Stella 4.2

An open-source and cross-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator for Linux, Windows and Mac
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Stella is an open source and multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS (Video Computer System) emulator initially developed for Linux by Bradford W. Mott. Originally introduced in 1977, Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) was the most popular and acclaimed home video game system of the early 80's.

Features at a glance

The application features a unique graphical user interface that is completely independent of a desktop environment and designed with simplicity in mind, allowing the user to choose a ROM directory from the get-go.

You will be able to set video, audio, input, UI and snapshot settings, modify game properties and config paths, audit ROMs, as well as to enter cheat codes and view system logs.

To play a game, simply navigate your filesystem with the keyboard or mouse device for the location of the ROM file(s). Then, double or hit Enter on the binary file of the game to start it. Keep in mind though, that you can play the game with a keyboard or joystick device, which are fully configurable from the Options menu.

Under the hood, supported OSes and availability

The application is written entirely in the C++ programming language. It is available for download as a source archive, which must be configure and compiled prior to installation, as well as binary installers for the Debian/Ubuntu and Fedora/Red Hat operating systems.

Over the years, Stella has been successfully ported to many operating systems, such as AmigaOS, AcornOS, DOS, FreeBSD, OS/2, IRIX, Mac OS X, UNIX, as well as Microsoft Windows. Both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures are supported at this time.

Bottom line

Thanks to Stella, you are now able to enjoy all of your Atari 2600 games on your personal computer. We guarantee that you won’t find a better, simpler or faster Atari 2600 emulator on the entire GNU/Linux market!

Reviewed by , last updated on October 31st, 2014

license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
developed by:
Bradford W. Mott
ROOT \ System \ Emulators
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What's New in This Release:
  • Text input from non-US keyboard layouts is now supported. Note that all text in Stella is still ASCII-only, but at least it can now be entered using a native layout.
  • Related to the text input changes, the debugger Alt-combo shortcuts have been changed; they now use the same key but with Control instead of Alt (Control-F for frame advance, etc).
  • Controllers are now detected dynamically by Stella. This means that you can plug/unplug joysticks/paddles/etc while Stella is running, and they will be added and removed automatically. Also fixed is a bug whereby sometimes custom joystick mappings weren't being saved.
  • The 'cpurandom' option is now broken down by register type, so you can selectively enable/disable randomization for each one. The default is to disable randomization for all registers.
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Application description

Stella is a free, multi-platform and open-source graphical software designed to act as an Atari 2600 VCS emulator...

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