Retroarch Lakka


This new Lakka update, 2.3.2, contains RetroArch 1.8.4 (was 1.7.2), some new cores and a handful of core updates. As part of our new tier-based updates, Lakka 2.3.2 is for now only available for the following platforms: 64-bit Generic (x8664) Rasperry Pi 1 and Zero (with and without GPICase).

  1. Retroarch Lakka
  2. Retroarch Lakka In English
  3. Linux Lakka

RetroArch is the reference frontend for the libretro API. Popular examples of implementations for this API includes videogame system emulators and game engines, but also more generalized 3D programs. Oct 06, 2020 Between RetroPie, Lakka, and Recalbox, Lakka stands out the most. Rather than EmulationStation, Lakka uses RetroArch and the Libretro frontend with an interface mimicking the PlayStation 3 XrossMediaBar (XMB). It’s the most robust option you’ll find, with a bevy of options for shaders, audio, and video tweaks. At times, it’s almost too much. Apr 17, 2021 Lakka OS is able to emulate a wide variety of consoles. It brings all these console emulators under the gorgeous front end of RetroArch. All the emulators are compiled with the best optimizations possible and so Lakka OS runs the games more smoothly than the normal emulators. RetroArch is the official front end for the libretro API. RetroArch and libretro provide a way to take an existing emulator and load that emulator as a library or 'core'. RetroArch then handles the input (controls) and output (graphics and audio) while the emulator core handles the emulation of the original system.

Ever since Lakka was released, I’ve been interested in getting it up and running on my PC. Emulating retro games is fantastic for us old school gamers that have lost the patience to replay numerous levels after a cheap death in-game. Although I do prefer playing my games on their original consoles with the correct controller, for modern gaming use – emulators became indispensable to me with the advent of save states…

Lakka is a lightweight Linux distribution that will convert your old PC, Raspberry Pi, etc into a full blown gaming console. Lakka is the official Linux distribution of RetroArch and the libretro ecosystem. It’s a lightweight OS that will wipe your existing data to perform a full install. There is, however, a live USB option for those that do not have a spare PC lying around. Although I found Lakka quite impressive but as I was using a live USB, it made copying games to my system difficult.

Retroarch Lakka

As an alternative to Lakka, I recommend the RetroArch and EmulationStation combo which, with a little bit of customization, looks and performs just as well. Retroarch has some powerful features like rewinding time (Prince of Persia style) that removes some of the frustration from games like Ninja Gaiden, Battle Toads and The Lion King.

For those that would prefer to play 2500 classic games on a portable device without any setup – be sure to check out my current favorite portable console.

The best and easiest guide I’ve found to setting up RetroArch and EmulationStation comes from the Youtube Channel of WinEmulate. You’ll find his video below:

A few pointers for once you’re done, in the form of a Q&A:

Q: My Nes/Sega/N64 emulator is not showing in the emulator list?
A: Check your es_systems.cfg file, and make sure that there are no spaces between your directory names. With the version I’m using, you cannot have a folder with a space between 2 names. Shorten the name of your folder and adjust the settingsfile.

Q: Why doens’t EmulationStation return when I close an emulator? When I press escape, it takes me back to the desktop.
A: I haven’t found the reason for this, but with my installation of Windows 10, I’ve had some issues with this. If you download the installation ZIP for 2.0.0-RC1 and copy the emulationstation.exe and freetype6.dll files from it to your current install, it should work as normal.

Q: Why is BlueMSX is not working? BlueMSX just exits back out of EmulationStation.
A: Download a fresh copy of BlueMSX and copy the Database and Machines folders to your system folder within retroarch. Do not make a new folder for BlueMSX within the system folder, simply copy the Database and Machines folders there. Next, you will need to add the following lines to your retroarch-core-options.cfg file:

bluemsx_msxtype = “MSX2+”
bluemsx_vdp_synctype = “Auto”
bluemsx_ym2413_enable = “enabled”

That should do it!


Q: Why is my N64 emulator not working? Mupen64Plus is not working and gives a black screen?
A: If you have the Rewind Feature enabled, Mupen64Plus will spaz out. Disable this option whenever you want to play an N64 game.

Q: Why is Mame not working? Mame loads and then gives some error and shuts down.
A: Find a copy of the file online and leave the zipped file with all your zipped games. Mame will find it there when it needs it.

Good Luck

Updating Lakka can break your system if you have customized it a lot. Before you choose to update, it is wise to backup important things like your savefiles.

The following upgrade procedures will upgrade the kernel and the system. Sometimes, the bootloader configuration will be updated too. But it will not update the configuration file of retroarch. This can lead to problems like wrong paths.

To avoid these issues, you should purge your retroarch.cfg after the upgrade.

Upgrade procedures


Updating from the graphical interface

Latest versions of Lakka supports upgrading to the next (or previous) versions directly from the graphical interface. For this,

  1. Go to Online Updater
  2. Go to Update Lakka
  3. Scroll to the OS image you want to download (be careful with the dates) and hit OK
  4. Once the download is finished, reboot

You should see some messages about the upgrade process. After some seconds, your system will reboot.

Manual updates

  1. Download the latest img.gz file corresponding to your hardware from here.
  2. Place this file in your Storage partition, in the .update folder, either using SAMBA or by mounting it
  3. Boot or reboot your hardware.

You should see some messages about the upgrade process. After some seconds, your system will reboot.

Updating using a USB drive (PC only)

This method works only for PC.

  1. Download the latest img.gz corresponding to your device from here
  2. Extract it
  3. Flash the image to a USB drive (all data will be lost)
  4. Plug the USB drive in your Lakka Box
  5. Boot, and select installer while in the bootloader menu
  6. Once in the installer, there is an update entry

Retroarch Lakka In English

Reflash everything

The safest method to update your Lakka OS. We recommand this method when upgrading to a new major version.

  1. Backup all your ROMs, Saves, Savestates, Screenshots, etc
  2. Reinstall Lakka from scratch
  3. Add your data back

Upgrading using lakka-update

If you’re used to connect to your Lakka box using SSH, this method will fit your needs. It downloads the latest development tar, extract it and let you reboot.

Linux Lakka

  1. Connect using SSH
  2. Type lakka-update, wait for the download to finish
  3. Reboot

Purging your retroarch.cfg

Connect using SSH, and type: