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Speeding up retropie boot up on a Pi zero and turning off BT & WiFi..



  • Hello,

    Sorry if this may be redundant, but I couldn't come up with easy or good answers on this as I searched around.
    I recently got into the Raspberry SBC and fell in love with these mini boards.
    I've decided that for me, retro gaming is what will keep me busy with the Pi-3 models, and even the Pi Zero units.
    I love Retropie and have become familiar with how to install it and use it on both my 3 B+ and the Pi Zero. And I understand its limitations on a Pi Zero as opposed to other more powerful Raspberry units.

    My question here is about the Pi Zero and retropie 4.4 ,,, I've heard and also would assume that some of the delay in booting a Pi Zero into retropie is; the unit (or software) is also looking for a network, and also BT connections possibly? while booting?
    Is there an easy way to disable the BT and WiFi from within Retropie when used on a Pi Zero? (if its even worth it?)
    I will never need those features working for what I intend to do with my Pi Zero and retropie,, so i thought why not turn those off if possible, and if it'll help speed up the boot process as it works its way to the main menu from a cold start.

    My intentions are to play only the older (pre mid to early 1990s) retro games the Pi Zero can comfortably handle and thought it would be nice if there were tweaks to boot faster to the main game select menu.

    Thank you


  • Global Moderator

    If you wish to 'hard' disable BT & Wifi (as HW not enabled), you'll need to add to your /boot/config.txt

    dtoverlay=pi3-disable-wifi
    dtoverlay=pi3-disable-bt
    

    If you wish to temporarily disable the radio, without disabling the hardware, then use rfkill to 'mute' them. I think @cyperghost has a script that does that with a simple menu - (https://github.com/crcerror/RetroPie-Shares/blob/master/rfkill_wifi_dialog.sh).

    raspi-config also has an option to not wait for network initialisation that will speed up the boot, but if you disable the Wifi I wonder if it's still effective.



  • Thank you for the quick response and assistance.

    The first thing I tried was to go into the raspi-config and told it "not to wait for network" while booting and this seemed to speed things up a bit right off the bat,, so I left it at that rather the try to change anything in the config file. I guess I didn't dig deep enough and mess around with more the config settings with in Retropie, and learned something!

    Again, thank you


  • Global Moderator

    @MachLid One thing you can do to speed up the boot is to disable file shares (Samba services). From what I've noticed, this is one of the services that takes up a lot of time (proportional to the total boot time) to start up.
    I've looked up in the RetroPie-Setup script and you only have the options to remove Samba completely (not disable it), so you'd have to use the command line to disable the services manually.

    sudo systemctl disable smbd
    sudo systemctl disable nmbd
    


  • @mitu said in Speeding up retropie boot up on a Pi zero and turning off BT & WiFi..:

    @MachLid One thing you can do to speed up the boot is to disable file shares (Samba services). From what I've noticed, this is one of the services that takes up a lot of time (proportional to the total boot time) to start up.
    I've looked up in the RetroPie-Setup script and you only have the options to remove Samba completely (not disable it), so you'd have to use the command line to disable the services manually.

    sudo systemctl disable smbd
    sudo systemctl disable nmbd
    

    More ideas and help!! thank you very much, and I'm also going to try this as well.
    I have no problem killing anything unnecessary on it in order to speed up booting into the game selection menu.
    What I'm hoping to do with this Pi Zero is simply and only use it for mostly Atari 2600 stuff and maybe some popular arcade games from pre 1990's or earlier (if it'll handle it).
    I grew up with a Atari 2600 and lots of this stuff thru out the 1980s,, and thought it'd be neat to have something very little and compact (and even battery powered) and be able to quickly power on, and play some of the true classics. Not sure what I'm doing yet for a compact and portable housing or anything like that yet,, I just wanted to square away the working parts first.

    Thanks again.



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