Installing RetroArch on LeMaker Guitar Ubuntu Mate 15.04

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Edited by Tido at Dec 24, 2015 13:52

Hi all, I recently tried RetroArch on LeMaker Guitar, it turns out working very good. We can now enjoy playing GAMES on LeMaker Guitar! Here is a short summary of how I made it work. The OS: Ubuntu Mate For Guitar http://www.lemaker.org/product-guitar-download-18.html

RetroArch is an open source, modular, multi-system frontend for the libretro API that is designed to be fast, lightweight, and portable. It emulates nearly every classic gaming console on your machine. For Ubuntu users, there’s now an official PPA repository that contains RetroArch and Libretro core libraries, currently supports Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04, Linux Mint 17, eOS Freya.

Popular examples of implementations for this API include videogame system emulators and game engines, but also more generalized 3D programs. These programs are instantiated as dynamic libraries. I refer to these as "Libretro cores". "RetroArch" is the reference frontend for the libretro API.

Automatic installation can be easy, firstly you have to add the PPA, open terminal from the Dash/Menu (or press Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libretro/stable
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Then you must update system cache and source list, so that you can fully install RetroArch environment as well as all available cores by running the below commands:

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get install retroarch retroarch-* libretro-*
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You should now have a complete install. How to use it read this Blog.

If you only want to add a libretro core apart from the default full installation, you can choose to manually install RetroArch alone and a certain core, but first of all, you have to install some prerequisites libraries:

  1. sudo apt-get install -y make git-core curl g++ pkg-config libglu1-mesa-dev freeglut3-dev mesa-common-dev libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl-ttf2.0-dev
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By default under the home directory, download the RetroArch source code and configure the emulator by running the commands:

  1. git clone https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch.git
  2. cd RetroArch
  3. ./configure
  4. make
  5. sudo make install
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Now you will be able to start RetroArch fronted GUI, but you still want a specific core to run certain gaming ROMs. Here I use iMAM4ALL libretro core as example, under the home directory:

  1. git clone https://github.com/libretro/imame4all-libretro.git
  2. cd imame4all-libretro/
  3. make -f makefile.libretro ARM=1
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Then you will obtain a dynamic .so file named libretro.so, rename it as the core name, and copy to the core directory (can be user specified), such that the libretro core is installed:

  1. #automatic installation puts .so in /usr/lib/libretro/**_ libretro
  2. sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib/libretro
  3. sudo cp libretro.so /usr/lib/libretro/imame4all_libretro.so
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For Ubuntu Mate system (Ubuntu core 15.04) on LeMaker Guitar, to configure the RetroArch, firstly find two configuration files named retroarch.cfg:

  1. cd /
  2. sudo find . -name retroarch.cfg
  3. nano /etc/retroarch.cfg
  4. nano /home/lemaker/.config/retroarch/retroarch.cfg
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Then modify the video_driver variable in the configuration file retroarch.cfg; as I can figure out, the one under the /home/lemaker/.config/retroarch/ directory takes effects:

  1. sudo nano /home/lemaker/.config/retroarch/retroarch.cfg
  2. #find the variable video_driver, uncomment it
  3. video_driver = gles
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By default RetroArch use keyboard inputs as joypad, here I also configure the Xbox 360 Wireless joypad to play games; the keyboard keys can also be customized. Plug in the USB adapter of joypad and start the retroarch-joyconfig configuration process by running:

  1. #start retroarch-joyconfig process
  2. retroarch-joyconfig
  3. #press enter to start the configurations
  4. #press the corresponding button on the joypad
  5. #the following information can be generated
  6. #use the values you need below to configure your joypad

  7. input_player1_joypad_index = "0"
  8. input_player1_b_btn = "1"
  9. input_player1_y_btn = "0"
  10. input_player1_select_btn = "3"
  11. input_player1_start_btn = "9"
  12. input_player1_up_btn = "h0up"
  13. input_player1_down_btn = "h0down"
  14. input_player1_left_btn = "h0left"
  15. input_player1_right_btn = "h0right"
  16. input_player1_a_btn = "2"
  17. input_player1_x_btn = "3"
  18. input_player1_l_btn = "4"
  19. input_player1_r_btn = "5"
  20. input_player1_l2_btn = "6"
  21. input_player1_r2_btn = "7"
  22. input_player1_l3_btn = "6"
  23. input_player1_r3_btn = "7"
  24. input_player1_l_x_plus_axis = "+0"
  25. input_player1_l_x_minus_axis = "-0"
  26. input_player1_l_y_plus_axis = "+1"
  27. input_player1_l_y_minus_axis = "-1"
  28. input_player1_r_x_plus_axis = "+2"
  29. input_player1_r_x_minus_axis = "-2"
  30. input_player1_r_y_plus_axis = "+3"
  31. input_player1_r_y_minus_axis = "-3"
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Afterwards, you obtain the output values of each variable for the joypad, please modify retroarch.cfg correspondingly for these above variables:

  1. sudo nano /home/lemaker/.config/retroarch/retroarch.cfg
  2. #find the variables and modify its value accordingly
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Now the preparation is done, you’ll be able to use any joypad or keyboard you configured to play RetroArch games. Let's see how to use RetroArch to play with gaming ROMs. By default its icon should be classified into “Applications” => “Games” => “RetroArch”, you can drag the icon to either desktop or task panel:


Then use either the keyboard or joypad to choose from RetroArch menu:


If you firstly choose “Load Core”, be sure that you know it’s exactly the one to load the Game ROM. For example we want to play Final Fantasy ix, when you download a Game ROM, normally it will tell you which core to use, here we play with PlayStation PCSX ReARMed [NEON]:


Then “Load Content” will let you choose from folders; please download ROMs that tell you which emulators can properly run them, otherwise it may not be working:


If you choose “Load Content” first, then you must choose “Select File And Detect Core” in order to lately load cores that may possibly run the ROM.         



I've tested a lot of GAME ROMs with a lot of GAMEs. Fluently running a 2D game on LeMaker Guitar will reach about 60 FPS; for 3D games by Nintendo 64, FPS around 20 to 30 seems to be correct and fluent. In a word, LeMaker Guitar shows good GPU power when playing with RetroArch. Just try it out!






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Thank you for your posting - I try to follow it with Lemuntu (based on Debian).

I have a problem with this command:
  1. make -f makefile.libretro ARM=1
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it does not work at all, just an error message.

Is it possible that you meant:
  1. make ARM=1
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Tido replied at Dec 22, 2015 18:04

Thank you for your posting - I try to follow it with Lemuntu (based on Debian).

Do you have run retroarch successfully on Lemuntu?

Tido replied at Dec 22, 2015 18:04

Thank you for your posting - I try to follow it with Lemuntu (based on Debian).

what kind of the error message?

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