1. Download the x48-0.4.0.tar.gz and unpack it.
  2. x48 is an old program but it works fault free also on new Linux systems. You need however to patch the file timer.c and add the line "#include <time.h>":
    --- timer.c.orig
    +++ timer.c
    @@ -44,6 +44,7 @@
     #include <stdio.h>
     #include <unistd.h>
     #include <sys/time.h>
    +#include <time.h>
     #include "timer.h"
     #include "debugger.h"
  3. After that compile (xmkmf and make)
  4. I got some errors that it could note generate man-pages. This is however normal since there is no man-page for the x48. At the point where you get this error the compilation is already done.
  5. Now unpack one of the ROM images in your home directory: x48-gxrom-r.tar.gz (for hp48gx) or x48-sxrom-e.tar.gz (for hp48gx). This creates a .hp48 directory with the rom inside. Alternatively you could also download the pure rom images ( or and follow the instructions in the README from the x48-0.4.0.tar.gz package. The pure rom images will not create the .hp48 directory.

    Note that the rom images are copyright HP. HP does however since they have stopped the production allow the download of those images.
  6. After installation of the rom images you can just start the hp48 emulator (the file x48 in the bin directory).


The best is of course if you have already a HP48 and you just use this emulator to have it also available on the PC. In this case you will have already the handbooks from HP. The emulator runs the original software and has therefore the exact same functions as the real HP. Eric Rechlin from has scanned in a HP48G handbook:

HP48GSeriesUserGuide.pdf (18556 Kb, ~1 hour download over modem)

Hp-museum ( offers also CDs with scanned in manuals for the HP48 and other HP calculators.


Personally I find my real HP48 much more convenient to use than the emulator. The reason is that the keyboard mapping on the emulator is strange. You have to basically use the mouse all the time.