Converting nbz to d64 on Mac

The very specific title of this post should lure Mac users here, that have read about the C64 preservation project releasing tons of C64 disk images and downloaded the stuff just to see, that most of the images are in the nbz format, which seems to be a compressed version of the raw conversion format from the old 1541 II-disk drive.

Converting this nbz images to the rather common d64 format, which can be read by emulators like Vice or VirtualC64, seems to be only possible by using the „nibtools“ by the guys at the C64 preservation project. That’s a bunch of scripts based on the opencbm-project, that can read/write from/to a 1541 II-drive and convert different image formats. Specifically you need „nibconv“ from that package.

Lallafa talked about fetching nibtools using MacPorts over at his blog. However, I don’t like MacPorts. I’m a homebrew user. Homebrew, however, doesn’t seem to have nibtools available and judging by their release policy, they will never have, because it’s a real small, unmaintained bunch of scripts.

However, compiling it isn’t really hard. Read on:

  • Install opencmb and cc65 using homebrew:
    brew install opencbm cc65
  • Checkout nibtools from their svn repository:
    svn co

    (You’ll have to accept their self signed certificate there)

  • The file bitshifter.c is not quite working for our environment, but I’ve made a patch for this: Download this gist and run:
    cd <checkout directory> && cat <Download directory>/bitshifter.patch | patch
  • Compile the tools:
    make -f GNU/Makefile CBM_LNX_PATH=/usr/local/Cellar/opencbm/ SVN=trunk linux

    (You might have to adjust the opencbm-path there)

And you’re through. The compilation should run fine and afterwards you can use nibconv in the checkout directory.

Have fun with your new load of retro games.


  • motoapk I love it

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog post. Keep writing.

  • David

    Your „very specific title“ worked great and helped me get nibtools installed on my mac. Thank you !
    One note: Your patch file no longer seems to apply to the current version of bitshifter.c
    Can you confirm if a patch (of any kind) is still required?
    Is there something I should look out for to help know if bitshifter is NOT working as it should?
    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

    • Dennis

      Thanks. Sorry, I can’t confirm as I’m not up to date with the developings around nibtools. However, if everything compiles just fine without the patch, you’re ready to go. Just try it and maybe leave a comment here afterwards. 🙂

  • David

    Re „Is the patch still required?“

    Nibtools compiled fine and I was able to use nibconv and nibscan to confirm that my originals of Zak McKracken were in fine working order and matched those from the C64 Preservation Project archive (yay!)

    So I’d say it appears to be working fine without the patch now.

    Thanks again !

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