Raspbian Chameleon remix

This is one for you retro gamers: a Raspbian remix from Carles Oriol that turns your Pi into a whole suitcase-full of emulated hardware, from the Spectrum to a MAME cabinet, via the Oric-1, Atari 2600, Apple II and lots of other stuff besides.

Carles Oriol popped up briefly on Twitter earlier in the week to post this video, then vanished before I was able to get him to point me at a disk image. Happily, I was able to track him down on our forums, and from there to the Chameleon web site. You’ll find a torrent of the image, instructions for adding more emulators to the menu, more video, some words on each of the emulators and a little readme. We absolutely love it: there’s an SD card on my desk with this remix on it, and it’s not getting overwritten any time soon. Thanks Carles!


Davespice avatar


jpng81 avatar

I’ve talked with Carles on google+ on the comunity Raspberry pi, we are now more than 14.000 people there.
I hope he releases corrections on the distro it’s getting really good.

liz avatar

Do you know who’s running the community G+? We’re just about to take on someone to (among other things) get official G+ and Facebook pages up and running, and I remember when the G+ group was set up there was an offer to hand it over to the Foundation when we had the resources to manage it; if that’s not still the case we totally respect that, but it’d be good to chat if the option’s still open!

jpng81 avatar

No i don’t know the moderators…

SimonFD avatar


carlesoriol avatar

Picade it’s great for arcade. I did chameleon also to get speccy, c64, my old oric (always try to imagine how french people pronounce it)…

It’s not my idea to create a competition against any other raspbian remix, I’m pretty sure they are better than me.

SimonFD avatar

I wasn’t implying that you were. Sorry if I gave that impression. It was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw your excellent video! Very well done.
I’ve downloaded it and will be trying it out shortly :)

Fritz Katze avatar

Having had that back in the 1980s would have spoiled my whole career!

carlesoriol avatar

Of course! My dream then was to have a professional computer like QL.

Darren avatar

Looking good.

davedude0 avatar

Quite ironic that I just got a ZX Spectrum bag off amazon :P

carlesoriol avatar

Five centimeters under the video it’s my wonderfull spectrum. Raspberry Pi it’s great, but the feeling of the speccy keys, the slow loading times… that moment when you realize that the old speccy like the RPi didn’t have reset button… uau! It’s unique.

It’s also great to have not just the tapes also all the magazines, I would like to find an pdf reader for sdl to get also it on the RPIchameleon.

Wobbulator avatar

Seeing Win 3.1 running made me laugh….

liz avatar

Lord – I remember installing Win 3.1 *from floppy discs*. About a million of the things.

carlesoriol avatar

It’s so real that it crashed when I did the video!

I spend a lot of time with this old 3.1(1) and now it looks so useless…

Hugh avatar

The image file is just too big to fit on my 4GB SD card :(

carlesoriol avatar

Hi Hug

It should fit on any 4gb SD Card. (At least all I’ve tried)

I would try to do new release smaller because it takes only 1,8Gb.

Carles Oriol

Hugh avatar

It looks like its my SD card which is the problem. Using WinDiskImager the image file just seems slightly too big (my back up image file of Raspbian is 20mb smaller and that works fine). I think I have another SD card somewhere around the house that might work.

Tom avatar

Yep, had same problem, tried with 3 different 4 gb SD cards (different brands too) and all 3 didn’t make it. A 16 GB card did the trick.

Nathan Bookham avatar

I’m having precisely the same problem. The image is just a few sectors too big to fit on my 4GB Trancend SD card.
For Raspbian I use a Class 10 16GB SanDisk card, but I want to keep this just for Raspbian.

Fritz Katze avatar

I had the same problem and solved it:

I used dd to copy the image.
Then I used fdisk to edit the second partition to fit.
And after that I used resize2fs and e2fsck to resize and repair the file system.

Chris avatar

Woah, awesome! This came out of nowhere for me, I never heard of any work on something like this. Great job!

Kevvy Wilch avatar

This is fantastic and just what I was looking for! Well done and thank you.

Mark avatar

Superb! Where’s the BBC Micro emulator – I wanna play FireTrack! :-)

carlesoriol avatar

Do you know any BBC emulator for raspbian I could include ?

Frank avatar

Hey, I would love to get back some oldschool-feeling. What kind of controller would you suggest for raspberry & chameleon ??

Gordon avatar

Very Kool! thanks! .. its added to my torrent server. One warning though, the unzipped image is 3.7 gb (the compressed file is 551 mb) so be sure to have media that will handle the unzipping and the final image write (i.e. a 4 gb or more SD card). It would not unzip on my pi because there was not enough room on the SD card. Doing it all in a USB drive 5 gb or more should be fine.
Now I wish I still had the pgm I did in assembler on my Commodore 64, but alas it is long gone.

