Please do not post a support request without first reading and following the advice in https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/3/read-this-first

Why is there so much misinformation out there?



  • When I first decided to mod an arcade1up cabinet, I had no idea what I was getting into.. I knew that I didn't want to just emulate really old games, and I wanted to push the limits of what I could do, such as dreamcast and gamecube, so I needed a piece of hardware a bit more powerful than what was available in the Raspberry Pi, so I went with an Atomic Pi..

    So, the point of my post here, is this.. Why is there so much incorrect information and poor documentation out there on how all of this works and is setup? Everyone you talk to gives you different directions or instructions on how to do something.

    The first issue that I've noticed through all of my trial and error and troubleshooting my own setup, is that most of the setup guides and videos I see out there, are focused around the Raspberry Pi and not other devices like the Atomic PI, odroid, Windows machines etc.. Why is EVERYTHING about the Raspberry Pi?

    You cannot use a troubleshooting guide that was designed around the Raspberry Pi and Raspbian, if you are setting this stuff up on Ubuntu/Lubuntu or Windows or some other OS.. I know this, because when I was trying to set this up, I consulted a ton of documentation, a lot of which was wrong or didn't apply to my situation at all.. Directories didn't match up, commands did not work, and software that should have been there wasn't.. I was even told to format my drives for FAT 32 because it "works across all operating systems" and then spent hours in frustration trying to figure out why I couldn't copy any files to them in Lubuntu, which was because Lubuntu doesn't even recognize FAT 32 permissions.. Yet, not one piece of documentation out there mentions this or warns you of this, and, in fact, suggests you use FAT 32, when Ext4 works better and allows for a proper network share to WIndows machines..

    I spent hours upon hours wasting my time with walkthroughs and troubleshooting guides, which, were to be honest, wrong.. In the end, they wound up causing me more issues, corrupting my system or just not doing anything.. Because I did what someone else told me to do.

    Here's a good example... I spent hours trying to figure out how to store my ROM's on external storage and get emulation station to look for them in external storage instead of my onboard storage where I have retropie installed.. I found guides telling me to edit my fstab file and mount drives by UUID, telling me to make a "retropie-mount" folder and enable USB rom services to transfer roms, and many other suggestions.. None of these worked, and in fact, caused me more issues and time spent..

    In the end, all I had to do was open the emulation station config file and edit the path to where the cores were pointing for said emulator.. Not a single piece of documentation I read mentioned this (or the FAT 32 thing)..

    I don't want to seem like I'm just complaining here, and I don't want my post to be pointless, but I'm just kind of frustrated that there is so much incorrect information on the web about how all of this is setup.

    If anything, there needs to be more/better documentation for those of us who aren't using a Raspberry Pi. I feel like most people are in uncharted territory with this, as if you aren't a linux guru, you're basically in a new frontier and any documentation you consult is either severely outdated, or doesn't have correct information.

    Thoughts and opinions?

    Thoughts and opinions?


  • Global Moderator

    @Iconoclast12 said in Why is there so much misinformation out there?:

    Thoughts and opinions?

    Can you point out which information from the Docs is inaccurate and doesn't work ?

    Also, when you ask for help - which doesn't see you did here in the forums - you should add some info about your system, as detailed in https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/3/read-this-first.


  • Global Moderator

    @Iconoclast12 said in Why is there so much misinformation out there?:

    So, the point of my post here, is this.. Why is there so much incorrect information and poor documentation out there on how all of this works and is setup? Everyone you talk to gives you different directions or instructions on how to do something.

    we can't police the internet. for my sins, i do occasionally check the (unofficial) retropie subreddit, but basically anywhere that isn't retropie.org.uk you should take with a large handful of salt. even our documentation is an evolving thing - we rely on user contributions and corrections.

    The first issue that I've noticed through all of my trial and error and troubleshooting my own setup, is that most of the setup guides and videos I see out there, are focused around the Raspberry Pi and not other devices like the Atomic PI, odroid, Windows machines etc.. Why is EVERYTHING about the Raspberry Pi?

    i think this part is fairly obvious: the raspberry pi was a static hardware platform (now with some variants, but still mostly the same underlying hardware/OS), sold very well, and retropie created images to specifically cater for that platform alone, and documentation mostly focused on that. so, if you want to create a retropie system, a raspberry pi is the quickest route to success.

    if you want better documentation for retropie on platform X... write it! :)



  • You're not alone. I've spent the past 2 months trying to get 30-odd arcade games running correctly on a Raspberry Pi - sounds easy, no? I'm still working on it. There's a lot of trial and error troubleshooting to get it right, even if there are lots of tutorials on Raspberry Pi.

    It's amusing to read all the articles that talk about how "easy" it is to get RetroPie working. IT IS NOT EASY. It might be easy to get it running - it's entirely another story to get it running right.

    Part of the reason is because there are so many components that can go wrong - and there are multiple ways to configure/fix those components (controller, encoder, Retroarch, Retropie, Raspbian, Raspberry Pi - all of these are giant rabbit holes with hundreds of ways to configure) . I just spent a week trying to fix a WiFi issue that I thought was a problem with the RetroPie image - it was a problem with the Raspbian image - and one of the 4 ways to fix it was buried in a 500+ forum posting. And to make matters worse, not everyone has that problem, and the solution doesn't work for everyone - fun!

