Installing the RetroPie emulator
It’s not as difficult as you might think to run retro software through an emulator.
Right, so you’ve managed to get your Pi safely ensconced in a controller and all wired up; all you need now are some videogames to play. For this section of the tutorial we’re going to be using the RetroPie emulator. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to play a number of games directly from your Raspberry Pi, provided that you legally own the ROM files, of course.
The whole process is as easy as installing the software onto your SD card and then copying across any games that you want to play. If you’ve already got Raspian installed on your Pi, you can install RetroPie alongside it, or you can dedicate the whole disk to the software if you’d rather.
INSTALL RETROPIE INSIDE RASPBIAN
If you’ve already started using your Pi and want to add RetroPie to it, you’ll need to install the software from GitHub. The latest instructions can be found at github.com/RetroPie/ RetroPie-Setup.
Open up a terminal on your Pi (for example, by SSHing into it from another machine, or by logging in directly to the Pi). Update your repositories and make sure the latest version of the Git software is installed: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo apt-get install git Download the latest version of the RetroPie setup script:
git clone --depth=1 https:// github.com/RetroPie/RetroPieSetup.git
If you’re security-conscious, it’s a good idea to check what the script does before running it. Once you’re ready, you can install it by changing into the correct directory and executing the script: cd RetroPie-Setup sudo ./retropie_ setup.sh
The script will take several minutes to run, depending on your internet speed. It may also ask you for permission to install extra software that is needed – you should allow this. Once fully installed, you will need to reboot your Pi: sudo reboot
RetroPie can now be run by typing emulationstation. We’ll come on to configuring your setup in just a moment.
INSTALL RETROPIE ONTO A BLANK SD CARD
If you want your Raspberry Pi Zero to be used solely as a RetroPie machine, this is the choice for you. Be warned: it will completely wipe a microSD card, so if you’ve got a used one, make sure you back up any important data before starting.
Download the latest version of the software from blog.petrockblock. com/retropie/retropie-downloads. Make sure you download the correct SD card image for your machine — the image for the Raspberry Pi 2 is not compatible with the Raspberry Pi Zero. Download the Standard version (not the BerryBoot version). The download is an 800MB .gz file. Unzip it and extract the .img file, which will be around 2.6GB.
You’ll now need to write this image file onto your microSD card. This is done in the same way that you would install a normal Raspberry Pi image onto a card. There are slightly different instructions for Linux, Mac and Windows.
Use the Disk Manager to select the image file and the microSD card. Follow the on-screen instructions until the image has been fully written to the card.
Download the ApplePi Baker from www.tweaking4all.com/ hardware/raspberry-pi/macosxapple-pi-baker. Once you have it installed, you can select the image file and the microSD card. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Download the Win32 DiskImager from sourceforge. net/projects/win32diskimager. Once installed, select the image file and the microSD card. Follow the instructions until the image has been written to the card.
Right, you’re almost ready to play. Put the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi Zero, hook up the controller USB cable and the HDMI cable. Finally, plug the Pi into the power. It should boot up automatically and, after a few seconds, you’ll be greeted with a configuration screen.
RetroPie should automatically detect any connected USB game pads and step you through setting up the buttons. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be presented with a screen showing all the choices you made.
SET UP THE DISK
Before we get to playing any games, we need to make sure that RetroPie is able to use all the space on the microSD card. This will allow you to store ROMs and save your games. Select ‘RetroPie’ from the menu. You’ll be presented with several configuration options. Select ‘Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool RASPI-CONFIG’.
You can change the default username and password at a later date; for now just use the controller to select ‘Expand Filesystem’. Next, highlight the ‘Select’ button and click on it. After a short delay, you will see a success screen — press OK and you’ll be taken to the configuration screen. Press right until ‘Finish’ is highlighted, then click on it. You should now reboot your Raspberry Pi.
The final step is adding new ROMs. Once you’ve legally purchased and downloaded ROMs from the internet, you’ll need to copy them onto the microSD card. ROMs are stored in a separate folder for each system. So, for example, you need to place your Sega Master System ROMs in ~/RetroPie/roms/ mastersystem/. Once you’ve installed ROMs, you’re ready to play.
Once booted, you’ll see a menu with all the available games systems on it. Some emulators will only show up once game ROMs for that system are installed. Scroll until you find the game you want to play, then let rip!
You can always return back to RetroPie if you want to change any of the configuration options, or update the software. And that’s all there is to it! Time to sit back and play some games. If you want to find out more about the RetroPie software, visit blog.petrockblock.com/retropie.
If you see a splash screen like this when you power on again, the installation worked!
RetroPie can be restored straight to SD if you don’t need Raspbian as well