Dolphin - A GameCube / Wii / Triforce Emulator
Dolphin is an emulator for running GameCube, Wii, and Triforce games on Windows, Linux, OS X, and recent Android devices. It's licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2).
Please read the FAQ before using Dolphin.
- Microsoft Windows (Vista or higher).
- Apple Mac OS X (10.9 or higher).
- Unix-like systems other than Linux might work but are not officially supported.
- A CPU with SSE2 support.
- A modern CPU (3 GHz and Dual Core, not older than 2008) is highly recommended.
- A reasonably modern graphics card (Direct3D 10.0 / OpenGL 3.0).
- A graphics card that supports Direct3D 11 / OpenGL 4.4 is recommended.
Installation on Windows
Use the solution file
Source/dolphin-emu.sln to build Dolphin on Windows.
Visual Studio 2013 is a hard requirement since previous versions don't support
many C++ features that we use. Other compilers might be able to build Dolphin
on Windows but have not been tested and are not recommended to be used.
An installer can be created by using the
Installer_x64.nsi scripts in the Installer directory. This will require the
Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) to be installed. Creating an
installer is not necessary to run Dolphin since the Build directory contains
a working Dolphin distribution.
Installation on Linux and OS X
Dolphin requires CMake for systems other than Windows. Many libraries are bundled with Dolphin and used if they're not installed on your system. CMake will inform you if a bundled library is used or if you need to install any missing packages yourself.
On OS X, an application bundle will be created in
On Linux, it's strongly recommended to perform a global installation via
sudo make install.
When Dolphin has been installed with the NSIS installer, you can uninstall Dolphin like any other Windows application.
Linux users can run
cat install_manifest | xargs -d '\n' rm from the build directory
to uninstall Dolphin from their system.
OS X users can simply delete Dolphin.app to uninstall it.
Additionally, you'll want to remove the global user directory (see below to see where it's stored) if you don't plan to reinstall Dolphin.
Command Line Usage
Usage: Dolphin [-h] [-d] [-l] [-e <str>] [-b] [-V <str>] [-A <str>]
- -h, --help Show this help message
- -d, --debugger Opens the debugger
- -l, --logger Opens the logger
- -e, --exec= Loads the specified file (DOL,ELF,WAD,GCM,ISO)
- -b, --batch Exit Dolphin with emulator
- -V, --video_backend= Specify a video backend
- -A, --audio_emulation= Low level (LLE) or high level (HLE) audio
Available DSP emulation engines are HLE (High Level Emulation) and LLE (Low Level Emulation). HLE is fast but often less accurate while LLE is slow but close to perfect. Note that LLE has two submodes (Interpreter and Recompiler), which cannot be selected from the command line.
Available video backends are "D3D" (only available on Windows) and "OGL". There's also "Software Renderer", which uses the CPU for rendering and is intended for debugging purposes only.
totaldb.dsy: Database of symbols (for devs only)
GC/font_ansi.bin: font dumps
GC/font_sjis.bin: font dumps
GC/dsp_coef.bin: DSP dumps
GC/dsp_rom.bin: DSP dumps
The DSP dumps included with Dolphin have been written from scratch and do not contain any copyrighted material. They should work for most purposes, however some games implement copy protection by checksumming the dumps. You will need to dump the DSP files from a console and replace the default dumps if you want to fix those issues.
These folders are installed read-only and should not be changed:
GameSettings: per-game default settings database
GC: DSP and font dumps
Maps: symbol tables (dev only)
Shaders: post-processing shaders
Themes: icon themes for GUI
Resources: icons that are theme-agnostic
Wii: default Wii NAND contents
User Folder Structure
A number of user writeable directories are created for caching purposes or for
allowing the user to edit their contents. On OS X and Linux these folders are
~/Library/Application Support/Dolphin/ and
respectively. On Windows the user directory is stored in the
folder by default, but there are various way to override this behavior:
- Creating a file called
portable.txtnext to the Dolphin executable will store the user directory in a local directory called "User" next to the Dolphin executable.
- If the registry string value
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Dolphin Emulatorand has the value 1, Dolphin will always start in portable mode.
- If the registry string value
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Dolphin Emulator, the user folders will be stored in the directory given by that string. The other two methods will be prioritized over this setting.
List of user folders:
Cache: used to cache the ISO list
Config: configuration files
Dump: anything dumped from Dolphin
GameConfig: additional settings to be applied per-game
GC: memory cards and system BIOS
Load: custom textures
Logs: logs, if enabled
ScreenShots: screenshots taken via Dolphin
StateSaves: save states
Wii: Wii NAND contents
Custom textures have to be placed in the user directory under
Load/Textures/[GameID]/. You can find the Game ID by right-clicking a game
in the ISO list and selecting "ISO Properties".