Raspberry Pi with XBian and RetroPie

After I came across the RetroPie project, I knew I had to try it out. The bad thing was that I did not have an extra sd-card available, so I had to install it alongside my existing XBian installation. It turned out to be rather straightforward process, but there was a couple of caveats, so I decided to write it all out for you. In case you didn’t know, XBian is an awesome media center distribution for Raspberry Pi:

XBian is a small, fast and lightweight media center distribution for the Raspberry Pi, CuBox-i, Hummingboard and many more devices to come. It is based on a minimal Debian and therefore offers much of the same freedom as Debian offers. Our slogan is “XBian, the bleeding edge” as our main focus is delivering the fastest Kodi solution for various small form factor computers.

And RetroPie is a project that makes your Raspberry Pi a retro console, with emulators for practically every console up until the first PlayStation. So, to begin, I’m assuming you have a working installation of XBian – if not, follow the instructions on their website here.

Start by exiting Kodi (the exit option in the shutdown menu) so that you enter the command line (don’t use SSH for this, the installation process takes a long time and you don’t want your session to timeout) and install the prerequisites:

sudo apt-get install git lsb-release

After that, you can clone the latest RetroPie version:

git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup.git

This will download the latest version for you. Now, there is a small glitch here that you need to fix manually. XBian has a fixed dependency to an old libcurl package, which is incompatible with RetroPie. After digging around, I found that the solution was to create a file called 01user to /etc/apt/preferences.d/ with the following contents:

Package: libcurl3 curl libcurl3-gnutls
Pin: release o=XBian
Pin-Priority: -1
Package: libcurl3 curl libcurl3-gnutls
Pin: release o=Debian
Pin-Priority: 1001

After creating that file, you can run the retropie installer:

cd RetroPie-Setup 
chmod +x retropie_setup.sh 
sudo ./retropie_setup.sh

Running the basic install option will install all the emulators. After that the installation is complete and you can run emulationstation from the command line!

Coming up: how to run emulationstation from Kodi.

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