I am trying to run Stella, the Atari emulator that is in the Debian repository.

If I run it from X, it's very slow and I am not able to use OpenGL acceleration. Plus, the full screen doesn't fit the screen of my TV properly (I am using the composite cable).

So I tried to run it from the command line and it needs root permission to access the framebuffer device. When I run it with 'sudo', I just get a blank screen and I need to reboot from ssh (this issue might be related to this other question: Console unusable after running SDL app

Has anyone managed to run Stella properly on the device?

  • Emulation is quite resource intensive (even with very old systems). I think you can probably expect the RPi to not be very good at it.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 18:16
  • @ACarter: I think the tag emulation is for questions concerning the problem of simulating the rPi environment on a desktop. Not sure it fits here. Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 20:01
  • The tag wiki makes it fit here. This is about emulation after all.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 20:03
  • Compiled Stella myself in Arch and it seems to work fine.
    – Jivings
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 22:12
  • @Jivings: running fine on X or console? Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


I have it running from the console on Debian squeeze and posted about it here: http://raspberry-fool.com/2012/07/atari-2600-emulation/

Sounds like you were doing it right though so not sure where the error came from unless it was due to running it on X before you tried.

If you add your user to the video group it gets over the framebuffer permissions problem.

Run from the console the emulation is perfect imho. looks and sounds very good on a variety of games I have tried.

  • Well, I run it with 'sudo', so the group permission issue doesn't hold in my case. Maybe it works for you because you use HDMI and I don't? Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 16:05
  • I finally had the chance to try it with the HDMI output and it works fine. Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 22:13

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