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6 Settings and resources

In the VICE emulators, all the settings are stored in entities known as called resources. Each resource has a name and a value which may be either an integer or a string. Integer values are often used as boolean values with the usual convention of using zero for "false" and any other value for "true".

Resource values can be changed via the right-button menu (the settings menu), via command-line options or via the resource file.

The resource file is a human-readable file containing resource values: it is called `vicerc' and is stored in the directory `.vice/' in the user's home directory. It is possible to dump the current values of the resources into that file or load the values stored into that file as the current values, at any time. This is achieved with the "Save settings" and "Load settings" right menu items. A third menu item, "Restore Default Settings", can be used to reset all the values to the factory defaults.

A special resource, SaveResourcesOnExit, if set to a non zero value, causes the emulator to ask you if you want to save the current (changed) settings before exiting, and can be toggled with the "Save settings on exit" command from the right-button menu.

Notice that not all the resources can be changed from the menus; some of them can only be changed by manually modifying the resource file or by using command-line options.

6.1 Format of resource files

A resource file is made up of several sections; sections have the purpose of separating the resources of a certain emulator from the ones of the other emulators. A section starts with the name of an emulator in brackets (e.g., `[C64]') and ends when another section starts or when the file ends.

Every line in a section has the following format:

RESOURCE=VALUE

where RESOURCE is the name of a resource and VALUE is its assigned value. Resource names are case-sensitive and resource values are either strings or integers. Strings must start and end with a double quote character ("), while integers must be given in decimal notation.

Here is an example of a stripped-down `.vice/vicerc' file:

[VIC20]
HTMLBrowserCommand="netscape %s"
SaveResourcesOnExit=0
FileSystemDevice8=1
FSDevice8ConvertP00=1
FSDevice8Dir="/home/ettore/cbm/stuff/vic20p00"
FSDevice8SaveP00=1
FSDevice8HideCBMFiles=1
[C64]
HTMLBrowserCommand="netscape %s"
SaveResourcesOnExit=1
FileSystemDevice8=1
FSDevice8ConvertP00=1
FSDevice8Dir="/home/ettore/cbm/stuff/c64p00"
FSDevice8SaveP00=1
FSDevice8HideCBMFiles=1

Notice that, when resource values are saved with "Save settings", the emulator only modifies its own section, leaving the others unchanged.

6.2 Using command-line options to change resources

Resources can also be changed via command-line options.

Command-line options always override the defaults from .vice/vicerc, and their assignments last for the whole session. So, if you specify a certain command-line option that changes a certain resource from its default value and then use "Save Settings", the value specified with the command-line option will be saved back to the resource file.

Command-line options can begin with with a minus sign (`-') or with a plus sign (`+'). Options beginning with a minus sign may require an additional parameter, while the ones beginning with the plus sign never require one.

Moreover, options beginning with a plus sign always have a counterpart with the same name, but with a minus sign; in that case, the option beginning with a minus sign is used to enable a certain feature, while the one beginning with a plus sign is used to disable the same feature (this is an X11 convention). For example, -mitshm enables support of MITSHM, while +mitshm disables it.

6.3 Performance settings

It is possible to control the emulation speed by using the "Maximum speed" menu item in the right-button menu. The default setting is 100, which causes the emulation to never run faster than the real machine. A higher value allows the emulator to run faster, a lower one may force it to run slower. The setting "No limit" means to run as fast as possible, without limiting speed.

It is also possible to control the emulator's rate of frame update using the "Refresh rate" setting; the value ranges from "1/1" (update 1/1 of the frames of the real machine, that is 50 frames per second) to "1/10" (update 1 every 10 frames) and can be changed via the "Refresh Rate" submenu. The "Auto" setting means to dynamically adapt the refresh rate to the current speed of the host machine, making sure the maximum speed specified by the via "Maxium speed" is always reached if possible. In any case, the refresh rate will never be worse than 1/10 if this option is specified.

Note that you cannot simultaneously specify "Auto" as the refresh rate and "No limit" as the maximum speed..

Moreover, a special warp speed mode is provided and can be toggled with the "Enable Warp Mode" menu item. If this mode is enabled, it will cause the emulator to disable any speed limit, turn sound emulation off and use a 1/10 refresh rate, so that it will run at the maximum possible speed.

