Please do not post a support request without first reading and following the advice in

  • @hulsie1983 solved it myself. apparently, I had to turn on autologin in the openbox GUI in the settings menu. In Emulstation in the retropie settings menu turned on the boot option and now all is working.

  • @hulsie1983


    You shouldn't have had the login box appear when using either script, however, I was personally using 18.04 as a base. Are you using 20.04? If so, I do remember at the time I did briefly test it with 20.04 (beta) and I did get a login box etc, and I think I had a few other teething issues - so just stuck with 18.04.


  • @movisman thank you :) your install script worked perfectly

  • @movisman are we able to exit emulation station to an Openbox desktop?

    one time emulation station did not load and I was left with this desktop -


    The only reason I ask is that I'm having trouble getting pcsx2 past the first time setup wizard

  • @gareth_iowc

    Hi there,

    This hasn't happened to me on 18.04.4, however of course if you quit ES you will get a black desktop with the menu if you right click. To configure Dolphin standalone I use the terminal and run the GUI to get everything working, but I must admit I haven't ever tried pcsx2 as the machine this runs on isn't powerful enough.

    I noticed @MisterB pulled all my previous enhancements into a new branch called LTS-20.04. So it's quite possible he is working on a new script for 20.04 users which includes some of the additions I put onto my 18.04.4 fork.


  • As @movisman mentioned, I now have an updated script for 20.04 that is available for testing, and it also includes many of his improvements. It's in a new branch found here:

    A list of changes is in the README, and it seems to be working OK in a 20.04 server virtual machine that I am developing against. If others would like to test it out and provide feedback I would appreciate it! Testing of this new version against physical installs of both 20.04 and 18.04 would be helpful. Thanks!

  • By the way, I also had the login screen issue in 20.04. It is fixed in my new branch, which boots the system into the multi-user (command line) runlevel, rather than the graphical one. Booting into multi-user makes it easier to finely-tune the way X Windows & OpenBox start up.

  • Applied this setup to my custom aarch64 build (NVIDIA Jetson Nano) and it works like a charm. The Nano doesn't have the same access to EGL from CLI as most other SBCs, so I was after a lightweight X solution, and this was the perfect solution.

    Many thanks!

  • @MisterB Would you mind sharing what you did to preseed a mini or server install? I have edited your preseed file to my needs but am having issues getting the installer (USB) to use it.

    Scratch that...figured it out. :)



  • @MisterB said in Retropie Installation on Ubuntu Server x64 18.04.1:

    [...] If others would like to test it out and provide feedback I would appreciate it! Testing of this new version against physical installs of both 20.04 and 18.04 would be helpful. Thanks!

    @MisterB I am attempting to get RetroPie running on an older Intel computer (Core 2 Duo E8400, 4GB RAM, 500GB drive, ATI Radeon 7850) but I have an interesting issue after installing from the setup script. I start with a clean install of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and then use the build script. The build/configuration process takes about 70 minutes from start to finish and after it is done, I reboot the machine, see the Pacman animated screen for a bit, and then get left in a black screen and nothing else (no arrow, no cursor, nada).

    I know that removing all of that is by design but I am stuck on how to debug this. I can successfully SSH into the machine but wanted a bit of advice before I go mucking around in bash profiles, any grub files, etc.

    Also, after some fumbling around on the Ubuntu box, itself, I hit CTRL+ALT+F1 on the Linux box and then (blindly) started up X via startx. I could get a terminal window from there, if that helps describe where I am at.

    Not sure what I should be looking at, though. This does sound like a bit like some of the problems reported here so wanted to definitely chime in with my results and seek your advice. This is a purely physical build and I am fresh installing the OS. I am running the wget, chmod, and script execution exactly as detailed on

    Not sure what to try. Thoughts? Happy to share the log file from the build, if that is helpful. Would -really- appreciate anyone's thoughts on what to try next.

    And thanks to all involved for putting together the script. This really has made the build and installation process painless. It feels like I am 98% of the way there but just a bug here or there is preventing the last bit of it to work.

    Any help would be appreciated!

  • @MisterB said in Retropie Installation on Ubuntu Server x64 18.04.1:

    As @movisman mentioned, I now have an updated script for 20.04 that is available for testing, and it also includes many of his improvements. It's in a new branch found here:

    A list of changes is in the README, and it seems to be working OK in a 20.04 server virtual machine that I am developing against. If others would like to test it out and provide feedback I would appreciate it! Testing of this new version against physical installs of both 20.04 and 18.04 would be helpful. Thanks!

