Relive the Good Old Days: How to Play Old School Arcade Games in Terminal on your Mac OS X

Are you feeling nostalgic and want to revisit the games you used to play as a child? Did you know that you can play old school arcade games on your Mac OS X using Terminal? Yes, you read it right! In this article, we will explore how you can play your favorite arcade games and relive those precious memories.

What is Terminal?

Before we dive into the details of playing old school arcade games on your Mac, it is essential to understand what Terminal is. Terminal is a command-line interface that makes it possible to access your computer’s underlying operating system. You can execute various commands using Terminal, which can help you perform different tasks on your computer.

How to Play Old School Arcade Games in Terminal

Playing old school arcade games in Terminal is simple and easy. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Install Homebrew

Homebrew is a package manager for macOS, which makes it easier to install software packages. To install Homebrew, open Terminal and paste the following command:

/usr/bin/ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL”

Step 2: Install MAME

MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is a software that emulates old arcade games. To install MAME using Homebrew, enter the following command in Terminal:

brew install sdl2
brew install sdl2_mixer
brew install mame

Step 3: Download ROMs

After installing MAME, it’s now time to download ROMs (Read Only Memory) of your favorite arcade games. ROMs are copies of the game’s data stored on cartridges. You can download ROMs from various websites, but it’s essential to ensure they are legal and not copyrighted.

Step 4: Launch MAME

Once you have downloaded the ROMs, it’s time to launch MAME. To launch MAME, open Terminal and enter the following command:


This will launch the MAME emulator, and you can now start playing your favorite arcade games.

Concluding Thoughts

Playing old school arcade games in Terminal on your Mac is an excellent way to relive those childhood memories. It’s incredible to see your favorite arcade games come to life on your computer. We hope this guide helps you install MAME on your Mac and download ROMs safely.


Can I get in trouble for downloading ROMs?

Technically, downloading ROMs of copyrighted games is illegal. However, many websites offer ROMs of games that are no longer in production or have become abandoned. These games are considered abandonware and are legal to download. It’s essential to ensure you do not download copyrighted ROMs as it can lead to legal issues.

Can I play the games in full-screen mode?

Yes, you can play the games in full-screen mode. Pressing the F11 button while playing the game in MAME will activate fullscreen mode.

Can I use a controller to play the games?

Yes, you can use a controller to play the games. You will need to configure the controls in MAME to use your controller.

In conclusion, playing old school arcade games on your Mac OS X terminal is a fun and enjoyable way to relive your childhood memories. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can start playing your favorite arcade games in no time. Remember to download ROMs legally, and have fun!



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Peter Graham
Peter Graham
Hi there! I'm Peter, a software engineer and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the latest developments in the tech world. When I'm not coding, you can find me hiking or trying out the latest gadgets.


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