Mindrover avatar

I actually owned an Oric1….ah, the memories :)

Bob avatar

I owned the oric 1, traded it in for an Atmos and then finally the Oric Telestrat !! great machines the great “If only”

Pete avatar

No Amiga? Not interested :P

carlesoriol avatar

Raspberry has not enough power for a good 68k emulator. I would love to have also amiga and atari st.

eben avatar

Have you had a play with the Raspbian Hatari build here:


I’ve been talking with the PUAE guys about getting a decent-performance Amiga emulator for the Pi, but ROMs remain an issue.

Jesper Skov avatar

I get errors from Linux when I try to write the image to SD.

I’ve tried with 4GB and 8GB SD cards.

In both cases I get this in the log:

[ 125.038605] sdb: sdb1 sdb2
[ 125.038800] sdb: p2 size 7684096 extends beyond EOD, enabling native capacity
[ 125.039926] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] No Caching mode page present
[ 125.039934] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 125.040891] sdb: sdb1 sdb2
[ 125.041048] sdb: p2 size 7684096 extends beyond EOD, truncated
[ 125.042163] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] No Caching mode page present
[ 125.042169] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 125.042175] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk
[ 125.444474] EXT4-fs (sdb2): bad geometry: block count 960511 exceeds size of device (952704 blocks)

Bummer :(

Jesper Skov avatar

Got it working on another 8GB card. *phew*

carles oriol avatar

RPI Chameleon V0.2 RELEASED


Now with

amstrad, atari st, c128, vic-20, oric atmos. zx81…

Online help for computers and emulators

and a lot of more…

And some original bugs reapired.

I hope you like it.

Kevvy Wilch avatar

You da man! Thanks again.

Robert_M avatar

This looks really cool – well done!

I’d try to download it, but my ISP blocks torrent traffic. Still, neat to see stuff like this happening for the Pi.

Andrew Oakley avatar

Chameleon looks brilliant. I’m looking forward to installing this on one of my Raspberry Pis tonight.

I see Chameleon now includes Hatari, the Atari ST emulator. If anyone wants some LEGAL “ROMs” (actually disk images) for the Atari ST, I hereby grant permission for Chameleon and all users of Chameleon to use my old magazine cover-disk programs for whatever purpose they see fit, even including them in future releases of Chameleon. The files are available as Public Domain from my website: http://aoakley.com/atarist

Same goes for anyone else looking for legal Atari ST games, help yerself, all my old cover disk games are now public domain.

carles oriol avatar

Hi Andrew. If you want i could put this roms on the next release.

It also could be great if you put this on http://chameleon.enging.com/?q=hatari or http://chameleon.enging.com/?q=atarist where everybody can connect now directly from the launcher.

Thanks a lot

Carles Oriol

perry avatar

Hi everyone,
I have downloaded the torrent, but when I try to extract it either using tar (on the pi) or powerarchiver (in windows). I get error messages and at best a 879k image file.

I have redownloaded the torrent again (just to be sure) but get the same problem.

do you have any advice please?

mark100 avatar

Had the same problem having 879k image file. Use bunzip2 chameleon.img.bz2 on Linux command line or 7win on windows http://sourceforge.net/projects/sevenzip/

perry avatar

that has worked wonderfully – thank you

Supertrickywoocheese avatar

I have loads of original spectrum games on tape from my old Speccy 128k+ is it possible to somehow turn these into roms to play on the emulator ? Sorry if this is a stupid Q (Newbie)

andy avatar

There’s a way to turn them into .tap files by recording the audio using your computer’s sound card, but it’d be a lot easier if you just download them. Realistically, no-one’s going to give you any hassle for it.

pgman avatar

Search the web for “World of Spectrum”.

The site has loads of programs (TAP etc) ready to download (with the copyright holders permission), as well as FAQs that tell you how to convert games tapes to loadable formats.

There is also tons of info on the games and on the Spectrum in all its incarnations.

Very nostalgic.

Supertrickywoocheese avatar

Having issues as a newbie getting this image created, I’m on a pc using utorrent, I have downloaded the torrent and get file chameleon_v021.img.bz2 I guess this needs to be uncompressed to open the img file, but whenever I try via winzip I keep getting a error of Extracting chameleon_v021.img
Irrecoverable Error: Invalid compressed data stream (cannot decompress)
Any ideas ?
Once I’m past this I guess I can write image using win32diskimager as usual.

perry avatar

I had the same problem, if (in windows) you download 7win it decompresses wonderfully – I now have it flashed onto an 8MB card. Thanks to mark100 for the 7win hint.

Supertrickywoocheese avatar

Got it, you have to extract the file after the utorrent download, but it has to be a extract that is bz2 compatible, iv’e just used winrar now that took some time :-) to work out, then write to SD using win32diskimager, now what usb gamepad/joystick is best to get ?

Supertrickywoocheese avatar

Yay got the image working, I now have some tap files on a usb pen drive to play, I see in the speccy emulator you use the “F” keys to get load menus etc… anyone got a guide on how to link the files to make them discoverable/playable ? Thanks…

Daniel avatar

A uzebox emulator would be nice.

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