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Never Started Over (Pi 3B)

  • Hello, I originally created my Retropie build on a Raspberry Pi 3B in summer of 2016, and I have never once started over. I have always updated the components frequently via "Retropie Setup."

    Is there any harm in this? Should I be concerned without any problems (as of yet)?

    Is there any way to "audit" the files to ensure everything is as it should be?

  • Global Moderator

    Occasionally, bugs or regressions creep in with newer versions of the software included, but they're usually fixed if reported - either upstream or through RetroPie directly. If you've never encountered one so far, they you're probably not been affected by such bugs or they've been fixed along the way between your updates.

    Do you have any problems with your system ? If not, then it's probably ok, given you've updated regularly and if you kept the configuration modifications to a minimum. I don't know of any way to 'audit' an installation apart from maybe watch for errors in the system logs or any errors popping up in the Runcommand window or Emulationstation logs.

  • @mitu thank you for the reassurance, I spent quite a long time building this up to what I wanted it to be. No I have not seen anything out of the ordinary when using my setup. Yes it is rather basic in terms of customization. Anyway, if there were a way to run a "file verification" as seen on programs like Steam that would be cool. As always, backing up my files would be a safe bet.

    Where would any logs be that would contain some errors? I would gladly extract them and post here in case anyone would notice a red flag. I am just nervous to spend this many months on my project and have some underlying errors cause a brick.

  • @GreenHawk84 said in Never Started Over (Pi 3B):

    As always, backing up my files would be a safe bet.


    Where would any logs be that would contain some errors?

    Well, you could check dmesg (command) or /var/log/syslog (text file) and look for suspicious messages. But without some or more Linux knowledge, I doubt that it will tell you anything useful.

    As for errors regarding Retropie-related software, others are better suited to answer that than me. As a rule of thumb however, I would say that as long as you don't experience problems, you shouldn't be too paranoid about possible errors.

  • Global Moderator

    @GreenHawk84 As a 'file verification' option, you could run something similar to 'checkdisk' in Windows/Dos to verify the integrity of the file system itself. It's done using fsck (see here on how to trigger this at boot). But, Linux will run a fsck automatically if the filesystem hasn't been properly unmounted, so if you haven't got any problems so far and you cleanly shutdown your Pi, then I don't expect a forced check would discover anything.
    You haven't mentioned any details of your setup - one recommendation to increase reliability is to use an external USB stick for ROMs (and associated artwork), this way you can easily back them up and decrease the usage on your SD card.

    As @Clyde said, if you haven't got any noticeable problems, you shouldn't be too worried about this and have a backup created once in a while.

  • @Clyde said in Never Started Over (Pi 3B):

    Well, you could check dmesg (command)

    One quick addition in case you want to do that: The output of dmesg is rather long and will scroll out of sight for the most part. To see all of it, you can do one of the following:

    1. Display its output in the text viewer less:
    dmesg | less

    You can navigate within less with the cursor and pgup/down keys, search it with / and exit it with q,

    1. Redirect its output into a text file:
    dmesg > dmesg.txt

    The file dmesg.txt will be placed in the current directory (e.g. /home/pi directly after a login). Again, you can view it with less:

    less dmesg.txt

    Just my matutinal Linux lecture for random people on the net. 😉

  • @GreenHawk84 I'd definitely back things up every now and then (I do it more or less once a month, but it's more because of my lack of availability than anything else), and keep at least two historical backups (in case you backup something that's already broken, you can always revert to a previous safe backup).

    I don't update packages nor emulators unless I need to - if it's working and there's nothing new that I really need there, then I don't risk breaking things. The latest thing I've wanted to update for (but still didn't) was several months back when RetroArch launched the lookahead features to reduce input lag. That's one of the key things I'd be looking for. Still, then you read that the latest RA and lr-fbalpha can cause slight frame drops on CPS3 games in certain setups and you struggle to revert those changes if needed.

    So, my preference: unless there's a meaningful new feature for you or a critical security patch, I'd stay with what you have that's working for you.

    Also, I am a big supporter of keeping the ROMs in a USB drive and the OS in the SD Card. Easier to backup, transfer roms, and also to set up fresh in a worst case scenario.

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