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Jessie
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RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:54 pm

This is a primer for RetroPie.

How do I find what I want without reading this entire guide? The beginning here will be focused on basics. If you know how to use the CLI/Terminal and putty you will be bored. I am writing this because of the recent onslaught of redundant questions regarding emulation. It is in some peoples nature not to search for help so I don't expect this to help everyone but if it helps a couple I will be happy. I am writing this assuming the user has imaged their SD card with RetroPie 2.3 (the most recent at this time) because I feel this is the most painless way of getting going. I would like to point out that if you are afraid of the CLI (command line interface), Terminal, or SSH you should turn back now as there is no 100% graphical way to make a R Pi emulation box at this moment. I am writing this from the perspective of a Windows user because I feel that anyone that uses Linux as their DD (daily driver) will have no issues setting up RetroPie.

The Raspbian Command Line Interface (CLI)
So with all this talk of the terminal and CLI lets begin. You will need to remember some commands to use the CLI. Here are some good ones to start with:
  • ls -a
  • sudo
  • nano
  • top
  • df -h
  • cd
  • man
  • | less
  • rpi-update
  • raspi-config
  • ./retropie_setup.sh
  • find / -name "insert words here"
  • (some more I don't remember)
Here is a brief description of what each of these do. "ls -a" lists all files in a directory including hidden files (which there are some important ones for configuring ES (EmulationStation). "sudo" makes the command you enter run as if you were the super-user. An example would be "sudo nano config.txt" as you will pretty much need write privileges whenever you run nano, or "sudo su" will make you super-user for all commands but this is dangerous so it should be avoided until you know what you are doing. "nano" is a easy text editor and there are many alternatives but nano works fine. "df-h" will show you disk usage in a human readable format. "cd" changes directories, "cd /." will bring you to the root directory fast. "man" gives you the manual for a command for instance... "man nano", "man less". "less" is used for when text spills over the terminal's buffer, if you hit "ls -a" in a big full directory it may go way off the screen a good way to fix that is "ls -a | less" after that you will only get a screens worth at a time. Use the space bar to scroll down one line at a time or page down to scroll a whole page at a time with less. The "|" is called the pipe and on a US keyboard it is the symbol on the button over the \. "rpi-update" updates the firmware and kernel to the newest version. "raspi-config" will open a script to setup various options, I will cover this in more detail later. "sudo ./retropie_setup.sh" will run the RetroPie setup script, this will require more coverage later.

How do I use the CLI?
There are many ways but I will cover three here. First is exiting EmulationStation which will bring you to a screen like this.
[attachment=4]PuttyTerm1.jpg[/attachment]
Take note of the IP address it will come in useful.

Next is going into xserver and starting a terminal session, and the window opened will look similar to above.

Finally, is my preferred method and that is SSH. On windows I like Putty, Android JuicySSH, and iOS there are none I like but some like mobile admin work.

After downloading Putty (google search Putty SSH) and extracting it you will get a warning go ahead and run it there is nothing wrong with putty.
[attachment=3]PuttyStart.jpg[/attachment]

Find the IP address of your Raspberry Pi on your local network.
You will need to know the local IP Address of your R Pi to connect to it via Putty. That is why I noted it above with the local method of connection because it is the easiest way to get that address. But there are other ways, but Windows networking just isn't that robust so it won't be as easy as with Linux.

First method of finding your R Pi's address if you can't walk over and exit ES is ARP. Go to your search function within the OS (not your web browser) and type cmd. It should auto launch the command line. Put in "arp -a" and you will get an address of all the devices on your local network plus a couple domain name servers. You can take this list with putty and try each one in order until you find the pi.
[attachment=2]arp.jpg[/attachment]

Next, is the method I use regularly when I need to find a Device. Log into your router and look for it. Most routers have a function somewhere to list the DHCP table. This isn't a tutorial on how to use your router, but for most the default username is admin and the pw is password.

[attachment=1]router1.jpg[/attachment]
[attachment=0]Router2.jpg[/attachment]

In my case my main wireless is a Cisco/Linksys 4200. Feel free to make fun of my device list once this thread is unlocked.
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Jessie
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:36 pm

Burn RetroPie to your SD card
If you haven't already download and burn an image of RetroPie to a SD card. Google search for RetroPie and it comes up. With Windows you are going to need Win32DiskImager to burn the image. Once you have downloaded the disk imager make sure you run it as admin and click all the warnings. You should be presented with a small window like this...
Win32disk.jpg
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As you can see I have no removable media inserted or it would pop up in the empty box in the upper right. Always make sure that you aren't overwriting something important before committing to overwrite with the image. Go to the Windows Explorer and make sure you have nothing important on the SD card and that Win32DiskImager has the right drive letter co responding to the SD card you wish to write to otherwise you may be overwriting a random thumb drive or something.

