I have a Commodore 128, but this is a platform-neutral question.

I have a lot of experience with a lot of operating systems (including DOS, Linux, BSD and AmigaOS) but I never used CP/M much back in the day.

Since I have compatible hardware, what are some good resources (books, web sites, etc.) to help me get started? What software (ideally freely distributable) would be useful to start doing things (e.g. terminals, games, text editors, etc.)?

2 Answers 2


If you are looking for software and other helpful files to download, then:


If you need a good primer for understanding the system, then the CP/M Primer by Mike Mantino (originally published by the StarBoard Journal of the FlagShip/StarShip SIGs) is pretty complete and also geared to the C128.

If you want to show the youngsters what serious computing was like "back in the day", then I'd advise you to throw down the CP/M Trifecta.

Beware the C128 is a bit of a dog when running CP/M.

  • 3
    I know it's not the best CP/M machine, but it's the one I have. :) I can always emulate if I want better performance. Mar 3, 2018 at 0:19
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    Agreed...WordStar, dBase II (or later) and Turbo Pascal are the power toolkit for CP/M. It's amazing what you can do at 4MHz, in 64K, on floppies, with those 3. Mar 3, 2018 at 4:29
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    It's like it has always been: The difference between having a computer and not having is way bigger than between operating a slow machine and one 10,000 times faster. That's as much true for a Z4 vs. a Cray as for a C128 vs. some modern PC.
    – Raffzahn
    Mar 3, 2018 at 8:09
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    @JimMacKenzie - if you have any interest in electronics, it's pretty easy to build your own CP/M machine that will perform better than the C128. I haven't fully priced up the cost of the build, but if it turns out to be more than £15 ($25) I'd be very surprised.
    – Jules
    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:00
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    I found a moment to check on prices: the Z80 (actually a Z84C0010, which is a compatible CMOS version), Z80 SIO chip, MAX232 and SRAM needed to come from suppliers found on aliexpress.com in order to get them at a reasonable price, but £5.70 is enough to get all of those (and you have spares of some of them for that price). Other ICs from a UK supplier cost £3.26. Plus a handful of passive components and prototyping board/breadboard, looks like about £12 total to me. That's also a 128K RAM chip, although the design will only use 64K. Don't know how hard it would be to add bank switching.
    – Jules
    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:46

Gaby's CP/M Homepage, as well as her copy of The Unofficial CP/M Web site might be an excelent start - at least if you want to dive deep into the internals :)


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