Frequently Asked Questions
1] Q) Where can I find tutorials since I am totally new to SBCs?
A) If this is something totally new to you our best advice is to first step back, take a deep breath, and don’t just dive in as it could become a little bit confusing. The next step would be to stop by our Youtuber Affiliates page, check out their YouTube channels as they all have various and numerous tutorials on how to get started with RetroPie or even other distro images as all of them (RetroPie, Batocera, Recalbox, OGST, Lakka, etc.) all install the same.
2] Q) Does the image auto expand?
A) Yes, the image is coded so that when you first boot it will start the process for a couple seconds and then you will see it reboot. At that point it should be expanded to the limits of the storage medium be it EMMC or MicroSD. NOTE: If you have both an EMMC and a MicroSD card installed you make see issues with auto expand not working correctly as it will think your microSD is a secondary file system and relabel it 1 from 0.
3] Q) Can I flash the image on EMMC and store ROMs/media on an SD card?
A) Yes. Use USB mount method.
4] Q) Can I install the TheRA port of RetroPie image to my SD card just like with Raspberry Pi?
A) Yes. The nuts and bolts is that any Single Board Computer (SBC) that can run RetroPie (Raspberry Pis, Banana Pis, Rock64, etc) use what is called a .img file that you can write to a card to boot from. On Windows the preferred method is either Win32DiskImager or Etcher for example. The major difference is that each board uses a different linux distro or else perhaps the same distro (think Debian or Ubuntu) however the driverset and distro framework are custom tailored to the board in question.
5] Q) Can I just drop my various config files and such from another build like RetroPie?
A) NO NO NO. If you so do you will end up with a mixed bag of results. The best suggestion would be to open those config files and become familiar with file paths. That is a first step. Please make sure if you request support that you let us know that is what you did and we could POSSIBLY assist from there, but no promises. Another major difference is that since this is an Ubuntu minimal base there is no such files as config.txt or cmdline.txt. Ubuntu minimal uses a boot.ini just as it would for any other standard Linux build. It needs to be remembered that Raspian for example since we see a lot of legacy Raspberry Pi users is an EXTREMELY customized Debian based build and therefore not within the normal root type of filesystem.
6] Q) Can I play GameCube, Wii, PS2, Xbox, etc on my XU4?
A) The XU4 requires a 32 bit OS. All actual playable emulators for the systems in question require 64 bit OS support. Yes, OGST did have an early release of Dolphin on it, however, the framerate was nowhere near what would be considered playable. It was included as more of a proof of concept similar to our RetroPie build having 3DO and Jaguar. There shouldn’t, to be quite frank, any hope that the systems in question above will ever be supported as all of the emulator developers who create code for these systems moved to 64 bit late 2016 due to the additional required memory bandwidth needed for stable performance. The most modern systems that are supported are: NDS, N64, PSX, Dreamcast, and Saturn. 3DO and Jaguar may or may not become playable depending on emulator development. It is strongly suggested that if these systems interest you that you put in the time to research just what is required especially from the basic OS standpoint..
7] Q) How do I use an extra HDD for my ROMs and media?
A) Ext HDD can be used however be sure that you pick up the 5v/6A PSU recommended per Hard Kernel themselves. You can see the product and order at AmeriDroid . Once you have your hard drive you will need to reference the Release Notes and use the USB Mount Method. The XU4 and its OS do not respond the same and it does not provide a way to know when the sync is completed unfortunately depending on which update you are currently using. Due to this behavior we suggest you reach out to us on Discord if you have further questions.
8] Q) Is there any issues with using Core Override in RA settings?
A) There is a known bug where using this function will cause Save On Exit to stop working therefore we suggest you do not use it at this time. If you do save per core, etc you must ensure that you do not also use Save On Exit as it will most likely invoke a bug. If you do we are not aware of a resolution other than reflashing.
9] Q) Can I use my own splash screen videos?
A) Yes, however you must encode them correctly. Splash screen videos are played using mplayer (OMXPLAYER IS NOT SUPPORTED AS OF V3.0.3). It may take some playing around on the encoding settings as mplayer supports various bitrates, FPS, and resolutions. YMMV and it is up to you to research what mplayer can support.
10] Q) Can I use the updater in RetroArena Setup similar to RetroPie?
