RetroPie SD-card Image: A Recipe

An SD-card image of a RetroPie installation was recently made available. This post describes the individual steps taken in order to create such an image. While it serves me to ensure that no steps are forgotten during future updates, this post provides also an insight into the individual steps for people with interest in this topic.

As always, you are invited to make suggestions or comments to further improve the RetroPie Image! Especially the set of packages to be removed can still be optimized I think.

And here it is, the step-by-step recipe for creating the RetroPie Image:

  1. Download and copy the Raspbian image on SD card
  2. The raspi-config script automatically starts on first boot. From here, expand the root file system
  3. Then reboot
  4. Login as user “pi” and run
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install -y git dialog
  5. Fetch the latest version of the RetroPie Setup Script with
    git clone git://
  6. Start the RetroPie Script
    cd RetroPie-Setup
    sudo ./
  7. Select “binaries-based installation” in RetroPie Script and press ENTER
  8. Check message dialogs at the end of binaries-based installation.
  9. Select “Setup” in RetroPie Script and press ENTER
  10. Set EmulationStation to start on boot.
  11. Set SNESDev to start on boot and to poll the button and game pads. (There are reports that game pad configurations override keyboard settings, so that the settings for game pads are not set as default anymore. If you want to use a joystick or game pad, you have to manually configure it.)
  12. Enable splashscreen on boot.
  13. Install and configure SAMBA.
  14. Install USB-ROM-Copy service.
  15. Install GPIO gamepad drivers (added 04.05.2013)
  16. Exit the RetroPie Setup Script and run
    sudo raspi-config
  17. Set overclock to preset ‘Medium’The following steps are only needed, if you want to create an SD card image yourself. I post them here to make the generation of the RetroPie image more transparent:
  18. Reboot
  19. Configure EmulationStation game pad input
  20. Testing of all emulators with at least one ROM
  21. Exit Emulation Station
  22. Remove unnecessary packages via
    chmod +x ./RetroPie-Setup/tools/
    sudo ./RetroPie-Setup/tools/
  23. Please note that the dd command, which is also used in the following, is a very powerful command that is able to break your system! If you are unsure about it, you can have a look at this article, that explains its use for RPi SD card handling. But now the explanation of the next step:
    Shutdown the RPi, use another computer to create an SD-card image, e.g., with

    dd if=/dev/disk3 bs=2m of=RetroPieImage_verX.img
  24. Compress the image into ZIP format with
    zip -9 RetroPieImage_verX.img
  25. Create SHA1 checksum with
  26. (Upload the image.)

And that’s it.