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Best way to play ROMs from an external USB source?


  • I was going to follow this video tutorial:


    Which suggests editing the <path> in es_systems.cfg, but after reading the video comments it looked like mounting the drive and binding the directories on it was the better way to go about doing it, so I did it that way and here's what I added to my etc/fstab file:

    # Mount SD by UUID to /home/pi/SDMount
    /dev/disk/by-uuid/1207-1C0F /home/pi/SDMount vfat auto,nofail,noatime,users,rw,uid=pi,gid=pi 0 0

    # Bind Subdirs to RetroPie dirs
    /home/pi/SDMount/Emulation/BIOS /home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS none auto,nofail,noatime,users,rw,uid=pi,gid=pi,bind 0 0
    /home/pi/SDMount/Emulation/roms /home/pi/RetroPie/roms none auto,nofail,noatime,users,rw,uid=pi,gid=pi,bind 0 0

    This works fine and everything works as it should, however one little niggle is bugging me - in the default /roms/dreamcast dir there's a symlink to start the system manager so you can wipe the VMU files, when the SD card /roms/dreamcast dir is bound to RetroPie's, it replaces the default directory there and removes the symlink along with it (infact, the entire mounted directories are replaced with the contents from the SD card, rather than be 'added on' or 'combined with' as I'd prefer), so to do that I have to reboot with the SD card removed so I can access that.

    Is there a better way of doing this, one that won't replace the contents of the stock directories entirely or something like that?

    I'd also like to have all my savegames and savestates saved to the SD card, but after changing /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg savefile_directory = and savestate_directory = to the mounted card, well, saves just don't show up there. Also I'm frankly confused as hell with retroarch and its configuration.

    Thanks in advance.


  • @sunwind Follow this guide instead


  • Is that method just mounting the USB device like I've already done, but not binding the directories and instead editing the es_systems file in .emulationstation?

  • Global Moderator

    yes i don't recommend following @rion's guide. editing the es cfg is not recommended as it gets overwritten with each update, as is prone to user error.

    whilst there are drawbacks and advantages of each usb mounting method, it's much easier for us to support and recommend ONE method, which is this one: https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Running-ROMs-from-a-USB-drive


  • @dankcushions said in Best way to play ROMs from an external USB source?:

    yes i don't recommend following @rion's guide. editing the es cfg is not recommended as it gets overwritten with each update, as is prone to user error.

    whilst there are drawbacks and advantages of each usb mounting method, it's much easier for us to support and recommend ONE method, which is this one: https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Running-ROMs-from-a-USB-drive

    I'm was referring to this wiki link about My ES_Sytems.cfg is being overwritten on updates! in my post to solve this problem.

    I

  • Global Moderator

    @Rion
    still, my point stands. you should have more justification than just 'use my guide instead' on every thread where someone talks about mounting USBs. i don't see how your method makes any difference to OP.

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