RetroPie v4.0.2 + LibreELEC v7.0.2 Dual-Boot

Here is a Dual Boot build ofย RetroPie & LibreELEC (16.1 Jarvis) for the Raspberry Pi 3:

Click here to download

As usual this is a NOOBS USB installer build so please follow the instructions in the included ‘readme’ file.

This build is the first to incorporate my new ‘smart’ switching scripts, which will seek out which partition is the correct one before mounting it and loading the other OS. This prevents the incorrect partition being mounted if you were to mix and match OS’s, which could leave the card in an ‘un-bootable’ state.

I have created an ‘Always boot to KODI’ entry in the RetroPie menu. Use this to always boot to KODI (obviously!) on every boot and you can turn it off again should you desire. More info on this in the readme file.

Other than that, both operating systems are standard so should work as they were designed. Please test it out and let me know your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

All the best.


82 thoughts on “RetroPie v4.0.2 + LibreELEC v7.0.2 Dual-Boot”

  1. Thank you for this! Works perfectly!

    One question, should I update the OSes when I am prompted for updates or it might break the dual boot configuration?

    Thanks again,

    1. Thanks Mike, glad to hear it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes you can update the OS’s as usual however I would always recommend you backup your card before you attempt it, just in case.


  2. Thanks, Just performed the update, works great!
    two questions,

    Is there a way to have the always pi boot into Retropie or last used like the old image? I see there is a way for Kodi

    Retropie “says no joystick dectected” at boot is there a way to disable that? it disappears as soon as I press the PS button on my ps3 controller, your last image you figured out a way to disable that message completely.

    1. Hi.

      If you do not enable my ‘Always Boot to KODI’ script then the Pi will always boot to last used partition. I haven’t made an ‘Always Boot to RetroPie’ script as I figure most folk will predominantly be using KODI. Thats not to say its not possible, it might just be more tricky to implement as it would need to be a custom startup script in KODI (although I haven’t tried to be fair).

      The ‘No joystick detected’ message will appear if the controller is not paired prior to Emulation Station loading. The easiest way around this is to set up a keyboard to control Emulation Station and that way, even if the keyboard is not plugged in, the ‘not detected’ screen will not show.

      Hope this helps!

  3. hi, thanks for sharing your work, really useful build.

    is there a way i can add a script (like the one use to power the pi with a button) to boot to kodi or retropie with the use of a button… one for kodi and one for retropie…


    1. Hi.

      Could you explain a bit more on how you would like that to work? Because the Pi would have to be in a powered on state to recognise which button had been pressed and therefore that would mean it would already be in an OS of some sort, perhaps a cut-down command line only version of Raspbian thats only job was to sit and monitor for a button press then action a script accordingly. That would mean you would have a triple-boot OS but with only 2 ‘working’ OS’s, if you get my meaning? That’s how I envisage it working anyways. Is this for an arcade machine or something like that? If I knew what the intended use was then I could probably advise better, but certainly – yes it should be do-able.


  4. Hi. Thanks for the work.
    I’m having a problem, I add the roms by samba from windows directly dropping them into the roms folder but when i restart the pi i get an error:
    Filesystem error root/.emulationstation/downloaded_images/firstgamename*.png Permissions denied. I hope you can help me, thanks.

    1. Hi.

      I have never used ‘Samba’ before (that I know of!), but it sounds like you need to set the permissions on the files you dropped in. Have you added screenshots as well as roms as thats what it would look like according to your error? Either way, you can set the rom directory permissions via the RetroPie setup script or you can do it via SSH via the following method:

      sudo chmod 777 /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/
      sudo chown pi:pi /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/

      if you are having issues with screenshots you have added then the same applies as above but change the directory to the screenshot directory which, off the top of my head, is now:


      (but I could be slightly mistaken – I am not in front of my Pi right now so please double check that!).

      These are the commands I would use, however I add roms via my Linux laptop and I can set permissions whilst adding them so I rarely need to do this on the Pi.

      Good luck!

    1. Hi.

      I have never tried a network mount myself so I’m not sure how much I will be able to help as I won’t be able to replicate it at my end. That being said, could you try and walk through some of my script manually via the terminal / SSH please and post your results? Please firstly try the following in the terminal:

      cd /home/pi/
      mkdir mnt/
      sudo mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 mnt/
      cd mnt/

      At this point you should have mounted the NOOBS partition to /home/pi/mnt/ and should now see a list showing the contents of the NOOBS partition. Please copy and paste (if using SSH) what you see at this point and then I can take it from there onto the next steps.


