Reddit – Upvoted: I added RetroArch to Buildroot so you can build your own tiny Linux-based console. via /r/RetroArch

I added RetroArch to Buildroot so you can build your own tiny Linux-based console.

Who the heck am I?

I am an embedded Linux engineer who likes to try new things! I have been working with the Buildroot team for years now and have ported some pretty crazy packages over the years.

What is Buildroot:

Buildroot is a simple, efficient, and easy-to-use tool to generate embedded Linux systems through cross-compilation. It supports a multitude of architectures, boards, and systems, including, of course, x86.

Why this project:

I have a good friend in Italy who has a young son. They generally do not play games, but with the current COVID19 situation, he decided to retrofit an older PC from 10 years ago to be a retro console emulator. I know there are other projects out there that support RetroArch, but as a Buildroot developer, I decided to have some fun and integrate the package into Buildroot itself.

Why Buildroot?

It can be quite small and fast! The current build starts Around 5 seconds! (First boot takes about 10.) With some services cut out, I could probably get the boot to less than 2 seconds on an embedded device such as a Raspberry Pi, Wandboard, or Beaglebone.

What's currently supported?

  • This version is an initial build that works with X86.
  • Initial support for updating


File system layout:

  • Four partitions:
  • Boot
  • Root-A
  • Root-B
  • Data

Everything for RetroArch goes in /data/retroarch/.

The reason for this is because this build supports "ping-pong" style updates. IE: Updates completely replace the Root filing system that isn't in use, and then the system reboots to the new Root once the update finishes.

If files that were modified were stored anywhere but /data/, then updates would destroy those changes.

I will continue to work on the system in my spare time, but right now the default is set for KMS.


Where can I find the code?


Thanks for checking it out!

Submitted April 07, 2020 at 01:49AM by ADuskett via reddit