    I believe that this line needs to be updated in your

    chmod +x ./

    Should be....

    sudo chmod +x ./

    If I don't run it as sudo I get an error.


  • @ObiEric I ran into similar looking problem with Intel NUC. On boot it goes from plymouth boot screen to black screen (without mouse) and then in about 30 seconds drops back to shell. And, if I then manually enter 'startx', ES starts normally.

    Did you look into your
    /home/pi/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log (<-- my xorg log in pastebin for failed start)?

    I have no idea what the root cause is but I'll hazard it has something to do with i915 / drm kernel modules being in bad state / not yet properly loaded (see somewhat similar issues here and here and e.g. here). Alas, none of the workarounds and their Ubuntu equivalents appeared to work.

    So I gave up and just upgraded to 5.8.4 Mainline Kernel. works (at least with NUC).

    EDIT: also works with 5.7.18 kernel. 5.8.x had some issues (at least with NUC) which 5.7.18 doesn't appear to have, so I am going with that.

    EDIT #2: if applying this workaround, please check for latest stable kernel releases (I am using 5.7.19 EOL as of 2020-09 for 8th gen NUC) and consider using Ubuntu mainline kernel matching one of the latest stables instead of versions indicated above.

  • @etheling - Good thought. I have not looked at that but I'll check it out (likely this weekend). Thanks for the advice!

  • Big Thank You to @MisterB , @movisman, @johnodon and everyone else on this thread! Info in this thread and MisterBs install script just saved me countless hours of tinkering! I made a mistake of trying RetroPie on PC and now running it on Pi feels like driving my old truck after trying out manual shift roadster! ;-)

    MisterB, some thoughts/comments on your script:

    • I managed to run it once as root using sudo (which doesn't work very well :) ). So I added below to the beginning of the script (there's probably better ways to do this...):
    # test if we were invoked using sudo, and that we're not logged in as root (Eth)
    if [ -z "$USER" ]; then
        echo "Aborting. Please use sudo: sudo $0"
        exit 1
    if [[ "$USER" == root ]]; then
        echo "Aborting. Don't Be Root. Run as normal user using sudo."
        exit 1
    • RetroPie 4.6 stock install on RaspberryPi install 'triggerhappy' daemon by default (and I am using it in my setup). I added it to RETROPIE_DEPENDS:
    # Minimal depedencies to install RetroPie on Ubuntu                                                                                                              
        xorg openbox pulseaudio alsa-utils menu libglib2.0-bin python-xdg
        at-spi2-core libglib2.0-bin dbus-x11 git dialog unzip xmlstarlet joystick                                                                                                                                         
    • I have script that makes variety of post-install customizations to retroarch and es config files that I've used for rPi. To launch it from your script I added following function before repair_permissions(). This allows me to drop $POST_INSTALL_SCRIPT to same dir with your script and it gets executed as part of the install (if found).
    ## .... 
    # Custom post-install modifications (Eth)
    function post_install_custom_mods() {
        if [ -f $SCRIPT_DIR/$POST_INSTALL_SCRIPT ] ; then
            echo "--------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
            echo "| Found $SCRIPT_DIR/$POST_INSTALL_SCRIPT"
            echo "| Executing custom post install script"
            echo "--------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
            chmod +x $SCRIPT_DIR/$POST_INSTALL_SCRIPT ; # just in case we forgot to set +x
            if [ ! $? -eq 0 ]; then
                echo "-> WARNING: $POST_INSTALL_SCRIPT exited with errors. Please review logs."
            echo "--------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
            echo "| Skipping custom post install modifications. Custom post installs script"
            echo "| $SCRIPT_DIR/$POST_INSTALL_SCRIPT was not found."
            echo "--------------------------------------------------------------------------------" 
    • Ubuntu 20.04LTS complains about 'dbus-launch gsettings set org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Profile:/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/profiles:/:b1dcc9dd-5262-4d8d-a863-c897e6d979b9/default-show-menubar false' line in .bash_profile (and it doesn't work). Replaced it with below, and now menu bar gets hidden:
    gsettings set org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Settings default-show-menubar false
    • In my setup if I check $HOME/.xsession-errors there are some errors and probably unneeded stuff loaded by openbox (default load):
    $ cat .xsession-errors
    ** Message: 08:07:50.313: xdg-autostart.vala:39: Processing /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.PrintNotifications.desktop file.
    ** Message: 08:07:50.313: xdg-autostart.vala:64: Not found in OnlyShowIn list, aborting.