      1. When i try to boot to kodi it says :

        /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/kodi/ not found

        but the roms folder is on my server not on the raspberry so its not so strange it cant found

        in the mnt folder after mount :

        autoboot.txt defaults RECOVERY_FILES_DO_NOT_EDIT
        bcm2708-rpi-b.dtb INSTRUCTIONS-README.txt recovery.img
        bcm2708-rpi-b-plus.dtb os recovery.rfs
        bcm2709-rpi-2-b.dtb overlays riscos-boot.bin
        bcm2710-rpi-3-b.dtb recovery7.img System Volume Information
        bootcode.bin recovery.cmdline
        BUILD-DATA recovery.elf

        1. Ahh right ok, I think I see what the issue is now, and I should have realised earlier! So, when you mounted your network drive, did you do this before or after running my KODI script in RetroPie? If you done it after, then all you would need to do is copy the ‘’ file (note the capital ‘K’), from /RetroPie/roms/kodi/ into your %networkdrive%/roms/kodi location and it should work out fine. If you have set up your network drive before you ran my script (which I think you have?), then it may be having difficulty finding the new rom location (i.e. the ‘’ file). This is because my initial ‘’ script is deleted and replaced once the correct partition is located and ‘locked in’ (for want of a better word), so it is probably trying to delete the file but cant find it because its no longer located at ~/RetroPie/roms/kodi/

          Hope I have explained that correctly! So, as to how to fix this – could you copy the contents of the ~/.ss/ folder please and paste it here, so I can see how far down the script it has managed to get? I will then be able to tell you the commands you need to get it working.


          1. My Bad.

            Every thing works great.
            Copy and all other files to the server and it works great now. Thanks for all the help.

            Greet work with the dual boot

          2. Nice one. To be fair, I hadn’t factored in that people may want to mount an external rom drive / USB stick, so I probably need to update my ‘troubleshooting’ section in the readme file on future builds. Glad you’re sorted anyway.


          3. Steve, can you help me with this?
            I managed to mess up my and deleted it. Can you give me the contents of the script? Thanks.

            pi@retropie:~/.ss $ dir
            10 12.txt 5 7.txt 9 noobs
   11.txt 13 6.txt 8
            10.txt 12 5.txt 7 9.txt
            11 13.txt 6 8.txt kodiboot

  5. Hi Steve.
    Question. Have you ever done a Bartop Arcade. I’m thinking about building one but I’m at the gathering info stage.
    The dual boot would be great for that especially with the retropie arcade front end setup.

    What your thoughts??

    1. Hi.

      I have made a few arcades in the past yes, mostly full-size with PC’s but as it happens I am currently re-doing my Pi Bartop because I upgraded from Pi 2 to Pi 3 so had to re-do the software (it was running an old RetroPie v2.6 which wasn’t compatible with a Pi 3). I have the controls linked directly to the GPIO pins and am running the ‘retrogame’ application by Adafruit to convert the inputs to keystrokes. Works out really well. I’m about 85% done with setting up the software again (still yet to set up controls for Amiga, N64, Spectrum, C64 and adding new roms & screenshots to the updated MAME / FBA emulators). I’ll put a picture or video up when I get a chance if you want?

      I don’t use a dual-boot on it though, I just have a normal RetroPie setup, with games tailored toward arcade. If I was to do a dual-boot then I would probably opt for a jukebox setup, if a good one exists for the Pi? (I could tailor KODI to act like a jukebox I suppose).

      Anyway – let me know if you want any further info on mine on how I have it set up and good luck with yours! ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Hey Steve,
        That will be great. I’m at no where with it right now. I’m also trying to find the best bartop cabinet design as well to have one built, maybe even one with a coin acceptor unit.

        You should check out the “Attract Mode Front End” setup for retropie arcade, if you have not already and see if that will work.

        Keep up the great work as always.

  6. Hi Steve,

    Big fan of your work ๐Ÿ™‚ have also been dying for the next update and was praying you would do an libreelec build. I tried reading through some of the old builds comments, so excuse me if this has been asked. But I want to make sure I do not lose my Retropie saved games, how do I do this when moving to this build?

    All the best,

    1. Hi Mitch.

      Good question – if I remember rightly then save games are stored in the same directory as the rom *but* I could be mistaken there. I will have a check tomorrow and confirm! All you would need to do is copy them off your current build and into a new one, so if they are indeed in the roms directory then it should be a straightforward affair.


      1. I might give it a go copying the whole retropie folder over. Once while fiddling with overclock settings, I crashed it and only copied over the roms folder itself and I lost all of my saved games ๐Ÿ˜•

        1. Well I have just checked on my build and it would appear my saves are stored alongside the rom with a file extension of ‘state’. Maybe do a search on the Pi for *.state and then you can manually back them up to be sure?