6.3.1 Performance resources

Speed
Integer specifying the maximum relative speed, as a percentage. 0 stands for "no limit".

RefreshRate
Integer specifying the refresh rate; a value of n specifies a refresh rate of 1/n. A value of 0 enables automatic frame skipping.

WarpMode
Booolean specifying whether "warp mode" is turned on or not.

6.3.2 Performance command-line options

-speed VALUE
Specifies the maximum speed as a percentage. 0 stands for "no limit". (Same as setting the Speed resource.)

-refresh VALUE
Specifies refresh rate; a value of n specifies a refresh rate of 1/n. A value of 0 enables automatic frame skipping. (Same as setting the RefreshRate resource.)

-warp
+warp
Enables/disables warp mode (WarpMode=1, WarpMode=1).

6.4 Video settings

The following right-button menu items control the video output:

6.4.1 Video resources

The following resources affect the screen emulation:

VideoCache
Boolean specifying whether the video cache is turned on.

DoubleSize
Boolean specifying whether double-size mode is turned on.

DoubleScan
Boolean specifying whether double-scan mode is turned on.

UseXSync
Boolean specifying whether XSync() is called after updating the emulation window.

MITSHM
Integer specifying whether VICE should try to use the shared memory extensions (MITSHM) when starting up. The shared memory extensions make things a lot faster but might not be available on your system. You will not be able to use these extensions if you are sitting at an X terminal while running the emulator on a remote machine across a network. Valid values are: 0 = do not use MITSHM, 1 = do use MITSHM, -1 = try to autodetect availability on startup (default). The last is a simple test if the emulator runs across a network and if so disables MITSHM (If you have problems with this test please report it).

PrivateColormap
Boolean specifying whether VICE should install a private colormap at startup. This makes sense for 8-bit displays that could run out of colors if other color-hungry applications are running at the same time.

DisplayDepth
Integer specifying the depth of the host display. The value `0' (the default) causes the emulator to autodetect it.

6.4.2 Video command-line options

-vcache
+vcache
Enable/disable the video cache (VideoCache=1, VideoCache=0).

-dsize
+dsize
Enable/disable the double size mode (DoubleSize=1, DoubleSize=0).

-dscan
+dscan
Enable/disable the double scan mode (DoubleScan=1, DoubleScan=0).

-xsync
+xsync
Enable/disable usage of XSync() when updating the emulation window (UseXSync=1, UseXSync=0).

-mitshm
+mitshm
Enable/disable usage of the MITSHM extensions (MITSHM=1, MITSHM=0).

-mitshmauto
Enable autodetection of MITSHM availability (MITSHM=-1)

-install
+install
Enable/disable installation of a private colormap (PrivateColormap=1, PrivateColormap=0).

-displaydepth DEPTH
Specify the display depth (DisplayDepth).

6.5 Keyboard settings

It is possible to specify whether the "positional" or "symbolic" keyboard mapping should be used with the "Keyboard mapping type" submenu (see section 2.6 The keyboard emulation for an explanation of positional and symbolic mappings).

The keyboard settings submenu also allows you to:

6.5.1 Keyboard resources

KeymapIndex
Integer identifying which keymap is being used; 0 indicates symbolic mapping, 1 positional mapping. For the PET the even values represent symbolic mapping, odd positional. Then add 0 for UK business keyboard or 2 for graphics keyboard.

KeymapSymFile
String specifying the name of the keymap file for the symbolic mapping (see section 2.6 The keyboard emulation, all but PET and CBM-II).

KeymapPosFile
String specifying the name of the keymap file for the positional mapping (see section 2.6 The keyboard emulation, all but PET and CBM-II).

KeymapBusinessUKSymFile
KeymapBusinessUKPosFile
String specifying the name of the keymap file for the symbolic and positional mapping for the UK business keyboard (see section 2.6 The keyboard emulation, PET and CBM-II).

KeymapGraphicsSymFile
KeymapGraphicsPosFile
String specifying the name of the keymap file for the symbolic and positional mapping for the graphics keyboard (see section 2.6 The keyboard emulation, PET only).

KeymapBusinessDESymFile
KeymapBusinessDEPosFile
String specifying the name of the keymap file for the symbolic and positional mapping for the German business keyboard. (see section 2.6 The keyboard emulation, PET only).