Who makes RetroPie?
It is worth pointing out here that PetRockBlog maintains RetroPie and not the Raspberry Pi foundation. 90% of the time when I help a user out with RetroPie it simply involves searching PetRockBlog and repeating. Go to their forums first with your problems.

If no errors were thrown during or after the copy process then you should be ready to plug the card into your R Pi (Raspberry Pi) and get going. Now would be a good time to walk over to your TV and just run through the ES 2.0 controller configuration that runs on first boot. After that get to a command line (either by local KB or through SSH). Run raspi-config as follows...

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sudo raspi-config
This screen should follow (yours may look slightly different as I am screen capturing through Putty which makes some artifacts)...
[attachment=3]RPiConfig.jpg[/attachment]

Configure Raspbian
Select the option to expand the file system to fill the SD card, and go ahead and reboot. If you are connected through SSH then the connection will drop, this is normal and you will have to reconnect after reboot.

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sudo reboot
After restarting it is time to begin the update process. Begin with updating and upgrading through “apt-get”

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sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Next run the firmware updater...

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sudo rpi-update
Following all that run the retropie_setup.sh script and update the script and then update all the binaries.

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cd RetroPie-Setup
sudo ./retropie_setup.sh
[attachment=2]RetroSetup1.jpg[/attachment]

Install the Joystick package for good measure (so you can have jstest if you need it).

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sudo apt-get install joystick
*Overclocking* (a bit of opinion here)
While not really needed for some cases overclocking will make EmulationStation run smoother and will open the doors to many more emulators. I don't see any risk in overclocking a Pi, they run so cool, and the newer firmwares are so good. The stock ARM clock on the R Pi is 700Mhz, and it used to be that overclocking to 800 at stock voltage was guaranteed to work. With the newer firmware and a good power supply I feel comfortable in saying that 900Mhz the new baseline for 99.9% of users. After that it is all trial and error. There is an "overclock" menu in "raspi-config" and it is a good starting place. Putting it at the medium setting is where I would start. A good majority of boards will hit 1000Mhz with a little extra voltage. Aside from using "raspi-config" you can also edit "config.txt" with nano on the Pi itself or using notepad plus plus on your windows pc. I like to start with a preset overclock from "raspi-config" then work my way from there. After that you can access the configuration by entering...

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sudo nano /boot/config.txt
From the CLI.

For reference here is the overclock nenu within "raspi-config":
[attachment=1]RPiConfigOC.jpg[/attachment]

Here is my config.txt file within nano on my B+:
[attachment=0]PuttyNano.jpg[/attachment]
Control+X will exit nano and prompt you to save changes. If you get an error that you don't have permission then sudo was missed. Lastly, reboot again. We are now ready to start configuring RetroPie to game...kind of.
More to come very soon. ADD OVERSCAN ISSUES TO THIS SECTION
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Jessie
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:03 pm

Now that I've bored 95% of you with information that you already know lets move on to configuring controllers, adding roms, and general making stuff work. Since, in-essence, RetroPie is just a collection of software with a real nice script and nice front end there isn't going to be a way for me to cover every possible device and emulator. My first piece of advice is to start slow and don't download a bunch of full rom-sets and drop them in the folders... To begin with put one rom per-emulator you intend to use. I made the mistake of dumping all my MAME ROMs right off the bat the last time and got to wait four days for the scrapper (more on this feature later) to finish.

Controller Configuration
I have had good success with three controller types, all three wired. Wireless controllers have massive convenience but add a layer of irritation. You will be on your own with wireless for now. The three controllers I have used with good success are, Xbox, PS3, and KADE. The first two are self expanitory, but Kade (http://www.kadevice.com) is simply a MinimusAVR with a special firmware loaded to it. You can select from several firmware on it including Xbox, PS3, Generic USB controller, and Keyboard Encoder. From the list the KB encoder is the least painless. A note on the PS3 controller: some emulators will not work with its digital D-Pad, so if you wish to use Mame4All-Pi then you will need a different controller (and the same goes with the KADE PS3 firmware.)
MinimusSmall.jpg
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First start by firing up the retropie_setup.sh script as outlined a couple posts up and go to the #3 setup option. You will see a list of options, select a specific driver if you are using a specific controller, even if you are using a generic one sometimes it helps to select the xbox controller driver. Following that (and with the controller you want to use plugged in) select 315 Register RetroArch controller. The vast majority of emulators you will be using are Libretro/RetroArch based. If you want to easily transfer roms through a usb thumb drive then select the USB ROM service. It will set up rom folders on a thumb drive and copy whatever roms are in the respective folders to the Pi whenever it is inserted.
[attachment=1]RetroSetup2.jpg[/attachment]