          Good luck!

    1. Hi.
      Are you trying to make them control the volume, or do you want to assign them to something different? As far as I know you can’t set the volume keys up to actually control the volume in Emulation Station.


  7. Hi,
    Thank you for this awesome build, this is great! I’ve been using BerryBoot for some time but it wasn’t working out for me. I just have a question. Is it possible to update the different distribution or do we need to reinstall the whole thing once you release a new build?
    Thank you and keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Ben! Updating should be fine via the normal update methods for each OS, however I would recommend you make a backup of your memory card before you try it.


    1. Hi Mark.

      The ‘Always Boot to KODI’ option will appear in the RetroPie menu in Emulation Station, but only after you have switched from RetroPie to KODI at least once. This is because it needs to determine the correct boot partition for KODI first, so on next boot into RetroPie (having prior pressed the ‘Start KODI’ button in RetroPie), you should find the option.

      Hope this makes sense!

  8. I loaded everything up but I’m having trouble with the controller not working in emulation. It works fine in ES. This a fresh install on a new Pi. I have searched but only been able to find ways to load previous retroarch cfg files. I also saw some info on using F1 but F1 does not work on the keyboard when in emulation. It is a PS3 sixaxis controller. I was able to map it out when ES was first run. Could you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

    1. Hi Don.

      I use PS3 pads myself and have set them up no problem – just to check, did you set the pads up through Emulation Station, rather than just copying the retroarch.cfg files?


  9. I installed this a few weeks ago and had issues with audio in RetroPie using a s Raspberry Pi 2. Has anyone else had those issues and if so, have they since been fixed?

      1. I installed it on Raspberry Pi 2 and I have no audio in RetroPie MAME. I am using HDMI to my television. Installed the ROMs from a flash drive easy enough and they play just fine. Just no audio. My television audio is up and I found the audio in Emulation Station and cranked it to 100% (from 78% or wherever it defaults).

        Any suggestions?

  10. Iv’e been thinking about installing this build to my Pi3. I would like to know if installing different builds to lebreELEC will delete your scripts, and if so how do I reinstall them?

    1. Hi @Milez Elbourne,
      You can install anybuild you want. The scripts have been made into addons and can now be install like a regular addon. It have the section for it here but to make it easier here is the section link

      and also the addon source –
      You can download it on your computer and then transfers to your Pi to install or add this the same way you add addons using in File Manager – add source and when done go to System – addons – install from zip and locate your added source and install the addon from there.

      Hope that helps

  11. Hey!
    Quite new to this and I realize that I ticked the box that will use your script for auto boot. So, now I’m stuck in Kodi and when I reboot the pi i only get back to kodi.

    How in the world do I do to get back to the OS Choice screen?


  12. Hi!

    First of all, thanks for a great work and for sharing it!

    Now, maybe a dumb question… I have a 16GB as card with libreelec 7.90.007 on my Pi3. Is there a way I can use Dual boot with retropie and the exact image of my 16GB card on a new 64GB DD card?

    Thanks again,
    Best regards.

    1. Hi Rui.

      You can do this yes, you can create a LibreELEC backup on your existing setup then restore the backup on my build. All you would need to do is add my RetroPie add-on back in again from and you’d be good to go.

      Other option would be to create a tarball of your existing LibreELEC build and create your own NOOBS installer version. This would be more time consuming and you would need a Linux PC to be able to do it (although you could probably do it all on the Pi with any Linux distro, but it might take a while!). If you wanted to explore this option then let me know and I can tell you how to do it.

      In any case, make a backup of your SD card before trying anything!


      1. Thanks Steve!

        If you can give me some help on creating a NOOBS installer with my LibreELEC, it would be great!


        1. Although I managed to get the desired results with backup/restore, it will be great to be able to create my own LibreELEC NOOBS package.
          Take your time, no hurries.

          Thank you again for all your efforts.

  13. Hello, my question is similar to Rui’s posted above. I used this build of yours on a 64gb sd card and I’m thinking of upgrading to a 128gb. If I made a backup and then copied that over to a 128gb card, using win32diskimager, can I then expand the storage to take advantage of the extra 64gbs? I’d like to expand the libreelec partition a little bit, so I can put all my pictures that I use for backgrounds directly on the card rather than reading from the hard drive, and the rest for the Retropie partition. Is this possible? And how would I go about doing this? Regardless, I’m very happy with my RPi as it is, and thanks for your work with this build. It’s exactly how I wanted my RPi to be.