6.5.2 Keyboard command-line options

-keymap N
Specifies which keymap is being used; 0 indicates symbolic mapping, 1 positional mapping (as for the KeymapIndex resource).

-symkeymap NAME
Specify `NAME' as the symbolic keymap file (KeymapSymFile).

-poskeymap NAME
Specify `NAME' as the positional keymap file (KeymapPosFile).

-buksymkeymap NAME
-bukposkeymap NAME
Specify `NAME' as the symbolic/positional keymap file for the UK business keyboard (KeymapBusinessUKSymFile, KeymapBusinessUKPosFile, PET and CBM-II).

-grsymkeymap NAME
-grposkeymap NAME
Specify `NAME' as the symbolic/positional keymap file for the graphics keyboard (KeymapGraphicsSymFile, KeymapGraphicsPosFile, PET only).

-bdesymkeymap NAME
-bdeposkeymap NAME
Specify `NAME' as the symbolic/positional keymap file for the German business keyboard (KeymapBusinessDESymFile, KeymapBusinessDEPosFile, PET only).

6.6 Sound settings

The following menu items control sound output:

6.6.1 Sound resources

Sound
Boolean specifying whether audio emulation is turned on.

SoundSpeedAdjustment
Integer specifying what speed adjustment method the audio renderer should use. Possible values are:

SoundSampleRate
Integer specifying the sampling frequency, ranging from 8000 to 48000 Hz (not all the sound cards and/or sound drivers can support all the frequencies, so actually the nearest candidate will be chosen).

SoundBufferSize
Integer specifying the size of the audio buffer, in milliseconds.

SoundSuspendTime
Integer specifying the pause interval when audio underflows ("clicks") happen. 0 means no pause is done.

SoundOversample
Integer specifying the oversampling factor, ranging from 0 (no oversampling) to 3 (8 times oversampling).

SoundDeviceName
String specifying the audio driver. Implemented drivers are:

These drivers will actually be present only if the VICE configuration script detected the corresponding devices at the time of compilation.

SoundDeviceArg
String specifying an additional parameter for the audio driver (see SoundDeviceName).

6.6.2 Sound command-line options

-sound
+sound
Turns sound emulation on (Sound=1) and off (Sound=0).

-soundsync N
Specify N as the sound speed adjustment method (SoundSpeedAdjustment).

-soundrate RATE
Specifies the sound playback sample rate (SoundSampleRate).

-soundbufsize SIZE
Specifies the size of the audio buffer in milliseconds (SoundBufferSize).

-sounddev NAME
Specifies the name of the audio device (SoundDeviceName).

-soundarg ARG
Specifies an additional parameter for the audio device (SoundDeviceArg).

6.7 Drive settings

These settings are used to control the hardware-level emulation of the drive. When hardware-level emulation is turned on, only drives 8 and 9 are being emulated.

The following settings affect both drives:

The following settings, instead, are specific of each drive:

6.7.1 Drive resources

DriveTrueEmulation
Boolean controlling whether the "true" drive emulation is turned on.

Drive8Type
Drive9Type
Integers specifying the model number for drives 8 and 9. Possible values are 1541, 1571, 1581 and 2031.

Drive8ParallelCable
Drive9ParallelCable
Booleans controlling whether the SpeedDOS-compatible cable is emulated or not for drives 8 and 9.

Drive8ExtendImagePolicy
Drive9ExtendImagePolicy
Integer specifying the policy for 40-track support for drives 8 and 9. Possible values are 0 (never extend), 1 (ask on extend), 2 (extend on access).

Drive8IdleMethod
Drive9IdleMethod
Integers specifying the idling method for the drive CPU. Possible values are 0 (none), 1 (skip cycles), 2 (trap idle). See section 6.7 Drive settings.

DriveSyncFactor
Integer specifying the drive's clock sync factor (see section 6.7 Drive settings). Special values -1 and -2 mean PAL and NTSC, respectively.

DosName1541
DosName1571
DosName1581
DosName2031
Strings specifying the names of the ROM images for the drive emulation.

6.7.2 Drive command-line options

-truedrive
+truedrive
Turns true drive emulation on (DriveTrueEmulation=1) and off (DriveTrueEmulation=0), respectively.

