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dgen - Man Page

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive emulator


dgen[-Pfhmv] [-R (J|U|E)] [-H HZ] [-D DEMONAME] [-d DEMONAME] [-n USEC] [-p CODE,CODE...] [-r RCFILE] [-X XFACT] [-Y YFACT] [-S FACT] [-g (0|1)] [-G XxY] [-s SLOT] [romname [...]]


The ROM image in the file romname is executed, as emulated on a Sega Genesis or Mega Drive running in 60Hz NTSC mode (unless the -P option is specified, in which case 50Hz PAL mode is used). romname should be in raw binary or SMD format, and may be compressed with gzip(1), zip(1), or bzip2(1).

When romname isn't specified, DGen starts without a ROM. It can be loaded later from the prompt. When more than a single romname is specified, they are executed sequentially.

The options are as follows:


Use a custom frame rate, can be used to accelerate or slow down emulation.


Emulate 50Hz PAL mode (as used in European models of the Mega Drive).

-R (J|U|E)

Emulator region. Without this option, DGen uses the first region mentioned in the ROM header. It should be combined with -P for PAL mode. See below.


Autodetect (NTSC, 60Hz)


Autodetect (PAL, 50Hz)

-R J

Japan (NTSC, 60Hz)

-R J -P

Japan (PAL, 50Hz)

-R E

Europe (NTSC, 60Hz, music will certainly play too fast)

-R E -P

Europe (PAL, 50Hz)

-R U

America (NTSC, 60Hz)

-R U -P

Same as -R E -P


Run fullscreen, if possible.


Show a brief synopsis of all options.


MinGW only. This option prevents DGen from detaching from its control console.


Show the version number, and exit.


Play back a demo recorded with the -d option.


Record a demo of the program running, which can be later replayed with the -D switch.


Sleep for a number of microseconds after every frame, to give time to other processes.


Modify the ROM image in memory, using Game Genie or Hex style codes. Game Genie codes are of the form ABCD-EFGH and Hex codes are in the form 123456:ABCD. To specify more than one code, separate them with commas (do not use spaces).


Parse another rc file after $HOME/.dgen/dgenrc. Values in the specified file override those in the preceding files.


Scale the window XFACT times in the X direction. XFACT must be a positive integer.


Scale the window YFACT times in the Y direction. YFACT must be a positive integer.


Scale the window FACT times in both directions. FACT must be a positive integer.

-g (0|1)

Enable/disable OpenGL (if compiled-in).

-G XxY

Desired window size (e.g. 640x480, 800x600, etc.)


Load the saved state from the given slot at startup (0-9)

Interactive Prompt

A minimalist interactive prompt inspired from vi(1) can be used to perform various operations described below. It is triggered by pressing colon (:), the default key. Command-line editing, history and completion are supported.


{quit, exit, q}

Quit, or load the next romname from command-line, if any.

{load, open, plug, o} filename

Load a given ROM filename.

{unload, close, unplug}

Unload the current ROM.

config_load filename

Load configuration from file filename.

config_save filename

Save current configuration to file filename.


Genesis reset.

{ctv_push, ctv_pop, ctv_none}

Manage the stack of Crap TV filters (if compiled-in).

calibrate number

Interactive calibration of the specified gamepad (1 or 2). If number isn't specified, default to 1.

unbind binding [...]

Remove specified bindings (variables prefixed with "bind_"). See dgenrc(5) for more information about them.

vgmdump start filename
vgmdump stop

Manages VGM dumping/logging. If the second argument is start VGM dumping will be started at the path specified by the third argument. If the second argument is stop VGM dumping will be stopped and the dump finalized.


All configuration variables from dgenrc(5) can be displayed and modified interactively, with immediate effect.

{int_name, bool_name, key_name, joy_name, ...} {value}

Affect value to variable name.

{int_name, bool_name, key_name, joy_name, ...}

Display current value for variable name.



Contains user settings for the emulator.


Generated file containing saved user settings.


Save states generated by the emulator.


Battery-backup RAM images, generated by the emulator for ROMs with save RAM.


Screenshots are generated there.


ROMs default search path.


Demos default search path.

See Also

gzip(1), bzip2(1), zip(1), dgenrc(5)


This manual page was written by Joe Groff ⟨joe@pknet.com⟩.
Updated by zamaz ⟨zamaz@users.sourceforge.net⟩.


There are known emulation bugs, see BUGS in DGen source package.

Report bugs to ⟨http://sourceforge.net/projects/dgen/⟩.

Referenced By

dgenrc(5), dgen_tobin(1).

July 26, 2014