A) Yes, however, due to the modifications required for many scripts to work it will hit our GitHub. This means that if a new official RetroPie based update is released we will normally need to test before allowing it to be accessed and determine if it makes sense to invoke.
11] Q) I wondered if you are able to install experimental packages on this specific image like you would any other image?
A) We typically have all currently compatible packages installed on the base image. We do this to make life much more simple since the various scripts need changes to work on the XU4 compared to RetroPie. You will notice right away that our menu structure is much different and very streamlined.
12] Q) Why doesn’t “xxxx” not work for me when it does on my Raspberry Pi?
A) The simple answer is this isn’t a raspberry pi. RetroPie focuses mainly on the raspberry boards as that is how it all started. The hardware and Linux OSes are very different (Raspian/Debian vs mainline Ubuntu). There are also certain software and drivers that are tied to the coding Blobs from Broadcom for example for the Raspberry Pi which are proprietary.
13] Q) Can I use add-ons with Kodi and if so what do I need to do to make them work?
A) The base install of Kodi is available to install on the image however we do not formally support it nor do we support add-on plugins.
14] Q) Does WiFi work?
A) Yes there are various adapters that will work. We have been able to confirm support for the following modules: WiFi Module 0, 3, 4, and 5. There are various Edimax Wireless N adapters that work as well. Support is based in the chipset that the adapter has built in. Compatibility for others will require research on your end to verify if the drivers will be compatible with Ubuntu 16.04LTS with the 3.10.x kernel. You cannot use the Wifi setup through the retropie setup menu. You MUST use the Wifi Setup option in the Arena Toolbox. The reason for is that is the difference in OS compared to Raspberry Pi boards.
For those that wish to attempt to install driver support for their own adapter that is not on the current tested listing above you would follow the steps annotated in the document linked here. You need to know which chipset driver you would need to install.
15] Q) The download link seems to be broken when I click on it (I am using windows to download). It brings me to a page where I can not download anything.
A) Don’t use MS Edge.
16] Q) How do I get my PS3 controller to work?
A) one of our members was able to get the controller to work with the following however YMMV depending on which adapters you use:
- Using pigaming login enter the following via terminal:
sudo apt-get install libc-bin
sudo dpkg –configure -a (two dashes in a row before configure!)
- Via RetroArena Setup install the PS3 controller driver
17] Q) Which kernel version of Ubuntu does v3.x of the TheRA build use?
A) 3.10 is what has been used and the OS related commits are up to date as of March 1, 2019.
18] Q) Can I take a backup of my Raspberry Pi RetroPie build and just image it to use with my Odroid?
A) No. The hardware and Linux OSes are very different (Raspian/Debian vs mainline Ubuntu). You can however gather all of your games/media from your Raspberry build and use it since the frontend of the RetroPie build remains similar. It will take some work to adjust.
19] Q) I am seeing weird behavior that others aren’t talking about.
A) Reflash your card. We have seen too many instances where for unexplained reasons the image for people has burned with odd results. Too many variables that could contribute, but many times a reflash does the trick. If not then try to re-download then flash again. This has been the resolution for multiple people.
20] Q) Will there be a TheRA build for the C2?
A) Possibly eventually however we need a couple trustworthy people to join the dev team to assist that own one for the C2.
21] Q) How can I play PC Engine CD based games?
A) If you get .CHD ROMs you don’t need to do any configuration. It just works. But you need to use the lr-beetlefast emulator.
22] Q) How can I move my image from a smaller card to a bigger one?
A) The manual process would be to use the resize.sh script in the boot dir in the following way:
- Back up your image, write to the new card
- Log in as root
type cd /media/boot
type chmod a+x resize.sh
type chown root:root resize.sh
- You may be informed that it has failed due to “Device or resource busy”. If so reboot and run the script again. In either case you should be informed that the partition has been resized and to reboot. Once you have rebooted:
type df -h
- You should now see that all available space on the new card is available
23] Q) Will I always be forced to reflash every version that you guys release of TheRA?
A) We are working toward having updates available via the RetroArena Setup Script for everything however there are certain items that we do not currently have the coding skills to add. An example of this would be adding in the WiFi support for the Odroid adapters. If we can add it via scripting we will. If we can’t then you will need to decide of the new functionality, features, or fixes warrant you making that effort to re-flash.