-drive8type TYPE
-drive9type TYPE
Specifies the drive types for units 8 and 9, respectively. Possible values for TYPE are 1541, 1571, 1581 and 2031.

-parallel
+parallel
-parallel
+parallel
Turns emulation of the SpeedDOS-compatible parallel cable on (DriveXParallelCable=1) and off (DriveXParallelCable=0), respectively.

-drive8idle NUM
-drive9idle NUM
Specifies NUM as the idling method in drives 8 and 9, respectively (Drive8IdleMethod, Drive9IdleMethod).

-paldrive
Specifies a PAL sync factor for the drive emulation (DriveSyncFactor=-1).

-ntscdrive
Specifies an NTSC sync factor for the drive emulation (DriveSyncFactor=-2).

-drivesync NUM
Specifies a generic sync factor for the drive emulation (True1541SyncFactor).

-dos1541
-dos1571
-dos1581
-dos2031
Specify the ROM names for the 1541, 1571, 1581 and 2031 emulation respectively.

6.8 Peripheral settings

VICE is able to support some special peripherals:

These features depend on some kernal traps that replace the existing routines in the original Commodore operating system with custom-made C routines.

6.8.1 Settings for file system devices

These settings deal with the drive-like peripherals connected to the bus of the emulated machine. Four peripherals, numbered from 8 to 11, are accessible; each of them provides the following settings:

Note that, by default, all drives except 11 create P00 files on save, while drive 11 creates Unix files.

6.8.1.1 Resources for file system devices

FSDevice8ConvertP00
FSDevice9ConvertP00
FSDevice10ConvertP00
FSDevice11ConvertP00
Booleans specifying whether on-read support for P00 files is enabled on drives 8, 9, 10 and 11 respectively (on by default).

FSDevice8SaveP00
FSDevice9SaveP00
FSDevice10SaveP00
FSDevice11SaveP00
Booleans specifying whether the drives should create P00 files instead of plain CBM ones (on by default for drives 8-10, off for 11).

FSDevice8HideCBMFiles
FSDevice9HideCBMFiles
FSDevice10HideCBMFiles
FSDevice11HideCBMFiles
Booleans specifying whether non-P00 files should be invisible to programs running in the emulator (do not hide by default).

FSDevice8Dir
FSDevice9Dir
FSDevice10Dir
FSDevice11Dir
Strings specifying the directories to which drives 8, 9, 10 and 11 have access.

6.8.1.2 Command-line options for file system devices

-fs8 PATH
-fs9 PATH
-fs10 PATH
-fs11 PATH
Specify the paths for the file system access on drives 8, 9, 10 and 11, respectively (FSDevice8Dir, FSDevice9Dir, FSDevice10Dir and FSDevice11Dir).

6.8.2 Printer settings

The VICE emulators can emulate printers connected to either the IEC buffer or the user port. Emulation can be achieved by redirecting the printer output to a file or by piping it through an external process. This is defined by so-called printer device file names; a printer device file name can be either a simple path, or a command name preceeded by a pipe symbol `|'.

For example, printer device `filename' will cause the output to be appended to the file `filename', while printer device `|lpr' will cause the lpr command to be executed and be fed the printer output. The printer output will not be converted but saved as printed by the emulated machine.

Up to three printer devices may be specified through the following resources:

So, basically, by default printer device 1 will dump printer output to `print.dump'; printer device 2 will print it via lpr directly to the printer and device 3 will print it via petlp (a not-yet-complete utility that will produce Postscript output from the Commodore printer code) and then to the printer via lpr.

6.8.2.1 Printer resources

PrDevice1
PrDevice2
PrDevice3
Strings specifying the printer devices (see section 6.8.2 Printer settings).

Printer4
Boolean specifying if the IEC printer (device 4) is being emulated.

Printer4Dev
Integer (ranging from 0 to 2, for device 1-3) specifying what printer device (see section 6.8.2 Printer settings) the IEC printer is using.

PrUser
Boolean specifying if the user-port printer is being emulated.

PrUserDev
Integer (ranging from 0 to 2, for device 1-3) specifying what printer device the user-port printer is using.

