RetroFlag GPi Case

Installing Recalbox on a GPi case...

Just flash and boot!

GPi Case

It's that simple! Recalbox detects and installs automatically everything required to make your GPi case working fine.

Just flash your SD card with the latest Recalbox image for Raspberry Pi1 / Pi0, insert the SD card into the GPi cartridge, and switch your GPi on!

Wait for a few seconds, then you should see the following image on screen:

Installation image

Wait a few more seconds (this can be longer for large SD cards) until EmulationStation starts with its usual screen:

EmulationStation is starting...

Then, enjoy an optimized theme to make your experience rich, smooth and fun!

Installing games

What's different from a regular Recalbox?

When Recalbox detects and installs all GPi case stuffs, it also changes some settings to let you go playing quickly. Obviously, all settings are available through the START menu and you can still change back what you want.

Here is the list of the modified settings:

  • All videomode are set to default to avoid useless HDMI resolution changes

  • GPi's hotname is set to RECALBOXGPI

  • Kodi and button X are disabled

  • Virtual game pad is disabled

  • Update is disabled

  • Netplay is disabled

  • Bluetooth is disabled

  • XArcade & PS3 drivers are disabled

  • Music popup are disabled

  • XBOX360 configuration is replaced with GPi's one (Yes, the GPi controller is also an XBOX360!)

  • Our optimized theme recalbox-gpicase is already copied into /recalbox/share/themes and activated

Here is also what's installed:

  • dpi-pizero-gpicase.dtbo : GPI's screen driver

  • pwm-audio-pizero-gpicase.dtbo : GPi's sound driver

  • GPi special shutdown script, initially made by Retroflag and heavily modified for quick shutdown.

Setup WIFI connection

You can still use the START menu, get into network sub-menus and configure your WIFI.

However, on the GPi, you have no choice but to use the controller and the virtual keyboard to enter your WIFI password. If your password is complex, this can quicky turn into a painful task. Here is a quick solution, step by step

  • Flash and boot your GPi. Once EmulationStation is up, press START, enter the Network menu, enable the WIFI and select your SSID.

  • Stop your GPi using the SELECT menu / Shutdown option, and wait for Recalbox to shutdown!

  • Remove the SD card and use an SD adapter to access the BOOT partition on your PC.

  • Open the file recalbox-backup.conf, go to the line starting with ;wifi.key=

  • Remove the ; character and add your WIFI password after the =.

  • Save the file, insert the SD card into your GPi and boot.

  • Once EmlulationStation is up, your WIFI connection should be up also

  • Open \\recalboxgpi\share\system\recalbox.conf and change the ;wifi.key= once again. You may change this file using nano via an SSH connection also.

  • Save the file. That's all, your connection is set up.

Installing games

If your GPi is connected to your network, you should be able to install games as usual, using the samba share ( \\recalboxgpi\share in a file explorer) or via the WebManager ( http://recalboxgpi in a web client)

If your GPi case is not connected, and you're running Windows on your PC, you may:

  • Boot on a Linux live-CD, and access your regular disks as well as the share partition on your SD card, so that you can copy what you need on the SD card.

  • Install Paragon Software to access EXT4 linux partition on your SD Card ( )

Enjoy your favorite games!

What you should know...

What game can I run on a GPi case?

You can run any 8/16 console/computer available up to Arcade games. Yes you can! Really :-)

For arcade, you have PiFBA an ARM optimized FBA version that require a romset. FBNeo (formerly FBAlpha), MAME2000 up to MAME2003plus run also very well and lots of games are playable.

Some GBA/SNES games, as well as Arcade games, may suffer some lags or slowness. In such case, you may want to disable rewind option in Emulator Advanced Options. Needless to say, even with optimized options, some rare games won't run at full speed.

Obviously, I do not recommend to install computer games as they often require a keyboard or a mouse to run.

Can I overclock my Pi0?

Unfortunately, the Raspberry Pi0 is not easy to overclock. Moreover, the GPi cartridge does not have air vents to let the hot air out (At least on the GPi case v1 we use while writting this lines).

However you can still play with the O/C options at your own risk!

If your GPi is not stable after selecting an O/C option, so that you cannot revert your settings, insert your SD card into a PC adapter and remove the O/C lines from the file config.txt

You can add a small copper heatsink as chown on the following picture. Its thickness must not exceed 2mm.

How long can I play on battery?

First tests tend to show you can play about 2h on battery.

Dont forget your GPi has also an USB power cord. In a car or at home, use the USB cord.

If the cartridge back gets too hot, we recommend to stop your GPi and let it cool down a while.

How can I scrape my games?

For a few games you can still use the internal scraper. However, the internal scraper is configured to save large images for regular Recalbox. Also, using the internal scraper on WIFI connection may be slow and inefficient.

We really recommend to use an external scraper. It faster and better. You way also configure image max size to 170x170 to save space and improve the speed in EmulationStation.


If you're in the following situation:

  • On first boot, there is nothing on the screen after a reasonable amount of time

  • You cannot set up the WIFI connection

Contact us on Discord or on the Forum and give us the following files, available from the BOOT partition on your SD card:

  • config.txt

  • recalbox-backup.conf

  • hardware.log

For any other issue, please use the regular channel: Forum or Gitlab issues