Homepage Forums RetroPie Project Everything else related to the RetroPie Project [Retropie v3.00 RPi2 Final] EmulationStation freezes with lot of systems (> 10)

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  • #104153

    Hi everybody,

    I got a problem with EmulationStation : it freezes when lot of games directories have roms inside them.
    * I put 1 rom in more than 20 roms directories : white screen after reboot
    * I removed some roms (so less systems tab to display ~10 systems) : menu is displayed but starts to freeze after browsing 3-4 tabs.
    * under 10 systems : works perfectly
    Is there a limit of the number of systems allowed in ES (due to the RPi2 memory) ? or is it a bug ?

    For info :
    I checked in /tmp if there was an error log : no log found.
    I checked in /home/pi/.emulationstation/es_log.txt : no error in log.
    I tried this on a fresh install.

    If someone has an idea, please tell me :)


    Double check your gpumem, im pretty sure default is set to 64mb, raise it to 256 or 512 and see if the problem persists.


    Oh, my bad. Sorry for the duplicate.

    I tried to play with the gpumem values (originally 256 upped to 512) : no success.
    Damn, my MEGA HUGE EMULATOR BOX will be a little emulator box. ^^
    I wanted 20+ emulators (i’ve got a 64Go sd card). I will take a more little sdcard.


    Similar probl here..

    I get white backgrounds (only the name of the emulator is visible) when i install > 8 emulators (e.g 9 , 10 or 11). I am using a BB image of the latest retropie though.


    I have the same problem !

    Changing the GPU Memory doensn’t help.
    I think its a problem of Emulationstation and not an issue of the Memory-slpitting.
    Normally ES should have enough Memory, but maybe there is some limitation of the memory ?


    Same issue of course confirmed on ssmithers dual boot openelec/RetroPie build as well as RetroPie 3.0 Betas and Final.

    ColorPi v1 and v2 themes work fine. It has to do with the backgrounds I assume.

    Testing GPU memory splits higher than 512 to see if that will help maybe per a suggestion here:



    posted on git but reposting here for easy reference:

    Sooooooo….raspi-config is appending the memory split after other entries which override it:



    For me on the B+ it’s the gpu_mem_1024=256 line that was resulting in less memory than I had thought to check (derp) thinking gpu_mem=896 would take priority if set explicitly – it does not…so I commented out the other lines.

    960 GPU split is too high it seems and craps out the Pi…had to pull SD card and set config.txt back to 944. This seems to be the limit according to:
    (Mental note to read documentation first then tinker lol..)

    Setting to 944 and Pi is dragging along and doesn’t want to fully boot up still (doesn’t seem to be an efficient memory split). Wasn’t patient enough to wait longer, so I set it back to 896 for further testing (again via SDCard reader). This seems to be the highest GPU split that I could do without emulation station not able to boot.

    That said – All themes with multiple backgrounds seem to hang at white screen during boot.

    Tested es-theme-clean-look, es-theme-paradox, es-theme-tronkyfran works fine after changing to it from colorpi theme, but startup hangs at white screen…best one being tronkyfran which was perfect and had a background for everything.

    It seems like Raspi can handle all the backgrounds in some cases, but hangs during boot up specifically. Additionally – it seems to run these emulators and Kodi without running in to memory issues – it seems odd to me that something like background pics would cause a memory limit on a nearly 900MB GPU memory split :(

    I also stopped being lazy and counted how many emulators/icons I have on my setup (including retro pie settings, infocom,etc): 32 total.

    Is this really a limitation on RasPi you think, or is there something wrong with how themes are loaded up during boot-up? If it loads it fine AFTER colorpi starts up…why can’t it do it at bootup with other themes? If it can handle up to 32 emulators after colorpi starts up first, why can’t it boot up with like say…15 emulators?

    Just seems odd! I’m happy to grab any logs or whatever I can do to help :)

    Thank you


    sorry for my english ;)

    if you have a lot of emus/roms and you have on boot a black/white screen helps to delete the theme folder.the boot process is working again.


    This can indeed be helpful. However this can be reproduced on a fresh installation of RetroPie 3.0 Final with 10+ emulators in use by installing only 1 rom per emulator.

    My current setup is 32 icons.

    The ColorPi themes v1 and v2 will work just fine.

    If you start up with ColorPi and change to es-theme-tronkyfran – it works fine. It may hang after exiting an emulator, but it will whitescreen during boot up.

    The fact that this works after ColorPi loads 32 systems indicates to me that it’s possible, but it’s a bug some where.

    At least I can use ColorPi until we find a fix one day hopefully :)


    The Carbon theme (static background) also proves to work great on >10 emulator setups. I’ve got mine working with it and carbon-centered.

    Good stuff!


    thx i will try it ;)


    thank you it works perfect ;)

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