How to Install & Use openCBM on MacOS

How to Install & Use openCBM on MacOS

  • Posted by DIY Chris
  • On May 25, 2020
  • c128, c16, c64, commodore 64, opencbm, OpenCBM mac, plus/4, xu1541, xu1541 mac, xum1541

So you want to install OpenCBM and you need a little nudge in the right direction? Well you’re in the right place. This guide is for installing OpenCBM on Mac OS. We’ll start off by going over the Mac OS install and we’ll end with a quick usage tutorial to go over the most basic commands to get you up and running.

Installation on MacOS

Here’s a video if you’d rather watch that:

The Mac OS installation is simple and straight forward, we’ll need to start by first installing HomeBrew if you don’t have that installed already. If you do, you can skip this step.

To install HomeBrew:

  1. Launch the Terminal App by Pressing CMD + Space to bring up spotlight and searching for Terminal
  2. In the terminal window type the following:
    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"


  3. Press Enter
  4. You’ll be prompted for a password, enter your password and press enter.
  5. The installation can take some time based on what you already have installed on your system.
  6. Wait for the install to finish.

To install OpenCBM:

  1. If you haven’t already, launch the Terminal App
  2. Type the following command
    brew install opencbm


  3. The package manager downloads opencbm along with all dependencies
  4. Wait for the installation to complete

Configure OpenCBM for use with the XU1541 device:

  1. If you haven’t already, launch the Terminal App
  2. Type the following command
    nano /usr/local/Cellar/opencbm/


  3. Edit the file to change the following:

    change to



  4. Now save the file by pressing CTRL + O
  5. Exit nano by pressing CTRL + X

Congrats, you now have OpenCBM installed and configured for the XU1541 device on Mac OS, scroll to the bottom of the guide to learn more about how to use OpenCBM.

Basic Usage

So you’ve got OpenCBM installed, great, now what?

If you followed the installation instructions and didn’t happen to experience any issues, you should be able to run the following:

cbmctrl detect

If you have the XU1541 device plugged in and your Commodore drive connected then the result of this command should tell you what kind of drive is connected and on which channel it is. Most drives are set to a default of 8.

Awesome, now what? what can I do with the XU1541 and OpenCBM.

Let’s not waste anymore time, we all know why we’re here. We want to either copy floppy disks to D64 images on our computer or we want to download D64 images form the internet and copy them to a floppy that we can then load on our Commodore 64.

How to create a D64 image from a Floppy drive to save to your computer:

d64copy -t original -d 0 8 filename.d64

How to create a Floppy from a D64 image:

//- If your floppy hasn't been formatted then you need to format it before you can copy a D64 image to it
cbmformat 8 DISKNAME,42

d64copy -t original -d 0 filename.d64 8


So there you have it, pretty much the 2 commands you are going to use over and over and over again.

But just in case you’re wondering, here are some other useful commands:

//Copy the kernal ROM from the drive to your computer:
cbmctrl download 8 0x8000 0x8000 1571.bin

//Get the status of the drive:
cbmctrl status 8

//List the directory of the disk in the drive:
cbmctrl dir 8

//Detect all drives and show their ID's:
cbmctrl detect

Hopefully this guide was able to help someone! If you’re interested in the XU1541 device please checkout my shop where I sell these.


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