24] Q) What should I get for a microSD card?
A) You will need a minimum of an 8GB card if you are using an ext HDD for your games/media. This being said there are several card brands/models that can be used. ALWAYS purchase from a proven and legit source and we cannot stress this enough. You should stick more to at least UHS-1 rather than Class 10 as it is will provide solid read operations for the more modern systems. UHS-3 may be considered overkill however if you can get it for a good price faster will always be better overall. We have a page on our site here (Microsd Cards) with links to cards that are tested and validated that can be purchased on Amazon however as well if you want to purchase elsewhere and want a visual idea then how about some solid suggestions:
25] Q) I cant get the Outrun clone game to run I try to run it and it just goes back to the game select screen thanks any idea?
A) This port is one that requires the original game files. Visit the Cannonball page on the RetroPie wiki for further details.
26] Q) How can I exit from PPSSPP on the v3.x builds?
A) The default emulator for the builds is the standalone due to better performance. If you plug in a keyboard press esc. You can map a different button on the controller as ppsspp’s hotkey per the normal steps that are outlined by the PPSSPP menu system and team.
27] Q) Is Sega Saturn supported on the TheRA build?
A) Due to amazing community support we have enlisted a Yabause 32 bit emulator developer to attempt to get a solid working solution. As of v1.5.x Saturn is supported for the most part. When it comes to compatibility your first stop would be the developer’s compatibility matrix here. If you do not see a game listed in his table then it is pretty much a certainty that the game will not work. Saturn had just over 1,000 titles therefore most likely they have not all been tested so you could try however if you do not have success and do not see it on the list the chances are solid that the game in question is not working. Multidisk games are not supported at this time however as of Feb 2019 the developer has made it a priority to work on. You can play through the first disc however that is all. The developer does have this support on his roadmap however there is no ETA as of March 2019. When wishing to play Saturn the lr-yabuase core is not supported. When launching a game with the supported yaba sanshiro yabause you will see multiple cores to choose from in the launching menu. They are labeled as 1x, 2x, 4x, etc. These are cores that launch with multipliers of the default resolution. The higher the resolution YMMV on performance. You will sacrifice performance as you increase resolution.
28] Q) Is Amiberry supported and how can I play games on Amiberry in general?
A) Amiberry is indeed supported and installed. Support requests for Amiberry can be asked in our Discord server however we also recommend that you check out the developer’s github page as well.
29] Q) Advance MAME ver.1.4 seems have sound problem, the sound will lag and not sync with video?
A) Edit /opt/retropie/configs/mame-advmamea/dvmame-1.4.rc change device_sound sdl <– default is “auto“, change it to “sdl“, then the sound will not lag again however YMMV.
30] Q) Is there a way for me to fix my Xbox 360 Wired Controller(s)? I sometimes experience weird or missing button presses.
A) One of our members, 許德文, was gracious enough to provide a walkthrough with snips which can be found in our Downloads section here on the website.
31] Q) Is there a way for me to change how long the boxart displays on the Showcase theme?
A) If you are using our default Showcase theme then there is a built in timer for the boxart to be displayed for 3 seconds. If you are not using boxart then it can give the misguided notion that video snaps are broken. To assist with this if you are not happy with how long the delay is or if you wish to disable it completely you need to modify the main theme.xml file in \etc\emulationstation\themes\showcase\. This snip shows you the </delay> setting which you can set to be for example 1, 2, 3 seconds, etc. If you wish to disable having the boxart show at all then adjust the </showSnapshotDelay> entry to false. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT BEFORE YOU FIDDLE WITH THIS THEME.XML FILE YOU COPY A BACKUP OF IT!.
32] Q) Is overscan configurable on the XU4?
A) Direct from the manufacturer: Overscan is not configurable for the XU4, this needs to be solved by your TV settings as the TV is doing the overscan and the SOC is not designed to override this behavior. TV’s, unlike monitors, have “overscan” and are designed to not show the edges of images. Almost every modern TV has a way to disable it. Its called different things by different manufactures. It has been called “1:1 mode”, “just scan”, “no zoom”, and others. Consult your TV manual for details on disabling the mode.
33] Q) Is Moonlight supported or installable on the ORA RetroPie build on the XU4?
