How to install Lakka.tv on a PC

Introduction – What is Lakka.tv

From the Lakka.tv homepage:
“Lakka is a lightweight Linux distribution that transforms a small computer into a full blown game console.”

Lakka is an overall package for different kind of computer, including the Raspberry Pi, coming with a bunch of emulator all wrapped into a nice frontend for easy configuration. The user interface is built like the Playstation’s interface, so pretty easy to navigate.

Basis of Lakka is the famous RetroArch library and the distribution known from the Open Elec (http://www.openelec.tv) project used for the popular HTPC project Kodi (http://www.kodi.tv, formerly known as XBMC).

As of the day of writing this text Lakka is still in development, sometimes you can not avoid to play around with the conigfiles. Luckily this is rarly the case.

Prerequisites

Hardware
This really depends on what kind of games you like to play: If you like to play only the older consoles like Atari 2600 oder Super Nintendo games you can use elder Hardware or small computer like the Raspberry Pi. If also like to Play Nintendo 64 games, more power is obviously required.

You also need some kind of game controller. Keyboard works as well, but that is for sure not that convenient (and not the intention of Lakka). Personally I am using a Logitech F310 gamepad which works perfectly.

In short:
– a PC
– USB stick
– keyboard
– gamepas

Software
That is an easy one: The Lakka distribution and a the games you like to play are actually all you need.

Installation Preparation
1. Head over to http://www.lakka.tv/get/, acceppt the disclaimer
2. Select GNU/Linux and then “PC” (or if you got a box with dedicated hardware which is supported)
3. 32 or 64bit depends on your hardware. Select the appropriate one; most CPU’s nowadays support 64bit. If you dont know and your hardware is quite old, go for the 32bit version. You can also try Intels website to find out if your CPU supports 64 bit: http://processorfinder.intel.com.
4. Download the image and save it at your download location.

5 Now we have to copy the image to the USB stick to prepare it for installation. Lakka.tv got details installation steps on their website:

Linux: http://www.lakka.tv/get/linux/generic/install/
Windows: http://www.lakka.tv/get/windows/generic/install/

Installation
Make sure, your PC is booting from the USB. You can check this by entering your BIOS by pressing (in most cases) either the F2 or the DEL key at the beginning when your PC boots. So you need a keyboard connected to your PC for the installation

When it boots from the USB stick, you got two options:
– Run Installer: This installs Lakka on our PC (and deletes everything on your harddrive!)
– Run Live: Choose this to give it a try (no installation on the harddisk, only boot from USB)

As we like to install Lakka on the PC, select “Run Installer”. After the splash screen the main menu of the installer shows up. Select the 1st option “Quick Install Lakka.tv” and then OK. The installer shows then the possible installation targets, eg. the harddisk to install to. Select the right one (probably only one anyway) to install to it. Press Ok. All the required files will then be copied over to your harddisk. Once this process finished, you will be asked to reboot your computer. Select “Reboot”. Make sure you remove the USB device before the PC reboots to avoid loading the installer again.

Your PC should now boot up your newly Lakka installation and showing the nice Lakka front end. Congrats, Lakka is up and running. Now lets have a look on how to copy over some games and how to play them.

Copy over games
Lakka is currently not supporting network fileshares like Kodi or OpenElec does. So you have to copy over your games to the box.

Lakka is using Samba (Windows file sharing) to let other computer access the file system. So depending if you are on Windows or Linux, go and check “Network Places” or “Browse Network” in your file explorer/manager and open up “LAKKA”. A share called “ROMs” shows up. This is were the games go to.

I recommend creating subfolders per System. So lets assume you are copying over a Super Nintendo game. Enter the “ROMs” share on the LAKKA box and create a new folder called “Super Nintendo” in it. Copy your game, lets assume again it is Super Mario World, into this newly created folder”.

For the game to show up, you have to introduce the newly created folder to Lakka. To do so, navigate in the interface to the “+” icon and select it. In the menu you should then see the newly created folder “Super Nintendo”. Select this folder and then select “Scan this directory”. A short scan process should start and scan all roms you placed in the selected folder. Once completed a new icon for Super Nintendo should show up in the X-axis of the menu. Right after the “+” sign.

Play
Select this new Super Nintendo icon. The game(s) should now show up in the Y-axis, including Super Mario World we copyied over before. Select it and then choose “Run”. The game should now show up and is ready to play.

Have fun :-) :arrow:

Got a question or comment? Like to hear them in the discussion below.

Joe

History
v0.2: added support link (3. Jan 2016)
v0.1: first draft (3. Jan 2016)