Install Retropie on Debian/Ubuntu/Mint

A guide to build the RetroPie setup on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x86 and Debian based distros.



First, install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or a related Debian based distro such as Linux Mint 17 and 18. ISO images can be used to create a bootable DVD or a USB stick.

To run RetroPie-Setup, you must be a member of the group root/admin.

Download RetroPie

Update and upgrade the existing APT packages:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Install the needed packages for the RetroPie setup script:

sudo apt-get install -y git dialog unzip xmlstarlet

Download the latest RetroPie setup script:

git clone --depth=1

Enter the folder with the setup script:

cd RetroPie-Setup

The script is executed with:

sudo ./

The screen should look like/similar this at this point:

retropie-setup script 4-0-2retropie-setup script 4-0-2

Install RetroPie

Basic Install

This will install the main packages which are equivalent to what is provided with the RetroPie SD image. Note that this will be the 32-bit version of RetroPie. That means that some emulators such as Daphne (Dragon's Lair) will not work out of the box on this version. That is because Daphne and a few other emulators only have a 64-bit version released for use while this install is for the 32-bit CPU family.

Now, you have to copy your rom files into the correct associated rom directories. If you followed the steps above the main directory for all roms is ~/RetroPie/roms (or /home/pi/RetroPie/roms, which is the same here). In this directory there is a sub-directory for every supported emulated system, e.g., NES, SNES, Sega Megadrive, etc.

Attention has to be taken for the extensions of the rom files. Some emulators use .zip while some use a custom file extension associated with the emulator in question. For example the Atari 2600 emulator may use .a26, .bin, and .rom.

All the information needed for each system is detailed in this wiki. See the wiki home page or sidebar for systems.

Configure RetroPie

EmulationStation can be run from the terminal by typing emulationstation in the terminal.

You can go into Setup / Configuration and enable autostart as you like.