6.8.2.2 Printer command-line options

-prdev1 NAME
-prdev2 NAME
-prdev3 NAME
Specify NAME as printer devices 1, 2 and 3, respectively (PrDevice1, PrDevice2 and PrDevice3).

-printer4
+printer4
Enable/disable emulation of the IEC printer (Printer4=1, Printer4=0).

-pr4dev DEV
Specify device for the IEC printer (Printer4Dev).

-pruser
+pruser
Enable/disable emulation of the IEC printer (PrUser=1, PrUser=0).

-pruserdev DEV
Specify device for the IEC printer (PrUserDev).

6.8.3 Disabling kernal traps

If you have compatibility problems, you can completely disable Kernal traps with the "Disable kernal traps" option. This will of course disable all the features that depend on it, such as the fast 1541 emulation (so you will have to turn true 1541 emulation on if you want to be able to read or write disk images) and tape support.

6.8.3.1 Resources to control Kernal traps

NoTraps
Boolean specifying whether all the Kernal trap should be disabled.

6.8.3.2 Command-line options to control Kernal traps

-traps
+traps
Enable (NoTraps=0) or disable (NoTraps=1) kernal traps.

6.9 RS232 settings

The VICE emulators can emulate the RS232 device most of the machines have. The C64, C128 and VIC20 emulators emulate the userport RS232 interface at 300 and 1200 baud. The C64 and C128 can also use the 9600 baud interface by Daniel Dallmann, using the shift registers of the two CIA 6526 chips. The PET can have a 6551 ACIA RS232 interface when running as a SuperPET, and the CBM-II has such an ACIA by default. The C64 and C128 emulators can emulate an ACIA 6551 (also known as Datapump for example) as extension at $de**.

Emulation can be achieved by either:

It is possible to define up to four UNIX serial devices, and then decide which interface should be connected to which device. This is done by so-called rs232 device file names; an rs232 device file name can be either a simple path, or a command name preceeded by a pipe symbol `|'. If the path specifies a special device (e.g. `/dev/ttyS0') it is recognized by VICE and the emulator can set the baudrate.

For example, rs232 device `filename' will cause the output to be written (not appended) to the file `filename', while printer device `|lpr' will cause the lpr command to be executed and be fed the rs232 output. The rs232 output will not be converted but saved as sent by the emulated machine. The same holds true for the rs232 input. If the command writes data to the standard output it will be caught by VICE and sent back to the emulator. Also the data sent by the pseudo device will be sent back to VICE.

For example you can setup a null-modem cable between two serial ports of your PC, setup one port for login and use the other in VICE. Then you can login from your emulator via the RS232 emulation and the null-modem cable to your machine again.

You can not simply run a shell from VICE, as the shell will notice that it does not run on its own pseudo terminal and will thus buffer its output. You need to write some program that opens an own pseudo terminal and runs the shell from there (not yet finished).

Up to four RS232 devices may be specified through the following resources:

For the first two devices you can change the baudrate the tty device is set to by specifying it on the commandline or in the menu. This baudrate is 9600 by default for the latter two, but can be changed only by resources (The baudrate is independent from the baudrate the emulator actually expects).

6.9.1 RS232 resources

RsDevice1
RsDevice2
RsDevice3
RsDevice4
Strings specifying the RS232 devices (see section 6.9 RS232 settings).

RsDevice1Baud
RsDevice2Baud
RsDevice3Baud
RsDevice4Baud
Integer specifying the RS232 baudrate devices if the device file points to a special device (like `/dev/ttyS0'; see section 6.9 RS232 settings).

AciaDE
Boolean specifying whether C64 or C128 should emulate ACIA 6551 in I/O 1, at $de**.

Acia1Dev
Integer (ranging from 0 to 3, for device 1-4) specifying what RS232 device (see section 6.9 RS232 settings) the ACIA is using (all except VIC20).

Acia1Irq
Integer specifying which interrupt to use. 0 = none, 1 = IRQ, 2 = NMI (C64 and C128 only)

RsUser
Integer specifying if the user-port RS232 interface is being emulated and at which baudrate it should have for the emulator. 0 = off; > 0 specifies the baudrate (C64, C128 and VIC20).

RsUserDev
Integer (ranging from 0 to 3, for device 1-4) specifying what RS232 device the user-port interface is using (C64, C128 and VIC20).

