How To Install MAME games on Linux (Ubuntu 16.04, 16.10)

MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is a well-known emulator for thousands of users who wish to bring to mind, and play, those games that were a tradition in the 90s and beyond.

MAME has been developed thinking of being one of the most effective emulators that we can use in multiple operating systems such as Linux, Windows, macOS, and others, always preserving the quality of the game and its attributes.

MAME Requirements

  • Processors Intel Core series ed at least 2.0 GHz speed
  • 32 or 64-bit operating system
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • DirectX 9.0c for Windows systems
  • Direct3D or OpenGL capable graphics card

Today we will see how to install and get the most out of it, bringing loving memories, of MAME in Linux, for this case, we will use Ubuntu 17.

How To Install MAME Linux

To install MAME in Ubuntu 17, it will be necessary to enable some additional software repositories for the case of MAME, we must activate Universe, it will execute the following:

sudo add-apt-repository universe
On Ubuntu 16, Universe already comes by default.

Now proceed to update the system packages by executing:

sudo apt update

Finally, proceed to install MAME:

sudo apt install mame

Alternatively, for Ubuntu we can execute the following lines as an alternate MAME installation method:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:c.falco/mame

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install mame

For other Linux distributions, we can execute the following:


sudo apt-get install mame

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S base-devel git sdl2 gconf sdl2_ttf gcc qt5git clone mamemakeFedora:sudo dnf install mameOpen SuSE:sudo zypper install mame

How To Access MAME Linux

To access MAME we have two options:

  • Run the term mame from the terminal
  • Use the Linux Search

Once MAME is executed, we will try to access any of the available games and we will see the following error. This is because of the ROMs of the games aren't in the correct directory.


To solve this, we will verify that the MAME folder is created in the Home directory and if not, create it by executing the following:

mkdir -p ~/mame/roms

Verify that the folder is in the correct path. In this ROMs folder will be where we must save all the ROMs that we download to play.

We proceed to access MAME again and there we will look for the desired game, in this case SUPER TANKS:

MAME is a great utility to play all those classics that accompanied us for several years in a fully functional way.

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  1. Doesn’t have scanline option like under windows. Also not sure you can configure the rom directory to a custom place.

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