How to Play Nintendo DS Games on Linux by Using Emulators

Here is an obvious thing. We all want to play Nintendo games on all possible devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers that run Windows, iOS, Android, or Mac operating systems. But what about Linux? It is a very desirable operating system used by millions. There is a way you can play Nintendo games here using emulators. The process is slightly different than usual, but still very simple and possible.

  1. Download and install DeSmuME

DeSmuME is an emulator that has been with us for a long period of time and it is definitely available across the distributors and across different repositories. If you use Ubuntu or Debian versions of Linux, you will need to use terminal and type:

sudo apt install desmume

Keep in mind that if you use Fedora, in that case, a scenario the emulator isn’t available in repositories. You will need to follow these steps:

  • sudodnf install$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
  • sudodnf install desmume

Once you have downloaded and installed the emulator, you are ready for the next step. We choose this emulator due to simplicity and great features gamers want to use and play with. There are other options as well.

We must add that some versions of Linux will have different processes for the installation of this emulator. However, all of them will give you the same functionality at the end, and there are no major differences.

  1. Download Nintendo DS ROMs

ROMs are games for Nintendo DS and all other consoles of the era. There is no way to mix and match the ROMs. Each one is made for one platform and each one can be used with just one type of emulator. You can either make them using the original cartridges of the games. Then you will need special software, cable and you will need plenty of time. It is a much easier way to simply download all the ROMs you need. They are available online and you can download one within 5 minutes.

When you download ROM files, you can place them in separate folders or in one main folder. Keep in consideration that each ROM file is a separate game and it is read-only. This means you cannot edit it, change its settings, or anything similar.

  1. Load and run the game

The next step is also the last step here. You can open DeSmuME which is done as any other application. You will be presented with a blank, white screen without anything on it. This is the start screen. In the upper, left corner you can see an arrow icon. This is the icon you want to press. It will open the browser and you can find the ROM file. Find the one you want to load, click on it and the game will start.

Now you will see that the emulator has the main controls displayed, but in the middle is the game. Play the game as long as you like and when you want to switch to another, click on the arrow button again or you can close and open the emulator.

The emulator allows you to save progress. Click on the file menu and to save the state. From there pick a slot and the game will be saved. After that, you can load the game whenever you like.


The entire guide here is similar to other, for other platforms and operating systems with one major difference. It is the emulator installation.  Follow the step and the directions we gave you earlier and you will get the job done within minutes. It is a very simple task once you understand the overall purpose and the mission.