    1. Hi, sorry for the delay in replying.

      So in a nutshell; no, you cannot expand the card once you have installed via NOOBS. ๐Ÿ™ all partition requirements must be determined before installing via NOOBS due to the complex partitioning it carries out. You could however make a tarball of your RetroPie and LibreELEC partitions as they are now (excluding roms to keep the file-size down), and then make your own custom installer which could be used for a bigger card? I aim to write up some instructions on how to do this soon (been promising to do this since forever!).

      Another option of course would be adding a USB stick or hard drive which you could mount on boot in both partitions. I use a 16GB SD card with OpenELEC and RetroPie but have a 64GB USB stick for my games. This could easily be used for LibreELEC background pictures if you so desired, because LibreELEC will automount any partitions it finds at boot time as standard. Just a thought anyway.


  14. Hello,

    Thank you for the good work.

    I’m using this version. I’m trying to use the Transmission addon, but it is with the following error: transmission unable to save resume file no space left on device.

    I use a 64GB memory card with enough free space. It would be some space distribution problem between Librelec and Retropie? Any suggestion?

    Help! ๐Ÿ™

    1. Hi.

      I’m afraid I have no experience with Transmission on the Pi (only on my Linux laptop), so I’m not sure how much I can help. Could it be that it isn’t actually saving to the Mem stick and instead it is trying to save it to the SD card? That sounds likely. I assume you have settings where you can check where it is saving to as default?

      Sorry I cant be of much help!

    1. Hi.

      You can indeed – I use a 64GB card with all my roms on and just have it mount at boot time with a simple script. There are probably other ways to do this, but that seemed the easiest to me and works a treat every time.


    1. I’m afraid not – I had never intended to release incremental updates as I would not be able to keep up, so I stick to only making builds for stable releases (or if there was a big bugfix release).


      1. HI so can I switch to Kodi from the Retropie menu ? or do I need a script in order for it to show on retropie? also when I boot into kodi I do not see and option to switch to retropieโ€ฆ

        and thank you for your work

  15. HI Steve
    Thank you so much for sharing your work with us. Your dual boot setup has been awesome. I have a question though…I spent quite some time setting up Retropie with Attract Mode on a seperate sd card. Was wondering if there was a way of using your dual boot image but instead of installing vanilla Retropie with Kodi I could install my Retropie image somehow?

    1. That’s nice idea!
      Retropie with Attract Mode, Libreelec and Raspian, and this will overkill everything ๐Ÿ˜€

      anyone know how to do it?

  16. Hi! Great work with this dual boot setup. Quick question though. I am trying to overclock to the RPi when booted into Retropie using the config.txt file that according to my research, should be in \boot, but when I navigate to that folder the Retropie partition on my SD Card, the folder is empty. However, when I boot to Retropie and connect via SSH, the config.txt file shows as there. I need to make a backup of this file before modifying it and would like to modify it directly on the SD card rather than via SSH is possible. Is there a way for me to do this? Where can I find the config.txt file on the sd card? Thanks!

  17. Hey,

    Many thanks for your build and the good documentation.
    I had one issue…I tried to link my wiimote using this (in German, Sorry for that) :

    After reboot I could not get in Emulationstation anymore and rebuild everything…Any suggestions on how I can connect my Wiimote easily another way?

    Thank you!

  18. Awesome work with these multi boots Steve!

    Just a quick question, I set up the Retropie/Libreelec dual boot and spent quite some time updating everything to the latest versions and configuring it all for my needs. I originally did this on a 16GB MicroSD card and want to now upgrade the card to a 64GB MicroSD card to allow more space for larger ROM’s (e.g. PSP and PS1 ROM’s). Is there any way that I can ‘image’ the 16GB card then easily increase the size of the partitions without losing dual boot functionality or settings etc?

  19. I loaded this build on to my Raspberry Pi3 retropie worked great when I clicked on Kodi it loaded up with no issues and works fine. When I go to programs in kodi and click on retropie I get an error so I went to the log file and it says no such file or directory /home/osmc/.kodi/addons/script.retropie/
    and wont go back to retropie it just stays in kodi even when I reboot it.

    Do you have any idea how to fix this?
    Thank you very much in advance

    1. Ignore my message I should really learn to read a bit more before posting I see I had to install the correct script for the build I have I had the oscm one loaded when my build is openelec

  20. hi, really liked your work and setup thank you.

    How do we update to kodi krypton? because at your version i cant run my x256 codes but i tried it at libreelec last version and it works on my rasp pi 2 very smootly…

    I tried to update it from system but as i see the storage directory is full so it doesnt update automatically or we cant put img file to update it manually….

    what can i do ?

  21. HI so can I switch to Kodi from the Retropie menu ? or do I need a script in order for it to show on retropie? also when I boot into kodi I do not see and option to switch to retropie…

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