A) We are currently working to have Moonlight as an available option as of Feb 2019 however you can always hit up the Hard Kernel forums for Odroid to see about receiving assistance in adding it yourself manually. We are working on a more elegant solution for using the application as the interfacing is a bit clunky and tough for some to use.
34] Q) Is ReDream supported or installable on the ORA RetroPie build on the XU4?
A) Per the emulator developer’s website ReDream requires a 64 bit CPU which means that it cannot work on the XU4 as it leverages a 32 bit CPU.
35] Q) Is there a way for me to use my Xbox 360 Wireless Controller(s)?
A) For wireless controller support this is what we have been able to figure out on our own for v1.1:
- You need the USB wireless adapter. It does not need to be a first party adapter per our testing
- You will need either a fresh install of v1.1 or your install cannot have had the Xbox drivers previously installed
- The lights on the controller will blink however it’s the only way during our testing that everything worked
- When mapping the controller at startup the right trigger will not map at first…do not worry, continue to map. After you have mapped the Hot Key scroll back up and press the A button when the right trigger is highlighted. You will then be able to map it correctly
- Reicast will require the following file to be placed in the Dreamcast mapping folder Reicast Mapping File
- CAUTION: DO NOT INSTALL THE XBOX DRIVERS IN THE RETROPIE MENU. IF YOU INSTALL THE XBOX DRIVERS 2 PLAYER WILL NOT WORK IN REICAST. IF YOU DO NOT THINK THAT YOU WILL PLAY DREAMCAST THEN BEFORE MAKING A DECISION TO INSTALL THE DRIVER ANYWAY IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU BACK UP YOUR IMAGE FIRST!
36] Q) When will V2 be available?
A) For future releases this is a hobby and even though we have things like Patreon to help with associated costs for hosting, etc we also still have regular lives like anyone else. We also have many things going on in the background to include stumbling across various software and OS updates that break builds. With this in mind just like official RetroPie and honestly any other distribution it will be released when it is ready. Even though we may feel that a new release may happen “soon” too many times to count a snafu has happened causing us to rebuild from scratch, then there is the testing cycle, etc. This may be a long winded response to say “it is ready when it is ready” however we wished to provide more of an answer.
37] Q) Does microphone emulation work in DraStic on RetroPie for the XU4?
A) Per the developer it should work. In order to enable it you need the following: Microphone can be used with a USB DAC by setting DRASTIC_MIC_EN=1 and DRASTIC_MIC_NAME=”hw:#,#” in drastic.sh where #,# is the ALSA card and device ID.
38] Q). When should I update?
A) This is an interesting question! Get a coffee or beer before reading this long winded answer 🙂
We know that there are a lot of new people to retropie itself that have taken the plunge for the first time and it is with the xu4. For those of you that are new to Retropie in general one of the greatest pro tips that we can give you is that if stuff is running well for you DON’T update. One of the things you need to take into consideration is that RetroPie official only provides the most basic support for the XU4 which means that when they make updates themselves to include new versions and sub-versions our understanding is they do not perform any validation for the XU4. When RetroPie official does add new features our implementation could be quick or could take a bit. It just depends. If you’re going to update, the smartest decision you can make is BACKUP YOUR IMAGE FIRST. This is a best practice in general. Once you have backed up your image you can go ahead and update the retropie setup script and then conversely install packages if you have done actual research to verify that it would make sense to. Do not, I repeat do not update the OS unless you see something specific from the team telling you that there is a valid reason for it. If you do choose for whatever reason to update the OS, DO NOT update the OS through retropie-setup.
You can perform the OS updates from the command line but afterward you’ll need to do sudo apt-get install mali-fbdev –reinstall. Ignore any errors regarding symbolic links already existing then reboot. Something else that you need to be aware of is that when you perform the mail-fbdev driver reinstall there is no guarantee that all will function as expected. Performing this update means you are pulling the latest driver set from Hard Kernel which is upstream and unexpected behavior may ensue. If you follow the simple advice you will find that you will be a much happier gamer and tinkerer. NOTE: If you see this after running update retropie setup scripts, quit retropie setup and emulation station. plug in a keyboard and type and enter cd RetroArena-Setup then git reset –hard :
39] Q) What diplay driver is TheRA on the XU4 built with?
