Linux on a Commodore 64

Originally published at: Linux on a Commodore 64 | Boing Boing


Season 3 GIF by Parks and Recreation

But how about the TRS-80…

Can a TRS-80 be on for 39 hours without breaking?

My first computer was a TRS-80 Color Computer. Broke in 2 weeks. Brought it back, got another one, broke in 2 weeks. Took the hint, went with a Vic-20. Worked my way up the line over the next few years (Vic-20->C64->C64 (first one fried in lightning) → 128).

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I have no idea… That’s just the classic computers that we have in my house… I don’t know if the one we have are the original one my husband had as a kid or one he got later.

I owned the original TRS-80 (B/W Monitor, everything built into keyboard) and I spent many an hour typing in BASIC on that thing. Z80 chip was pretty solid, if not a bit power hungry.

The pain was reloading code after saving it to the cassette tape recorder. That thing was fussy.


uggghh. Tell me about it. Vic-20 wasn’t much better in that regard. What really sucked, is the cable on there’s was so short, the only place I could put it a first was on top of the monitor. That is… sub-optimal. Had to do some serious rearranging to get it next to the computer instead.

A Commodore 64 running a RISC-V CPU emulator booting RISC-V Linux. That barely counts. I also wonder what it’s using for external storage since clearly it’s not holding the emulated RISC-V RAM or disk storage in the 64K of hardware RAM. In the old days when a PDP-11 was booting UNIX at least it was running native PDP-11 code to do it so it only took a few minutes.


I mean it’s akin to “running Doom on a pregnancy test”

(which was really just a clever hack of outputting it to the display on the test). Still a neat hack.


File under “things less satisfying than watching paint dry” – you don’t even have a freshly painted object in the end.

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Can you make a Beowulf cluster with that?

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I looked a little farther into the Github README and saw it is an emulated Commodore 64 running a RISC-V CPU emulator. It’s not even a hardware Commodore 64.

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