    Thus, I added this to your script at the end of 'autostart_openbox_apps()' to clean this part up a bit (might be cleaner to just rename everything in /etc/xdg/autostart, but it may need pulseaudio at least):

    edit: what is needed from below is still WIP

    ## get rid of warnings in ~/.xsession-errors (Eth)                                                                                                           
        mkdir -p $USER_HOME/.config/autostart
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Sound.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Sound.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Wacom.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Wacom.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-secrets.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-secrets.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-pkcs11.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-pkcs11.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.Evolution-alarm-notify.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.Evolution-alarm-notify.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.MediaKeys.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.MediaKeys.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Wwan.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Wwan.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.ScreensaverProxy.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.ScreensaverProxy.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.A11ySettings.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.A11ySettings.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.UsbProtection.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.UsbProtection.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Smartcard.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Smartcard.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Housekeeping.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Housekeeping.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Power.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Power.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Rfkill.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Rfkill.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Datetime.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Datetime.desktop.skip
    ## edit: this is needed (or otherwise gsettings won't work)    
    ## mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.XSettings.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.XSettings.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Keyboard.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Keyboard.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-ssh.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-ssh.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Sharing.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Sharing.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.PrintNotifications.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.PrintNotifications.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Color.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Color.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/at-spi-dbus-bus.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/at-spi-dbus-bus.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-shell-overrides-migration.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-shell-overrides-migration.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop.skip
        ## pulseaudio.desktop ; # lets keep this for now                                                                                                             
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/xdg-user-dirs.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/xdg-user-dirs.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/geoclue-demo-agent.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/geoclue-demo-agent.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/im-launch.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/im-launch.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/print-applet.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/print-applet.desktop.skip
        mv -v /etc/xdg/autostart/snap-userd-autostart.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/snap-userd-autostart.desktop.skip
    • As to see how long the install takes I added below to the script (after logging to file starts and before complete_instalI:
    echo "*** Installation started `date` ***"
    ### ...
    echo "*** Installation finished `date` ***"

    Then some possibly not so smart things that I did try out:

    • Disable Spectre, Meltdown, etc. mitigations in kernel:
    # Danger, Ethelin, Danger..                                                                                                                                         
    function disable_cpu_mitigations() {
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        echo "| Disable Spectre/Meltdown/.. kernel mitigations"
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        ##backupFile /etc/default/grub
        sed -i 's/GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=\"/&mitigations=off /' /etc/default/grub
        echo -e "Done\n\n"
        sleep 4

    Based on GeekBench this gives ~5% (or less) perf boost on CPU on the NUC. And likely less in reality. But since this will be effectively single user box, with no browser to run bad js, seems like a risk I'm willing to take. GeekBench results before disabling mitigations, and after disabling them.

    • I installed preload package. Probably end up giving close to zero positive impact on performance. But I've got RAM so maybe I get microsecond shorter load somewhere,...

    • It looks like you could do away without pulseaudio and just install alsa-base. But that requires manual change to /opt/retroarch/configs/all/retroarch.cfg to set alsa as audio backend. So probably not worth it.

    • Installing X and OpenBox brings in some services that are probably not needed. I disabled these for my setup (of course if you use BT controller, or want to run samba share, then don't disable them). And disabling apparmor may very well come to bite me too:

    # Disable services                                                                                                                                               
    function disable_system_services() {
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        echo "| Disable OS services..."
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        systemctl disable ${DISABLE_SERVICES[@]}
        echo -e "Done\n\n"
        sleep 4
    • disable snap (just because I can, can't see any benefit either):
    # get rid of snapd                                                                                                                                               
    function eradicate_snapd () {
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        echo "| Removing snapd (OS purge will also purge snapd)..."
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        snap list
        snap remove lxd
        snap remove core18
        snap remove snapd
        ## TODO: maybe rm -rf /snapd                                                                                                                                 

    Some random notes:

    • Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS Server default install doesn't come complete with wpa_supplicant (?!?!) so running misterBs script in wireless only environment requires installing it from debs first (libpcsclite1, libnl-route-3-200, wpasupplicant).

  • To make X mouse cursor 'completely' invisible (and as an alternative to using unclutter) I put together [gnome] cursor theme that sets all mouse pointers to 1x1 pixel red dot (was black), and added it to install script:

    # Make X cursor 1x1 black dot                                                                                                                                    
    function xcursor-to-dot() {
        echo " "
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        echo "| Turn X mouse pointer into 1x1 pixel black dot to hide it 'completely'"
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        git clone
        sudo tar zxf dot1x1-gnome-cursor-theme/dot1x1-cursor-theme.tar.gz -C /usr/share/icons
        sudo cp /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme.orig
        sudo cp dot1x1-gnome-cursor-theme/index.theme /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme
        echo -e "Done\n\n"

  • Excellent contributions @etheling!

