8086tiny is a free, open source PC XT-compatible emulator/virtual machine written in C. It is, we believe, the smallest of its kind (the fully-commented source is around 28K). Despite its size, 8086tiny provides a highly accurate 8086 CPU emulation, together with support for PC peripherals including XT-style keyboard, floppy/hard disk, clock, timers, audio, and Hercules/CGA graphics. 8086tiny is powerful enough to run software like AutoCAD, Windows 3.0, and legacy PC games: the 8086tiny distribution includes Alley Cat, the author's favorite PC game of all time.
8086tiny is highly portable and runs on practically any little endian machine, from simple 32-bit MCUs upwards. 8086tiny has successfully been deployed on 32-bit/64-bit Intel machines (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux), Nexus 4/ARM (Android), iPad 3 and iPhone 5S (iOS), and Raspberry Pi (Linux).
The philosophy of 8086tiny is to keep the code base as small as possible, and through the open source license and repository on GitHub encourage individual developers to tune and extend it as per their specific requirements, adding support, for example, for more complex instruction sets (e.g. Pentium) or peripherals (e.g. mouse). Any questions, comments or suggestions are very welcome in our forum.
An obfuscated version of 8086tiny (condensed into just 4043 bytes of C code) was a winner of the 2013 IOCCC contest. Significant interest followed for a documented, commented, maintainable version. The result is the distribution presented here.
8086tiny's feature highlights include:
8086tiny is highly portable, with minimal system requirements:
Some possible applications:
If you develop an application that makes use of 8086tiny, and would like a link to it here, please get in touch.
8086tiny is free to use for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and is made available under the MIT License.
If 8086tiny brings you joy or profit, the author welcomes modest donations as a token of appreciation.