How to install RetroPie on your Raspberry Pi if you already have the official system installed

RetroPie on Raspberry Pi OS

It is clear that gamers will always opt for Windows rather than Linux. As much as things improve thanks to Steam or Valve, developers will always prioritize the most used system, gamers will go to that system and we will enter a spiral from which Linux will never benefit more. But when we talk about classic games, like those of retro consoles, it is not necessary to stay in Windows. The best example is RetroPie, an emulator which is mostly based on EmulationStation and RetroArch.

A few days ago, although I don't play a lot, I wanted to try it on my Raspberry Pi. The reasons were that I already have it connected to the TV and I wanted to see how it performed, so I considered creating an SD with RetroPie. Before doing so, I thought that I already have a Raspberry Pi OS card and that can be installed on the same operating system, so I did. In this article I explain the steps to follow in case you are looking for the same thing.

Steps to follow to install RetroPie

The following is supposed to work on any computer with a Debian / Ubuntu based system, but we are going to focus on the Raspberry Pi:

  1. If we don't have it, we install Raspberry Pi OS. We can do it with Raspberry Pi Imager or with Etcher.
  2. We open a terminal and write:
sudo git clone --depth=1
  1. Now that we have downloaded the software, we open the folder that will have been created in step 2 with the command:
cd RetroPie-Setup
  1. In the next step, we install the software with this command:
sudo ./
  1. After installation, we will see the RetroPie configuration menu. We accept by pressing OK. With that we will have RetroPie installed on Raspberry Pi OS.


Now that we have RetroPie installed, his thing would be to be able to use it, right? Well now we have to configure some things. The first thing will be to open a terminal and write "emulationstation" without the quotes. If we had not connected any controllers, now is the time. Right after we will read «1 GAMEPAD DETECTED» and we will have to press and hold any button to start with its configuration.

Setting the controls of a command is a path without loss: with the drawings on the left, even if we do not understand English, we will know which button we have to press: those of the crosshead, the analog, the action rounds on the right, the triggers and those of Select and Start. We also have to configure a «key» key that we will combine with others to pause the game and activate some other options.

Once we have the remote configured, we have to add ROMs. The easiest thing is to try some of SEGA or Nintendo, and we will have to put them in the roms folder that is inside the RetroPie folder. If we want to play PSP titles, we have to create a folder with that name and, from the EmulationStation settings (RetroPie logo), install the PPSSPP kernel.

As a final tip, it is worth creating a launcher for EmulationStation so that we can open the emulator from the start menu (whisker) or from the task bar. The command must be, without the quotes, "emulationstation", and for the logo we can search for "retropie logo png" in Google DuckDuckGo, download it and choose it when creating the launcher.

RetroPie as an operating system

The option to install RetroPie on Raspberry Pi OS / Debian / Ubuntu exists, but, although it does not have the reason, it is easier for it to fail if we install it on top of a system than if we use an image to run independently. An option that does not have much to do with what the headline says is create an SD with RetroPie, or better yet, use PINN and install an operating system like the official one and others from third parties together with the emulator.

Another option, which is the one I recommend if you are not worried about dealing with certain bloatware, is to install Twister OS. It is based on Raspberry Pi OS, your RetroPie works perfectly after installation from scratch, it supports Windows apps and… well, there is to choose from, but the best to play on the Raspberry Pi is RetroPie.

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