an emulated CMD HD with VICE there are few things we will need to setup before we get started. There are links at the bottom of this documentation to help you find the files you need. At the end of this section, we should have a functioning C64 emulated in VICE with a virtual CMD HD setup using JiffyDOS.
- VICE >= 3.5 – this is the first version that supports CMD HD
- CMD HD Boot ROM >= 2.80 – this is the latest version and seems to work the best
- JiffyDOS – this really helps with navigation and speeds up C64 OS although it is optional
Download VICE, VICE Version and Screenshots
The latest version of VICE can be downloaded for free at: https://vice-emu.sourceforge.io.
The screenshots used in this tutorial are from VICE v3.5 for Windows. The appearance of the options may differ slightly in newer versions of VICE.
KERNAL and Drive ROMs
To get started, let’s first configure VICE to use the CMD HD Boot ROM and JiffyDOS.
Seleect PREFERENCES > SETTINGS... from the menu. Next select "ROM" from the "Machine" section in the lefthand sidebar.
If you want to have JiffyDOS, under Machine ROMs, change the KERNAL ROM to use the binary located on your computer.
Select the JiffyDOS KERNAL ROM for the C64.
Then, modify the Drive ROMS to use the CMD HD Boot ROM and also change the 1541 ROM to use the appropriate JiffyDOS ROM.
Select the Drive ROMs for CMD HD and 1541.
Alternative Floppy Drive
If you want to use a different emulated floppy drive instead of 1541, please use the appropriate ROM for that drive instead.
At this point, SAVE your configuration by selecting PREFERENCES > SAVE SETTINGS from the MENU.
Setup Storage Devices
Next, we are going to configure the Drives that you will need for running C64 OS.
For our configuration we are going to have Drive 8 configured. It can be loaded with any .D64 disk image for use within C64 OS. Drive 9 will host our CMD HD. Let’s get started.
First, configure your Drive 8 to use a compatible Floppy Drive, and one that you installed the JiffyDOS ROM for. In the image below I am selecting a 1541-II drive, but anything should work.
Make sure you save your VICE SETTINGS at this time.
Drive 8, 1541 configuration.
After the drive has been configured, any .D64 image can be attached for use within C64 OS.
Select Attach disk image from the File menu, and select Drive 8.
Attach a disk image to Drive 8, 1541.
When attaching a .D64 disk image, make sure you do not select Autostart.
Next we are going to setup Drive 9 to use the CMD HD image from the C64 OS System Card.
First, we need to configure Drive 9 to emulate a CMD HD and optionally specify the size of the image.
Select CMD HD as the Drive Type for Drive 9, and enter a number for the size of the image. The default is 8G, and that has been more than enough for me. I have not tried any other sizes, so your mileage may vary.
Make sure you save your VICE SETTINGS at this time.
Drive 9, CMD HD configuration.
Now let’s attach the image that came on the System Card. You should make a backup copy of the System Card to your PC's hard drive first. The pre-configured CMD HD hard drive image is called "c64os v1.0.dhd" and is located in the "vice support" directory on the System Card.
Select attach from the File menu, and pick Drive 9.
Attach a disk image to Drive 9, CMD HD.
Next, find the image on your hard drive that you backed up from the System Card and attach it. Again, make sure you do not select Autostart here.
Attach pre-configured CMD HD disk image.
Note that when you select the disk image VICE lists the contents of the drive image. This should show the contents, c64os, c64os setup, os, etc.
Ready to Run C64 OS
Congratulations, you are now ready to run C64 OS.
Although C64 OS is ready to be booted, some configuration is recommended for your specific hardware before you boot C64 OS for the first time. This is described in Chapter 3: Configuration and Settings.
Device and partition numbers
During the set up process, make sure device 9, partition 1 are specified as your system device and partition, rather than device 12 shown in the standard CMD HD installation instructions.
You need the CMD HD Boot ROM to use a CMD HD dhd image in VICE. This ROM image can be purchased from Retro Innovations, here:
To manage the CMD HD and to create new partitions, you also need the CMD HD Utilities disk image which you can download here.
Although JiffyDOS is not strictly required to use C64 OS, it is highly recommended for its speed and device compatibility. It also adds some much needed features to your C64's READY. prompt. A JiffyDOS C64 KERNAL ROM image can be purchased from Retro Innovations, here:
This document is subject to revision updates.
Last modified: Nov 18, 2022