The main config file for RetroArch is located at:

Code: Select all

 /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg
The second RetroArch config file is located at:

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 /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch-core-options.cfg
Sometimes you will need to run the following to get your buttons set properly with RetroArch:

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sudo chown pi /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg
cd /opt/retropie/emulators/RetroArch/installdir/bin
sudo ./retroarch-joyconfig -j 1 >> /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg
If you don't like how your buttons are setup I suggest getting a piece of paper out and while running jstest write down all the corresponding button numbers and edit the .cfg file on your own. Running jstest goes like this usually:

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jstest /dev/input/js0
Or js1 or js2 ect depending on what devices are listed in your /dev/input folder.

At least for one emulator you will have to move the bios file from the "biosfiles" folder into its own, and if I remember correctly the same has to be done for iMame4All-Pi. To copy the bios from one folder to the next you will do this:

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cd RetroPie/BIOS
sudo cp gba_bios.BIN /opt/retropie/emulators/gpsp/raspberrypi/gba_bios.BIN

The far easiest way to add roms through the pre-installed samba shares. You will find them in the Windows Explorer and then all you need to do is drag and drop or copy and paste them in. The image of RetroPie I last downloaded the “biosfiles” share was missing and had to be added in manually. It isn't that important, but some emulators will refuse to run without a bios in that folder and others will have glitches. Many of these emulators do not accept roms in the *.zip format. For example Atari 2600/VCS must be *.BIN, NES must be *.nes, and SNES games must be in *.smc or *.srm formats. If ES fails to show your roms this is most likely the reason why.
[attachment=0]ExplorerNetwork1.jpg[/attachment]
Add this to your smb.conf if "biosfiles" does not show up. It is located at /etc/samba/smb.conf

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[BIOSFILES]
comment = BIOSFILES
path = /home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS
writeable = yes
guest ok = yes
create mask = 0777
directory mask = 0777
read only = no
browseable = yes
force user = pi
public = yes
At this point add a couple roms and try them out. Try to avoid testing anything too exotic at the beginning. Since many of the controller configuration files are tied together getting a config you like in one emulator will affect them all. Its a good idea to have a keyboard attached at least initially so that you can have an escape key handy for emulators that are not configured properly. Try and avoid pulling the power cord when you encounter issues (that is unless you like dealing with corrupt SD cards.) If for some reason you reach a point where you are having issues and need to reboot or shutdown and can't figure it out try and get to a SSH terminal and issue “sudo reboot” or “sudo shutdown now”.

Next post I will cover manual file configuration and locations of many of the files you will be spending your time tinkering with.
ADD INFO ON THE SCRAPER.
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Jessie
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:53 pm

The fact remains that you will have to manually edit a configuration file. Right now there is no way around it period. No one has written a good script to get the job done yet. It is my next project, however, until this guide is almost done I won't even be starting.

Most of the emulators are RetroArch/Libretro based so the important thing to remember is that your configuration file is located at...

Code: Select all

/opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg
It can be edited like this:

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sudo nano /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg
The number one question I see asked about these configuration files is how to hit start and select to exit Libretro emulators. You need to add the two lines:

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input_enable_hotkey_btn = "8"
input_exit_emulator_btn = "9"
Where you see =”8” and =”9” you will need to change to correspond to your controller's inputs. Typically for Xbox 360 pads it will be 7&8 or 8&9. Using “jstest” will tell allow you to press buttons and see what button number the OS reports. Use of “jstest” will be covered in this section later.

