RetroPie Configuration

RetroPie Installation


Recommended Optional Prerequisites (Free options listed)

Format and Image An SD Card

  1. Format the MicroSD card as Fat32 to wipe and prep it for the RetroPie image
  2. If your card is fresh out of the box, it should be ready to go without formatting
  3. Use Win32 Disk Imager to write the RetroPie image to the card

That’s pretty much it for formatting and installing. Booting to the image in the Pi should complete the installation and bring you up to the next section, configuring your new RetroPie system.

RetroPie Initial Configuration

  1. Upon first booting into RetroPie, configure a keyboard for input. You can configure a controller later.
  2. Update RetroPie to the latest version (this will take a while):
    1. RetroPie Menu -> RETROPIE SETUP  -> Update
      1. You’ll see a dialogue stating that the latest version of the script was fetched – hit Enter for OK
      2. Hit Enter again to acknowledge the next notice
      3. You’ll be asked if you’d like to update the underlying OS packages – hit Enter for Yes
  3. If you are asked to login after updating, enter ‘pi‘ as the username and ‘raspberry‘ as the password. To fix this, re-set the AutoStart option:
    1. RetroPie Menu -> RETROPIE SETUP -> Configuration / tools -> autostart
    2. Select ‘Start Emulation Station at boot
  4. Disable Overscan Compensation so RetroPie displays in full screen:
    1. RetroPie Menu -> RASPI-CONFIG -> Advanced Options -> Overscan -> Select ‘No‘ to disable Overscan Compensation
    2. Finish and reboot when asked
  5. Optional – Disable Bluetooth ERTM to allow proper BT connection of a Xbox One S/X wireless controller:
    1. Hit F4 to exit out of EmulationStation into Raspbian
    2. Open the autostart.sh file for editing:
sudo nano /opt/retropie/configs/all/autostart.sh
    1. Add the following above the line ‘emulationstation #auto‘:
sudo bash -c 'echo 1 > /sys/module/bluetooth/parameters/disable_ertm'
    1. Save and exit the Nano editor:
      1. ctrl-x
      2. y
      3. Enter
    2. Type ‘reboot‘ at the CMD to reboot the system and return to EmulationStation
  1. Enable SSH (optional):
    1. Windows and MAC should be able to access the Pi via Samba by typing in \\retropie in an Explorer window, but SSH is nice to have both for transferring ROMs and connecting to the CMD line from a networked computer.
    2. RetroPie Menu -> RASPBI-CONFIG -> Interfacing Options -> P2 SSH (enable)
    3. You can now use a SFTP/SSH client to connect and transfer ROMs over your network
    4. Login using ‘pi‘ as the username and ‘raspberry‘ as the password
    5. System ROMs should be placed in their corresponding console directories under /RetroPie/roms/[console name]
    6. Restart EmulationStation to load newly added ROMs

Hide The Raspberry Pi Boot Text

  1. Exit from EmulationStation to the CMD by hitting F4
  2. Open and edit the boot cmdline file:
    1. sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt
    2. Change ‘console-tty1‘ to ‘console=tty3
    3. Add ‘loglevel=3‘ after the above tty entry
    4. Add ‘logo.nologo‘ to the end of the line
    5. Save and exit the Nano editor:
      1. ctrl-x
      2. y
      3. Enter
  3. Open and edit the boot config file:
    1. sudo nano /boot/config.txt
    2. Add ‘disable_splash=1‘ to the end of the file
    3. Save and exit the Nano editor:
      1. ctrl-x
      2. y
      3. Enter

Optional Scraper – Scrape All ROMs At Once

If you copy many ROMs at once and don’t feel like manually scraping them one by one via the GUI scraper, install the optional Scraper.

  1. In the start menu go to Quit and Exit EmulationStation.
  2. At the CMD, type ‘sudo RetroPie-Setup/retropie_setup.sh‘ and hit Enter
  3. Install the optional scraper from Steven Selph which allows scraping all ROMs in one fell swoop:
    1. Manage Packages -> Manage Optional Packages -> Scraper (install and update)
  4. Once installed, choose Configuration / Options -> Scrape all systems
  5. Once complete, ‘Cancel‘ out of the RetroPie setup utility back to the CMD
  6. At the CMD, type ‘emulationstation‘ and hit Enter
  7. You should see that all your ROMs are now scraped

Connect Xbox One S/X Bluetooth Wireless Controller

  1. RetroPie Menu -> BLUETOOTH -> Register and Connect to Bluetooth Device -> Connect xbox controller
  2. This will begin scanning for available devices, so make sure you have your controller in pairing mode.
  3. If this fails, go into ‘Remove Bluetooth Device‘ and remove the controller entry, then retry registration.

Xbox One S/X Controller Right Trigger Config Issue

If you have trouble configuring the right trigger button on the Xbox One controller, continue on to finish the remainder of the key config, then use up on the D-Pad to return to the config line and assign it. You might have to change the left trigger to something else temporarily, assign right trigger, then re-assign left trigger.

Neo-Geo Roms

In order to run Neo-Geo games, aside from the ROMs you will need the neogeo.zip BIOS file. Put this file in the same directory where your Neo-Geo ROMS. This BIOS file is not impossible to find, but it takes some digging. It also must match the ROM set version.

Create a Backup Image

Don’t let all the time you spent bringing up your system go to waste. Create a backup image of your finalized system. You can easily restore it in the future or share it with friends.

  1. Mount your MicroSD card in Windows
  2. Open Win32 Disk Imager
  3. Make sure the SD card is selected and not another USB drive
  4. Click the folder icon and navigate to a location with at least the capacity of the MicroSD card size
  5. Type a name for your backup image and click Save
  6. Click the Read button to begin creating your image
  7. This will take quite a while, but once complete you’ll have an IMG file that can be easily restored to any same or larger sized MicroSD card
  8. To restore, simply browse to select the image, choose your foramated SD card and click the Write button.

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


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


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.


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.