A) Our build uses fb-dev for the foreseeable future. We do not use any desktop drivers as we do not invoke a desktop version of the Ubuntu OS just as for example RetroPie official does not invoke a desktop version of Raspbian for Raspberry Pi boards.
40] Q) Do the 8bitdo controllers work?
A) Yes, the BT service is installed and you will need either the Odroid BT module or a generic CIR 4.0 module. You will want to most likely set them up to run in the background so that you do not have to repair after reboot/shutdown. Also depending on the firmware and model you may have to choose a specific connection type. Trial and error may be in order.
41] Q) Is Attract Mode supported?
A) Our RetroPie build does not have AM support. In order for it to work from our understanding a full OS compilation is required. There is an independent developer out there that has ported AM and it does require its own flash called Supreme Odroid which is actually a fork of OGST and runs on X11 desktop drivers. Currently the only way to run both RetroPie and AM would be to use the Multiboot feature which can be referenced on the Odroid forums. Be aware that we will not support this scenario and all assistance would require interaction on the Odroid forums.
42] Q) Can I boot TheRA directly from an SSD/HDD?
A) We do not formally support this procedure however there is a tutorial on Reddit that could be of use to you if you either know what the get is talking about or want to take the time to learn it: Boot Linux SSD/HDD Tutorial.
43] Q) Which file formats are supported for Saturn on the XU4?
A) The developer formally supports BIN/CUE however the following formats have been tested and seem to work however YMMV: MDF, CCD, IMG, and SUB. ISO and CHD do not work. Since the developer only formally supports BIN/CUE you will need to manually update your es_systems.cfg file to add the aforementioned formats. MultiDisk games are not currently supported as of October 2018 however the dev is working on it. No ETA is known. You can play MultiDisk games through the completion of the first disk however that is as far as you can go. NOTE: If you run into issues with BIN/CUE be sure to verify that your CUE file shows that it is pointing to the correct BIN file.
44] Q) Has there been a compatibility list for Saturn with Yabasanshiro been put together?
A) There has not been as of February 2019 specific to our build. There are currently 1019 games on the Saturn list not including non-game software and compilations of Saturn games. There are games that are region locked depending on the ROM file you use and therefore may work with one core or multiple cores to varying performance. This is a decent sized library therefore it is a decent sized tasking. It would be a community effort if so along with the need to ensure that the correct core is annotated.
45] Q) Is Mesen supported on the XU4?
A) We have been able to successfully compile the LR core of Mesen. It Does run and quite decent however if you wish to use it with the various HD packs out there not so much. Some games run slower and the audio is a little choppy while others are pretty much unplayable and the audio is very choppy. When viewing htop the CPU is pegged constantly at 100% with HD packs enabled therefore we cannot suggest that Mesen be used for HD packs however it can be used otherwise. We doubt this will change as the Mesen devs have expressed that the minimum CPU clock is 2.2Ghz which unless someone were to figure out an aggressive OC that could be sustained it most likely will never be solid.
46] Q) Can I use a USB Sound Card and what would be suggested to use?
A) We have verified that the Odroid USB Sound Card dongle made by Hard Kernel should work with various distributions. You need to paste over the config in /etc/asound.conf if you have the odroid usb soundcard:
Thanks to Carl H from the community for the verification and information. Other USB sound cards may work as well however configuration may require additional tweaking and/or software packages installed.
If you need to order one of these cards please head over to our Affiliates links page to purchase as it will help fund our projects (Cards and Accessories).
47] Q) What do I do when I boot my N2 and a menu shows up?
A) This means that you are booting to SPI Flash. Ensure the white Boot Select Switch in front of the device is set to the right. It’s either left or right. Ensure it is on the right side as depicted below.
48] Q) Can I use regular RetroPie themes on TheRA?
A) We do not have the RetroPie theme repo on our build for a reason. We do not believe that it makes any sense to allow themes to be install-able via the Setup Script that do not support all systems available unlike RetroPie which allows people to add themes that only provide support for a small handful of systems. Between or standard repo and the Hursty69 repo there are well over 400 themes available however you can manually install RetroPie themes as they both currently use EmulationStation as the FrontEnd. If you choose to manually install a RetroPie theme be aware that there will be missing items as there are various differences. Also we do not support RetroPie themes in any way.