SDL-Specific Commandline Options

This section contains configuration options that are specific to any build supported by SDL (including Windows where compiled as SDL instead of native).

Performance Options


Enable output of benchmark data on the SDL video subsystem, including your system’s video driver, X server (if applicable), and OpenGL stack in -video opengl mode.

Video Options


Center horizontally within the view area. Default is ON (-centerh).


Center vertically within the view area. Default is ON (-centerv).

Video Soft-Specific Options


Scale mode: none, async, yv12, yuy2, yv12x2, yuy2x2 (-video soft only). Default is ‘none‘.

Video OpenGL Debugging Options

These 4 options are for compatibility in -video opengl. If you report rendering artifacts you may be asked to try messing with them by the devs, but normally they should be left at their defaults which results in the best possible video performance.


Always use only power-of-2 sized textures (default off)


Don’t use OpenGL GL_ARB_texture_rectangle (default on)


Enable OpenGL VBO, if available (default on)


Enable OpenGL PBO, if available (default on)

Video OpenGL GLSL Options


Enable OpenGL GLSL, if available (default off)


Enable OpenGL GLSL filtering instead of FF filtering – 0-plain, 1-bilinear (default is 1)


Custom OpenGL GLSL shader set MAME bitmap in the provided slot (0-9); one can be applied to each slot.

[todo: better details on usage at some point. See ]


Custom OpenGL GLSL shader screen bitmap in the provided slot (0-9).

[todo: better details on usage at some point. See ]


Enable OpenGL GLSL handling of brightness and contrast. Better RGB game performance. Default is on.

SDL Keyboard Mapping


Enable keymap. Default is OFF (-nokeymap)

-keymap_file <file>

Keymap Filename. Default is ‘keymap.dat‘.

SDL Joystick Mapping

-joy_idx1 <name>
-joy_idx2 <name>
-joy_idx8 <name>

Name of joystick mapped to a given joystick slot, default is auto.


Use special handling for PS3 SixAxis controllers. Default is OFF (-nosixaxis)

SDL Low-level Driver Options ~—————————

-videodriver <driver>

SDL video driver to use (‘x11’, ‘directfb’, ... or ‘auto‘ for SDL default)

-audiodriver <driver>

SDL audio driver to use (‘alsa’, ‘arts’, ... or ‘auto‘ for SDL default)

-gl_lib <driver>

Alternative to use; ‘auto‘ for system default