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RaspberryPi 302 - Installing RetroPi

posted Nov 11, 2015, 4:28 PM by Joshua S   [ updated Nov 11, 2015, 4:32 PM ]
This post demonstrates how to build a RetroPi from scratch.  The good people over at RetroPi built an amazing use case of the RaspberryPi that lets us play all of our favorite old video games (ROMs not included) from our RaspberryPi!  In the end, this will be an amazing gaming machine!

With any of the Dabbles on this site, if you have questions, suggestions, or thoughts, please feel free to send me an eMail (I'm still working to figure out how to enable comments on Google Sites -- suggestions would be appreciated)!

Supply List:
  • RaspberryPi  The actual RaspberryPi hardware this will all be built around.  In this tutorial, a Raspberry Pi 2 is used and has a memory card with the Raspbian operating system pre-installed.
  • PuTTY SSH Client – PuTTY is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connection.  Other SSH tools can be used, but this tutorial will leverage PuTTY.
  • ROMs   IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but my understanding is that ROMs are legal digital copies of video games which you already own.  I assume there are about 12,000 layers of legal complexity here which are far outside the scope of this Dabble.  You will need these files to use the RetroPi Dabble.  Rumor has it, you may be able to find these files online for free, but again, IANAL, and can't speak to the legal implications of downloading them.


  • I know I said this guide was going to be comprehensive and not skip any steps, so what better way to start this off than by skipping steps.  I am not writing out instructions for the following (and illustrating from XKCD):
    • Buying a MicroSD Card
    • Buying a RaspberryPi 
    • Finding the IP Address of your Pi
      • This can be done in many ways, including on your router or using an IP scanner such as (AngryIP Scanner or NMAP) -- if there are requests from the "Contact Me" form; I'll look to create a tutorial for this.
    • Obtaining and installing PuTTY
  • Using PuTTY (or the SSH client of your choice) enter the IP Address or DNS Name of the RaspberryPi.
  • If this is the first time you connect, you will get a warning that the RaspberryPi's host key is unknown.  Click "Accept" or "Connect Once" to proceed with the connection.
  • Once connected, log onto the Pi using the pi username and builtin account.  It is important to use the pi account for purposes of this lesson as HomeAssistant will run under the pi account.  If you have not updated the password, you should, but these are the default credentials:
  • UserID:  pi 
  • Password:  raspberry
  • OK, good!  Now that we are connected, let's install let's in
  • OK, good!  Now that everything is updated, let's install GIT functionality.  Use the following commands:
sudo apt-get -y install git dialog
      • git  Fast, scalable, distributed revision control system.
      • dialog  Displays user-friendly dialog boxes from shell scripts.

  • Now we'll use git to download the latest version of the RetroPi startup script using the following commands:
git clone git://github.com/petrockblog/RetroPie-Setup

  • Run the RetroPi setup script using the below command and follow the presented prompts as noted in the following screens:
cd RetroPie-Setup
sudo ./retropie_setup.sh

  • Congratulations!  Your RetroPi is up and running!