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HOWTO play emulators on OpenELEC for the raspberry Pi!

Jose CerrejonAbout 3 minRaspberry PIDeveloperRaspberry PIDeveloper

HOWTO play emulators on OpenELEC for the raspberry Pi!


...Once upon a time a user called mezzo asked himself: "Why there is no retroarch addon for the raspberry pi?". So without thinking twice decided to compile the Library so he can play their favorite emulators within their favorute Media Center. And best of all, they shared their knowledge with the whole kingdom and with every house. The villagers could play games and watch movies from a leisure center...

Time ago we saw a first attempt and was only a matter of time before someone would improve the system to use emulators on this distro. I have always advocated for its stability and speed against their adversaries. Now bring us the opportunity to finish watching a movie and playing Hellfireopen in new window from the Genesis Megadrive (my favorite game).

Supported platforms:

  • NES (fceu)

  • MAME (imame4all)

  • Master System/Genesis (picodrive)

  • Atari (stella)

  • SuperNES (pocketsnes)

  • Others (beta test)

We'll use a SSH conection to our OpenELEC distribution. SSH must be enabled. You can check it on SYSTEM > OpenELEC > Services. The user is root and password openelec.

You have two methods to install. Choose one:

[ Method 1: Easy peasy ]

Log into SSH and type:

wget /res/
unzip -d /
killall -9 kodi.bin

[ Method 2: The hard way ]

We need to install the Addon and run some commands in the terminal. My tests have been in the latest version of OpenELEC Kodi, which at the time of writing this article is the version 5.0.

We need also activate the option Show hidden files and folders inside Settings > Appearance > File List.

Execute the following in the terminal:

cd /storage/.kodi/addons/
wget /res/ && unzip emula* && rm emula*.zip
wget && unzip repo*.zip && rm repo*.zip
chmod +x /storage/.kodi/addons/*
ln -s /storage/.kodi/userdata/addon_data/* /storage/emulators
mkdir -p /storage/emulators/roms
mkdir -p /storage/emulators/advancedlauncher
# The next copy agame to test inside the rom folder (It's a Homebrew and free of use)
cd /storage/emulators/roms/ && wget /res/ && unzip && rm

Addon Advanced Launcher
Addon Advanced Launcher

Come back to OpenELEC and choose in the main menu Programs > Add-ons > Get more... > Advanced Launcher and press the Install button.

Select Advanced Launcher > Default with the right mouse button and choose Add New Launcher as you can see in the capture above, and follow the next steps:

Add New Launcher
Add New Launcher
Create New Launcher
Create New Launcher
  1. Create New Launcher > Files launcher: When asked the application you want to launch, follow the following path: Root filesystem/storage/.kodi/addons/
Script Path
Script Path
  1. Select files path: We indicate the path of the ROMS: Home folder/emulators/roms/.

  2. Now the ROMs extension, for Genesis Megadrive is bin.

ROMs extension
ROMs extension
  1. Application arguments we type: picodrive "%rom%" (or the name of the emulator you want to launch to the file extension. You can see list of supported platforms on the top of the post).
Emulator's name
Emulator's name
  1. Launcher title, I typed Megadrive.
  1. The platform, choose Sega Genesis from the list.

  2. (OPTIONAL) I put fanart and thubnails inside /storage/emulators/advancedlauncher.You should then copy .jpg images inside that folder and add them manually pressing right mouse button on each game.

Repeat these steps for each emulator you want to have.

[ Add ROMs ]

Now we add ROMS clicking on each emulator, right mouse button and select Add Items.

Add Items
Add Items

From now you can play your favorite emulators with hardware acceleration at 60 fps!.

Advanced Launcher con algunos emuladores configurados
Advanced Launcher con algunos emuladores configurados

[ And now what? ]

To copy the ROMS, we can activate SAMBA protocol and copy from our Desktop computer.

When playing, press F1 to enter the options menu of the emulator, and to select an option, press the key X, to return to the previous menu, Z. Press ESC to exit the game.

You can add more emulators. Go to project lakkatvopen in new window where you will find binaries, although I have not tried this method commented on the forumopen in new window, where you can also found Amstrad, Amiga or ScummVM binaries.

You'll be looking forward to playing with Joystick. When you're in the game, plug your pad or joystick and press F1 option and select settings > input > Bind all. You can import your RetroPie configuration and overwrite retroarch.cfg file in the following path: /.kodi/userdata/addon_data/

Here's the final result in a video (sorry for quality, was in a hurry and did not look at the colors on screen):

I hope you enjoy my first guide of the year 😉

News source: > Retroarch addon no OpenELEC para Raspberry Pi (Pt)open in new window

Forum: RetroArch Addon (arm RPI)open in new window