Here is the joystick configuration for player one in my retroarch.cfg:

Code: Select all

input_player1_joypad_index = "0"
input_player1_b_btn = "0"
input_player1_y_btn = "2"
input_player1_select_btn = "8"
input_player1_start_btn = "9"
input_player1_up_btn = "h0up"
input_player1_down_btn = "h0down"
input_player1_left_btn = "h0left"
input_player1_right_btn = "h0right"
input_player1_a_btn = "1"
input_player1_x_btn = "3"
input_player1_l_btn = "4"
input_player1_r_btn = "5"
input_player1_l2_axis = "+2"
input_player1_r2_axis = "+5"
input_player1_l3_btn = "9"
input_player1_r3_btn = "10"
input_player1_l_x_plus_axis = "+0"
input_player1_l_x_minus_axis = "-0"
input_player1_l_y_plus_axis = "+1"
input_player1_l_y_minus_axis = "-1"
input_player1_r_x_plus_axis = "+3"
input_player1_r_x_minus_axis = "-3"
input_player1_r_y_plus_axis = "+4"
input_player1_r_y_minus_axis = "-4"
This may or may not work for you if you are using a wired Xbox 360 pad. Generally if it does not work at all then your joypad index is wrong try changing it from 0 to 1 or 2.

Jstest
Jstest is a valuable utility for configuring your joypad (assuming you aren't using a keyboard encoder.) Jstest will allow you to see which button you are really pressing. It is a good idea to take out a sheet of paper and record the info. If you didn't read the first couple posts then “jstest” is part of the “joystick” package. The installed input devices will be listed in “/dev/input/” You are looking for js0, js1, js* these are the devices you will be testing. Because I have my xbox driver set for hot-plugging my input folder will always have two listed weather they are inserted or not. Tor run jstest input this into the cli:

Code: Select all

sudo jstest /dev/input/js0
You should see this:
[attachment=0]jstest.jpg[/attachment]
If your controller doesn't do anything try replacing “js0” with “js1” and try rebooting with the controller plugged in. Pressing buttons will change the text values to show you what the OS sees. Many of the configuration files just care about button numbers. There is an awful lot of useless information on this screen. Just pay attention to what changes and which buttons cause the changes. Control+c will close it back to the prompt.

Some notes on the Xbox controller driver
If you used the retropie setup script to install your xboxdrv then most of (in some cases all) the work has been done. But with some emulators you will notice your character drifting in one direction or another (notably gpsp). This will require you to increase the “dead-zone” on the analogue sticks. If you have used the xbox controller setup within the retropie setup script then the settings that need to edited are in /etc/rc.local. Find this line in that file:

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xboxdrv --trigger-as-button --wid 0 --led 2 --deadzone 4000 --silent &
sleep 1
And then change the --deadzone portion to have a larger deadzone. I have an old worn out controller mine is set at 7000. You can also use percentages (like 10%). I generally adjust it 1000 at a time until I get what I want the max is around 35,000. Edit rc.local like this:

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sudo nano /etc/rc.local
There is also a flaw with the d-pad on older Xbox 360 pads that may require some mods to the controller. It looks like input lag, and it is actually caused by poor engineering of the pad. It can be corrected by inserting some plastic or cardboard between the pad and the rubber which makes contact with the buttons. Here are some links describing the fix:

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Fix ... l-pad-mor/


By no means am I finished (there is a ton of work left to be done), but I wanted to open this this thing up for general, comments, suggestions, and criticisms.
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tinkernaut
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:36 pm

This is a great (and much needed) thread. It'd be great to see documentation about configuring each emulator, and some of the weird stuff involved (like figuring out the SDLK keyboard codes for your inputs). Some of these emulators were really obscure to find documentation for, and now that I'm re-doing my RetroPie install (previous one about 6 months out of date, I think), This will be really useful to me.

Thanks for the hard work!

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Jessie
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:57 pm

Gpsp
So here is the deal I intended on making a tutorial on editing the config files, but for this particular emulator it requires a hex editor. I think that would put off many and to be honest in this case I don't even bother, and there is very little documentation outside of one forum post I could find.

The configuration is entered by pressing f11 on a keyboard while the emulator is operating. It will pop up an on-screen configuration that looks like this...
GpSp.jpg
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I have found this menu very hard to navigate with an Xbox 360 controller as the d-pad doesn't work and the speed that the cursor scrolls through the menu is very fast. With the proper configuration (enable "menu hotkey") you can use select + R1 to enter the options menu for the emulator and from there exit if you wish.

Links of note
http://blog.petrockblock.com/forums/top ... tep-guide/

Add suggestions for the next emulator, and problems.

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Jessie
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:57 pm

tinkernaut wrote:This is a great (and much needed) thread. It'd be great to see documentation about configuring each emulator, and some of the weird stuff involved (like figuring out the SDLK keyboard codes for your inputs). Some of these emulators were really obscure to find documentation for, and now that I'm re-doing my RetroPie install (previous one about 6 months out of date, I think), This will be really useful to me.

