RPi


RetroPie Configuration

RetroPieLogo

I’ll document the configuration for my RetroPie use case. Once RP is running, these are the things I change to satisfy my needs.

Setup a keyboard

Upon initial boot of RetroPie, you’ll need to configure an input device. I recommend configuring a keyboard first and then a controller. A keyboard can be valuable for deep configuration in the CLI menu.

  1. Hold down a key on the keyboard to open the Configuration screen.
  2. For a keyboard, all you need are the arrow keys, Start, Select, A, and B.
  3. Hold down any key for 2 or 3 seconds to skip past all other input items.

Update RetroPie

  1. Boot into RetroPie, go to the RetroPie menu and select ‘RETROPIE SETUP‘.
    1. You can accomplish the same thing by exiting RetroPie via the Quit menu option to the CLI and running these commands:
      1. cd RetroPie-Setup
      2. sudo ./retropie_setup.sh
  2. Choose ‘Update All Installed Packages‘ to update RetroPie to the latest version.

Add a bluetooth controller

  1. This is done through RetroPie_Setup.sh.
  2. Select ‘Configuration / Tools‘.
  3. Select ‘bluetooth – Configure Bluetooth Devices‘.
  4. Select ‘Register and Connect to Bluetooth Device‘.
  5. Select your device and accept it. I am using the 8bitdo SNES30 controller and it paired up easily. I set the ‘8bitdo mapping hack’ option to OFF since my firmware is up to date.
  6. You can find a great updated guide for RetroPie v.4 and the 8bitdo controller here which is more in depth than mine. The steps should apply to any Bluetooth controller.

Set video_smooth to TRUE

  1. From within RetroPie, enter the RetroPie menu and select ‘CONFIGURATION EDITOR‘.
  2. Choose option 1 – ‘Configure basic libretro emulator options‘.
  3. Choose option 0 – ‘Configure default options for all libretro emulators‘.
  4. Choose option 0 – ‘Video Smoothing (false)‘.
  5. Set the value to ‘0 true‘.

ROMs

  • The path for ROMs is /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/
  • Each console emulator should have a directory here, e.g., snes, mastersystem, pcengine, nes, etc.
  • By default, RetroPie enables SMB, so you can easily connect over the network via Windows Exploder.
  • SSH and SFTP are available as options.
  • A USB stick is another option to transport ROMs.
  • You must restart EmulationStation after adding ROMs. This is quickly accomplished by hitting Start and selecting Quit -> Restart EmulationStation. No need to completely reboot the system.

NeoGeo Roms

In order to run NeoGeo games, aside from the ROMs you will need the neogeo.zip BIOS file. Put this file in the same directory where your NeoGeo ROMS reside, i.e., /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/neogeo. This BIOS file is not impossible to find, but it takes some digging.


Raspberry Pi 3 Official Black Case

Official Pi 3 Case Black

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has a few official accessories. I purchased the official Pi 2 case for my Pi 3. At the time they had not released a case for the Pi 3. The only real difference in the cases is the location of the LED ports – the Pi 2 has its power and status LED’s on the left side, the Pi 3 on the right. There are other, more exciting and innovative cases out there, but the official case is much cheaper and is of very high quality.

The case is very modular. You have the option to use or not either of the side covers. If you’re going to be using a GPIO device, the case will allow it via an optional side panel next to the GPIO pins. You also have the option of two lids; one is a partially open view port to accommodate a touch screen, the other a full cover which fits over the partial lid with the Pi logo engraved.

The entire case is tool-less. It is dirt simple to assemble and disassemble. The Pi itself snaps safely and securely into the base. All port openings are perfectly positioned and clearly labeled. The package comes with four clear rubber feet which adhere to indentations on the bottom of the base to keep the unit from sliding around on surfaces.

The latest official case is black! This is very welcome as I think most modders would prefer black to the original white and red any day.


Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry_Pi_3_Model_B

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just sold it’s 10 millionth unit since having begun the manufacture of their original Raspberry Pi device four and a half years ago. Their original, wildly optimistic plan to reach 10,000 units at most was far surpassed soon after they shipped the first units.

The tiny computers were originally planned and designed around education – a small, affordable, easy to use computer to get children interested in technology and subsequently more deeply involved in school. Little did they know that all children, from pre-teens to old farts like me, would be attracted to its promise of a tiny world of infinite fun.

Right now I’ve got a Pi 3 dual booting OSMC and RetroPie on a 32GB micro SD card. The uses for the Pi are not yet infinite, but there are many open source projects, so many that you would need a good deal of free time to tackle them all. If you’re a part time hacker like me, you owe it to yourself to pay the $35 for a Pi and begin having fun. Hint: MicroCenter sometimes has them on sale for $29.99. 🙂

If you’re interested in the differences between the two “versions” of Raspberry Pi, below are both distributors’ boxes – RS Components/Allied Electronics and Premier Farnell/Element14. These are the two official distributors of the Pi devices. The more noticeable difference I’ve been able to surmise is that each distributor has their own box art. The other visual anomaly is on the board itself. The Alliance Technologies board reads ‘Made in UK‘ and the Element 14 reads ‘Made in PRC‘.


Dual Boot OSMC And RetroPie With BerryBoot

osmc-retropie-logo

Both BerryBoot and NOOBS are nice for dual booting a Raspberry Pi, but neither provides both of the OS options I want; OSMC and RetroPie. However, you can use BerryBoot and 2 separate OS IMG files to create a dual boot environment with OSMC and RetroPie. To accomplish this you’ll need the latest BerryBoot image along with the OSMC and RetroPie BerryBoot images. Thanks to alexgoldcheidt for the OSMC image!

This dual boot method is capable of being updated unlike other solutions I’ve found.

Prerequisites

Format your SD card (16GB and up is recommended)

  1. Run SDFormatter and verify the correct drive is selected.
  2. Click on Options and set the FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT option to ON.
  3. Format the card and you’re done – ready to copy over the BerryBoot image files.
    1. sdformatter
  4. Move on to creating your dual boot image.

If you’re in Windows and SDFormatter does not recoup the full card capacity, use RUFUS instead.

    1. Download Rufus
      1. I use the portable version – no installation required
    2. Run Rufus and it should immediately detect your SD card.
      1. Make sure you choose the correct drive!
    3. Set the options as below:
      1. rufus_format

Create a dual boot image

  1. Extract the BerryBoot image using 7-Zip or equivalent, then copy the files to your SD card and plug it into the Pi.
  2. Copy the OSMC and RetroPie images to a USB stick and plug it into the Pi. Do not extract these IMG files.
  3. Power up and boot the Pi.
  4. Cancel out of the initial BerryBoot Add OS window and allow it to reboot to the BerryBoot Menu Editor.
  5. Click and hold the ‘ADD OS‘ button and choose ‘Copy OS from USB stick‘.
  6. Choose one of the images to install, wait for the installation to complete, then install the other.
    1. Note that you could install RetroPie from within BerryBoot, but having the latest versions of the OSes on hand is much quicker. The official BerryBoot RetroPie image is much older – v.3.6 vs v.4.0.2.
    2. BerryBoot otherwise needs to download the installation files for the OSes which takes a while.
  7. Set one of the OSes as default.
  8. Reboot and you’re done.

That’s it! Finally, an easy, dual boot Pi solution for OSMC and RetroPie via BerryBoot. I’ve updated both OSes on my image to the latest and greatest versions with no issues. I’ve restored an OSMC backup from another image to this one and it was successful.