How To: Compile and Use the Dolphin Gamecube/Wii Emulator in Linux

It’s really easy to get this emulator up and working – but you do have to compile it yourself in linux – still, it’s only a couple of commands and you’re set. I did it on Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit and it worked like a charm…

Update (04/07/2011): Easiest way yet – simply add the PPA and get it (for Ubuntu 10.10 & 11.04 32/64 bit only) like this:

Update (Older than above): I found that you can download pre-compiled .deb files for Ubuntu 9.10 here (PPA addition required) – be careful with that sudo apt-get upgrade command in the instructions though – I don’t really think you need it and you probably don’t want to upgrade your entire linux distribution just to play an emulator… I’m confusing sudo apt-get upgrade (which upgrades currently installed packages) with sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (which updates your linux distribution if there is a newer version available) – my bad.

Either way, I’d recommend you just compile it yourself – it only takes a couple of minutes.

Update – Nov 2011: Like anything published, it ages and what might have been correct at the time of writing may no longer be the case – so with that in mind, if you’re going to build your own copy of Dolphin, you’re probably best off going to and using the instructions there.

Issues: If you’re getting errors along the line of Looking for lib Cg… no. Plugin_VideoOGL must have cg and cggl to be build, then the fix is to install the nvidia-cg-toolkit package with:

With all that done, it takes around five minutes to compile and build, then you can go to the Binary folder inside your source-code download location to find the executable and launch it. Once it’s up and running just go File | Open and point it at an Wii or Gamecube ISO and you’re in business!

Dolphin Gamecube/Wii Emulator

By default you get a gamecube controller bound to the keyboard (Enter = Start button, x = A button, cursor keys up/down/left/right) and an emulated Wiimote is bound to the mouse (where the left mouse button is the A button), but you can use joysticks, real Wiimotes etc as well without too much fuss. Fantastic stuff :)

If you’re having any issues, just read more about linux confix/setup/dependencies here, while the main Dolphin wiki lives here.