I'm about to do some assembly coding for the C64 but for sanity I would like to do the actual coding on my Mac with an emulator.

My question is; which is the most maintained/up-to-date emulator/assembler tool-chain for C64 development as of 2016?

What've come up with so far is an OSX-build of VICE v2.4 from 2012 and DASM v2.20.11 from 2014 which I managed to build from source. This setup actually works, but maybe there are more contemporary alternatives which is regarded as the defacto tools of use today?

  • 4
    Please, clarify what your current setup offers to you, and what features you are looking for, so another setup can be objetively considered "better", regarding your needs. Otherwise, it´s an opinion-based question. May 10 '16 at 16:59
  • Thanks, I've rephrased the question to emphasized that it is about which applications are actively maintained (as in not being abandoned).
    – stpe
    May 11 '16 at 9:07

Some people seem to favor VICE + KickAssembler, this is a page describing the setup procedure. https://goatpower.org/projects-releases/sublime-package-kick-assembler-c64/

KickAssembler has many (macro) extensions that make programming easier, is written in Java that helps with its portability.

SublimeText is just an editor, the package provides for easy hooks and keyboard shortcuts for compilation and debugging (you could use any other editor of course).

As for emulation, VICE has virtually no competition.


Based on looking at recent threads on C64 forums, VICE seems to be the most popular emulation option, and from glancing at its SVN repository, it is still under active development.

For assemblers, I know of cc65 as an alternative, but development platform is going to be personal preference.

Also, see this stack overflow thread that asks the same question.


Check out Rocco Di Leo's site, he's coding on a MAC and documented everything: http://www.dustlayer.com


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