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xa is a high-speed, two-pass portable cross-assembler for the 6502 CPU with a C-like preprocessor. One of several popular 65xx assemblers, xa is written in C and released under the GPL-2. It has been in continuous development since 1989.

Other tools in the xa package are:

  • file65 — a tool for printing information about o65 object files.
  • ldo65 — a linker for o65 object files.
  • printcbm — a simple CBM BASIC detokenizer similar to the far more powerful petcat proviced by VICE.
  • reloc65 — a relocator for o65 object files.
  • uncpk — a c64 cpk archive manager.

While xa does not currently have a dissassembler as part of its suite, dxa is currently under development separately and will be merged into xa once it becomes stable.



root #emerge --ask dev-embedded/xa



user $xa --help
Usage: xa [options] file
Cross-assembler for 65xx/R65C02/65816

 -v           verbose output
 -C           no CMOS-opcodes
 -W           no 65816-opcodes (default)
 -w           allow 65816-opcodes
 -B           show lines with block open/close
 -c           produce `o65' object instead of executable files (i.e. don't link)
 -o filename  sets output filename, default is `a.o65'
                A filename of `-' sets stdout as output file
 -e filename  sets errorlog filename, default is none
 -l filename  sets labellist filename, default is none
 -r           adds crossreference list to labellist (if `-l' given)
 -M           allow ``:'' to appear in comments for MASM compatibility
 -R           start assembler in relocating mode
 -Llabel      defines `label' as absolute, undefined label even when linking
 -b? addr     set segment base address to integer value addr
                `?' stands for t(ext), d(ata), b(ss) and z(ero) segment
                (address can be given more than once, last one is used)
 -A addr      make text segment start at an address that when the _file_
                starts at addr, relocation is not necessary. Overrides -bt
                Other segments must be specified with `-b?'
 -G           suppress list of exported globals
 -p?          set preprocessor character to ?, default is #
 -DDEF=TEXT   defines a preprocessor replacement
 -Ocharset    set output charset (PETSCII, ASCII, etc.), case-sensitive
 -Idir        add directory `dir' to include path (before XAINPUT)
  --version   output version information and exit
  --help      display this help and exit
== These options are deprecated and will be removed in 2.4+! ==
 -x           old filename behaviour (overrides `-o', `-e', `-l')
 -S           allow preprocessor substitution within strings



root #emerge --ask --depclean --verbose dev-embedded/xa

See also

  • VICE — the VersatIle Commodore Emulator for Commodore computers of the 8-bit era

External resources

  • cc65 — a powerful C cross compiler targeting most known 65xx-based computers.
  • 64tass — an expressive 6502 assembler with a TASM-like syntax.
  • Codebase64 — a wiki devoted to C64 development.
  • C64 Wiki — a wiki devoted the Commodore 64 more generally.