Lakka 2.1.1 with Raspberry Pi 3 B+ support

After quite some time the Lakka team released the new version 2.1.1 which – as you probably guessed from the headline – supports the new raspberry Pi 3 B+. Great news for these owners. Some updated and also some new cores like Higan, nSide, Cannonball, MAME2003 and much more.

Here is the changelog:

  • Important updates
    • RetroArch 1.7.3
    • LibreELEC 8.2 fixes
    • XU4 kernel update to 4.14
    • Rockchip kernel upgrade
    • Allwinner kernel upgrade
  • New cores
    • Higan, the famous SFC emulator from byuu
    • nSide, a fork of higan v106 with additional features
    • Cannonball, an enhanced OutRun engine
    • MAME2003 plus, updated 2018 version of MAME (0.78) for libretro. with added game support and improvements
    • Snes9x 2005 plus, Snes9x 1.43 plus BLARRG APU
    • FreeIntv, Mattel Intellivision emulator
    • Game Music Emu core
  • Core updates
    • Citra, the 3DS emulator
    • ChaiLove, the chaiscript game engine
    • MAME2003, the multi arcade emulator
    • PPSSPP, the PSP emulator
    • Sameboy, the Game Boy emulator
    • Desmume, the Nintendo DS emulator
    • and many more
  • Fixes
    • Keyboard fix for ARM based devices
    • Bluetooth fix for S905/S912
    • H3 boot
  • Bonus
    • Support for more gamepads (Zeroplus based gamepads)
    • Support more Commodore cores
    • Libretro overlays are now exposed in SAMBA
    • Project cleanup
    • XU4 fix display of the partition resize messages

For more information, head over to their blog post.

To update, use the internal update feature of Lakka. Download and reboot.

Retroarch – How to add or play games?

Even though Retroarch is a really great frontend for emulators using libretro API, it can be a bit confusing for beginners to get started and play a game as it is not a simple File->Open as most people are used to from other (standalone) emulators. At least it was for me, until I figured it out. Hence a very quick tutorial on how to

Play a game instantly with Retroarch

Once you got Retroarch installed on your system (this might be worth another article) and started it up, you look at its frontend. By default this is XMB which looks similar to the Playstation 3 (PS3) interface with horizontal and vertical aligned menus. To load a game from your device, which needs to be supported by Retroarch obviously, go to

  • Main Menu
  • Load Content
  • / (3rd item, depends on the Operating system you are using (eg. Windows, Linux, OS X, …..)
  • Then browse to the directory where your game is located and select it
  • if the game is zipped, select Load Archive
  • If the filetype is not yet associated with a core, the you can select the core here. Give it a try, which one works best on your system. (If a core is already associated, the game starts immediately.)
  • Now the game should start

Load and scan your game library

Probably the preferred option of everyone is to scan the whole library and then easy select the games from each of the systems available. Including a nice boxart.

How to do this? Lets have a look.

Preparation: In my experience it works best, if you store all your roms within folders separate by systems: So have a SNES, NES, Gameboy, … folders with each of the games in it.

Steps to scan a folder:

  • Go to “Import content” (the + sign)
  • Scan Directory
  • Browse to the folder you like to scan.
  • Once in the folder, select “Scan This directory”
  • Depending on the number of roms within the directory to scan this can take quite some time…. Retroarch shows the progress in the bottom left corner.

Once finished, a new icon with the system(s) scanned shows up on the right hand side on the horizontal menu axis. Go there and select the game you like to play. Have fun.

Hope this helps some newcomer. Questions, comments or any feedback in general is very welcome.

 

Upgrading OpenELEC to LibreELEC: check size failed error

Not directly a gaming topic, but one or the other might use OpenELEC, resp. LibreELEC now. When I tried to upgrade to the latest LibreELEC I got a “check size failed” error message, and the upgrade failed.

Background: OpenELEC used a small FAT16 partition (128mb?) as the system partition which is now to small for the new versions, hence the size check fails.

Solution: You have to increase the partition size of the system partition. I tried to use GParted unter Linux which is an excellent tool, but failed on this exercise due to missing support of FAT partition being smaller then 256mb in the library used (libparted).

Workaround:
– Use any partition tool you like; I used an Ubuntu live disk and used GParted, but I remember Parition Magic from my windows time as example
– decrease your data partition (2nd) to get some additional storage before your data parition, right after the SYSTEM partition (1st)
– copy the content of the system partition to a backup storage (like USB stick, SD card, whatever)
– delete the system partition
– create a new primary partition with 512mb (or more)
– label it “SYSTEM”
– and format it with EXT4 (thats what I did)
– Copy the content of your backup storage bak to the system partition
– Reboot

Hope this helps.

Joe

(migrated tutorial from phpBB)