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  • Hi! I'm trying to install retropie on Kali Linux (Kali Rolling), a security-oriented OS used mainly for penetration testing.
    Technically it should be able to install RetroPie, as it is debian-based.

    When attempting to install however, it just throws the following in my face:

    root@shadow:~/RetroPie-Setup# ./retropie_setup.sh
    Unsupported OS

    Distributor ID: Kali
    Description: Kali GNU/Linux Rolling
    Release: kali-rolling
    Codename: kali-rolling

    How should I install it? Could I somehow bypass the check or would that break things?
    One idea would be to let it pretend being a Ubuntu PC, but I have no idea on how I should make that happen ^^;

  • Global Moderator

    @catx said in Unsupported OS - Debian-based Kali Linux:

    Technically it should be able to install RetroPie, as it is debian-based

    Which Debian version is this based on ?


  • As far as I know about Kali it is not designed to be a daily driver distro and is as you said contains a lot of tools for security testing etc.
    I would imagine there would be quite a lot of libraries / dependencies that RetroPie relies on missing from a normal Kali install.


  • @mitu It's based on Debian Jessie.

    "The Kali Linux distribution is based on Debian Testing. Therefore, most of the Kali packages are imported, as-is, from the Debian repositories. In some cases, newer packages may be imported from Debian Unstable or Debian Experimental, either to improve user experience, or to incorporate needed bug fixes." (taken from https://docs.kali.org/policy/kali-linux-relationship-with-debian)

    And from the release notes:
    "So, what’s new in Kali 2.0? There’s a new 4.0 kernel, now based on Debian Jessie."


  • @catx Debian Testing is not Jessie. It is Buster atm.

  • Global Moderator

    @catx said in Unsupported OS - Debian-based Kali Linux:

    "So, what’s new in Kali 2.0? There’s a new 4.0 kernel, now based on Debian Jessie."

    That must be old info, Debian Jessie is considered old-stable at this point.
    You can override easily the platform that the RetroPie-Setup detects and make it believe it's running over Debian, but unless they (Kali Linux) provide the whole Debian repository as a package source, I doubt it will work.
    Take a look at the detection script at https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/blob/master/scriptmodules/system.sh and how the script detects the OS distro and release.


  • @mitu Hm, I'll try that. It only installs into ~/RetroPie-Setup, right?
    It doesn't touch any other parts of the OS?


  • @jonnykesh Thanks for the info, this is my first time trying Kali :)

    I found a post which explains it quite well:
    "Kali right now is Kali Rolling which means it doesn't have a version number. It is always updating through small package updates instead of having a single update"

  • Global Moderator

    @catx said in Unsupported OS - Debian-based Kali Linux:

    It doesn't touch any other parts of the OS?

    Who's touching what ?


  • @mitu RetroPie-Setup. If it only installs into ~/RetroPie-Setup, and doesn't edit or change other parts in the OS (for example changing a variable/setting somewhere), then it wouldn't hurt to at least try installing it; although it may be incompatible.

    However if it indeed is dependant on other packages, and tries to change things but fails due to the lack of said packages, that could theoretically screw up a lot of things. That's why I'm wondering if RetroPie-Setup only affects it's own folder or other parts of the system.

  • Global Moderator

    @catx The RetroPie script does not fundamentally alter the OS, but it's a bit more than just a folder. I'd recommend to use a supported OS if you're not familiar enough with Linux/Debian. And, as @jonnykesh said, Kali is a security geared Linux distribution and I wouldn't use it as a day-to-day general OS.


  • Sorry to necro this thread, but I felt that op's question to some extent went unanswered. As was previously mentioned, you need to modify the system.sh script in the /scriptmodules/ folder in the setup directory. As long as you have all debian package repositories, you just need to change line 160 to __os_debian_ver="8". This should prevent the script from detecting your os as unsupported. I was able to successfully install retropie on parrot os which is based off of debian 8 using this method. Please let me know if you have any questions.


  • I'm also trying to install retropie on Kali, and have hit the same wall.

    I've edited line 161 (not 160 as mentioned above) to reflect 8, or 10, or 7, or kali, or Kali, or kali-rolling... all to no avail, the retropie_setup.sh still fails.

    (edit I know full well that kali isnt a daily driver, but it's becoming more of one for many people. plus having the kali toolkit on all my kodi interfaces would be handy).


  • @AGarcia482 said in Unsupported OS - Debian-based Kali Linux:

    you need to modify the system.sh script in the /scriptmodules/ folder in the setup directory. As long as you have all debian package repositories, you just need to change line 160 to __os_debian_ver="8".

    This is the right fix but needs explained slightly better. I think it's funny the other people that replied with vague explanations but still took the time to comment that they knew what to do. For most (and me) I guess we prefer figuring out these things on our own, but many people just want good help. Not everyone is a long-time Linux user. Even more so, less people code but still want to enjoy nice things.

    I looked through the code. There might be another better way to do this- but at least this works. Nano or use your fav editor /RetroPie-Setup/scriptmodules/system.sh and do a CTRL+W to search for (it's at the end of the function get_os_version):

    error="Unsupported OS"

    Comment that out with a # at the start of the line, and make a new line beneath it. In the new line type __os_debian_ver="8". This will run through all the checks and ignore them in the end, setting your os version to one that's "supported". Not sure if you need to match the spacing in bash, I think it's only a python thing (someone correct me). This will look like:

    # error="Unsupported OS"
                        __os_debian_ver="8"

    Run the retropie_setup.sh script in the main RetroPie-Setup folder as normal. This worked for me but the install is taking forever (over 30 min so far easy). Will update if I need to do anything else. As I couldn't find a better solution anywhere online to this problem, I hope this helps!

    conspir4cy (WWG1WGA)

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