    Have you considered forking MisterB's github repo and incorporating your changes/additions? I fear that he has moved on and updates to his repo may become stagnant.


  • Still here... :). Just not so active around here during the summer months and didn't realize there were updates to this thread.

    First off, many thanks for the additional feedback and code snippets. I'm glad to see the continued interest in this and appreciate the extra help.

    I do intend to continue maintaining the repo - I have a few other projects currently taking my time, but expect a new RetroPie build to be one of my fall projects. This script is a key component, the other is updating my post-install script, which aims to apply my personal customizations and configurations consistently across X86 and RPi builds. So @etheling 's hook is a great idea!

    Adding these changes is pretty easy, but the challenge going forward is finding the dividing line between "solid installation base" and "personal configuration/tweaks". There is an ever-growing list of functions available to call, and some are more optional than required. I need to consider an approach that allows people to opt in/out of certain settings while keeping things simple and consistent, which were my original goals. A config file or simple dialog logic might be options, need to think more about it. Feedback welcome.

  • I'm glad to see the continued interest

    Very much so! :) And if I may, I really like how you wrote the script style-wise too.

    challenge going forward is finding the dividing line between "solid installation base" and "personal configuration/tweaks".

    My thinking is that 'main' setup script should probably produce a stable configuration that to a reasonable extent mimics what you get when you install RetroPie using stock image on RPi. Then more experimental / controversial / unstable modifications and e.g. build specific customizations for e.g. Arduino tools could be done from another script after the main script has executed.

    I'm still working on my post-install customizations, but I'll post my script in a week (or two or three) as one example of what can be done.

    simple dialog logic might be options

    Not my call of course, but I hope that I could run the whole install process 'unattened' without a need to interact with the script once it has launched.

  • Quick note about ScummVM (and lr-scummvm): Retropie setups clones version 2.1.1 of ScummVM, which fails to compile on Ubuntu 20.04 likely because of this. Worked around by removing version tag from git clone in and cloning master branch.

    This will eventually sort itself out as RetroPie moves to newer versions of ScummVM.

    scummvm-lr segfaults out of the gate on Ubunbtu 20.04. Didn't do any analysis yet as of why.

  • I realize this may be pushing boundaries of what is in the scope of RetroPie, but it occurred to me that since I'm running RetroPie now on Intel platform, some of the games from my GOG library could be integrated to the setup and launched directly from ES through Ports. I first tried to get Linux versions of e.g. Papers Please and Secret of the Monkey Island SE to work. But getting them to run in my opinion required too much work trying to strace which 32bit copies of libraries are needed for each game. And even then I got garbled audio in some. What seems like a better route is to install Wine and run Windows versions of those (and other games).

    Although some changes were still needed, I now have all the LucasArts Remastered editions from running through Ports ( with the exception of Grim Fandango Remastered that crashes after intro). What's great is that e.g. Day of the Tentacle and Secret of the Monkey Island appear to have been made playable using gamepad and work great on TV (instead of having to have a mouse and sit by a desk to play).

    Here's the part of my customization script that installs Wine (somehow it feels fitting that these games are run in an emulator rather than using native Linux versions ;):

    function install_wine() {
        echo " "
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        echo "| Install Wine -"
        echo "+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
        cd /tmp
        ## but use Ubuntu stock package instead of
        sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
        sudo apt -y update
        sudo apt install -y wine wine64
        ## install wine tricks -
        cd /usr/local/bin
        chmod +x winetricks
        sudo -u $USER winetricks -q corefonts
        sudo -u $USER winetricks -q xact
        sudo -u $USER winetricks -q d3dx9
        # these need X to run... 
        # sudo -u $USER winetricks -q vcrun6
        # sudo -u $USER winetricks -q vcrun2005
        # sudo -u $USER winetricks -q vcrun2008
        sudo -u $USER winetricks list-installed
        cd $CURDIR
        echo -e "Done\n\n"
        sleep 4

    And a sample .sh to launch the game:

    pi@retropie:~$ cat RetroPie/roms/ports/
    cd "/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/ports/game-data/Day of the Tentacle Remastered/"
    wine64 ./Dott.exe 2>/dev/shm/wine64.log

    Note that it's better to run the GOG Windows installers on Windows and then copy the installed files to RetroPie (GOG installers didn't run great under Wine).

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