    Also, even though it sounds like millions of people are running RetroPie, I think there are substantially fewer who are doing it right - and only a subset of them are active on forums blogs. Personally, I go through a MAME period about once every 5 years, where I get a new/better system running then move on (and forget 80% over the next 5 years). And in your case, there are even fewer people who have done what you have - that makes YOU the expert now.



  • @mitu

    I'm on an Atomic Pi running Lubuntu (was 18.04 now is 19.04)

    I haven't had any issues with this site in particular, just the general information that's out there on the internet, specially on sites like Linux support websites and youtube..


  • Global Moderator

    i think a lot of people get enthusiastic about retropie (which is great!), and want to create their own guides. the problem is, these are often missing key steps, and/or are quickly outdated. youtube is rife with some very popular videos that describe in detail how to severely break a retropie installation :)

    but there's nothing we can do about that. at one point i did put comments under some videos with corrections, but most of those videos are still up, unchanged. all we can do is make sure our own documentation is good, and encourage users to take the information from the source.



  • @dankcushions

    Exactly. A big part of the issue is outdated documents.. Any time there is a different operating system involved, whether it's a major update to an OS you are already on or an update to Retropie, directories change, files change, commands change....things change.. If I follow the step-by-step guides that are even a year old, chances are, they're going to break my installation or my OS, and cause headaches and frustration.



  • @dankcushions said in Why is there so much misinformation out there?:

    youtube is rife with some very popular videos that describe in detail how to severely break a retropie installation :)
    but there's nothing we can do about that. at one point i did put comments under some videos with corrections, but most of those videos are still up, unchanged.

    And the sad thing is everyone still worships him as some sort of retropie guru.



  • @Iconoclast12 the truth is that everyone always wants improvements, new capabilities and more opportunity for customization with retropie even just on the raspberry pi, let alone expanding to other hardware. I have been shocked by over time the things that I thought “wouldn’t it be great if...” and it turns out wow you can actually do just that. The “problem” with all of that iteration is that all advice someone can give is necessarily “date stamped” at the time it is provided and can’t anticipate future improvements. Official “documentation” is helpful to an extent but there can’t be a one-size-fits all guide, either, because of all the various things people want to do, and l, more importantly what is “right” and “perfect” for one person’s intended use can is not at all what some one else wants. That’s why this is more a hobby for tinkerers than a release of commercial software or a commercial hardware product. For all of these reasons, as someone who reads the forums almost every day, I don’t see how this problem gets solved. It’s somewhat inherent in what it is.


  • administrators

    @benret said in Why is there so much misinformation out there?:

    You're not alone. I've spent the past 2 months trying to get 30-odd arcade games running correctly on a Raspberry Pi - sounds easy, no? I'm still working on it. There's a lot of trial and error troubleshooting to get it right, even if there are lots of tutorials on Raspberry Pi.

    Trial and error sounds like you're not using matching ROM sets. You have to match up the versions to the arcade emulator you are using.



  • @BuZz said in Why is there so much misinformation out there?:

    Trial and error sounds like you're not using matching ROM sets

    Yeah, that's beginner level MAME.

    This is the last bit of fun I had:

    terminate called after throwing an instance of 'char const*'

    Which is the second time I'd had to look that one up. PM me if you want the solution ;) [It's not what you think it is.]


  • administrators

    @benret there's no PMs. Not sure the purpose of your reply. If you have something to say, say it here. (Some context and info will help).



  • @mitu Hi there, I'm not trying to be a pain but this one could use updating:-

    https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Nintendo-DS

    As a user on here am I able to update the documentation? Or do I need to create another account? I've never used github except to read and download.

    Anyway, It mentions anything requiring a microphone will crash, that was under the previous Drastic version. But the newer version of Drastic doesn't have this error and it appears the emulator even gives you fake microphone input. I'd need to test a couple of other games that require the microphone to progress but anecdotally, playing Apollo Justice on the weekend, I was expecting to get stuck needing the microphone but when I pressed the touchscreen button the emulator also gave a "blowing" input.

    So perhaps it needs to say:-

    "Note that while DraStic may run very well, it is currently experimental beta software. Previously, all games that require the microphone at any point would crash but with the newer version certain games will function that require microphone input. However, any games in "bookmode" (e.g Brain Training) will always play rotated at 90 degrees and cannot be rotated in Drastic."

    (Btw, I think that newer version comes when you install from the source? At the time I installed it manually when it was mentioned in this thread: https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/21826/newer-version-of-drastic-compatible-with-raspberry-pi)

    Also sorry for hijacking the thread!

    I think the reason documentation is so scattered and inconsistent is the intention of the raspberry pi, what is an acceptable solution for me might not be for someone else. But the intention of the pi is for the user to play around and figure out different answers on their own. Everything is compiled and built by hobbyists so inevitably when one person fixes one function, another breaks.

    Take scraping, some users will decide the best solution is to find the .xml files and manually input the data. Other users will create a new system for scraping the data, or will try different programs out. It's nice to have different options to explore and play around with.


  • Global Moderator

    @retropieuser555 said in Why is there so much misinformation out there?:

    As a user on here am I able to update the documentation? Or do I need to create another account? I've never used github except to read and download.

    A Github account is enough for editing the wiki.

    Anyway, It mentions anything requiring a microphone will crash, that was under the previous Drastic version.

    It might worth mentioning that you need to update the RetroPie-Setup script and update drastic. The 4.5.1 image does not have the new version URL and I found it useful to mention this when referring to a recent update - at least for now.

    Thanks for the contribution !



  • @mitu Thanks will do!



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