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[Guide] How to install Retropie and how to make it an actual app!

Fri May 14, 2021 4:30 pm



  • What's required
  • Installing RetroPie-Setup
  • Emulationstation command
  • Making Retropie an app
  • Is that it?

NOTE: Before using this guide, click this link: The viewers that know retropie can just pretend that the note is not there and just start using the guide, because this note is only important for viewers that are new to retropie.

What's Required

So not only you need a raspberry pi, a monitor, and some cables or usb's, but you will also need:

  • Git (sudo apt-get install git) if it's already installed, then move on
  • A flash drive with at least 1 or 2 GB of memory to put your roms into
  • Retropie keyserver (sudo gpg --keyserver --recv-keys DC9D77FF8208FFC51D8F50CCF1B030906A3B0D31)

Installing RetroPie-Setup

Retropie-setup will need to be installed, so you can install packages, update and uninstall retropie, etc...

In order to install it, go to the terminal and type:

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git clone --depth=1
That will create the folder Retropie-setup in your file manager and include other things in it.
Next change the directory into Retropie-setup by typing:

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cd RetroPie-Setup
Now your in the retropie-setup folder directory. So you need to make the file '' executable just in case the file doesn't run. To do that, type:

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sudo chmod +x

Now we have the file executable, so now it sould be able to run. To run it type:

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sudo ./
While it's going, the terminal will install some packages that are needed to run the program, when it's done you might see this first:


It's just saying that retropie did not include any roms, because retropie doesn't own the roms, so hit enter and then you will see this:


So where you are right now is the retropie-setup menu, so now we need to push enter on "Basic install, (you move with the arrow keys), and it will say are you sure you want to do basic install, hit enter on highlighted yes.

This will take a few minutes. When it's done you can move on or install libretro cores or packages by going to manage packages, and then hit enter and then choose what category you want, but other than that you have now installed retropie.

Emulationstation command

Emulationstation was installed while it was doing basic install, Where is it installed you ask?, open file manager and go to /usr/bin/emulationstation. So when you find the emulationstation file and click it, it will take you to retropie. However you cannot open any programs or roms in retropie, because you need the terminal to not only load programs, but also need it so you can configure roms. But if you run the command emulationstation on the terminal, you will be able to run and configure roms and programs. There might be a way to make emulationstation run everything without terminal, but I am not sure how to do that. But I know how to make the emulationstation file automatically run the command on terminal and it can run programs and roms, How? We make an app.

Making RetroPie an app

So now we need to go to your app menu, Preferences, main menu editor. If you don't have it go to the terminal and type:

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sudo apt-get install alacarte
Now it should be in your app menu in preferences. When your on click games on the left, and new item on the right. Now were in the part where we make the app, so now we need the icon of retropie, click this link: ... e_Logo.png, right click and click save image as, then put the image file on where you want it to be, then click okay. Now that you have the icon, go back to main menu editor, and click the square on the left, then go to the location where you put the icon. (Warning: For those of you who are using a small monitor and you click the icon, it will be big, so please make sure you can see the ok button on the bottom right, the window will not be resizable if you can't see the ok button, so make sure you resize the icon before you can continue), but don't worry even though you can see the ok button, the icon should resize after you have made the app. Next name the app RetroPie, then click on browse, go to /usr/bin, then find the emulationstation file. When you find it, click it and then it will browse the command it will use to run emulationstation. Now the comment part is optional, so if you want to do it, then type what you want it to say, (example: A gaming emulator). Now click launch in terminal, that way it will make it so when you run the app you created, it will open terminal and run the command automatically, finally click ok. Congratulations, you have officially made retropie as an app.

Is that it?

Pretty much, because you've installed retropie, and made it an app. So you just need to add roms. Now it's able to run, by going to the pi menu, games, and there's the retropie app you created. Hope you found this guide interesting, reply if there are any questions, suggestions, what you think, or any errors. If there are errors, please be specific on what your situation is. Have fun with retropie as an app.

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