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Error creating SDL window



  • I just got a new RPi 3 B in the mail today and I'm trying to install RetroPie on it. I'm installing RetroPie on top of a fresh install of Raspbian, so I followed these instructions; https://github.com/retropie/retropie-setup/wiki/manual-installation (I did a 'Basic Install' as a 'Full Install' wasn't available in the menu).

    I tried to run EmulationStation from the command line and nothing happened - the terminal went black for a moment and then returned me back to the command line. I tried it again, and this time noticed a flicker of text and made out the word 'Error'. I tried to run it again and this time piped stderr to a text file. These were the results;

    lvl0: Error creating SDL window!
    Could not get EGL display
    lvl0: Renderer failed to initialize!
    lvl0: Window failed to initialize!
    reset: standard error: Inappropriate ioctl for device

    I did some searching for this error about the SDL error, and found this thread; https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/2028/error-creating-sdl-window - it suggested that the latest rpi-update should fix the issue. I did the updates, rebooted, and the error persists.

    There don't seem to be any relevant log files anywhere, the only USB devices are my keyboard and mouse, I haven't connected a controller yet, etc. etc. etc. If there's any other information that's relevant I'll be happy to provide it. Thank you.


  • administrators

    @Septcanmat have you logged out of the pixel desktop environment entirely?



  • @herb_fargus I have not. I didn't realize that was necessary for running Enulation Station. I will give that a try now and report back.


  • administrators

    @Septcanmat RetroPie doesn't run under x. My personal preference is to start with the RetroPie image and use the built in Raspbian tools option in the setup script to install pixel as it adds an option in the ports menu for an easy transition to pixel. But anyways personal preference. Many ways to do it.



  • @herb_fargus By the way, this was in fact the solution. Seems quite obvious but it wasn't anywhere in the guide I was following. Wasted quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to fix it. Maybe that guide should have a comment about this? Anyway, thanks a ton for the help!


  • administrators

    @Septcanmat glad you got it sorted. there are two versions of Raspbian, one with the desktop environment, the other without(Raspbian lite) obviously the RetroPie sd image is built on Raspbian lite.

    Wiki can be edited by anyone so feel free to make a note of it



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