6.9.2 RS232 command-line options

-rsdev1 NAME
-rsdev2 NAME
-rsdev3 NAME
-rsdev4 NAME
Specify NAME as RS232 devices 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively (RsDevice1, RsDevice2 RsDevice3 and RsDevice4).

-rsdev1 BAUDRATE
-rsdev2 BAUDRATE
-rsdev3 BAUDRATE
-rsdev4 BAUDRATE
Specify BAUDRATE as baudrate for the RS232 devices if the device name specifies a special device (like `/dev/ttyS0' for example, see section 6.9 RS232 settings; RsDevice1Baud, RsDevice2Baud RsDevice3Baud and RsDevice4Baud).

-acia1dev
Specify device for the ACIA (Acia1Dev).

-rsuser BAUDRATE
Enable (BAUDRATE not 0) or disable (BAUDRATE = 0) emulation of the userport RS232 emulation (RsUser; C64, C128 and VIC20)

-rsuserdev DEV
Specify device for the userport RS232 emulation (RsUserDev; C64, C128 and VIC20).

6.9.3 RS232 usage example

Here we give you a simple example how to set up an emulated C64 using the modem connected to your PC. The following list shows each step.

Attach your modem to your PC at a serial port.
Normally you should set it up to use the modem as "/dev/modem".

start VICE

Setup VICE to use your modem as "serial device 1"
Go to the RS232 settings menu and change "Serial 1 device" to "/dev/modem" (or the device where you attached your modem to) Then go to the RS232 settings menu and change "Serial 1 baudrate" to the baudrate your modem should run at. Watch out, e.g. on Linux there is an additional multiplier to multiply with the baudrate (so e.g. 19200 gives 115200 or so baud) See the "setserial" manpage on Linux for example. However, most modems should be able to autodetect the speed to the computer as well.

Select the RS232 emulation your programs use
If you want to use the Userport emulation, go to the RS232 settings and change "Userport RS232 Device" to "Serial 1". If you want ACIA emulation (swiftlink or what's it called?) then change "ACIA $DE** device" to "Serial 1".

Enable the emulation
Go to the RS232 settings and select either "ACIA $DE** emulation" or Userport 300/1200 baud or CIA 9600 baud emulation.

Load your program and start it.
If it is able to detect an RS232 cartridge like swiftlink or so, try to detect the ACIA emulation if enabled. Otherwise just set the baudrate to either 300, 1200 or 9600 according to what you enabled in the VICE menu for the userport.

6.10 Miscellaneous settings

This section lists generic resources that do not fit in the other categories.

6.10.1 Miscellaneous resources

Directory
String specifying the search path for system files. It is defined as a sequence of directory names, separated by colons (`:'), just like the PATH variable in the shell. The special string `$$' stands for the default search path, which is initialized at startup to the following value:
LIBDIR/EMUID:$HOME/.vice/EMUID:BOOTPATH/EMUID:LIBDIR/DRIVES:$HOME/.vice/DRIVES:BOOTPATH/DRIVES
where:

Notice that the middle entry points to a default location in the user's home directory. Here private ROM versions (e.g. speeddos or JiffyDos) can be stored for example. See section 4 System files for a description of the method used to load the emulator's system files.

HTMLBrowserCommand
String specifying the command to run the help browser. The help browser can be any HTML browser, and every `%s' in the string is replaced with the name of the toplevel file of the VICE documentation. For example, the default value `netscape %s' runs Netscape Navigator.

SaveResourcesOnExit
Boolean specifying whether the emulator should save changed settings before exiting. If this is enabled, the user will be always prompted first, in case the settings have changed.

DoCoreDump
Boolean specifying whether the emulator should dump core when it gets a signal.

6.10.2 Miscellaneous command-line options

-directory SEARCHPATH
Specify the system file search path (Directory).

-htmlbrowser COMMAND
Specify the command to run the HTML browser for the on-line help (HTMLBrowserCommand).

-saveres
+saveres
Enable/disable automatic saving of settings on exit (SaveResourcesOnExit=1, SaveResourcesOnExit=0).

-core
+core
Enable/disable generation of core dumps (DoCoreDump=1, DoCoreDump=0).


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