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Setup a Raspberry Pi and Install Retro Pi

Posted on March 28, 2016 at 11:05 PM

The following tutorial was created in conjunction with the YouTube video found HERE. You can follow along with that video or just follow the steps below. Please not that the following guide was made for use with the CanaKit found HERE which includes a MicroSD Card preloaded with NOOBS. If you purchased your Raspberry Pi and MicroSD Card separatly, you will need to follow the guide HERE to install NOOBS. 

Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi

Plug your Raspberry Pi into a monitor, keyboard and mouse then power it on by connecting a MicroUSB Power Adaptor. Once powered on, the Pi will boot into a menu with a list of operating systems to install. Depending on the version of NOOBS you are running, this list may vary. For this guide, we will be installing the Raspien OS. Click the check box next to Raspien and click "Install" and "Yes" to confirm. This will take a while, so be patient. 

Once the install is completed, select "Finish" and "Reboot". This will reboot the Raspberry Pi and eventually present you with the Rasbien Desktop. From there, open the Terminal (Black Screen Icon) and proceed to the next step. 

Install RetroPie

Note: The following commands are case sensitive and must be entered as you see them here. Once you type in a command, het "Enter" on your keyboard to execute it. 

The following commands will install two packages nessecary to run RetroPie:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y git dialog

The following commands will download RetroPie:


git clone git://

The following commands will install RetroPie:

cd RetroPie-Setup

chmod +x

sudo ./

On the next screen, select "Binaries Based Installation". This will take quite some time, so grab a cold drink and chill out for a bit. 

Once completed, you will be presented with a series of screens to install additional files for certain emulators. Simply follow the steps on-screen or skip past this by clicking "OK". Next, select "Perform Reboot" to reboot the Raspberry Pi and you will be return back to the desktop. 

Disable Booting to Desktop

To disable booting to the desktop, open the terminal and run the following command:

sudo raspi config

This will launch a menu with setup options. Select "Boot Options" and then select "Text Console, automatically logged in a 'pi' user". Then, select "Finish" and "Reboot". 

From now on, your pi will boot to a command prompt instead of the desktop.

Adding Roms

Now, you need roms for your Pi. This can be done in many ways. You can either download them using the included web browser or copy them from a USB device like a flash drive or external hard drive. To do this, simply, start the desktop with the "startx" command. The roms will need to be copied to the following location on your Raspberry Pi:


In this folder are several different folders for the different emulators. Copy the roms to the appropriate folders. 

You can also copy roms over your local network. In order to do this, you will need to configure network sharing on your Raspberry Pi. This can ge a little tricky, so follow the guide HERE at your own risk. 

Booting to EmulationStation by Default

Once you have your roms copies and your joysticks/controllers configured in EmulationStation, its time to setup your Pi to boot into Emulation Station be default. To do this, boot to the desktop with "startx" and once there, open the terminal. Run the following command:

sudo leafpad /etc/profile

This will bring you to a text file that needs to be modified. Scroll all the way to the bottom and add the following line:

[ -n "${SSH_CONNECTION}" ] || emulationstation

Now close and save the file. Now if you reboot your Raspberry Pi, it will boot directly into Emulation Station. If you ever need to get back to the desktop or text prompt, exit Emulation Station by following the menu options. 

And thats it! You should now be up and running with RetroPie and Emulation Station. I hope that helps! If you need additional information, I will post my sources below. 

Happy Gaming!

Sources: PetRockBlog | Raspberry Pi Forums | AndyMardell

Categories: Advice

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