Atari 8-bit & Linux

This homepage belongs to Speedy, Atari 800xe I bought some time (two weeks :-) ago for ~$10. It came without anything but power supply, but thanks to my friends, I was able to use it soon. My goal from the begining was to turn atari into vt-100 compatible terminal, and connect it to PC. I use to be atari user, but that is few years ago, now I only want vt-100... First, I build sio2pc cable. It worked (which is pretty strange, it is really dirty hack, which assumes that PC will be able to recognize 0/+5V levels in place where -12V/+12V should be). Hack with MAX232 would be much cleaner solution (not tested, harder to assemble, more expensive). Well, enough of hardware part.

And now software. I was able to test my interface with Nick Kennedy's sio2pc software 4.13 (sorry for repackaging, I could not find original archive). Nice software, but dos only. Then I looked at some docs (thanks to Craig Lisowski) and started writing my own sio2pc-like software (femul). Good message is, that it works for me. There are much more bad messages, however. It is single density (90K) disks - only, read - only, and depends on fact that it is the only one hooked to atari.

It looks like Preston Crow done new version of femul - I did not even see it but it is at

At this point, atari was able to boot from Elf (which is linux PC). Last thing I needed was to start some terminal emulation. I tried to use ice-t, but it did not work. 80-column mode got two good lines, all other were unreadable. I tried bobterm, and it works great. It has only vt-52 emulation, which is not-too good, and I would like 80-columns, but... At least it works. When RVERTER.COM is loaded, followed by BOBTERM.COM, atari gets turned into vt52 terminal, so you can start ordinaly getty for it. Well, you need to exit femul first - I accomplished this by making femul terminate when it sees string ABRAK - so all you have is to have script which calls femul and then getty.

Local resources:

Copy needed files, compile femul by gcc femul.c -o femul and launch something like

PATH/femul PATH/bobterm.atr
strace /sbin/agetty ttyS0 19200 -f /etc/issue.short
, where strace is hardly needed due to linux init braindamage.

Bobterm is not ideal, and I'm looking for something better. I would like: 80 column mode, CTRL-A to send ctrl-a, possibility to remap keyboard to PC-like, meta keys. If you think that you have such terminal, please let me know.

I hope that this text & files were helpfull to someone trying to use atari with linux... I probably made some errors, so please let me know. Femul hardly needs new features, if you add some let me know.


Following pages are webcopy-ed from Craig Lisowski's pages. Contents is modified so it looks better, others are not. Do not expect "Up", "Next", "Prev" references to work properly (you'll probably get on Craig's pages when using them).

Technical description (contents): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, A, B, C.

1200xlclr, 1200xlpbi, 130xe1088K, 130xe320K, 130xe576K, 5200info, 600xl64Ka, 600xl64Kb, 600xlmon, 800_256K, 800xl256K, 800xl512K, atrpref, controller, dualos, fakecart, freezer, ide8bit, intspeaker, joymisc, movies, newell_130xe, nirpal, pokey, ram_led, rvert, sio2pc-1489.

Pavel Machek