Thanks for the hard work!
Thanks, and sorry for taking so long to reply to you. I will be working on adding some individual emulators and their configurations as I get time. I get about 30 min to work on it here and there just trying to address some of the big issues I see repeated over and over.

PDXMick
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:45 am

Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:02 am

Hey there,

Firstly, this guide has been the most helpful for building my RetroPie system out of any others, but I am encountering 2 problems that I am unable to find solutions for.
1. I have a Tomee SNES controller that emulation station recognizes, but it won't let me map buttons X and Y, it doesn't even recognize that they exist. I have tried fixing it in the retro arch cfg file, but I can't seem to sort it.

2. I need to add bios or binary (?) files to get the GBA or PSX working, but I can't seem to understand where to find these files or how to input them. I have tried accessing the Pi remotely with WinSCP or Putty, but it always tells me access is denied and I am positive that my IP is correct and the password is raspberry. I desperately need help and if possible, with pictures as you have done.

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Jessie
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:56 am

PDXMick wrote:Hey there,

Firstly, this guide has been the most helpful for building my RetroPie system out of any others, but I am encountering 2 problems that I am unable to find solutions for.
1. I have a Tomee SNES controller that emulation station recognizes, but it won't let me map buttons X and Y, it doesn't even recognize that they exist. I have tried fixing it in the retro arch cfg file, but I can't seem to sort it.

2. I need to add bios or binary (?) files to get the GBA or PSX working, but I can't seem to understand where to find these files or how to input them. I have tried accessing the Pi remotely with WinSCP or Putty, but it always tells me access is denied and I am positive that my IP is correct and the password is raspberry. I desperately need help and if possible, with pictures as you have done.
1. When you run jstest do buttons x and y show up when you press tgem?

2. What type of pc are you using? Have you a tried to transfer the Bios files through the built in samba share? Gba requires you to move the Bios and is quite easy. Psx I haven't invested much into getting it going so I can't be much help.

PDXMick
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:45 am

Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:25 pm

1. I can't seem to get jstest working at all to test the buttons. Maybe a wrong command?

2. I haven't tried Samba, I am using a windows 7 os. Even when I navigate to the raspberry in networking, only the Roma folder shows up...

Edit: I have finally been able to connect with WinSCP, the only folders, non-hidden, that show up are Desktop, RetroPie (which includes only BIOS and ROMS folders) and RetroPie-Setup.

Still need a hand, thanks.

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Jessie
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:19 am

Did you install the joystick package?

The last I checked you still have to add the Bios folder manually with RetroPie. It's listed in the guide above.

I can lay this out a tad better for you but it may not happen for a few days. Have to do some family stuff tonight and tomorrow.

PDXMick
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:45 am

Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:03 am

Hey there,

I got the gba bin file working, so all of that is squared away.

Regarding the controller button mapping, when running jstest (had to re-install/install jstest) the system recognizes my buttons as all working, but I am still unsure how this should translate into my RetroArch .cfg file. I think this is my last step to get everything sorted, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. Thanks again for your help, even asking questions about my steps has provided a workaround.

Edit: I go to RetroPie setup, option 3. Select register RetroArch controller and all it says is "The configuration file has been saved as .cfg and will be used from now on whenever that controller is used..."

I can't resolve the button mapping and now when the keyboard is not plugged in, the Ames controller doesn't work outside of emulation station.

PeanutButterBoy
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:35 pm

Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:39 pm

Jessie,

This is fantastic. I'm relatively new to Linux and didn't know several of those commands. I also didn't know I could/should do an "apt-get update", "apt-get upgrade", "rpi-update" or even run the RetroPie Setup Script (I thought this was for manually installing RetroPie). So all in all, this has helped me immensely. Thank you for this!

- Nick

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DougieLawson
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:21 pm

Don't run rpi-update. You could screw up your system that way.
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
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Since 2012: 1B*5, 2B*2, B+, A+, Zero*2, 3B*3

Please post ALL technical questions on the forum. Do not send private messages.

Circola
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Re: RetroPie ver 2.3. The Pictoral Primer.

Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:48 am

Jeessie wrote:Did you install the joystick package?

The last I checked you still have to add the Bios folder manually with RetroPie. The Phen375 is listed in the guide above.

I can lay this out a tad better for you but it may not happen for a few days. Have to do some family stuff tonight and tomorrow.
Hi Jessie, how do I install the joystick package? Thanks..

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