Ubuntu 17.10+ — Setting up RetroArch and Controller

Since this took me a few tries to finally put together and get a working I thought I’d post what finally worked for me. I’m using Ubuntu 17.10, which now fully utilizes my laptop’s built in graphics card. I’m also using generic SNES controller I bought off of ebay to play NES and SNES games.

Joystick config: http://airbornesurfer.com/2015/04/how-to-setup-a-generic-joystick-or-gamepad-in-ubuntu-linux/

as per that site’s recommendation, run the following commands.

sudo apt-get install joystick

sudo apt-get install jstest-gtk

Once that was installed my generic SNES controller worked without issues. If you run the following command,


You will get a GUI which you can use to test and configure your controllers, mine worked right out of the box so no config changes were required.

Now as far as emulation go, this one was a doozy. Many of the emulators I tried would play the game fine, but had horrible compatibility with my controller. I knew the controller was working fine, so I’m pretty sure it was on the emulator side. In any case I don’t have hours to get this working.

I installed the retroarch snap from the ubuntu store.

Follow that up with installing the following packages from the libretro PPA. Some steps sourced from: https://forums.libretro.com/t/libretro-ppa-for-ubuntu/1587

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libretro/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libretro*

You can also target specific packages.

sudo apt-get install retroarch libretro-genesisplusgx libretro-snes9x libretro-gambatte libretro-nestopia libretro-mgba

Now you can open retroarch, under Online Updater run the all the updates.

Setting up the controller is an extra step in the retroarch, you can goto inputs to assign the buttons to the controller pad.

Once those are complete, you can “Load Core” choose Nestopia or similar core you are looking to try and you should be off to the races.

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