VICE needs a file called dos1541 if you want hardware emulation of the 1541 disk drive. What does that file contain, exactly? The 1541 seems to have two ROMs: a DOS and a KERNAL. But if I take the image of the DOS and call in dos1541, and put it in the correct folder, then the emulator complains:
Error - ROM /home/username/.vice/C64/dos1541: short file.
And it will be impossible to enable 1541 emulation in the emulator's menu. The same is true if that file contains the kernal.